Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Some Assembly Required: A Distributed Book Launch


Some Assembly Required: A Distributed Book Launch

On Saturday October 27th, you’ll have the opportunity to hear readings by six different conceptual women writers at three different alternative art venues in Chinatown Los Angeles. Audience members are invited to choose the order in which they experience this “distributed” book launch. Co-sponsored by the CalArts MFA Writing Program and Les Figues Press, Some Assembly Required celebrates our recently published anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing By Women, which features work by 64 writers from 10 countries.


A different kind of reading, from a different kind of book of a different kind of writing. Some assembly required — but that’s the fun of it, and there is a map!

When: 8-11 pm on Saturday, October 27, 2012

Where: Institute for FiguringAutomata and Human Resources (Chinatown LA)

Who: Teresa Carmody, Jen Hofer, Vanessa Place, Frances Richard, Giovanni Singleton, Christine Wertheim

How: Move from venue to venue in the order you choose to hear all six writers, reading as themselves and others

Why: Because conceptual writing by women asks you to experience time and space in multiple ways, and this reading does too. Accompanied by refreshments.

SCHEDULE

Automata Arts | 504 Chung King Court

Frances Richard
Vanessa Place

Reading times (choose one):
8:05 – 8:20 p.m.
9:05 – 9:20 p.m.

Institute for Figuring | 990 N. Hill St. #180

Christine Wertheim
Giovanni Singleton

Reading times (choose one):
8:25 – 8:40 p.m.
9:25 – 9:40 p.m.

Human Resources | 410 Cottage Home St

Jen Hofer
Teresa Carmody

Reading times (choose one):
8:45 – 9:00 p.m.
9:45 – 10:00 p.m.

Reception
Human Resources
10-11 p.m.



Monday, August 13, 2012

the postcards that never were

according to american theater director Anne Bogart "making a decision is an act of violence."

in other words, the act of making an artistic choice, from incorporating a different medium in your latest exhibit at the MET to deciding whether or not to justify that cover letter, inevitably involves killing another creative option

but what if we saved those remnants, those scraps, those previously unrecognized vernacular corpses?

welcome to the postcards that never were, a brief glimpse at the process behind crafting a Les Figues Postcard

(presented in a quirky, conceptual and utterly Les Figues format)

These collages were created from postcard prototypes for the following titles from the TrenchArt Surplus series: The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker, Lividity, 2500 Random Things About Me Too, and Words of Love. Enjoy!


                                        

                                                      

                                       

       



Friday, August 3, 2012

Small Changes: the Whole Story


An exquisite corpse via Facebook, curated in honor of our Small Changes donation campaign. Thanks to all the contributors! Every little bit helps.


Me was born on the 4th of July, We too, like twin firecrackers, and since the beginning Me had been plagued with a premonition: that the world would end on July 31st.

Out came the lightning bugs. Luciferin. Luciferase.

The Beginning: “Hurry!” shouted Me to We. “Save Pat’s rat from being eaten by OAT, our fat cat, or Pat’s temper will flare up—he’s not quite sane.” "Me," said We with a sigh, "who cares if Pat gets mad. His rat is annoying." "You're so cruel. No creature deserves to die like that.... Plus OAT is already so fat," Me replied as she trotted towards the door, cat lasso in hand. "Well," said We, "maybe we should ask Chris Christopher Hershey-Van Horn what to do." "Good idea," said Me. But I can't find him.

“meowww. meow meow. meeow.”I concur, indeed. Finally, we're speaking the same language. I've waited so long.” OAT and Meester Pance, new pals, decided to work together to catch the rat, OAT because she liked to eat, and Meester Pance because he fucking hated Pat.

The cop, Patrick Shank, Pat for short, had a fetish for things that never stopped growing--the universe (perhaps), hair, the splinter teeth of rodents.

