March 17, 2014

Mellow Pages Reading Friday!

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If you’re free this Friday, come on over to the beautiful Mellow Pages Library and Reading Room for a night of new fiction curated by Paul Rome, featuring readings by Paul Rome, Emma Cline, Catherine Lacey and myself.

Readings start at 8pm. Come early for drinks and merriment. Stick around after for bonus birthday festivities.

Catherine Lacey’s debut novel, Nobody Is Ever Missing, is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus & Giroux this July. Her work has been published by McSweeney’s Quarterly, Granta, The Paris Review Daily, The Believer, The Atlantic and others.

Ann DeWitt’s writing has appeared in NOON, Guernica, BOMBlog, Esquire’s Napkin Fiction Project, The Believer Logger, art+culture, Everyday Genius, The Faster Times, elimae, and Dossier Magazine, amongst others, and is forthcoming in The American Reader edited by Ben Marcus and the anthology Short: An International Anthology  edited by Alan Ziegler. Ann holds a B.A. from Brown University and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Columbia School of the Arts. She was a Founding Editor of Gigantic: A Magazine of Short Prose and Art in 2008. She currently teaches in the Undergraduate Creative Writing Program at Columbia University and in The Art and Design History and Theory department at Parsons, The New School, and is at work on her first novel.

Emma Cline’s fiction has been published in The Paris Review and Tin House. She is working on a novel about the Manson Family.

Paul Rome has written for The Huffington Post, PEN America, The Minetta Review and Mercer Street. His debut novel, We All Sleep in the Same Room, was published in November 2013, and was hailed by The Barnes & Noble Review as “a taut and stylistically vanguard legal drama” and by Electric Literature as “a New York novel… all the more memorable for its originality.”

March 10, 2014

Novel Excerpt In The World!

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Someone else around here is really interested in reading the new NOON! An excerpt of my novel is just out in this weekend’s mail & in such thrilling company. With much thanks to Diane Williams once again for unearthing the first slice of this novel in my own mind and revealing it in the pages of NOON.  This is NOON’s 15th anniversary issue.  It features exceptional work by  Chiara Barzini, Kayla Blatchley, Tetman Callis, Kim Chinquee, Rebecca Curtis, Lydia Davis, Brandon Hobson, Elan Lafontaine, Clancy Martin, Lincoln Michel, Dylan Nice, Julio Pecly, Ashton Politanoff, Lily Hoy Price, Christine Schutt, Rhoads Stevens, Robert Tindall, James Yeh and Anya Yurchyshyn.  Thank you, Diane, for producing such a thing of beauty.

February 20, 2014

The Sochi Project: Russia Through Two Lenses

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Thank you to The Believer Logger for posting my third iteration of the “Various Paradigms” column this afternoon! Very excited to see my piece, “The Sochi Project: Russia Through Two Lenses,” go live today in the wake of the Pussy Riots arrest Tuesday. Discussed: half naked pictures of Putin and the 51 billion dollar Sochi Winter Games, Jeff Shalett’s “What It’s Like to Be Gay In Putin’s Russia,” Rob Hornstra and Arnold Van Bruggan’s photo exhibition “The Golden Years,” at the Huis Marseille in Amsterdam and contemporary Moscow based artist Olga Chernysheva’s installation “Windows,” a meditative look at surveillance and “the heart of everyday Russia.” For the full text, click, here.

January 31, 2014

Various Paradigms

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Photo of Luke Goebel by the writer’s sister, Marie Goebel. 

Excited to spill the beans on a new project I’m working on over at The Believer.  I’ll be writing and curating a bimonthly column for the Logger called Various Paradigms. The title is a tribute to conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner’s typographic texts. Weiner once wrote, “Bits and Pieces Put Together To Present A Semblance of A Whole.” This column hopes to follow in that tradition of engagement, intimacy and experiment. Check out this new post with writer, good friend, and co-conspirator on the page, Luke B Goebel! Thank you to Penina Roth for reuniting Luke and I amongst the readers at Franklin Park Reading Series earlier this month. Luke and I met for coffee the next day and talked about the following: The Corona Cougar portable typewriter, gaping wounds, emotional support animals, units of sound, Barry Hannah, Freudian analysts, Texas, the Breaking Bad RV, writing in the “Bounder,” and how to farm out a plane.  For the full interview, click here!

January 18, 2014

It’s Here!

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I was delighted by my first sighting of Short: An International Anthology of Short Prose last night. I am honored to have a story included in this inimitable collection along with so many writers whom I’ve long admired. Contemporary works by Christine Schutt, Dawn Raffel, Diane Williams, Ben Marcus, Ben Lerner, Lydia Davis, Lynne Tillman, Anne Carson, Joy Harjo, Amy Hempel, Gary Lutz, Deb Olin Unferth, Etgar Keret, Joe Wenderoth, Kim Chinquee, Aimee Bender, Sarah Manguso, Jayne Anne Phillips, amongst many others. And long time favorites such as Charles Simic, Gianni Celati, Kafka, Borges, Phillip Lopate, Michael Ondaatje, Ron Padget, Luisa Venezuela, Mark Strand, Russell Edson, Donald Barthelme, Italo Calvino, John Cage, Raymond Queneau, Nathalie Sauraute, Francis Ponge, John Ashbury, Frank O’Hara, Gertrude Stein and the list goes on. With eternal heart and indebtedness to the poet, editor, mentor and generous soul that is Alan Ziegler for his courage, curiosity, and limitless vision.

