Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday Short

You fear what you don't know.

So many recent events have pushed the war in Syria off the front pages, as it the nature of "news". It's important we keep some part of our attention there, because of the continuing loss of life and because of our government's determination to shut out those in need of America's help. Should you harbor doubt, please watch this short documentary, To Breathe Free, from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:

To Breathe Free from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Redd Walitzki, The Butterfly Catcher (Detail), 2017
Oil and Mixed-Media on Laser-Cut Acrylic Panel
30" x "40"
© Redd Walitzki


It is a great delight to showcase today the sensual paintings of Redd Walitzki in my Artist Watch column at the online arts magazine Escape Into Life.

Currently a resident of Seattle, Washington, Redd was born in Germany and produces mixed-media works influenced by the rococo ornamentation of her native Bavaria, nature, and ideas about high-fashion, technology, and fleeting beauty. Primarily a figurative artist, Redd takes deep pleasure in experimenting with artistic media, techniques, and technologies that push the boundaries of her creativity.

For today's Artist Watch, Redd has provided six images from her "Stranger Than Earth" series of paintings, as well as three close-up images that reveal details that viewers might otherwise miss. In addition, you will find Redd's Artist Statement, a brief biography, and a list of social media.

Redd's wonderful paintings can be seen from November 18 through December 3 in the group show "Lush" at Bein Art Gallery in Brunswick VIC, Australia.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

'The Island' (Videopoem)

"The Island That Is Hard to Find in English" is a poem by  British-Jamaican poet, spoken-word artist, educator, and editor Raymond Antrobus. It is read by Antrobus in the video below, which was animated by Maya Horton. The subtitles are by Phillip Louden-Carter and the music by Jonny Whalton.

Antrobus, a Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellow, is the author of the chapbook To Sweeten Bitter (Outspoken Press, 2017), Shapes & Disfigurements of Raymond Antrobus (Burning Eye Books, 2012) and, forthcoming, his as-yet-untitled debut collection about deafness, the Diaspora, and language, which is to be published by the London-based Penned in the Margins.

Raymond Antrobus on FaceBook

Raymond Antrobus Profiles at Brain Mill Press and Poetry Foundation

(My thanks to Peter Hayoe and Helen Dewbery for the link to the short.)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thought for the Day

You are born alone. You die alone. The value of the
space in between is trust and love.
~ Louise Bourgeois

Quoted as Epigraph in Sharon Salzberg's Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection (Flatiron Books, 2017), Chapter 24, p. 279

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), French-American Sculptor

Sharon Salzberg, Co-Founder, Insight Meditation Society; Author, Teacher

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Saturday Short

Readers may recall my May 2016 post that introduced the remarkable photographer Kirsty Mitchell. Recently, Mitchell's Wonderland came to the Paine Art Center and Gardens museum, Oshkosh, Wisconsin (the show continues through October 29), where Mitchell made a short showing the gorgeous installation and some of the visitors she met.

This second short relates some of the preparation for the exhibition, which presented 19 of Mitchell's large, wholly unforgettable pieces (the series numbers 74 images):

An additional "bonus" video:

For more installation shots, see Mitchell's blog post about the exhibition.

Kirsty Mitchell Website

Copies of Mitchell's Wonderland book (2nd edition) are available for purchase. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Gratitude (Poem)


The lemons in lemonade
remind me

of daffodils and forsythia
in daddy's dusty greenhouse,

and the dappled glitter of the sun
in its slant over Chicago.

I could celebrate it—
the single bluet

that makes lunch an odyssey
of tastes, plums not too green

to plunder, the cool water
in the red urn flowing oceanic,

better than the blackberry wine
so beloved by Beyonce.

In a cathedral of the imagination,
there are no impediments,

no one is bored, and the albatross
isn't a burden to any sailor.

Persimmons nevermore go missing,
nor snowy owls ply their dialect

like a drunken skunk.
Whereas, in gratitude, I hustle

to welcome the buzz
of the humble fly in paradise,

its canto as phenomenal as the kaddish
of the raven, or maybe the nightingale.