Fast / East

The Rat used over 900,000 names. She brutally beat a servant girl with a hammer in woods that lay outside Danville. She killed a five-year-old girl by strangling and stabbing her 36 times with scissors. Me? I don't know what Me was doing when We said that Me had sliced The Rat's fin from its hide. Me? Me? Me? Me? I just felt like laughing. Internal to that laughter was a simple progression: The Rat tortured animals--domesticated dogs, house cats--and attacked people, sometimes in broad daylight. Her crimes were halted during the Great California War. Soon, she drowned two young friends while swimming. She moved in with one of the victims' families. Her injury, unnoticed. The victim's family was named Reverof. The mother bathed The Rat and skipped the wound, and others. Each scale hid the scent of The Rat's atrocities. A torn ligament; a plucked tooth; a lacerated friendship. The Mother Reverof would sing to The Rat the song she knew from her youth, "We like you baby, when you turn your back on us, forever, forever, forever." The Rat became more lucid. The song outlined in detail a labyrinth of possibilities, all of which seem to revolve around The Rat's cunt. During that time, The Rat's only human contact was with Reverof, who sometimes bought her fast food, and sometimes told her amusing stories. Seven months into her captivity, Reverof introduced The Rat to her wife, Nancy, who brought The Rat a stuffed animal and chocolate milk. There was a cop The Rat longed to kill. and doughnuts. The sweet smell of putrefaction. The Rat reminisced over her far gone youth mirrored in a pool beneath her. "Will you turn your back on us, Mother Reverof?" The words twisted through her corrupt passageways. The Rat's memory: a winter sucking up slurry from behind a saw, drowning in the lake when he thought he saw movement down there, pissing on her brother's knees. When The Rat came to Reverof and Nancy were there. Chris Christopher Hershey-Van Horn's memory: "OAT, come here...Me, where's OAT?" Me twirled the cat lasso, slapping the ground. "He's met up with Meester Pance." Something was burning. We held Luciferace and Lucifer in one hand. Luciferace was burnt to a crisp. "The Rat," said We.

What do you think Me will do, with only 6 days left to live? Pray for her prey underneath a bridge. The days that remain between Me, We and that drowning Rat's saturated memories of undulating lyrics and saccharine junk food/"Nowhere to go beyond the 31st?"/but plenty to do. Me's furry fingers tore a page from her calendar as she whispered, "all dressed up and nowhere to go."

The hours/our water flowing slowly filling the tub too fully the tub/the month when me and we climb in the time is up the brink is reached/blown/nowhere to go beyond the 31st. But first me in need of a sip drinks water through tips of fingers unable to hold the words floating between us digesting only vowels one by one, hands clasped around phrases and phalli that linger in lukewarm tub water and cracked porcelain.

True, by this time it was not a blank space anymore.

Neither OR nor UP the beetle in my bed, the choli, ¡te amo, te amo! OR felt the wave and it was gnats, los bobos que murieron en su nariz. It was always true. The wor(l)d became a fight for a last. Breath. I avoided a vast, artificial hole somebody had been digging on the slope, the purpose of which I found it impossible to divine.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

25 Things from 2500 Random Things About Me Too

Tomorrow is the online release of Matias Viegener's 2500 Random Things About Me Too! It's Matias' first book, and also the first book written on Facebook. Remember that meme "25 random things about me"? Matias wrote 100 of them—they are brilliant, poignant and you should check them out. 




Here's one of them so you can see for yourself:


xlvi

1            My pillow is gone!

2            Why is utopianism so uncool with so many
              people I know?

3            You know that if men menstruated, the world
              would be run by a lunar calendar.

4            My favorite mistake in English that my mother
              made was when arriving in someone's house, she 
              would occasionally exclaim how "homely" it was!

5            Sometimes when salesmen knocked on the door,
              my friend Marc Weisman's mother would say,
              "Please go away, I am not interesting."

6            I just looked in the mirror and I look like me
              again.

7            Today I have more than 25 things, so I will save
              some.

8            Four years ago, we could not have come to Santa
              Marta and Ciénaga because they were being torn 
              apart by paramilitaries and guerrillas.

9            Chris Kraus once told me that Sylvère Lotringer
              and I were the only two men she knew who did 
              not see Kathy Acker as monstrous.

10          I remember visiting the Greek island of Delos,
              filled with marble phalluses. Many of them had 
              been chopped off at the stem, so to speak.

11          I envy Austin, his capacity to fall asleep anywhere
              at any time. This would make my life much easier.

12          What about men who cup their balls and call
              them the family jewels?

13          Or men who name their penises?

14          More rain. I will probably always see weather as a
              New Yorker; I spent my "formative years" where 
              weather was something you struggled against.

15          Few things are as embarrassing as your own 
              mother.

16          I had sex in a bathroom at UCLA during the
              Rodney King riots. It was with an architecture
              student. We even talked about it: having sex
              while the city burned.

17         For a long time, I believed in ancient astronauts.

18         I've heard stories about strangers having sex in 
             bomb shelters during the War.

19         I remember when people got dressed up to travel.
             When I was a kid we had special traveling outfits.

20         Pompeii is filled with phallic statues.

21         When I was a kid, my mother's aunt would come 
             visit us every year from Germany. The first few 
             times she wore a wool jacket and skirt, stuffed
             inside like a sausage.

