I could have told him no, that sometimes even I didn’t eat in the morning, and that I knew many people who didn’t eat more than once a day, and that all over the world it was the same, etcetera, but I couldn’t speak ill to him of an American where I had never been and that, after all, wasn’t even American, was nothing real, concrete, but his idea of the reign of heaven on earth. I couldn’t do it; it wouldn’t have been right.
“I think so,” I answered. “One way or another…”
“And at miday?” he asked then. “Does everyone eat in the evening, in America?”
“I think so,” I said. “Well or poorly…”
“Bread?” he asked. “Bread and cheese?” Bread and vegetables and cheese? Bread and meat?”
He was talking to me so hopefully I could no longer say no to him.
“Yes,” I said. “Bread and other things.”
In this lambent collaboration, Marina Adams echoes the spareness of Norma Cole’s language with delicate lines that contour muscular negative spaces, sometimes stark and densely foreboding, sometimes luxuriant with color. Norma Cole dialogues with Marina Adams with syncopated poems concerned with fragmentation, transformation, love, precarity, and the tenuousness of kinship between places, things, and being. In Actualities, poet and artist meditate in tandem, moving between anxiety and reconciliation, in a call and response with one another, and with a cosmos that continuously thwarts knowing, refusing to sit still.
Check it out. This is the zine where I was first published with the amazing poet/writer/editor and good friend Owen Hill choosing the poem and giving me that moment.
Blind Date Magazine was an 8.5 x 11” literary magazine that printed poetry, short fiction, journal excerpts, and featured an interview with a poet in each issue. The new version of Blind Date was in newsletter format, featuring critical and satirical works. Both were edited by novelist and poet Owen Hill.
Blind Date Magazine emerged from a workshop taught by Tom Clark at UC Berkeley Extension in 1986. The mimeo publications of the 1960’s and 1970’s were the guiding example, and when able, BDM printed new work by many of the same poets: Clark, Jim Carroll, Bill Berkson, Eileen Myles. At the same time, many contributors could be traced to the New College of California poetics program, both instructors and students: Clark again, Gloria Frym, David Meltzer, Adam Cornford, and others. A few poets saw their work appear publicly here first, before going on to more visible careers. Jules Mann, now director of the poetry society in London, Kevin Opstedal, editor of GASMagazine, and Oakland artist Maria Porges all debuted in Blind Date Magazine.
After six issues, New Blind Date was born as a limited edition newsletter, akin to The Floating Bear, sent out to selected readers. Readership and ‘subscriptions’ expanded with each issue, but peaked at around 150 in a given run. New Blind Date was a no holds-barred treatment of the contemporary poetry scene, featuring reviews, gossip, satirical fictional interviews, and the occasional poem or story. Alice Notley, Andrew Schelling, Jonathan Lethem, Fielding Dawson and FA Nettelbeck all appeared in its pages.
Physically, Blind Date Magazine and the new Blind Date were products of the availability of personal computers, local copy shops, and the emergence of email as a means of communication. Covers were either ‘made-to-order,’ or reproduced drawings and collages by the same poets who appeared within. The Blind Date archives are housed in the Beinecke Library at Yale.
The papers and history of the zine are held at Yale University Beinecke Library
Collection consists of production files, audio recordings, and printed and other materials relating to the literary magazines Blind Date and New Blind Date. The production files contain submissions of short fiction, poetry, interviews, and reviews, many from San Francisco area writers, including instructors and students at the New College of California poetics program. Contributors include: Tom Clark, Diane Di Prima, Edward Dorn, Jack Foley, Gloria Frym, Dick Gallup, Amy Gerstler, Jack Hirschman, Anselm Hollo, Bill Knott, Richard Kostelanetz, Jonathan Lethem, David Meltzer, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Andrew Schelling, and others. In additon to the production files, there are several audio recordings of interviews with Bay Area writers and artists, including Jim Carroll, Howard Hart, and William Talcott, as well as the vendor’s item-level description of the archive.
Also, there will be a miniature broadside of my poem, “Until the Greed of Pronoun’s Salvage” and an interview coming out in late 2015. Scroll down and check it out:
Gazing Grain Press is delighted to announce the results of the 2015 feminist poetry and prose chapbook contests. Judge Natalie Diaz has selected Marisa Crawford as the winner of our 2015 poetry/hybrid contest, and her chapbook Big Brown Bag will be published in September. We’ll have a launch and celebratory reading during Fall for the Book. Judge Amber Sparks has chosen Heidi Czerwiec’s Sweet/Crude as the winner of the 2015 prose/hybrid contest, and her chapbook will be published in spring 2016.
