We’ve been over at Jack Straw doing the base recordings for Woodland— a project that becomes our eleventh book, out in March of 2019.
I’d like to tell you most about the incredible Seattle pianist Aaron Otheim, because the writer is the publisher here at Entre Ríos Books, me (and so that just feels a bit awkward). For folks on the experimental jazz side of music in Seattle, you might know Aaron from his years organizing the Cafe Racer Sessions (RIP, CAFE RACER). He’s phenominal, has interest in all kinds of genre-bending music, and so we highly recommend you take a listen to his work on SoundCloud.
Last summer, a batch of quite broken writing started happening for me during the weeks of hazy dreadful smoke-filled days we had due to fires in British Columbia and then Oregon. As it became very clear that I was writing about fire, I thought it might be interesting to base the center section of the book around the music of Edward McDowell (1860-1908), and in particular, “Woodland Sketches”— popular, beautiful parlor music. It’s racist, it’s sexist, it’s completely of it’s era of industrialization and the beginnings of mass-markets. I asked Aaron to think about updating it for the era of climate change and endless fires. Riffing on an idea of mine, he took the score and burnt it, altered it with the goal of making it “sound like ash”.
So here’s a short video showing some of the process as the end music won’t be like this— but the process to me is so intriguing. Jack Straw has a great piano and set up the mics around the room to allow Aaron great control in mixing the soundfield. With plenty of takes, improvisations, and experiments with the instrument, he’ll take these recordings to add electronic sounds and alterations.
Like all our books, this one comes with an audio download— so when you buy the book, you’ll have the password to download his new music. That download will also come with my reading of the book— and I am planning on some version that will also include some experiments in sound design.
Here’s an early experiment on my side with sound. I can’t say this is the final— it’s a process!
Here Knox Gardner, our January featured poet at adozennothing.com/, gives us a quick tour of an incredible scene:
What other Seattle poets are you loving right now?
Oh, lord. We have an abundance, right? I want to meet regional poets outside of Seattle. I gotta say that for me, as a publisher, that is what is exciting and also necessary. Ian Boyden’s first book, A Forest of Names, should have been on every list of best 2020 books. We are doing a project with Tacoma/Bellingham writer Robert Lashley. He’ll have a new book with Blue Cactus press later this year that I am really looking forward to. I am super intrigued by Cedar Sigo, who publishes with Wave. Let me see. Out in Port Townsend, Matthew Nienow. Nothing like what I would write, but I love his work. It is so aurally sensuous and of our place. Spokane has an incredible literary scene for a city of the size. Kathryn Smith and Laura Read are out there. We have a few Spokane authors we’ve worked with, Maya Jewell Zeller and Kate Lebo. Jesus, to get on Kate Lebo’s jam mailings. I love our events in Spokane, as it feels like being held by the community. I really would like us to have more Oregon and BC writers. Dao Strom in Portland is doing incredible work, and we are subscribers to the Fonograph project, who just put out a new book/recording by her. I don’t know enough Oregon writers. Ed Skoog whom I know from here, but now lives in Portland. John Beer! His Robert Lax work is necessary stuff. We have been a few times to the Airstream Poetry Festival put on by Mother Foucault’s book store, but I can often be shy when not behind my computer. At least with poets.
Ok, but what about Seattle?
Ha! Right. Well, Don Mee Choi. I was so excited for her to win the National book award. She is making books like I have never experienced, brave intense work. Work I would aspire toward. I honestly think our own author, Melinda Mueller is one of Seattle’s best writers and entirely under the radar. Truly a poet that reorganizes how one can be in the world.
EJ Koh had lovely moments in her first book. Jane Wong, Anastasia Renee, oh Sarah Galvin is fantastic to see live. Bill Carty’s first book, Huge Cloudy— and here is a funny, tragic thing. We are sharing an office, and I was so looking forward to learning more from Bill, but he started subletting right before the pandemic, and I have barely seen him.
The Poet Salon by Gabrielle Bates, Luther Hughes, and Dujie Tahat. That’s always a good listen. ... See MoreSee Less
RT @ecotheo Our Spring issue will focus on Adoration. From the Latin, toward the gold, what we adore shows up in our musings & makings, homes & yards, politics & preoccupations. We look forward to seeing what you adore through February 15, 2021. Full guidelines here: ecotheo.org/homepage…
We are an independent press in Seattle, Washington. We publish collaborations between poets and artists of all types. We also have an interest in publishing contemporary Argentinian poetry in translation and supporting writers with an interest in Argentinian culture and Jewish history in Latin America. Gay-owned and queerly run.
RT @ecotheo Our Spring issue will focus on Adoration. From the Latin, toward the gold, what we adore shows up in our musings & makings, homes & yards, politics & preoccupations. We look forward to seeing what you adore through February 15, 2021. Full guidelines here: ecotheo.org/homepage/submi…
@andyengelson@cathymcmorris@RepNewhouse I have a lot of friends willing to chip into a legal fund to get them removed from office and to make them weep for the day they decided Trump & his conspiracy was more important than democracy. Fucking traitors.
@andyengelson KEEP AT IT! 😂 Lord, nothing like some rage tweeting on a Friday night. And serious questions: CAN CITIZENS OF WA STATE SUE @cathymcmorris@RepNewhouse for disenfranchisement? Because I want to make those seditious bastards lose their damn money.
RT @thebigsparrow@EntreRiosBooks IN THE MECCA: Gwendolyn Brooks. Reviled at its time, it is painfully prescient about the streets today. Brooks was writing in her "I'ma mess with TS Eliot" blank verse mode and it makes you think about what America perceives a "wasteland" to be today.