22         In a hot climate, if you're not peeing, you're not 
             drinking enough.

23         My mother's aunt was kind of dowdy, and she
             never looked as good as when she traveled.

24         By the end of the 80s things had changed, and
             she arrived in rumpled sweat suits.

25         What about when they paint fig leaves over classic
             nude paintings?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Small Changes Movement on Facebook


      Les Figues is hosting The Small Changes Movement on Facebook. It is an interactive, collective writing experience where YOU, the reader, can add to the story. All are invited to add to the text, whether it be a sentence, a paragraph or just a few words. It's amazing how much the slightest change can alter a narrative. And as unique as all our readers are, the story takes some interesting turns.
      The Small Change Movement is running in conjunction with our Small Change donation drive. Feel free to add your donation to the movement on the Les Figues website. You can find the Facebook page here to join in on the movement.
Here is what we have so far:

Me was born on the 4th of July, We too, like twin firecrackers, and since the beginning Me had been plagued with a premonition: that the world would end on July 31st. Out came the lightning bugs. Luciferin. Luciferase. "Good idea," said Me. But I can't find him. "Well," said We, "maybe we should ask Chris Christopher Hershey-Van Horn what to do." ‎"You're so cruel. No creature deserves to die like that.... Plus OAT is already so fat," Me replied as she trotted towards the door, cat lasso in hand. ‎"Me," said We with a sigh, "who cares if Pat gets mad. His rat is annoying." The Beginning: “Hurry!” shouted Me to We. “Save Pat’s rat from being eaten by OAT, our fat cat, or Pat’s temper will flare up—he’s not quite sane.” OAT and Meester Pance, new pals, decided to work together to catch the rat, OAT because she liked to eat, and Meester Pance because he fucking hated Pat. I concur, indeed. Finally, we're speaking the same language. I've waited so long. meowww. meow meow. meeow.
The Rat used over 900,000 names. She brutally beat a servant girl with a hammer in woods that lay outside Danville. She killed a five-year-old girl by strangling and stabbing her 36 times with scissors. Me? I don't know what Me was doing when We said that Me had sliced The Rat's fin from its hide. Me? Me? Me? Me? I just felt like laughing. Internal to that laughter was a simple progression: The Rat tortured animals--domesticated dogs, house cats--and attacked people, sometimes in broad daylight. Her crimes were halted during the Great California War. Soon, she drowned two young friends while swimming. She moved in with one of the victims' families. Her injury, unnoticed. The victim's family was named Reverof. The mother bathed The Rat and skipped the wound, and others. Each scale hid the scent of The Rat's atrocities. A torn ligament; a plucked tooth; a lacerated friendship. The Mother Reverof would sing to The Rat the song she knew from her youth, "We like you baby, when you turn your back on us, forever, forever, forever." The Rat became more lucid. The song outlined in detail a labyrinth of possibilities, all of which seem to revolve around The Rat's cunt. During that time, The Rat's only human contact was with Reverof, who sometimes bought her fast food, and sometimes told her amusing stories. Seven months into her captivity, Reverof introduced The Rat to her wife, Nancy, who brought The Rat a stuffed animal and chocolate milk. There was a cop The Rat longed to kill. and doughnuts. The sweet smell of putrefaction. The Rat reminisced over her far gone youth mirrored in a pool beneath her. "Will you turn your back on us, Mother Reverof?" The words twisted through her corrupt passageways.
         Fast / East.
         The cop, Patrick Shank, Pat for short, had a fetish for things that never stopped growing--the universe (perhaps), hair, the splinter teeth of rodents.

Whew! 
Small Changes can make a huge difference. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fig a Friend Today!


July is HOT!


The sun is blazing and the next TrenchArt series is on its way. This year's conversation is 'Surplus,' and in that vein, we are publishing not five but six titles in the series. And now, we're offering an excessively good membership deal—a gift-giving drive to share the love. Become a member at the $100 Supporter level or higher, and receive a gift membership mailed to the recipient of your choice. You can personalize the gift or send it anonymously, whichever you prefer. Plus free swag! That means all six books in the series, invitations to special Les Figues events, and an assortment of stickers and postcards. Times two. Think about how much extra goodness will exist in the world when you give a buddy a gift membership.


The TrenchArt Surplus series includes:
  • TrenchArt: Surplus (aesthetics)
  • Lividity by Kim Rosenfield
  • 2500 Random Things About Me Too by Matias Viegener
  • Words of Love by Mark Rutkoski
  • The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Kathy by Michael du Plessis
  • For Want and Sound by Melissa Buzzeo
Plus visual art by Klaus Killisch.


