Monday, July 21, 2014

Call & Response in Pank


Thanks to Nicole Rollender, I recently participated in a Call & Response in Pank Magazine. She presented a poem by Jon Anderson and I responded with a poem I'd written from my series Italian Vocabulary. 

In the introduction to the Call & Response, Nicole writes, "Michèle Foster defines call and response as “spontaneous verbal and non-verbal interaction between speaker and listener in which all of the statements (‘calls’) are punctuated by expressions (‘responses’) from the listener.” Call and response has a long history, documented in sub-Saharan Africa as a working way for groups to govern themselves democratically and participate in religious rituals; this tradition survived on slave ships over into the New World, where it has come through centuries in gospel music, folk music, military cadences, rock and roll (...)"

I hope you'll read the piece and spend some time reading Pank.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cross-Pollinate Literary Art Tour Reading

dress by Donna McCullough

I am looking forward to reading poems at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts on Saturday, August 9 at 3:30 as a part of the Cross-Pollinate Literary Art Tour. Curator Melanie Figg invited poets, including Genevieve Deleon, Melanie Figg, Steve Godwin, Whitney Gratton, Danielle Kuczynski, and Reuben Silberman, to write in response to the current exhibit, Altered Ego.

I visited the exhibit and was moved by the variety of materials. There were bobby pins, toy cars, prints and more. The idea of having a writing assignment was initially intimidating, especially one that I'd read in public. After spending some time with the pieces, I found myself connecting with three sculptures. The intimacy of the pieces, one including human hair, brought me back to particular memories. While the first drafts of the response poems are very memoiristic, future drafts will (probably) move away from some of those personal details. I've been re-reading the poems every day, tweaking them and returning to photographs of the art to reconsider the relationship between the poems and the art. I look forward to seeing how the poems develop.

Click through for more: 
Cross-Pollinate: Literary Art Tour
Altered Ego exhibit (including a video and images)
Facebook invite

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Pledge to Support The Singapore Literature Festival!





I encourage you to pledge to support the upcoming - and first - Singapore Literature Festival in New York City. Details below from the co-chairs, including Jee Leong Koh, who has been featured on this blog before:


For three days in October (Oct 10th to 12th, 2014), sixteen Singapore writers will converge on New York City to share their exciting works. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear and engage with the most distinctive voices of the island-state, which celebrates its 50th year of independence next year. The Singapore Literature Festival will help deepen the dialogue between East and West, between Asia and America.

The festival will take place in various locations around New York City including 92nd Street Y, NYU Writers House, Book Culture, and McNally Jackson.

Ten writers will be flying in from Singapore, to be joined by six writers based in the US. The exciting line-up: Alfian Sa'at, Alvin Pang, Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, Christine Chia, Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, Cyril Wong, Haresh Sharma, Jason Erik Lundberg, Joshua Ip, Kirstin Chen, Ovidia Yu, Pooja Nansi, Tania De Rozario, Verena Tay, and Wena Poon.

We need your support to make this dream come true. We are a group of volunteers, Singaporean writers and creatives who are proud to call New York City home. We have secured sponsorship for the costs of mounting the festival. The writers have received partial funding for their airfare and are willing to make up the difference, even if it means crashing on someone’s couch. As the organizers, we want to help our writers by raising funds for them. Your donation will go toward paying the writers. It will also pay for professional video recording and photography, so that the readings and conversations will be preserved and made available for future use.


Please contribute generously to our Kickstarter campaign. We have come up with some fantastic rewards for various levels of sponsorship. How would you like to own a piece of art by one of our writers? Or have your name written into a poem or story? You can show your support by contributing an amount as large as $1000 or as small as $10. Every dollar counts.

Please feel free to forward this appeal to family and friends. You can follow us on the festival website or on Facebook.

Make history with us by supporting this independent literary venture!

Yours sincerely,
Paul Rozario-Falcone and Jee Leong Koh
Co-chairs of Singapore Literature Festivl