In creating this found poem, I used a selection of words from a FaceBook post by Kaveh Akbar about the words poets "own". That post (originally a tweet) turned out to be a great prompt. (Also read Kaveh's post at Literary Hub.)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . our bodies measure distance in bed.
~ Alyssa Kelly

Quoted from Alyssa Kelly's poem "Unforgivable" in "When You Have Forgotten Sunday: The Love Story" in The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (The University of Arkansas Press, 2017),  p. 215

Alyssa Kelly, High School English Teacher, Poet, Singer-Songwriter

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Waiting Rooms at Mandalay Bay (Cinquain)

Waiting Rooms at Mandalay Bay

The heat
in the desert
unseams clothes, sears silence.
Rat-tat-tat-tat-tat. Waiting rooms

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Two Tarfia Faizullah Poems (Videopoems)

In the video below, produced for Voluble/Los Angeles Review of Books, Tarfia Faizullah reads two of her poems: "Feast or Famine" and "Love Poem Ending With the Eye of a Needle". The music is by Brooklyn Shanti and Robin Sukhadia; editing is by Shanti. Footage for the second poem is from Sita Sings the Blues.

My thanks to Poets & Writers for the link.

Tarfia Faizullah is the author of the forthcoming Registers of Illuminated Villages (Graywolf Press, March 2018). Her debut collection was Seam (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014).

Tarfia Faizullah Profiles at Academy of American Poets and Poetry Foundation

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . always let us let love's gaze crowd tightly in. . . .
~ Liu Xiaobo

Quoted from "Liu Xiaobo's Last Text", The New York Review of Books, September 28, 2017

Liu Xiaobo (1955-2017), Poet, Literary Critic, Human Rights Activist, Nobel Peace Prize Winner (2010)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Fall's Leaves (Reverse Cinquain)

Fall's Leaves

they slip to ground, their once-green skins —
now worn mottled coats — shed
in autumn's own

2017 © Maureen E. Doallas

This is a "reverse cinquain", its lines comprising, in order, 2, 8, 6, 4, and 2 syllables. See the prompt at Tweetspeak Poetry and contribute your own poem.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Thought for the Day

What are we without winds becoming words?
~ Joy Harjo

Quoted from Joy Harjo's poem "Becoming Seventy" in Poetry, September 2017, p. 502

Joy Harjo (Mvskoke Nation), Poet and Writer, Musician/Composer, Performing Artist

Joy Harjo on FaceBook and YouTube

Thursday, September 21, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Aixa Oliveras, The Night Within Creates Stars, 2016
Oil on Round Wood Panel, 8" Tondo
© Aixa Oliveras


I'm delighted to present the paintings of Puerto Rico-born artist Aixa Oliveras in my Artist Watch column today at Escape Into Life.

Currently pursuing a master's degree in fine arts at Laguna College of Art and Design, Laguna Beach, California, Aixa has participated in a number of group exhibitions and has placed as a finalist in juried shows. One of her paintings is in the public Reyes-Veray Collection of Puerto Rican artists.

For today's Artist Watch feature, Aixa has provided five images of recent paintings, her Artist Statement, a brief biography, and a list of her social media sites. 

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Learning the Math

Learning the Math

We divided, then subtracted,
one from two,
the one who stayed
never saying goodbye.

She'd given back his love
notes, the Christmas cards,
the years of keeping house,
Yuri's gold-leaf peacock

in its gold-leaf frame.
He'd taken two paintings
she didn't want, thrown
out the two-dogs'

leash, tried to explain why
he'd transferred money
from their joint account.
He barely understood

her need for space,
or time to write her poems
in that room — her own.
She couldn't accept

his need to work those
twelve to sixteen hours
daily, the Saturday
mornings he'd spend away.

What difference did
forgiveness make
when time too mean
with words ill-said

broke her, broke her
mind even more
than her heart. No-contest
was agreed-to,

their settlement cold cash,
one from two arranged
so neatly, how all math
works, its lesson learned.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Thought for the Day

Never say you know the last word about any human heart.
~ Henry James

Quoted from Henry James's Short Story "Louisa Pallant" (1888) (The quotation is used in the opening of William Boyd's novel Any Human Heart: The Intimate Journals of Logan Mountstuart (2002). The novel received the Prix Jean Monnet.)