Summer is hot and so is sharing: Fig a friend today!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Small Changes Donation Campaign & Story Movement


You might think a small change wouldn’t have a big effect. How can a few bucks actually make a difference? But in a story, the smallest change can alter the course of things, can jostle the plot  from comedy to tragedy. Notice, for instance, the fine line between “It was love at first sight” and “It was glove at first fight.” Suddenly we’re interested.

At Les Figues we know the value of small. We started as a small experiment, publishing an annual series of books “in conversation.” The series is called TrenchArt, and since 2005, each series has included 5 books. Luckily we’ve been able to do this through the support of great people who share a common goal: the publication of experimental and thought-provoking prose and poetry.

This year, we made a small change to the TrenchArt series and added a sixth title. The extra title fits this year’s conversational theme (“surplus”). Yet an extra book means extra production costs, so we’re hosting a Small Changes campaign. Individuals can make tax-deductible donations in the amount of $5, $10, $15, or $20 (or an amount of your choice) on the Les Figues website between now and July 31th. This will help us publish all six TrenchArt: Surplus books—which are feminist, smart, scientifically-sound, and unreasonably beautiful.

And since we are writers here—and know what it feels like to be broke—we’ve started a parallel campaign: The Small Changes Story Movement. Make small changes to the existing story on our facebook wall by adding a sentence here and there, and together we’ll create a composite piece, to be finalized on July 31st. Don’t be afraid to change the direction,  tone, or  style of the story--each sentence has that power, so use it!








Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jacket2 launches "Global Conceptualisms"


New international commentary on conceptualisms
Read the first installment here. 
  
It began with a conversation. 

The publication of Notes on Conceptualisms in Danish drew Vanessa Place, who co-authored the book with Robert Fitterman, and Tania Ørum into discussion at a symposium held at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Ørum, Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen, questions Place on the book, the concept of conceptualism, and Place's own conceptual practice. The complete dialogue comprises the first in a string of commentaries between conceptual writers from around the world—the "Global Conceptualisms" series initiated and curated by Vanessa Place.

Follow the commentary and map the role geography plays in conceptual writing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Allemann wins the 2012 Heimrad Bäcker prize

Congratulations to Urs Allemann!

Allemann received the 2012 Heimrad Bäcker Prize, awarded annually for experimental literature written in German. 

The jury said of Allemann's work:

In Urs Allemann’s poetry, something universal becomes clear: the fact that construction and destruction are two sides of the same coin, just like tradition and innovation. Because producing something new means breaking down what one has been given into its elemental parts and precisely through this process reconstructing it. In this way, Urs Allemann maintains the tradition of the sonnet and the ode, breaking them down and putting them back together in new and unforeseeable ways. Allemann’s poetry is dialectical, and it allows us to be cognizant participants in what we can call, without any hyperbole, history.

For more, read Elizabeth Hall's interview with Urs Allemann, or check the Babyfucker Blog Project, a series of responses to babyfucker, published by Les Figues Pree.  You can also visit the Urs Allemann page on Facebook. 


You can also listen to the managing editor of Conjunctions read the beginning of Allemann's "Jo's Murder Game" from their most recent issue.


Congratulations again to Urs Allemann!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

4th Annual Les Figues Garden Party



"Oh no, I missed Les Figues' 4th Annual Garden Party.... I feel incomplete, like the me that went would have been a better, fuller me."

"Well I did go, and it was amazing, and I only wish that I could show you a fraction of what I experienced there."

I'm happy to report that there is finally a remedy to both problems. Four glorious videos from the Garden Party are now available on YouTube for your viewing pleasure. Watch or re-watch readings by Michael du Plessis, as well as the reading/performance of selections from I'll Drown My Book by NECKLINE. Click right here to see them!

Monday, June 4, 2012

ANNOTATIONS PROJECT

At the Les Figues booth at the Pasadena Litfest, we asked visitors to annotate select Figues books by adding their own questions, concerns, footnotes, flights of fancy, and new narratives to the existing texts.
We had such a blast illustrating and notating that we decided to make the Annotations Project an ongoing adventure. Throughout the summer, we will continue posting selections from the project. Below you can check some of the additions made to Amina Cain's I Go to Some Hollow and aesthetic essays from TrenchArt: Surplus by Kim Rosenfield and Mark Rutkoski.

annotationsproject004  annotationsproject005

annotationsproject006
annotationsproject021




annotationsproject020





Friday, June 1, 2012

Les Figues Press NOS Book Contest 2012


We are now accepting submissions for the 2012 Les Figues NOS Book Contest

(NOS: not otherwise specified)

Sina Queyras will judge.

