Please join us to celebrate the publication of Vicinity/Memoryall, a play written by Christine Deavel and J.W. (John) Marshall, the former owners of Open Books.
Vicinity/Memoryall follows two characters as they move through a disorientingly changing urban landscape, seeking a memorial to an act of violence that stained their culture. They share the stage with a character whose quirky personal stories speak lyrically to their effort. Christine and John will read from their play and read pieces of other plays they admire. They will discuss the process that brought the play to life and to completion and hope to take questions and not be sorry they did. This event will include a viewing of a short film by Sarah Lintakoon, winner of the press’s 2018 Emerging Visions Filmmaker Award. Her film, Olive, draws on themes in Vicnity/Memoryall while wholly being a product of her own vision.
Christine Deavel is employed as a Patient-and-Family Liaison at Harborview Medical Center. In 1995 she collaborated with J.W. Marshall, opening Open Books: A Poem Emporium which they ran until 2016. She has published poetry and prose in countless magazines and journals. Her full-length poetry collection, Woodnote, was published by Bear Star Press and won the Washington State Book Award for Poetry.
J.W. Marshall originally started Open Books as a small general bookstore in 1987. The store was moved to its current location when it was converted to poetry-only. After selling the store to current owner Billie Swift in 2016 he has kept house and happily found more time for reading and writing. Poetry and prose of his has been published in a wide variety of magazines and journals. His full-length poetry collection, Meaning a Cloud, won the Field Poetry Prize and was published by Oberlin College Press.
Christine and John co-wrote a chapbook of poetry, Work Together, in 2014. They hope to see their play produced in 2019, bringing new layers of collaboration into their creative process.
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!
I knew that we’d likely be able to bring back from the Midwest industrial printers this book for local printing. It’s a simple “saddle stich”, that is stapled booklet, meant to reference (and celebrate) the Dramatist Guild playbooks. I’ve got great memories of these functional playbooks from drama club in high school and so it was with great happiness that the writers, Christine Deavel and J.W. Marshall, also were intrigued to put the play in this format.
It’s the same size, the same tight gutters, and really designed to be used by actors, with page breaks made thinking through how actors might memorize their lines. I’ll be curious to chat with them on it as this play moves into production. Printing in this format also helps keep our cost down so I am hopeful we can print another play soon by Northwest playwrights or poets turning toward play writing.
I am very happy to be printing with Girlie Press, a woman-owned small business that I can walk to. How wonderful to not have to pay shipping as well as reducing the carbon from that. I’ve only done a few press checks and feel quite silly at them, though it’s exciting to see if how you imagine it printing is going to be the way it actually works in the real world.
I’ll be mostly curious to put this book next to the Dramatist Guild books and see how it feels. Will it feel ready to use for work?
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.
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:
RADIUMMarya 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 wewith torches do. Nor will she lift from it her hands.
Well, there aren’t too many pictures as we were busy as heck!
Thanks to all that came out on such a blustery night to celebrate this stunning new work with us! It’s been much too long since Seattle’s had a new book by Melinda Mueller and such a pleasure to hear from both Karinna (it’s our first time meeting her in person!) and Syrinx Effect.
Three great parts of a book launch: now just to get some people!
Karinna Gomez: A great wall to hang art
Syrinx Effect Playing “Song for Dead Sparrows”
Melinda Mueller reading “The After”
Karinna Gomez speaking on her art.
Kate Olson and Naomi Siegel discussing their music.
Trying out the introductory video on the Sixth Extinction.
Meet Alaskan Artist, Karinna Gomez, as we celebrate the release of The After, a poem by Melinda Mueller. The After contains 14 color plates of Ms. Gomez stunning subarctic landscapes and other explorations using mezzotints and dry point.
Karinna Gomez is an adjunct instructor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she completed her MFA in 2014. She has received several awards, including a Fulbright Fellowship to study in Iceland and a Rasmuson Foundation Individual Artist Project Award. Karinna was recently an artist-in-residence at Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Colorado and at Galleri Christensen in Kjølle ord, Norway. Her work is shown and collected nationally.
This is a rare opportunity to meet Karinna in person, look at previous work, originals from “The After”, as well as see new work. We are pleased to partner with Davidson Galleries, who represent Ms. Gomez, and are grateful that we could include her moving work in “The After”.
Wine and cheese provided.
Naomi Moon Siegel recording “The After” at Skoor Sound.
Our next book was read in the studio yesterday, with the amazing Naomi Moon Siegel behind the controls and dials! We’re so excited to ship “The After” with a CD containing a song commissioned by the Syrinx Effect, a reading of the book-lenght poem by Melinda Mueller, and one additional surprise file that’s guaranteed to smash your heart to bits.
We’re finalizing production and will begin shipping “The After” at the end of September. It will make a special gift for anyone in your life with an interest in poetry and how we’re telling the story of the current mass extinction we’re responsible for.
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 delights.
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. Please do not PM, please email us. 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. ... See MoreSee Less
RT @poetrynw@SeaArtsLectures 2019/2020 season tickets are available now! Fantastic lineups, including some poets we can't wait to see: Naomi Shihab Nye, Richard Kenney, Mary Ruefle, Paisley Rekdal, Rick Barot, Natalie Diaz, Hanif Abdurraqib lectures.org/series/…
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 @poetrynw@SeaArtsLectures 2019/2020 season tickets are available now! Fantastic lineups, including some poets we can't wait to see: Naomi Shihab Nye, Richard Kenney, Mary Ruefle, Paisley Rekdal, Rick Barot, Natalie Diaz, Hanif Abdurraqib lectures.org/series/subscri…
Last year we published our first play, a collaboration between Christine Deavel and J.W. Marshall, "Vicinity/Memoryall". It will be ON STAGE during the month of July at 18th & Union! LEARN MORE and links to tickets on their Facebook page for the play— bit.ly/2ErXxJSpic.twitter.com/1bk0NhmeXe