Henry James (1843-1916), Novelist, Short Story Writer, Poet 

William Boyd, Novelist

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . One of the ways we survive darkness. . .
is to find reasons to laugh.
~ Ayobami Adebayo

Quoted from Patrik Henry Bass, "Great Expectations: An Interview with Ayobami Adebayo", The Paris Review, August 9, 2017

Ayobami Adebayo, Novelist 

Adebayo's debut novel is Stay with Me (Penguin Random House, August 22, 2017).

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Thought for the Day

What does the word last mean in moments of desolation?
~ John Berger

Quoted from John Berger, "John Berger Contemplates Life and Death at the Graveside of Mahmoud Darwish: A Writer and a Poet in Communion", at Literary Hub, August 9, 2017 (This essay is from the Introduction to Mahmoud Darwish's Mural, translated by John Berger and Rema Hammami (Verso Books, 2009, 2017).

Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008), Palestinian National Poet

John Berger (1926-2017), Art Critic, Writer, Novelist

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

House (Poem)


I leave behind all
I know, fifteen years
at their end:

a house that was
never a nest
to be emptied,

three levels
of old wood
floors to clean,

a room stilled
for want of
the dog in my bed,

stairs not he
and not I
need to climb.

The plants wither,
ask to be watered;
the surfaces, dusted.

Through renovation
and effort came
expectation; we added

the close watching
for visible signs
of careful constructions.

We were awful
at trying rebuilders'
new jargon.

Home is not a definition
for house.

House can't convey
more than the space

we sometimes occupied.
Space reminds me

how we started out
so full of desire,
now manage nothing


I loved you — once. Forgive
me. Forgive you. Thank you.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . Things get pretty radical in the dark:...
~ Denis Johnson

Quoted from Denis Johnson's Poem "Vespers" in The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly (HarperCollins Publishers, 1995)

Denis Johnson (1949-2017), Poet, Writer (Novels, Short Stories), Playwright

Denis Johnson Profiles at New RepublicNPRThe New YorkerPoetry Foundation

Read Jay Deshpande's essay, "My Denis Johnson" at Poetry Foundation, August 7, 2017; and Lawrence Wright's "Remembering Denis Johnson" in The New Yorker, May 26, 2017.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Counted Down (Cinquain)

Big Ben, London, England
(CCO Creative Commons)

Counted Down

Big Ben,
your heart's damaged.
You need to be silent
four years to chime again and run
through time.

©  2017 Maureen E. Doallas

At noon yesterday, August 21, Big Ben (the name of the bell inside Elizabeth Tower) fell silent for repairs; for the next four years, until 2021, Londoners will have to keep their own timepieces running. Read "Big Ben to fall silent while essential conservation works take place" at Parliament's Website.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cinquains for Today's Solar Eclipse

2017 Earth Day Poster Depicting August's Solar Eclipse

Following are some unrhymed cinquains (they all use the line scheme of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 2 syllables) I've written to mark today's solar eclipse.

Be sure to check out NASA's Total Eclipse Website.

August's dark day.
Moon tries a new sun block.
Witness the cosmic distraction
pass by.


Chase it?
Even some planes
fail to catch the shadow
moving like a whirling dervish


Path marked;
eclipse forecast.
From west to east light's doused.
Shadow bands like rippling sunshine


Get a filter,
a telephoto lens,
and a tripod for your smartphone.
Shoot it!


or syzygy?
It helps to know your terms.
Study science or play Scrabble.
You'll learn.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Syzygy is pronounced "SIZ-eh-gee". You can learn about it and transit, shadow bands, and other eclipse-related words at the NASA site.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Thought for the Day

. . . if you are someone who leaves, then you must
always be leaving, because to stop leaving is to stay.
The space between staying and leaving is called longing. . . . 
~ Larissa Pham

Quoted from Larissa Pham, "Agnes Martin Finds the Light That Gets Lost", The Paris Review, August 2, 2017

Larissa Pham, Brooklyn-Based Artist and Writer

Thursday, August 17, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Noelle Harper, Darcy, Acrylic on Canvas, 2017
10" x 10"
© Noelle Harper


We are in the "Dog Days of August"* — those lazy days of summer when life is meant to slow down — and to celebrate, we present at Escape Into Life our annual Artist Watch feature on dogs. For this month's "Dog Days" Artist Watch, I've selected a series of commissioned paintings by artist Noelle Harper.

