Tuesday, August 31, 2010



Grace Cavalieri, is founder/producer of public radio's "The Poet and the Poem," now from the Library of Congress, celebrating 33 years on the air. Her latest book is SOUNDS LIKE SOMETHING I WOULD SAY.


You've interviewed many poets for the Library of Congress, which writers should we study for sound, rhythm or simply because of how they recite their words?

That is a difficult question although it looks straightforward enough. When we think of a poet reading, a large part of it is PERSONALITY that we can’t replicate. Think of Lucille Clifton - a reader above all others, but can we emulate that? The voice is so much a part of the poet’s spirit (voice= breath of God,) that to love a reading isn’t always a good reason to use that as a template to learn how to read. But it’s a fair question and an interesting one. Thomas Sayers Ellis uses his voice as a percussive instrument and this is effective because he makes it a cultural idiom. Should we all do that? Obviously not but he is one of the more interesting contemporaries—I think you (EE Miller) are inimitable because you manage intimacy in the phraseology which is in the poetry itself. The reader/listener takes it as personal, even in a public setting. Can we study this? No but we can be aware that content=delivery. Kay Ryan is worth taking a look at, because her tiny “pocket comb” shaped poems require precision in reading. There is so much compressed, each word is crystal cut and must be read that way. Herbert W. Martin reads in the style of old time Oratory and it’s a joy to hear history in his voice. Robert Pinsky uses his voice as an instrument beyond merely uttering his poems. He is keenly aware of the column of breath each of us calls our own. He claims a good poem on the page has the poet’s breath still on it and can be read as it was written. Dramatic readers like Kweli Smith and Holly Bass make the poem an event and we need to take a cue from that if we want luster and shine. Then think of the indigenous poets like Trinidadian Wilfred Cartey. What a reader. Robert Sargent , who had the sound of the Mississippi  roiling in his voice. We can’t imitate it but we should note it.  I guess the King of all readers is Sterling Brown and we can study him.  Of course he invented his own cadence, but we can learn from it. Roland Flint should be remembered for his delivery… EVERY word pulled through the heart. I guess great readers are saying that if it doesn’t matter to the one reading, it can’t matter to the one listening. The poets I’ve mentioned had one thing in common: They did not apologize. So when we talk about rhythm, sound, etc. it all adds up to the nobility we give the word. W.S. Merwin reads as if he’s throwing words away to the wind and they can’t be owned, even by him; but it’s done from a very high place. I suppose the art of rhetoric does not apply to poets. Frederick Douglass counted syllables to emphasize his speech and punch the right meter. Poets are doing something else. But the question you ask is good because it makes us look at what is heard. We have to love our words as we say them. That’s good enough.

Videographer Mark McBeth (http://heylookatthat.com/) generously agreed to tape the recent San Francisco reading from Persistent Voices at Magnet, and he has now posted all the videos on Vimeo. 

A friend of mine recently asked for advice on what to charge an organization that was inviting them to do a reading.

Below are a few things I told her to think about. Maybe some of my comments might help you too.
- Writers who handle their own affairs often earn less money. When someone represents you they can always put  forward a higher figure without explanation or guilt.
- Who do you consider to be your literary peers?  How much are they requesting?
- Have you won any book awards?
- Do you hold an important position within the literary world?
- What is the largest amount of money you've been paid for a reading/workshop?  How long ago was that?
- Who is the organization inviting you to read? Are they a major college or university?  A small community organization?  A political organization?
- If someone wants you to do a benefit you might consider doing an event for 1/2 your normal fee.
- How far away is the program?  Miller's Law: Never accept the same amount (or less) of the cost of transportation.
- How long will you be staying in the area? Increase your fee for every additional day and for every additional event beyond the primary one.
- Never accept payment in books or just meals and good times. You always have bills waiting for you at home.
- Never request or accept the same amount each year. At least give yourself a living or creativity increase whenever possible.
- Inquire as to when you'll be paid. Always carry a blank invoice with you.
- Make sure your books are available for purchase. Offer to autograph the books that don't sell in order for the
   sponsor or bookstore to keep them after your departure.
- If you have to read manuscripts in advance of your visit be sure to estimate the amount of time it takes. Bill this into your honorarium.