Send us your poetry, novellas, prose poems, innovative novels, anti-novels, short story collections, lyric essays, hybrids, and all forms not otherwise specified. The winner will receive $1,000 and publication by Les Figues Press.

There is a $25 entry fee; every entrant receives a TrenchArt title of her/his choice. Multiple entries allowed, though each entry requires a separate fee. Enter multiple times and receive multiple TrenchArt books!

Submit to Les Figues Press

Friday, May 25, 2012

"The Garden Party is my favorite Figues event"


Iannis Xenakis, X. 17 – Study for Terretektorh (distribution of musicians), 1965


Come celebrate another year of Les Figues Press and LFP Members with a Sunday afternoon garden party.

Sunday | 3 June 2012
3-6 pm at Les Figues HQ (RSVP to info[at]lesfigues.com for exact address)

$15
all members get in free +1

There will be food and punch and readings by Harryette Mullen (I’ll Drown My Book) and Michael du Plessis (TrenchArt: Surplus, The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker).

This year will also include a special performance by Neckline. Curated by Geneva Skeen, Neckline seeks to explore the voice embodied, a language which exists amongst varied physical landscapes. Neckline will be performing from/with I’ll Drown My Book.

Attend this event for free + bring a friend + receive books: Become a Member (Membership starts at $30 for students/artists/writers.)

Friday, May 11, 2012

Two Events, One Day

JOIN LES FIGUES PRESS AT LITFEST PASADENA

Visit Les Figues at the 1st annual Litfest Pasadena this Saturday. 

Saturday | May 12, 2012 | 9:30-5:00 

Central Park (south of Old Pasadena, next to Castle Green)

Stop by the Les Figues booth to participate in our Annotations Project and chat with your favorite Fig author. The schedule of author appearances is

  • 12:00 pm - Amina Cain
  • 1:00 pm - Allison Carter
  • 2:00 pm - Harold Abramowitz and Christine Wertheim 
  • 3:00 pm - Michael du Plessis 
Want to participate in our Annotations Project? Drop by the LF booth and annotate select fig titles by writing in the books, adding your own questions, concerns, footnotes and new narratives to the existing texts.


ALWAYS REMEMBER HELL IS UNCOOL: READING AND POTLUCK

Three different authors, three different approaches to writing about Christianity, devotion, and the perversity of contradiction. 

Saturday | May 12, 2012 | 7 p.m. 

CONCORD
1010 N. San Fernando Road
Los Angeles, CA 90065

Featuring: Teresa Carmody, Elizabeth Hall, and Jessalyn Wakefield.

Join us for a night of fun, food, and literature. Come and share your awkward church and youth group experiences with us! Bring some food/drink to share, or just bring yourself. Let your Jesus freak flag fly!

Facebook Event Page

Friday, April 27, 2012

Three New Reviews of LF Titles

Check out these recent reviews of Les Figues titles I'll Drown My Book,  By Kelman Out of Pessoa, and Tall, Slim & Erect: Portraits of the Presidents.


 I'll Drown My Book reviewed in the new issue of Diagram

"It makes its own rules and sometimes it follows them, which implies that you, reader, too, should make your own rules and sometimes follow them. It's a koan of a map to some writers you probably don't know and you might love. It acknowledges that we can't possibly be expected to understand ourselves unless we listen to each other while recognizing too that it is our task alone to understand ourselves. I want to pick it up and ask it a divinatory question and put my hand on a random line again, and in return Dodie Bellamy says "My thoughts flutter down your purple neck and that gives me a hard-on." What else could I want from something like this?





Tall, Slim & Erect: Portraits of the Presidents reviewed by Emily Kiernan at HTMLGIANT

"The president as person means something different and perhaps something less than the president as figure, and the attempt here to humanize is less interesting for its success or failure than as a catalogue of what it might mean to humanize a public figure. A president is, after all, a human, but one who has been so denatured by his role that we must embark upon these kinds of recuperative missions to see him as such. Do we become more human in one another’s eyes through the workings of our bowels or the oddities of our forms? Perhaps these are the very things we need to strip from our leaders in order for them to lead, fearful that too much body will leave them mired in the petty and personal. Or perhaps in confronting the truthlessness of history, these are simply the easiest elements to give back to our presidential figurines. "




By Kelman Out of Pessoa reviewed by J.A. Tyler in NewPages


"As a moment of recon, gathering data and spilling it onto the page in words and plot-lines and images, By Kelman Out of Pessoa succeeds. The narrative shifts are unpredictable thanks to their grounding in gamed risk, and the language is its own amalgam of plot-driven characterization and constant word-play, always switching and reversing and reiterating itself in the form of manipulated sentences..."



Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Empty Globe May 5: Abelkop and Durbin


Saturday, May 5th at 8 PM: Gina Abelkop and Kate Durbin

at Pieter (Lincoln Heights)
420 West Avenue 33, Unit 10 Los Angeles, CA 90031
*please park on the street, and not in the lot

$5 donation, or pay what you can

Gina Abelkop is a Pisces living in Northern California with a pug named after Ava Gardner. She is the founder/editor of the DIY feminist press Birds of Lace and author of Darling Beastlettes (Apostrophe Books, 2012). Visit her online at http://themoonstop.blogspot.com.

Kate Durbin is a Los Angeles-based writer and performance artist. She is author of The Ravenous Audience (Akashic Books), E! Entertainment (Blanc Press Diamond Edition, forthcoming), The Fashion Issue (Wonder, forthcoming), and, with Amaranth Borsuk, ABRA (Zg Press, forthcoming). Her projects have been featured in Spex, Huffington Post, The New Yorker, Salon.com, AOL, Poets and Writers, TMobile’s Digital Daily, Poets.org, VLAK, Lana Turner: A Journal of Poetry and Opinion, Black Warrior Review, Joyland, berfrois, SUPERMACHINE, Drunken Boat, NPR, Bookslut, Fanzine, and The American Scholar, among others. She is founding editor of Gaga Stigmata, an online arts and criticism journal about Lady Gaga, which will be published as a book from Zg Press in 2012.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Featured Fig: Frances Richard


1. Tell us a little bit about your aesthetic inclinations?

I am deeply satisfied by work that extends a long way into the playful joy of manipulating its media, that gets beguiled by spatial, sonic, etymological or chromatic (etc.) progressions, gives in to the fascination of arranging and rearranging the matter of which it is made—and then looks up from itself, breaks the spell of self-generating abstract relationships, and drops back into a simpler, more mundane diction, the blunt lingua franca of “I do (feel, notice, desire, struggle with) this, I do (don’t, can’t, work at, wonder) that.” Though often I don’t know who “I” is in either clause.

2. Where did you come from and are you happy that you're no longer there?

I am from San Francisco by birth and Chicago by childhood experience. For many years in New York I mourned for the outline of the Headlands in that particular planar, silvery, Pacific light. And recently I had a Proustian experience triggered by the smell of diesel mixed with cinnabons and perfume in O’Hare. I’m glad to have those experiences?

3. What does your work demand? What does it offer?

Someone just told me that my work is “acrobatic,” and I liked that a lot. Someone else used the word “nutritious,” which was also very gratifying.

4. Where do you do what you do?

In the sunniest, quietest, cleanest, greenest-out-the-window place available. I am a triple Virgo.

5. If push came to shove...

Do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy?

6. Please tell us about beauty, belief or bawdry. You may begin.

Belief, the earnest and dutiful middle child, gets short shrift, reads in the corner, stays home and placates the narcissists. She is quietly yet firmly horrified by her alleged compatriots as portrayed in retail politics. Actually, it’s the almighty-dollar versions of luscious surface and libidinous foldings that freak her out; belief’s homely superpower is that she morphs into beauty and bawdry both at a moment’s notice.

7. As Gertrude Stein says "let us why why." Please proceed.

In “Dinner,” in Tender Buttons, Stein says “let us why way.” In this poem, she also says:
It was a time when in the acres in late there was a wheel that shot a burst of land and needless are niggers and a sample sample set of old eaten butterflies with spoons…
Is this an American fantasy⎯remembered or conjured into being out of French renegade domesticity—of a time when in the acres lately, i.e. recently, imagined as wholly open there was a wagon wheel, a shotgun-toting pioneer who burst into expansive lands that Stein defines (in The Making of Americans) as shaped particularly by speed⎯and, in those time-spaces, slavery and soul-destroying race-paranoia were needless? Or⎯since words have consequences for bodies politic⎯it was needless to attempt to kill with the weapon of invidious naming? And let us, now, at dinner together, interrogate that way of being? Meanwhile door-to-door salesmen and simple memory-catalogues peddle old moth-eaten lace curtains and silver-plated spoons?