In addition to painting commissioned pet portraits, Noelle, currently a resident of Helena, Montana, is an arts educator and instructor whose various teaching experiences have taken her to Florida, Massachusetts, and Georgia, as well as Costa Rica.

Today's Artist Watch presents six of Noelle's most recent dog portraits, an Artist Statement, and a brief biography.


* Did you know. . . the phrase "dog days" originally referred to the dog star Sirius and its position in the heavens? Read Becky Little's National Geographic post, "Why Do We Call Them the 'Dog Days' of Summer?"

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Halley's Comet in 2061 (Poem)

Halley's Comet, 1986
Photo Credit: NASA

Halley's Comet in 2061

You're back
milk-shaded, ghost-
blue moon in Christo's veils,
sky-streaking, thin as a mouse tail

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas


Halley's Comet is expected to be visible from Earth in the year 2061. It last appeared to us in 1986.

Ian Ridpath, A Comet Called Halley (Excerpts)

Facts About Halley's Comet

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Thought for the Day

To wait without hope
is not the same as despair.
~ Jeremiah Webster


Quoted from Jeremiah Webster's poem "Ritual" in After So Many Fires (Anchor & Plume, 2017)

Jeremiah Webster, Associate Professor of English, Northwest University

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

'How to Make the Girl' (Filmpoem)

One of Motionpoems' 7th season releases is the experimental and compelling How to Make the Girl (Kino Filmkraft, 2016), based on Dessa Wander's poem of the same title. The creative "instructional" filmpoem, which was made by writer/director/editor Ann Prim, was screened earlier this year during Germany's Kurzfilmfestival, where it competed for the 2nd Weimar Poetry Film Award.

A rapper and spoken word artist, singer, essayist, and record executive with the Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, Wander has published her writing in The New York Times and other periodicals; various literary journals, including Vestal Review; and several collections, including Spiral Bound: A Short Collection by Dessa (2009). 

Read the poem's text.

Dessa Wander on FaceBookNPR, and WNYC

Motionpoems on FaceBook

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Thought for the Day

The forgetting process defines happiness.
~ Michel Houellebecq, "Evening Without Mist"

Quoted from Michel Houellebecq's Poem "Evening Without Mist", Translated from the French by Gavin Bowd, in Image, No. 92, page 60

Michel Houellebecq (pronounced "Wellbeck"), French Novelist, Poet, Literary Critic; Winner, 2010 Prix Goncourt

Gavin Bowd, Writer and Translator; Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Modern Languages, University of Saint Andrews, Scotland

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

I was not fit (Poem)

I was not fit

for the war you waged,
for the insurgency of words
that staked their claim
to me, nor the letters
that held no code
I could fathom.

Neither absence nor silence
protects me.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Thought for the Day

Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live
without and know we cannot live within.
~ James Baldwin

Quoted from James Baldwin, "Letter from a Region of my Mind", The Fire Next Time (Vintage, 1992)

Search this blog for other quotes from or posts about James Baldwin (1924-1987).

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Split (Poem)


      The moment we choose to love
         we begin to move . . . towards freedom. . . .
           ~ bell hooks

It begins with two
dividing, redividimg
half of mine, more
than yours, all that
bordered space
whose lines once
drawn no more
can hold us
each in our place


The epigraph is from American writer and critic bell hook's essay "Love as the Practice of Freedom" in Outlaw Culture: Resisting Representations (1994).

