Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pictures from the Endicott College/Ibbetson Street Press Visiting Author Series March 2011

March 2011 Mark Pawlak--editor at Hanging Loose Press, and Gary Metras --founder of the Adastra Press---read from their work, and talk about small press publishing at Endicott College--Halle Library

******(Click on pictures to enlarge)

( Mark Pawlak Reading)

(Gary Metras Reading)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Popt Art Portraits. Popt Art Vol 1 Spring 2011--Review by Jason Roberts

Note: this is the first in a series of reviews by Endicott College English and Creative Writing majors.

Popt Art Portraits. Popt Art Vol 1 Spring 2011 Edited by Jessica Harman (Lulu Press

Review by Jason Roberts

The mixture of poems, essays, stories and portraits is a beautiful thing. Popt Art is something you can pick up and put down (if you can) whenever you’d like. Inside you will find blunt humor, confessions and poems that will provoke you to reminiscence. Sometimes you might not understand them, but you don’t have to and that’s why I enjoy it so much. Some things are easy to relate to, at least for me, like the financial struggle people in the world must go through:

“The young mother is pushing through the supermarket, her toddler packed into the cart and screaming because she won’t buy the sugar doodles he saw on TV. She picks up a box of detergent, squints at the price, tries to read the fine print [glasses needed] she puts it back. Reaches for the cheaper store brand. All around her the boxes are cooing, buy me, you have to have me, I am the best. She skips the aisle of candies, she turns her head from the meat. Packaged hot dogs again. See her. You don’t, but try. Her life is pushing through supermarkets where everything costs way too much while her son cries and whatever she wants, she can’t have.” By Marge Piercy

Or how a pet walks around the house like we are its guests/servants:

“Puck the Abyssinian colored like a fine rabbit does not consider himself a cat. I am the son and heir, he says, am I not superior in my mien and breeding?...” By Marge Piercy

Take a journey into the mind of Antonia Jennifer Traitwright as she writes in her blog about What It’s Like To Be Schizophrenic:

“On the subject of beginning a description of my journey as a psychiatric patient, I will say that it’s easier to begin a novel than to begin a blog about psychosis. If I were writing a novel, I’d begin with direct, clear sentences, like “I decided to put on the pearl earrings,” or “it was a dark and stormy night.” But, I’m not writing a novel. I’m writing a blog about my schizophrenia.”

Thing that’s you may or may not regret from your childhood past:

“As boys – we dropped rocks, a flurry of bomblets, on a passing phalanx of toads. Commanders for once, free from the clamp of parental constraint, punch drunk with the notion of our control of fate – life – death. And like mini Dr. Mengeles, we experimented stuffing firecrackers down their twitching throats …” By Doug Holder

My favorite Entry would be by Joshua Abelow in his brief explanation of his work:

“A work of art is only as interesting as the conversation it generates”

“I use geometric shapes because geometry is the language of order and I am an orderly person.”

“My work is filled with skepticism and doubt and I’m not afraid to poke fun at my own stupidity or the stupidity of others or the absurdity of trying to make paintings in a world that doesn’t care if you make paintings or eat dog shit.”

He is a very blunt person. He doesn’t beat around the bush or try to push his art out into the world more than it should be. He does his art the way he wants to and not how it is expected to be. That’s how I plan to be as a writer, not following any rules or views by people concerning the way things should be written. Creative freedom is something of great importance and I’m glad Abelow has captured that fact in his art and introduction to his art.

Popt Art is something you can pick up whenever you want. It’s large selection of various pieces is something to enjoy in bulk or in part. Whichever you prefer, it is a great piece of literature.

* Jason Roberts is a Creative Writing major at Endicott College. This is his first appearence in the Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene. For more information about Endicott College go to

Sunday, April 10, 2011


REVIEW OF COURT GREEN 8, Columbia College, English Department, 600 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60605, 216 pages, $10, 2011

Review by Barbara Bialick

COURT GREEN 8, (DOSSIER: FRANK O’HARA), is a thick, juicy, glossy new, since 2004, college literary magazine out of Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. It is ripe and jubilant with good writing by young voices whose work is often universal yet sometimes taken down a notch by the addition of bragging about “weed” or by using coarse words near the end of the poem, which adds an odd twist to the flow. But these are their words and interests, and their apparent ages, give or take a few years. Even the “dossier” topic—react to the poetry of the late poet Frank O’Hara (1926-1966), is about someone who only made it to age 40… This batch of 80 poets plus O’Hara, is new to me, but I suspect many will be making names for themselves, as the old saying comes around again anew.

Given that collegial flare, I don’t find the poems to be what we sometimes call academic.
No Greek gods and goddesses. Actually one of the first poems is quite funny: “My Dog as the Reincarnation of Heath Ledger”, by Steve Henry: “He’s such a great actor. He pretends/to chew on his bone when he really/disembowels my laptop charger/…But really he is Heath./He, too, loves drugs having eaten/my roommate’s weed more than once/…Maybe he’s really Plath, then, or maybe they’re all the same;/some amalgamation of all our desires/to snuff ourself trying to get what we want…”

Here’s a few examples of their intriguing sorts of titles: “Nude Ants”, “Hot Dogs Have Legal Problems” “Death Radiant”, “The Closet is Grieving (After Wallace Stevens)”—
Take that closet one by Julia Guez: “The closet is grieving/all of the trim black suits./None of them are sequined/or mauve with seafoam rings/…a man is not driven to dream of papayas and parakeets/only here and there a beldame (accountant by day) will marry/Quaalude and tequila. Asleep in drag on he sofa…”

There are many tributes to Frank O’Hara. James Schuyler (born in 1923) writes: “Stay up all night? Who wants to sleep?/it is not your voice I hear/it is your words I see/foam flecks and city girders/…” And “Monologue: Frank O’Hara” by Elaine Equi: “Untie your muse/for an hour and stay with me/I come in pieces across a great test pattern/…When will you see me as I am/as industrious with grief as you are?...”

For ten dollars you may or may not find a new market for your poems, but you’ll surely get some good idea of where good poetry is going in the future.