Here’s a picture of our stalwart editor, Alan Ziegler, at his celebratory dinner last night.   Contributor copies aren’t out till February.  But you can advance order on Amazon here!

January 13, 2014

Franklin Park

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I’m honored to be reading amongst this crew tomorrow night at Franklin Park.  Penina Roth has done so much to bring this continually excellent reading series to our neighborhood.  It is with great thanks to her that my 2014 couldn’t start with an any more generous opening.  Tomorrow night celebrates the fifth annual evening of Short Fiction.  Ben Marcus will be reading from his new collection, Leaving The Sea.  Good friend, Luke Goebel, will be reading from his forthcoming FC2 collection and I’m excited to hear new work from acclaimed debut short fiction author Chinelo Okparanta and new star Ryan Chang.

Doors at 8pm 618 St. Johns Place

December 23, 2013

Blue Is The Warmest Color: A Sentimental Wound

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I’m excited to have an essay up today at The Believer Logger on Kechiche’s provocative new film, Blue Is The Warmest Color. If you ever wanted to know what I think about sex as sentimental wound, here’s your chance!  Also discussed: James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room, Nan Goldin on why Diane Arbus’s work is “all about herself,” Jeff Wall, transgression, dirty realism, Joanna Hiffernan’s netherparts, Mary Gaitskill’s protagonists’ unsatiated longings, John Cassavetes & Gena Rowlands, Barthes’ antipatriarchial “prick,” Sarah Anne Johnson’s new show Wonderlust, and the “mysterious, cunning and dreadful intensity of the very young.” Thanks so much to to the Believer’s Hayden Bennett for publishing this! Check out the full essay here.

December 7, 2013

Wonderlust

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I recently took a group of students to see

Sarah Anne Johnson’s show, Wonderlust 

at Julie Saul Gallery.

We’ve been investigating

The Screen As Body; The Personal Political.

Johnson investigates intimacy by capturing couples in their own

domestic surroundings.

I was most impressed by the interlocution of Johnson’s own physicality onto the photographs.  She often gouges at, scratches, paints or even glitters her photographs to capture the ecstasy, self-consciousness and banality of sexuality.

Her work reminded me a bit of Stan Brakhage’s old 16 mm film work

 Mothlight (1963), which he made by collecting moth wings, flower pelts and blades of grass which he pressed between two strips of 16 mm splicing tape.  The assemblage was then contact printed at a lab.

Brakhage said he made Mothlight “out of a deep grief. The grief is my business in a way, but the grief was helpful in squeezing the little film out of me, that I said “these crazy moths are flying into the candelight, and burning themselves to death, and that’s what’s happening to me. I don’t have enough money to make these films, and … I’m not feeding my children properly, because of these damn films, you know. And I’m burning up here… What can I do?” I’m feeling the full horror of some kind of immolation, in a way.”

July 8, 2012

Marina Abramović: Gestures of Empathy in An Absentee World

Marina Abramović. Photo Credit: Jeff Dupre/ Courtesy of HBO Documentary Films & Music Box Films

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Yugoslavian performance artist Marina Abramović and ask her a few questions about HBO’s new film Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present, a documentary about her 2010 MOMA retrospective by first time director Mathew Ackers.   Here’s an excerpt:

As a child Marina Abramovic’s mother told her, “I didn’t kiss you not to spoil you.” It would be easy to say that it is from this early encounter with emotional malnutrition that 65-year old Belgrade-born performance artist Marina Abramovic’s passion for performance was born. The daughter of Yugoslavian Partisans during the Second World War, Abramovic hailed from a highly disciplined home, “My mother was a major in the army, a national hero,” Abramovic recalled in a 2011 interview for the British Telegraph. “She created complete military discipline in the house […] I have enormously strong willpower, which I think is inherited.”

Please check out the full review & interview for Guernica here.

March 12, 2012

NOON

The new issue of NOON just arrived!

The issue features work by Kim Chinquee, Glynis Clews, Roxanne Gay, Brandon Hobson,

Vi Khi Nao, Ted Krinkos, Elan Lafontaine, Clancy Martin, Lincoln Michel, Greg Mulvahy, Dylan Nice, Joanna Ruocca,

Valerie Shaff, several pieces by A. L Sniders translated by Lydia Davis from the Dutch, Lauren Spohrer, Robert Tindall,

Deb Olin Unferth, James Yeh and Anya Yurchyshyn.

As well as drawings by Augusta Gross, embroideries by Karen Reimer and photography by Bill Hayward.

I have long admired the urgency and tenacity

which Diane Williams conjures

across NOON’s pages.

There is both a rigorous candor and a strident democracy

to these pieces as a whole which reflect

the generosity and dedication of NOON’s editorial vision.

It is a humble honor to have a short piece in the new issue,

in the midst of so many dear friends

and voices whom I admire.

We owe Diane Williams a great deal of thanks

for inspiring us with both her own craft and

her commitment to publishing an annual

who’s lens on the world

lifts readers from out of their seats

and leaves them suspended in

an urgent new world.

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