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Before moving day (Poem)

Before moving day

we separate, recount
the division of boxes
four more times.
I give back two. Only
after unlocking the door
to another empty space
do I remember
the forecast called for rain.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Thought for the Day

Love is not a feeling. It's an ability.
~ "Dan in Real Life" (2007)

Quoted in Emma Seppala's "Recapturing the Awesome Meaning and Power of 'Love'," The Washington Post, June 17, 2017. The article is an interview with Sharon Salzbert, co-founder of Insight Meditation Society, Barre, Massachusetts, and author, most recently, of Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection (Flatiron Books, June 6, 2017).

Dan in Real Life is a 2007 film from Touchstone Pictures and directed by Peter Hedges. Watch the trailer. Read a review.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Artist Watch Feature at Escape Into Life

Greg Dunn, Self Reflected (detail), basal ganglia and brainstem, 2014-2016
22K gilded microetching, 96" x 130"
Photo Credit: Gregg Dunn and Brian Edwards

I am delighted to feature in today's Artist Watch at Escape Into Life the work of artist and neuroscientist Greg Dunn, Ph.D., of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Now a full-time artist, Greg was a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania when he began drawing on his knowledge of neuroscience, physics, and biology to investigate the artistic process through imagery, concept, and technique. His artistic experiments, on which he collaborated with artist and applied physicist Dr. Brian Edwards, led to invention of the revolutionary technique called reflective microetching, which allows dynamic control of imagery and color on reflective gold surfaces. More about the technique and its application is included in the Artist Watch feature.

In addition to eight images from Greg's and Brian's Self Reflected project, today's Artist Watch column includes Greg's Artist Statement, A Note on Process, Definitions, and a brief biography.

Here's one of several videos from the Website for the Self Reflected project:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Writing in Chinese (Poem)

Empty Chair of Liu Xiaobo
2010 Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony

Writing in Chinese

      Opposition is not the same as undermining.
          ~ Liu Xiaobo

The tanks heave into Tiananmen
Square, and only after come

the explosions of yellow umbrellas—
the revolution of color that blinds

then binds the poet left behind
the Great Firewall. He who writes

gets one day for every blunt stroke
except the last 6 characters: 4,024

hanzi minus 4,018 days (11 years)—
a long sentence, even in Chinese.

In Qincheng he speaks to the ghosts,
replays how he'll answer to students

and workers who have yet to pen
names on their own Charter 08. Too-

late-moved to Shenyang hospital,
he who so disturbed the dreams of Xi

Jinping falls silent, becomes ashes.
From their nest, bird after bird is flying.

2017 © Maureen E. Doallas

Liu Xiaobo (December 28, 1955 - July 13, 2017), Chinese Human Rights Activist; Writer, Poet, and Literary Critic; Noble Peace Prize Winner (2010)

Charter 08, Petition for Democracy in China, December 10, 2008, 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Bird imagery features prominently in the poems of Liu Xia, the writer-activist's wife.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Thought for the Day

If we are lucky, the end of the sentence is
where we might begin.
~ Ocean Vuong

Quoted from "A Letter to My Mother That She Will Never Read", The New Yorker, May 13, 2017 

Ocean Vuong, Poet and Essayist

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Mosul Remains (Poem)

Mosul Remains

     You know we got to sit around at home
        and watch this thing begin . . . .
           ~ Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
           ("More Trouble Every Day")

Not yet the phoenix rising,
the oldest sector in the old city

of Mosul stinks of blood and
memory and smoke. Men blare

calls of cell-phoned triumphs:
fingers threaded into backpacks.

Liberation lingers through the
dancing in streets exploding with

this morning's projected losses, the
not-questioning not questioning

the need to destroy the village to
save it. Victory is measured twice—

in the before and after of every
Tal Afar, Qaim, Hawija, each become

a too-dimmed light in Allah's eyes.
Let us total the mosques un-built,

count the bursts of flip-flops and
abayas free-floating above the rebar

in the shadows of twisting haints,
imagine how the hardest battle ever

imprints on a girl's pale pinked sleeves
and the bright-colored balls in pool halls.