IF YOU WANT MORE ADVICE HIRE ME: emiller698@aol.com

                                                              August 31, 2010

In This Issue
Top 50 MFA Programs
Writers Recommend
The Last Thing They'll Write
Palm Beach Poetry Festival (Ad)
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Our second annual ranking of MFA Programs, which includes rankings of the top fifty full-residencies and top ten low-residencies, can help you find the program that's right for you.

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Novelist Naomi Hirahara writes about her experience teaching a bilingual workshop for seniors in Los Angeles and her realization of the workshop's true value.

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palm beach 7th Annual Palm Beach Poetry Festival, January 17-22, 2011, Delray Beach, Florida. Six days of workshops, readings, and events featuring America's finest poets. Workshops with Stuart Dischell, Jane Hirshfield, Thomas Lux, Heather McHugh, Vijay Seshadri, Ellen Bryant Voigt, C.D. Wright, Dean Young.  Robert Pinsky featured at Gala Reading. Deadline to apply November 2, 2010.

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Quote of the Day:

"I was at death's door but I came back."

   - Fidel Castro

  Is Fox News a terrorist command center? Last Thursday, in a hilarious episode of the Daily Show, Jon Stewart showed how Fox News has possible links to Islamic terrorism. Don't miss the quote from Charlton Heston near the end...

The follow up on Monday was even better...

Monday, August 30, 2010

International Arts & Artists' Hillyer Art Space proudly presents:
Puzzling (a) Space
Soun Hong
, Chakraphan Rangaratna, Ding Ren, and Eric De Leon Zamuco

September 3  - October 22

Presented by Project Andini (www.projectandini.org)
Sponsored by Arts Council Korea (www.arko.or.kr

FIRST FRIDAY RECEPTION: September 3rd, 2010, 6-9PM
Free food and refreshments. $5 suggested donation.

Chakraphan Rangaratna, My Ship is Not Pretty
Chakraphan Rangaratna
       Hillyer Art Space
and Project Andini are pleased to announce Puzzling (a) Space, a site-specific exhibition of painting, installation, video and performance by four contemporary Asian artists: Soun Hong (Korean), Chakraphan Rangaratna (Thai), Ding Ren (Chinese American), and Eric De Leon Zamuco (Filipino). This exhibition is co-curated by Jeong-ok Jeon (Korean) and Jammie Chang (Taiwan), and as a collaborative project it will bring dynamic cultural perspectives to the District arts community and increase cultural exchange between Asia and the U.S.
     Puzzling (a) Space begins with the concept of site-specific art, the notion that an artwork comes to life within the exhibition space and an audience's participation is similarly an essential component to the artworks' realization. The place is not just a backdrop or a simple space to contain the artwork. Rather, the place conveys the purpose and acts as a vehicle for the art, just as the audience's interaction acts as a catalyst.  Thus the artwork will only be complete in the context of three contributing elements: the artist, the place, and the audience.
                Puzzling (a) Space is a dynamic exhibition of paintings, videos, installations and performance that not only reflects the site-specificity of Hillyer Art Space and a multi-cultural aesthetic, it also creates an atmosphere for people to see themselves as a integral feature in the emergence of an artistic event.
The Korean artist, Soun Hong, presents Sidescape, a painting-installation series depicting devastating images of wars and calamities found on the Internet. As the title suggests, Sidescape portrays parts and margins of the media images that absurdly represent tranquil scenery. This new series exhibits the severe snowstorm that struck Washington, DC, earlier this year. By breaking down the images and randomly displaying them in the gallery space, Hong invites the audience to review the happening from different angles.
Thai artist Chakraphan Rangaratna creates artworks based on his travel experiences. In this exhibition, Rangaratna introduces full-color geometric shapes inspired by a trip to Mexico and transforms them into a mural installation, as in My Ship Is Not Pretty. The sense of joy originating from the formal elements of his work helps the audience participate in the exotic and festive atmosphere.     
Chinese-American artist Ding Ren's work resonates with the simplicity and nothingness in everyday life. Ren presents two videos titled Reflected Light Series. She documented the images of shadows and light that shed on the walls on a specific date and time and projects them on the corners in the gallery. The notion of corner also implies the artist's blurred identity between Asian and American. 
                Having relocated from the Philippines to the United States in 2005, Eric De Leon Zamuco has dealt with a sense of unfamiliarity to a new environment and an issue of identity as a new Filipino immigrant. For this exhibition, Zamuco makes a mixed-media installation titled Tale of Common Things that breaks down the gallery space to reflect his paradoxical sense of the surroundings.

