Now we were excited that our first “review” was in a school paper because that is awesome… but it is a delight to also get our first mention in a dedicated lit site. Thanks to Denise Hill at New Pages for finding our combination of including audio with all of our books an interesting approach. I always learn something new about a poem when I hear an author read it and it is our hope that by including audio with our books, you will too! Read the full blurb here.
On our 2017 books, you’ll find a simple password in the back of the book, which you can enter on our site to access the download file. For our early books, you can download those without a password. Take a listen here.
You can also listen to samples on our SoundCloud page (though rumor is they are running out of money and may close down soon!). LISTEN TO SOUNDCLOUD.
We are very pleased to announce the receipient of our first Emerging Visions Filmmaker Award is Rebecca Starkey.
Rebecca Starkey is an aspiring cinematographer and will be graduating in June from the film program at Central Washington University. Rebecca was recently awarded first place in the student narrative film category in the Broadcast Education Association’s festival of media arts for her short film Todd’s Vlog. When she is not behind the camera Rebecca can usually be found rock climbing or painting.
Rebecca will be working on a short film with Spokane poet, Maya Jewell Zeller and Seattle artist, Carrie DeBacker for their forthcoming (September 2017) collaboration, Alchemy for Cells and Other Beasts.
Our Emerging Visions Filmmaking Award is meant to encourage the growth and development of women artists and technicians traditionally underrepresented in the film and digital industry. This award comes with a $500 stipend. With this award, we seek to foster connections between these emerging creators and the artist and writers working on our books in ways that build confidence, skills and provide a realistic glimpse in how working artists create and collaborate (and have day jobs).
We are thrilled to welcome Rebecca to our team of poets, artists and musicians and look forward to sharing her work this fall. We would also like to thank the many women who applied and sent us clips and ideas to consider. We’ll be posting information a bit earlier (as in later this fall) for our 2018 Emerging Visions Award… which will focus next year on translation. Keep up-to-date on that by following us on Facebook.
We are thrilled to finally have a publication date for our Fall books! We’ll be releasing all our books on October 3!
We kick off our next round of books with two recent lectures of one of America’s premier gay poets and master of the prose poem, Aaron Shurin. Flowers and Sky: Two Talks focusses on the foundation of his art and his impulse to poetry. This book will include a few unpublished poems as well as an audio download of Aaron reading the work.
We are pleased to present a new collaboration between Spokane poet, Maya Jewell Zeller, and Seattle artist, Carrie DeBacker. Odds are pretty good that Alchemy for Cells & Other Beasts will be the brightest looking full-color poetry book you’ll see this year, but don’t be fooled— it’s a dark work on the nature of being a woman in these troubling times. We are also pleased to support women filmmakers with our ERB Emerging Visions Award and look forward to Rebecca Starkey‘s interpretation of this book.
Finally, we are pleased to follow The After with a new full-length by one of Seattle’s most intriguing writers, Melinda Mueller. Mary’s Dust contains thirty-two poems on thirty-two different Marys and the wide-arch of history while meditating how women create their own identities against a society that defines their options. Our one word to describe it? STAGGERING. This book will ship with an audio download featuring a new composition by Lori Goldston based on poems as well as Melinda reading a selection from the book.
It was a great honor last night to hear Lori Goldston‘s response to “Marys Dust”, a new collection of poems by Melinda Mueller. “Cello Songs for Marys’ Dust” is a set of five songs for solo cello, using a variety of techniques to coax a wide range of voices and tones out of the instrument.
These songs, recorded live, will be released as a digital download along with Melinda reading poems from the book.
Cello Songs for Mary’s Dust
Lori Goldston, 2017
1. The Dust of a Thousand Bells
2. Marian the Copt
3. Love’s Bitter Strings
4. Her Daughter
5. Offertorium (Matthew)
This performance was recorded at the Chapel Performance Space, Seattle, Washington on February 23, 2017.
Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing details of our upcoming fall books.
Our first book we would like to share with you is a new full-length collection by Melinda Mueller, Mary’s Dust. This book contains thirty-two poems on different Marys through history. Using a wide variety of inventive and traditional forms, it is a meditation on exposure and concealment, pleasure and pain, and of course, language, as women create their own identities on their own terms. It’s a great honor to bring out a second book by one of Seattle’s most intriguing writers.
We’ll be presenting this book with an audio download that includes music specifically commissioned for the book by Seattle genius (yeah, that is what the Stranger says and we agree), Lori Goldston. This new composition will premiere on February 23 at the Chapel Performance Space and is being recorded live, so you too could join us that evening and be part of Mary’s Dust.
Here’s one of the shorter poems in the book:
Marya Salomee Sklowdowka: b. 7 Nov 1867 – d. 4 July 1934
As, in her native Poland, the ember-colored
fox ignites the stubble field it streaks across,
ignites even the noonday dusk of the forest floor.
As, toddling into her parents’ long-ago garden
after dark, and crouching beside a lantern there,
she cried out: Look. The ants. They have shadows.
As religionists rummaged in the body for its soul,
that ant-shadow, which might “be shown on an X-ray
plate as a lighter spot on the darker shadow of the bone.”
So she fractionates the soul of pitchblende,
and having pent it in a glass vial, gazes into
its blue dazzle. And it gazes into her, being
the abyss Nietzsche warned of. And ransacks her.
And ignites her bones to ash. Heaven doth with us as we
with torches do. Nor will she lift from it her hands.
Back from a bit of vacation and the holidays (while also freaking out about the inaguration), it was a pleasure to get the new issue of Poetry Northwest. A huge shout out to the editors over there as they scrambled to get an ad in for us while we were abroad.
The new issue looks great. It’s the first time, I’ve had the pleasure of seeing Alan Chong Lau’s art work in color with his poetry. My favorites in this issue incluce Leah Poole Osowski “Motives Around Human Vacancy” and Mark Wagenaar’s “Landscape Rising from Crow Eyes (Ornithomancy). I like the line in Derek Mong’s “Letter in a Bottle for When the Seas Rise.”
Fantastic! We were so delighted to have our first lengthy press mention in a school newspaper. Sure, the New York Times would be nice, but what is best is that this where so many young people learn writing skills and these are our future journalists, novelist, and story-tellers. We thank SAAS student, Bianca, for asking some good questions of Melinda Mueller and the process behind, The After.
“Mueller said she began thinking about the idea for this book back in 1985 while on a class retreat with her students on the Oregon Coast. She describes the moment of inspiration in detail, “One evening we were sitting out just after sunset on the beach, full moon behind us rising, stars like crazy above us. But way out at sea in front of us there was a huge thunderstorm… one of my students says to me, ‘Are there any other species that look at something like this and think about how beautiful it is?’” Mueller says she believes that may be one of the traits that make humans unique. She says it inspired her when her student suggested that perhaps humans are a “test for everything.”
Read the whole essay here on the Seattle Academy site: “Melinda Mueller Publishes “The After,” A Poetic Look at the Sixth Extinction”