© 2017 Maureen E. Doallas

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Thought for the Day

To some people / Love is given, / To others / Only heaven.
 Langston Hughes, "Luck"

Quoted from Terrance Hayes's Foreword to The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (The University of Arkansas Press, 2017), eds. Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith

Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000), American Poet, Writer, and Teacher

Our Miss Brooks 100 | Gwendolyn Brooks 100 (See this site for centennial events.)

Text of "Luck" by Langston Hughes ("Luck" is from The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes.)

Langston Hughes (1902-1967), American Poet, Novelist, Playwright, Columnist, and Social Activist

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

A Note to My Readers

. . . everything makes me work with words. . . .
~ "The Art of Poetry" by Juan Gelman*

I live a life of words and art, and since I began Writing Without Paper in late September 2009, I have written more than 3,100 posts. . . mostly seven days a week. . . and moved well beyond more than one million two hundred thousand pageviews. I've shared my poems, my interviews, my critical reviews, my (rarer) essays, and more, especially my passion for visual and other arts. This blog has brought opportunities for great friendships off-line, the joy and honor of being asked to publish a collection (and subsequently to read some of my poetry in New York City), the pleasures of writing for TweetspeakPoetry blog, and the delight of answering an invitation to explore the world virtually before I open my door to the world outside. Every day I have found something that has engaged my deep curiosity or allowed me to be part of an abiding community of other writers and poets and artists and social activists. I have tried to curate my own offerings to you (I know you appreciate what I do) so that light, however little it may be, shines in this one small place and leaves behind beauty and something new to consider.

I am so thankful to all of you who visit here.

The time has come for me to take a break, at least from daily posting; I've had to give myself permission to do so. Life events, some difficult, some joyous, and self-care require I do this. 

Consequently, at least through the end of September, please expect many fewer posts each week; sometimes, perhaps, none at all. I'll still be reading and learning from all of you whose own words I follow, although I'll also be cutting back on social media time.

My monthly Artist Watch columns for the online arts magazine Escape Into Life will continue uninterrupted, and I'll continue to post my introductions to them here at Writing Without Paper



* Quoted from Dark Times Filled With Light: The Selected Work of Juan Gelman (Hardie St. Martin, 2012)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Independence Day: July 4, 2017

Some July 4 Posts:

Also see my poems "Red White and Blue" of July 3, 2011, and "Some sling stones" of July 3, 2014.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Monday Muse: Bob Dylan - A Nobelist's Lecture

Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, who needs no introduction, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2016. His lecture, required no later than June 10, 2017, was recorded on June 4, in Los Angeles, California; its audio file is now available to share. Take the 27:07 minutes to hear what Dylan has to say.

Read "The Rambling Glory of Bob Dylan's Nobel Speech", by Alexandra Schwartz, in The New Yorker (June 6, 2017).

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Thought for the Day

... not many people have ever died of love. But multitudes 
have perished, and are perishing every hour
— and in the oddest places! — for the lack of it.
~ James Baldwin

Quoted from James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room (1956; Vintage, 2013)

James Baldwin (1924-1987), American Novelist, Essayist, Playwright, Poet, and Activist

"James Baldwin: The Price of the Ticket" (PBS | American Masters, 2013)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Saturday Short

Cover Art

Today's short is the trailer for the novel The City Always Wins (Macmillan Publishers, June 13, 2017) by filmmaker and writer Robert Omar Hamilton. The book is about the failed 2011 uprising in Cairo, Egypt.

Read an excerpt.

Robert Omar Hamilton on FaceBook and Instagram

Friday, June 30, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Work by the remarkable emerging photographer Khadija Saye, who died, age 24, this June in London's horrific Grenfell Tower fire, are on view through November 26 in the Diaspora Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale. A print of one of Saye's wet collodian tintypes can be seen at Tate Britain in a tribute to the fire's victims. See a selection of Saye's photographs.

Khadija Saye Website

Diaspora Pavilion Exhibition Text (pdf)

How-To re Wet Plate Collodian Tintype on YouTube

✦ Coming in October: Tina Modotti: Photographer & Revolutionary | Between Politics and Form: The Life and Work of Tina Modotti by Margaret Hooks. The book was first published in 1993 and until now has been out of print. A definitive portrayal of the artist, the 288-page book with 130 black-and-white images includes archival material, interviews with Modotti's contemporaries, and rare photographs.

