May 31, 2012 0
May 30, 2012 Enter your password to view comments.
May 28, 2012 2
May 26, 2012 2
Ching-In Chen is a multi-genre, border-crossing writer and the author of The Heart’s Traffic (Arktoi/Red Hen Press, 2009). Chen is the child of Chinese Immigrants, and is a Kundiman and Lambda Fellow and a member of the Macondo and Voices of Our Nations Arts Foundations writing communities. A community organizer, Chen has worked in the Asian American communities of San Francisco, Oakland, Riverside and Boston, as well as helped organize the third national Asian Pacific American Spoken Word and Poetry Summit in Boston. Chen is also the co-editor of The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities (South End Press, 2011) and Here Is a Pen: an Anthology of West Coast Kundiman Poets (Achiote Press, 2009). Read the rest of this entry »
May 25, 2012 0
a fag? a queer? a black? a chicano? a zionist? a commie? a jew boy? american? anti-amerikan? afro-american? a racist? a bassist? a solipsist? whatever?
This column is about identity politics and identity writing. For it? Against it? Ambivalent? Covering up your ears at this point? I’m with you. Read the rest of this entry »
May 25, 2012 0
May 24, 2012 0
May 19, 2012 0
Friday May 11th, 2012
Against my usual proclivities I decided to go to Literary Death Match – for the second time in three weeks – in part because I wasn’t going to miss my first chance to see Sarah Maria Griffin perform and also because I wanted to figure out what’s going on with LDM: it’s monthly, it’s every other month (good call), it’s twice a month; I can’t keep up; I just emailed founder and co-host Todd Zuniga some questions, so perhaps I will get back to you on that last part, but for now let us thank Todd for introducing Sarah to Jane Ganahl, who so kindly introduced her to me: I’m very happy to announce that Sarah will be contributing to Litseen on a regular basis for at least the next few months to help fulfill her visa requirements, as she has just moved here from Dublin less than 2 weeks ago. Let’s watch her perform some poems from her first book, Follies: Read the rest of this entry »
May 18, 2012 0
The Storming Bohemian has the flu. Fever, aches and all that jazz. Determined to remain punkalicious, I have struggled to write a column this morning and given birth to: drivel. Determined not to leave any stone unturned, however, I dug into the Bohemian archives and mined a coupla pieces that touch upon my love for stormy bohemian weather. Perhaps you’ll find them edifying. I’ll be back next week, rarin’ to go.
(1) Why Storm?
Existing institutions often fail us.
—the regular job market
Alternative institutions and ways of being are essential.
To say “no” to that which is dehumanizing and life-destroying is to affirm an alternative. But the “no” — a firm and committed “no” — has to come first. And at any cost.
The alternative path I call “Bohemia”. But not the “drinking bohemian”, not the “partying bohemian”, not the “angry bohemian” or the “self indulgent bohemian”.
All these types exist but are false paths with dead ends.
How can this be done without falling into self indulgence?
It is the commitment and the community that matter, not necessarily the art produced.
Art is nice; but commitment is nicer and more important.
What I want to experience is an alternative community and way of being focused on the creation and appreciation of art as a primary way of life. The artifacts that arise from that, however wonderful, are incidental.
This is a tribal view of art, not a romantic one.
There are societies, I believe, primitive ones and tribal ones, and even religious ones that are like this: monasteries that make great music, theaters that produce great plays, symphony orchestras, rock ‘n’ roll bands, santeria houses, jazz clubs, poetry series…
Let’s do it to it.
(2) IS IT EASY TO MAKE A POEM?
Is it easy to make a poem?
Yes, it is easy to make a poem.
Because the sun is shining
And outside my studio window
An American flag is blowing in the wind
Like a leaf caught in a tornado
Flapping itself into oblivion.
Metaphors are everywhere.
It is easy to make a poem.
Because my heart is packed
With the wonder of my friends
And the way we look at one another
And see the universe in each other’s eyes
Because it is summer and last night
There was a meteor shower
And I was there to see it
Because I woke up this morning
And smelled the coffee and
Went to share breakfast with a pal
In a greasy spoon and gossiped
And felt happy to be alive
Is it easy to make a poem?
Of course it’s easy to make a poem.
But it’s fucking hard
To make a good one.
– Charles Kruger
The Storming Bohemian
May 17, 2012 2
May 16, 2012 0
San Francisco’s premier humor reading series LitUp Writers (litupwriters.com) is proud to present HOW TO WRITE FUNNY: A SEMINAR ON HUMOR WRITING. This lively two-hour seminar will offer insights on the fundamentals of humor writing, and how to approach humor in both fiction and nonfiction. It will also cover the current state of the publishing industry, as well as feature advice from San Francisco literary agent Katherine Boyle. The evening will be packed with useful information, and maybe even a few laughs as well. Humor is universal, so writers of all levels and genres are encouraged to attend. Space is limited, however, so sign up soon! Read the rest of this entry »
May 15, 2012 1
May 14, 2012 0
May 12, 2012 0
May 12, 2012 2
May 11, 2012 0
Lately, I’ve been writing about my childhood. And before that, I was writing about my childhood. And years ago, as a child, I wrote about my childhood. No doubt, for my remaining years, I will write about my childhood.
Poet and teacher Edward Hirsch likes to remind his students that Rainer Maria Rilke asserted there are two inexhaustible sources for poetry: dreams and childhood. I suggest we pay attention to that thought. Read the rest of this entry »
May 10, 2012 0
May 9, 2012 0
May 6, 2012 1
May 6, 2012 8
Won’t Do Stand-Up in a Wheelchair follows the journey and life of Sandi Selvi, a Bay Area stay-at-home mom turned M.S. Society advocate turned stand-up comedian and author, through her diagnosis with multiple sclerosis and the stem-cell transplant that saved her life.
Selvi’s story sounds like an incredible one—and one that needs, desperately, to be shared to celebrate the benefits of stem-cell transplants. But Selvi should not have written it, at least not alone, and it shouldn’t have passed the editor’s desk as it’s written. It has all of the signs of a memoir that got the greenlight based solely on its topic, without any consideration to the craft or the audience. The richness lurking beneath the surface of this story was not explored because of Selvi’s amateurish writing and inability to plot a coherent storyline. Read the rest of this entry »
May 3, 2012 0
May 1, 2012 1
They’re starting to have events there every Friday night – it’s a really rich scene, though you would add to it. Maybe this is that healthy impetus Read the rest of this entry »
May 1, 2012 0
CLIVE MATSON HONORED AT 10TH ANNUAL BERKELEY POETRY FESTIVAL: lifetime achievement award on sat may 5
Clive Matson has devoted much of his life to poetry, has influenced and continues to influence a lot of people along the way. His way. For this and for his body of work, Clive is to receive this year’s lifetime achievement award at the Berkeley Poetry Festival, which will be this Saturday from noon – 4:30pm at Berkeley City College Atirum (2050 Center St).