Additional Public Programs for Puzzling (a) Space:

-  Artists and Curators Discussion:
September 4, 2pm-3pm (Open to Public)

- Art-making workshop in collaboration with OpenArt Studio

October 2, 1pm-3:30pm (Private)

- Youth Lecture Program in collaboration with OpenArt Studio
October 9, 2pm-3pm  (Private)

- Closing Party
October 22, 6-9pm (Open to public)
Hillyer Art Space
International Arts and Artists is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally through exhibitions, programs and services to artists, arts institutions, and the public.
Project Andini
Project Andini is an art collective dedicated to fostering better communication and interconnectedness between artists and the public through creative programs, curated contemporary art displays, and critical writings and forums.

Funded in part by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
International Arts & Artists
9 Hillyer Court NW, Washington, DC 20008 USA
T 202.338.0680 | F 202.333.0758 | www.artsandartists.org | info@artsandartists.org
Gallery Hours: 10am - 5pm Monday, 10am - 7pm Tuesday - Friday, 11am - 4pm Saturday.
Otherwise by appointment

International Arts & Artists (IA&A) is a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing cross-cultural understanding and exposure to the arts internationally. IA&A's services include a Traveling Exhibition Service, the Hillyer Art Space gallery, the Design Studio, the Cultural Exchange Program, and Membership Services for artists and the arts-interested public.

Sheridan Circle Memorial Service

September 19, 10:00-12:00pm
Sheridan Circle
23rd St and Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC

Until September 11, 2001, the car bombing on Massachusetts Avenue was the most infamous act of international terrorism ever to take place in our nation's capital. On September 21, 1976 agents of the Augusto Pinochet regime planted a car bomb at this location which brutally took the lives but not the memory of two IPS colleagues, who fought for equality and justice through reason, not violence.

Orlando Letelier and Ronni Karpen Moffitt were colleagues at the Institute for Policy Studies, where Letelier had become one of the most outspoken critics of Pinochet. Moffitt was a 25-year-old development associate. For more than three decades, the pursuit of justice for their murders has been a symbol of hope for victims of tyranny everywhere. Every year the human rights community, friends, family, colleagues, and supporters gather in remembrance of these tragic assassinations.

This program will take place outdoors at the site of the assassination and end with a laying of flowers on the Letelier-Moffitt memorial across the street from Sheridan Circle. Please bring flowers.

Avoice: African American Voices in Congress, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Virtual Library Project at www.avoiceonline.org, invites you to attend an issue form on the role of African-American Congressional leaders in shaping the past, present and future of education in our nation.

Friday, September 17, 2010 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Room 209-C, Walter E. Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001

The session will focus on the role of the Congressional Black Caucus and other African Americans in Congress in the debate and formation of U.S. education policy milestones such as the 1965 Elementary & Secondary Education Act, the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 and the 2009 announcement of Race to the Top. The discussion will also include a preview of the new Avoice Education Policy Exhibit scheduled to launch in late fall 2010 at www.avoiceonline.org.