I’d like to put the best face on this, since I consider Stein A Mother of Us All. But basically I’m bummed, because I can’t help but imagine that she simply felt entitled to use the word “nigger” as a sonic shape and cultural trope without much thought. So, as writers, let’s say we make why a transitive verb to apply to those ways of working and thinking to which we are beholden…

8. What does art do to you?

See above, I guess.

9. Who (or what) do you admire?


I admire intelligent kindness. Non-brutal stick-to-it-iveness. And so many poets, and artists in many media including meditation and activism, that I won’t try to list them.

10. What is a good question? What questions do you ask?

Two general questions I ask a lot are, “Why is that?” and “Do you know what I mean?” (maybe the first translates to, “Do I know what you mean?”) I also like Jennifer Calkins’s specific questions.

11.What do you find deeply satisfying?

See #1.

12. What are your favorite kinds of figs?

A fig is like an edible geode!


FRANCES RICHARD'S second volume of poems, The Phonemes, is newly out from Les Figues Press; later this year Futurepoem will release a third book titled Anarch. She is the author of See Through (Four Way Books, 2003) and the chapbooks Anarch. (Woodland Editions, 2008) and Shaved Code (Portable Press at YoYo Labs, 2008). With Jeffrey Kastner and Sina Najafi she is co-author of Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Fake Estates” (Cabinet Books, 2005). She has been a member of the editorial teams at Fence and Cabinet magazines, writes frequently about contemporary art, and teaches at Barnard College and the Rhode Island School of Design. She lives in Brooklyn.




Friday, March 30, 2012

Q.E.D. | Part 1. Things Unsaid


Join us for the first installment of Q.E.D. - a short series of long conversations on queer art and literature.

How do we articulate without articulating?
What are the negative spaces that form and inform your work?





Wednesday | April 11, 2012 | 7:00 p.m.

MAK CENTER FOR ART & ARCHITECTURE AT THE SCHINDLER HOUSE
835 N. Kings Road
West Hollywood, CA 90069


FEATURING:

Melissa Buzzeo
Patrick Greaney
Simon Leung

Moderated by Vanessa Place

$7 General; Free for Friends of the MAK Center and Members of Les Figues Press with RSVP (office [at] makcenter.org).

Q.E.D. is a short series of long conversations on queer art and literature. The series includes three events over the course of three months (April 11, May 9 & June 13, 2012); each evening features a writer, an artist and a critic in a conversation about contemporary issues and conditions of queer art and literature. The series is hosted and moderated by Les Figues Press Co-Director Vanessa Place, and will be recorded and made available online. The program is curated by Les Figues Press and supported through a Cultural Resource Development Grant from the City of West Hollywood.

Q.E.D. takes its name from a novel by Gertrude Stein; Q.E.D. (Quod Erat Demonstrandrum, or Things as They Are) was one of the earliest coming stories, written in 1903 though not published until 1950, after Stein’s death.

ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS

Melissa Buzzeo is the author of three full length books: What Began Us (Leon Works 2007), Face (Bookthug 2009) and the forthcoming For Want and Sound (Les Figues 2012). Her current work Chasm explores negation, the legacy of performance art and the concept of the social body. She has taught at Brown, Iowa, Pratt and Naropa and currently lives in Brooklyn.

Patrick Greaney is the author of Untimely Beggar: Poverty and Power from Baudelaire to Benjamin (University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and articles on modern and contemporary art and literature. His co-translation of Heimrad Bäcker’s transcript was published by Dalkey Archive Press in 2010, and his translation of Urs Allemann’s The Old Man and the Bench: A Five-Month Twaddle will be published by Dalkey in 2013. He is Associate Professor of German Studies and Comparative Literature at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also directs the Graduate Program in Critical Theory. www.patrickgreaney.com

Simon Leung is an artist who works across disciplines and mediums. His projects include an opera set in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park; a live/video performance addressing the psychological, philosophical, and political dimensions of AIDS in the figure of the glory hole; a trilogy on “the residual space of the Vietnam War;” and an extended project reposing Duchamp’s oeuvre as a discourse in ethics. His work has been presented internationally, including at the Guangzhou Triennial (2008); the Venice Biennale (2003); the Whitney Biennial (1993); the Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art; the Generali Foundation (Vienna); and 1A Space (Hong Kong). Leung’s recent exhibitions include “POE” at Las Cienegas Projects and “91 92 93” at the MAK Center in Los Angeles; “Regress Progress” at the Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw; and “War After War” at the CUE Art Foundation in New York. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York State Council on the Arts, the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Los Angeles, as well as the Art Journal Award for his essay “The Look of Law.” He is Professor of Studio Art at the University of California, Irvine.