We are also happy to announce that Denise Leto’s manuscript Until the Greed of Pronoun’s Salvageis the poetry contest runner-up, and How to Boil an Egg by Nora Brooks is the prose contest runner-up. We will publish excerpts from both manuscripts as miniatures this year.
Natalie Diaz’s comments on Marisa Crawford’s Big Brown Bag:
“This collection is about obsessions and how we are always building them, surrendering to them, or evading them. In the opening poem we learn that Bloomingdale’s, its “brown bag” held like a bomb, are the objects of the speaker’s side-eye, tell-it-slant gaze: I saw the Bloomingdale’s out of the corner of my eye / & with the way the light was hitting it, it looked like a mirage. / Like a temple… What is really being wrestled with is love, its losses, despair, denial of that despair, learning to love one’s own body and self, and all the ways we trick ourselves into making it through the hours and days and shifts of this grinding blue world. The last couplet of the book: There was that big sign on Route Nine that said, “Free Air.” Somebody told me, memory is a tire. Change it. Go from there.”
Marisa Crawford is the author of the poetry collection The Haunted House(Switchback, 2010), and the chapbook 8th Grade Hippie Chic (Immaculate Disciples, 2013). Her writing has appeared in Bitch, Hyperallergic, The Hairpin, and The &NOW Awards 3: Best Innovative Writing (&NOW, 2015), and is forthcoming in the second edition of Gurlesque: the new grrly, grotesque, burlesque poetics(Saturnalia, 2016). Marisa is founding editor of the feminist website WEIRD SISTER, and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Denise Leto is a poet who explores different forms of media and performance. She was recently awarded the Orlando Prize in Poetry from the A Room of Her Own Foundation and a Fellowship in Poetry by the Breadloaf Residency Program in Sicily. She was an Honorary Fellow and Artist in Residence at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Denise wrote the book of poems for the collaborative and multigenre feminist performance piece entitled Your Body is Not a Shark with music, sound art, dance and text. Her chapbook with Amber DiPietra, Waveform, was published by Kenning Editions. (Photo credit: Julie Sartwell)
Amber Sparks’ comments on Heidi Czerwiec’s Sweet/Crude:
“This lush, language-driven meditation on the North Dakota oil boom is as perfect a jagged juxtaposition as the title implies. Part history, part geology lesson, part survey, part indictment of corporate greed – it’s also something much more: a song about the stubborn, sorry, beautiful mess we humans have become.”
Heidi Czerwiec is a poet, essayist, translator, and critic who teaches at the University of North Dakota, where she is poetry editor of North Dakota Quarterly. She is the author of two recent collections, Self-Portrait as Bettie Page (2013) and A Is For A-ké, The Chinese Monster (2015), and the editor of North Dakota Is Everywhere: An Anthology of Contemporary North Dakota Poets (2015).
Nora Brooks is a writer whose poetry, cultural coverage and fiction has appeared in Redactions, Alimentum, Monkeybicycle, H.O.W. Journal, PopMatters, Poets & Writers online, The Best American Poetry blog and is forthcoming from EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts. A poem from How to Boil an Egg and Other Recipes was chosen by Short anthologist Alan Ziegler for a selection on The Best American Poetry blog. She holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School, where she was a research assistant for The Best American Poetry series editor David Lehman and a teaching assistant for rock critic Greil Marcus. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her husband and a lot of puppets.
We are also pleased to recognize the following outstanding manuscripts:
Repka, Denise Bickford
Notes on the post-body, Sarah Cook
Darling Girl, Amber Edmondson
Medicatrix Naturae, Lizi Gilad
inter:burial places, Billie Tadros
here is how I lived in my body on this day, Aimee Herman
Bone Loss, Kate Hovey
Speech Rinse, Vanessa Couto Johnson
Searching for a Flag, H. Melt
The Next Time Art Seduces You, Carolyn Moore
Cold Garden, Lisa Moore
Dirt, Root, Silk, Susan Azar Porterfield
The Walking Dead–A Lyric, Dawn Tefft
A Rose for , Caren Beilin
Weight, Elise D’Haene
This Green Country, Kelly Lynn Thomas
A Registry of Survival, Ann Tweedy
Triptychs on a White Belt, Yu-Han Chao
from The Architecture of Water, Rebecca Woolston