Ms. Kenyatta Albeny, Avoice Exhibit Researcher

Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (invited)
Mr. Reginald Weaver, Former Head of the National Education Association
Mr. Kevin Clark, Associate Professor and Director, Center or Digital Media Innovation and Diversity, George Mason University
Mr. David J. Johns, Senior Education Advisor, Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
More panelists to be announced soon.

To register for the 40th Annual Legislative Conference, visit the CBCF website at www.cbcfinc.org/alc-2010.

Alison Kootstra
Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.
Avoice Virtual Library www.avoiceonline.org
akootstra@cbcfinc.org Ι 202-263-2818

40th Annual Legislative Conference - September 15-18, 2010
Save the Date - CBCF Avoice Heritage Celebration - February 23, 2011

The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award honors exemplary works of literature before the national community of Black writers. By honoring these nominees, we're recognizing the profound significance, necessity, and genius of Black writers and the stories they tell. A panel of published authors in each genre reviewed submissions and selected nominees from categories of Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry.

Winners will receive a cash award of $500 provided by Busboys and Poets Press and the coveted statute of Djhuiti(je-hu-ty), the ancient Egyptian symbol of the patron saint of writing, speech, and divine intellectual pursuit. Finalists will receive a citation and a miniature version of the statute. The annual Legacy Award ceremony in conjunction with the 20th Anniversary of the Hurston/Wright Foundation will be held November 15th at Eatonville, a Zora Neale Hurston-inspired restaurant in Washington, DC.

The Hurston/Wright Legacy Award 2010 Nominees are:
Blonde Roots
Bernardine Evaristo
Blonde Roots
I am Not Sidney Poitier
Percival Everett
I Am Not Sidney Poitier
(Graywolf Press)
The Trial of Robert Mugabe
Chielo Zona Eze
The Trial of Robert Mugabe
(Okri Books Inc)
Big Machine
Victor LaValle
Big Machine
(Spiegel & Grau)
Black Water Rising
Attica Locke
Black Water Rising
(HarperCollins Publishers)
Sag Harbor
Colson Whitehead
Sag Harbor

Samiya Bashir
(Redbone Press)
Cooling Board
Mitchell L.H. Douglas
Cooling Board: A Long Playing Poem
(Red Hen Press)

Sonata Mulattica
Rita Dove
Sonata Mulattica
(W. W. Norton & Company)
Liberation Narratives
Haki R. Madhubuti
Liberation Narratives
(Third World Press)


Freedom By Any Means
Betty DeRamus
Freedom By Any Means
Sweet Thunder
Wil Haygood
Sweet Thunder
The Breathrough
Gwen Ifill
The Breakthrough
Thelonious Monk
Robin Kelley
Thelonious Monk
(Free Press)
Remembering Scottsboro
James A. Miller
Remembering Scottsboro (Princeton University Press)
More Than Just Race
William Julius Wilson
More than Just Race
(W. W. Norton & Company)
Hurston/Wright is the nation's resource center for writers, readers, and supporters of Black literature. And thanks to the generosity of organizations such as Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Penguin Group USA, we provide services and guidance for Black writers and readers at every stage of their development. Our annual programs include the nation's only multi-genre summer residency workshop for writers of African descent with a tuition-free component for high school students; the first national award presented to published writers of African descent by their peers; an award for excellence to Black college writers; community awards to businesses, educators and/or cultural leaders that have demonstrated their commitment to African American literature; and a three week tuition-free writers workshop for high school students followed by monthly classroom and online instructions during the academic school year.

Once again we wish to give special thanks to our many supporters who include Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishers, Penguin Group USA, Maryland State Senator David C. Harrington, The Morris & Gwendloyn Cafritz Foundation, Prince George's County Council Member Andrea Harrision, The National Harbor Community Outreach Grant Fund, and a host of individual donors for their generous support. For more information about Hurston/Wright visit our website at www.hurstonwright.org.

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