Of Vanessa Place and Robert Fitterman’s Notes on Conceptualisms, Mary Kelly said, “I learned more about the impact of conceptualism on artists and writers than I had from reading so-called canonical works on the subject.” Kenneth Goldsmith said Vanessa Place’s work was “arguably the most challenging, complex and controversial literature being written today.” Rae Armantrout said, “Vanessa Place is writing terminal poetry.” Bebrowed’s Blog said Vanessa Place is “the scariest poet on the planet.” Anonymous on Twitter said, “Vanessa Place killed poetry.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Two New York City Events, Negro marfil / Ivory Black

Join LFP in NYC to celebrate Negro marfil / Ivory Black, with Mexican poet Myriam Moscona and translator Jen Hofer.

Saturday | 24 March 2012 | 7 pm

A multimedia celebration presenting new work created especially for this event in reponse to Negro marfil / Ivory Black.

543 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Featuring artwork, films, readings, & performances by:

Armando Alanis Pulido (poet/photographer)
Rachel Bers (visual artist)
Julian Talamantez Brolaski (poet/musician)
Molly Dilworth (visual artist)
Jen Hofer (writer/translator)
Jeanne Liotta (filmmaker)
Myriam Moscona (writer)
No Collective (music/performance)
Julie Patton (writer/performer)
Abigail Severance (filmmaker)

Wine & Snacks. Event co-sponsored by Litmus Press and The Reanimation Library. RSVP via Facebook.

THURSDAY | 29 MARCH 2012 | 7 p.m.

A bilingual reading from Negro marfil / Ivory Black with Myriam Moscona and Jen Hofer.

Sponsored by the NYU Creative Writing Progam in Spanish at the King Juan Carlos I Center.

53 Washington Square South.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Empty Globe March 31: Mellis and Snapper

Saturday, March 31st at 8 PM: Miranda Mellis and Julianna Snapper at Pieter (Lincoln Heights) 420 West Avenue 33, Unit 10 Los Angeles, CA 90031 *please park on the street, and not in the lot $5 donation Miranda Mellis is the author of a story collection, None of This Is Real (Sidebrow 2012), a novella, The Spokes (Solid Objects 2012), a chapbook of documentary poetics, Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs 2009) and The Revisionist (Calamari Press 2007), illustrated by Derek White. The Revisionist is  out in Croatian and Italian and was the subject of a 90-foot mural by  artist Megan Vossler. Mellis is the recipient of John Hawkes Prize in  Fiction and an NEH grant. Her various writings have appeared in various  publications including most recently Conjunctions and The Believer. She is an editor at The Encyclopedia Project and teaches at Mills College and the California College of the Arts.   Juliana Snapper is a concert soprano and interdisciplinary artist who works with the human voice as a sculptural and social entity. Her site-specific performance projects incorporate her own experimental vocal modalities (ex. singing into water, and “listening vocality”) and use operatic improvisational structures, and sonic and prosthetic costuming. Several projects engage local community groups and artist collaborators from other media in intensive vocal work. She has performed and installed work at festivals across Europe and in the United States for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, PS1/ New York Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, LA’s Machine Project, and REDCAT.

Saturday, March 31st at 8 PM: Miranda Mellis and Julianna Snapper

at Pieter (Lincoln Heights)
420 West Avenue 33, Unit 10 Los Angeles, CA 90031
*please park on the street, and not in the lot

$5 donation

Miranda Mellis is the author of a story collection, None of This Is Real (Sidebrow 2012), a novella, The Spokes (Solid Objects 2012), a chapbook of documentary poetics, Materialisms (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs 2009) and The Revisionist (Calamari Press 2007), illustrated by Derek White. The Revisionist is out in Croatian and Italian and was the subject of a 90-foot mural by artist Megan Vossler. Mellis is the recipient of John Hawkes Prize in Fiction and an NEH grant. Her various writings have appeared in various publications including most recently Conjunctions and The Believer. She is an editor at The Encyclopedia Project and teaches at Mills College and the California College of the Arts.

Juliana Snapper is a concert soprano and interdisciplinary artist who works with the human voice as a sculptural and social entity. Her site-specific performance projects incorporate her own experimental vocal modalities (ex. singing into water, and “listening vocality”) and use operatic improvisational structures, and sonic and prosthetic costuming. Several projects engage local community groups and artist collaborators from other media in intensive vocal work. She has performed and installed work at festivals across Europe and in the United States for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, PS1/ New York Museum of Modern Art, The Guggenheim Museum, LA’s Machine Project, and REDCAT.