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Pre-Launch Party at Open Books

By | Readings

Thanks to everyone who came out on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon for the pre-launch party of our newest book, Woodland. Featuring my own poems, it’s obviously a more personal look at our press and directions I think it might be heading as far as our book production and thematic concerns. It was great to have to do some of the anxiety-producing speaking that all of our other authors have had to deal with— ah, the selling of books!

It was a huge honor to get to read at Open Books, which is one of my happy places on this earth and truly the epicenter of my poetic education and my sense of the poetry community. I can’t imagine what my life would be like without this space.

One thing I had not realized and have been thinking quite a bit about is how important these early readings are to understand how to perform work from the book and how they shape readings that happen after and despite all the practice and thinking about order, how one still needs an audience to understand what is clicking and what is not.

I am excited to bring the work to Hugo House for it’s official launch reading. This will likely be the only time people in Seattle will get to hear pianist Aaron Otheim playing the work live. Erin L. McCoy will join me on stage to read some of the work.

https://www.facebook.com/events/318184075517790/

Woodland now on the shelves at Open Books!


A first review for “Woodland”

By | Reviews

Woodland’s poems feel dark, romantic and sultry, and they include strong ecological imagery that’ll leave you swooning after every page. Throw in images of partially burned sheet music…and the haunting melodies of keyboardist Aaron Otheim… and you’ve got yourself one hell of a book… Readers will instinctively know Woodland is about climate catastrophe, but they’ll also come to recognize a deep-rooted warning in Gardner’s poems: there is beauty coiled in danger, and we must look at it dead-on. 

We are delighted that our first review for Woodland comes from our area’s local press and so a huge THANK YOU to Christina Butcher for her reading and Tacoma’s Weekly Volcano for carrying book reviews.

The full review is here: Electric and fire-filled books

In it, she mentions the poem and music from “A Swift Willing Light”— you can hear that on Soundcloud for free.

And finally, Christina runs an incredible small press herself and you should check it out— Blue Cactus Press!!!

Some Books from Argentina!

By | Books, Learning How to Be a Publisher, Other Presses & Other Rooms

Here’s what we brought back from the Buenos Aires Book Fair, as well as books recommended to us from our new Argentinian authors, or booksellers that we met. Be sure to check our social media to see our recommendations for book stores and other Buenos Aires delight.

Again, Northwest poets, we share these with you and are happy to lend these difficult to get locally books with you if your interest include contemporary Spanish-language poetry. Just drop us an email. Obviously, we are very interested in doing what we can to promote any of this work being translated.

Finally, a note on our selections, and particularly coming from me— a person who is not fluent in Spanish and is new to the literature of Argentina. First, let it be known that we asked our awesome editor, Erin L. McCoy, to select whatever books she found engaging. Second, as per our press, we are definitely interested in women writers and queer writers as a default state of being. We were interested in learning more writers outside of Buenos Aires. Per my current interests with the press, I was looking for interesting looking hybrid texts (much rarer to see than in the US Market) and prose poetry. And I was not interested in poetry that was extremely first person or “flat” which seems to be a trend and one that drives me a bit crazy. Sometimes I would pick up a book and Erin would say, “Oh, that would actually drive you crazy…” and sometimes I would pick up a book and she would say, “Oh, that is an interesting find!” Finally, I might have bought a few of these books just based on something to do with the production and for that, I did not ask Erin. I know what I like on production.

Postcard from Alan Lau

By | Books

Right before the holidays, this lively postcard showed up from Seattle poet, painter and journalist, Alan Lau. Oh, the delight for real mail and not another letter from a developer trying to tear our house down.

We don’t have specifics to share yet, but are excited to say that next year, you’ll be able to purchase a new collection of Mr. Lau’s work from us, featuring plenty of art in full color. It’s our biggest book in 2020 and perhaps our most lavish production to date, which is fitting for one of Seattle’s best-known literary figures.

If you haven’t already, but sure to sign up (scroll to the bottom of the page to do so) for our mailing list to stay up-to-date on the production schedule for this book!

“Obtuse Diary” at Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center

By | Readings

A fantastic evening of translation thanks to Il Punto! Italian Cultural Center and Caffè Musica. Translator Deborah Woodard and actor Riccardo Pieri reunited for an expanded evening of reading and experimentation of Amelia Rosselli’s Diario Ottuso | Obtuse Diary. This is a new translation of Rosselli’s experiments with prose and was done with Roberta Antognini and Dario De Pasquale.

We captured about half the reading and despite the quality at the beginning, think that anyone who is doing translation and then needing to present it in public would find this interesting. As Deborah would probably say, it helps to have a playful and inventive actor with you! Thanks Riccardo! Be sure to click through the to the notes in YouTube if you’re interested in what segments of the text they are working with.

Woodland : The Eating in This World

By | Books, Film

Here’s another listen to one of the poems in the forthcoming, Woodland, a project of mine with a score by Aaron Otheim.

It’s been interesting to try to figure out how to make book trailers/small poetry films quickly as it’s something I would love to be able to do for all our books moving forward. It seems like an obvious process as we have so much audio of the poets reading the work.

This is done in iMovie and we did some funny workaround to get it into square for Instagram that involved using Keynote.

Poets on Playwriting

By | Readings

A fantastic evening of drama at Hugo House with two literary luminaries (oh, we can brag!). Christine Deavel and J.W. Marshall, formerly of Open Books, took the audience on a trip through moments of some of their favorite plays and bits dialogue that inspired and taught them as they wrote their own play, Vicinity/Memoryall.

We are going to be so excited to see this play in July of 2019 at the 18th & Union Space. Please email them directly at VelMar Works to get on their mailing list or sign up for ours as we can’t wait to share more about the play’s progress.