Cover Art

✦ Watch Danny Quirk as he creates body anatomy art.

Danny Quirk on FaceBookEtsy, and MEDinArt

✦ Make your own colorwheel.

✦ A new discovery for me and an artist to watch: painter and sculptor Grace Tan, who recently showed new work in "Through the Eyes of Agape", a series of figurative charcoal drawings inspired by the story of Hagar in Genesis, at Lookout Gallery in Vancouver. View a selection of Tan's work in her online gallery. 

✦ Today's video is an interview with Gunther Uecker of Germany: "Gunther Uecker Interview: Poetry Made with a Hammer" at Louisiana Channel:

Günther Uecker Interview: Poetry Made with a Hammer from Louisiana Channel on Vimeo.

Gunther Uecker at Levy Gorvy Gallery

Exhibitions Here and There

✭ South Carolina artist Mary Edna Fraser presents her gorgeous narrative landscapes in "Rising Tides", a solo exhibition beginning July 5 at Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center, Washington, D.C. To continue through August 26, the show features Fraser's aerial views of Earth that she has transcribed onto silk using dyes and the medium of batik. The landscapes, which are gorgeous, document regions of the world threatened by climate change. See Fraser's galleries of batiks, monotypes, and oils on her Website.

Mary Edna Fraser, Aerial Lace
Batik on Silk Lace, 76" x 54"
© Mary Edna Fraser

Read Stephanie Hunt's article "Force of Nature" (May 2017) in Charleston magazine.

If you love Fraser's work but cannot afford her originals, take a look at her beautiful silk scarves and silk rugsgiclees on paper, limited to 100 prints, also are available.

Mary Edna Fraser on FaceBook

Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center on FaceBook 

✭ Continuing through December 3 at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, is "All the Flowers Are for Me", an immersive installation by cross-disciplinary artist Anila Quayyum Agha that features floral forms inspired by Persian and Turkish architecture, textiles, and miniature paintings. 

"All the Flowers Are for Me" Installation
Lacquered Steel with Powder Coating and Halogen Bulb
Photo Credit: Ken Sawyer/PEM

Read Susan Flynn's post, "Seeing the World in a New Light" (October 2016), at Connected, PEM's blog.

Anila Quayyum Agha on FaceBook, Instagram, and Vimeo

Peabody Essex Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Santa Fe's New Mexico Museum of Art has placed on view work from its collection that examines how New Mexico artists have imagined and reimagined the state. Continuing through September 17, "Imagining New Mexico" considers the artists' responses to land, traditions, and histories as they relate to the state's identity. Among the artists represented in the show are Gustave Baumann, Helen Cordero, Laura Gilpin, Peter Hurd, William Lumpkins, Maria Martinez, Georgia O'Keeffe, and Fritz Scholder.

New Mexico Museum of Art on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ Thirty masterful landscape paintings by Texan Julian Onderdonk (1882-1922) can be seen in "Julian Onderdonk and the Texan Landscape", continuing through August 31 at the Art Museum of South Texas, which is affiliated with Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi. Images can be seen at the exhibition link. Works in the show have been loaned by museums and private collectors.

Accompanying the exhibition, which already has been to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and San Antonio Museum of Art, is Julian Onderdonk: A Catalogue Raisonne (Museum of Fine Arts Houston/Yale University Press, October 2016) by Harry Halff and Elizabeth Halff. 

Catalogue Raisonne Cover Art

Art Museum of South Texas on FaceBook

✭ The "Other People's Pictures" exhibition at Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, opens July 14. The show, intended to examine how snapshots were used by amateur photographers, presents (through September 17) 200 small black-and-white vernacular photographs from the early- and mid-20th Century, primarily images of American women, all gifts to the center by collector Peter J. Cohen.

Untitled, Gelatin Silver Print
Collection of Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center
Vassar College
Gift of Peter J. Cohen
Accession #2015.12.1.116

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Thursday's Three on Art

Today, Thursday's Three introduces you, via video interviews, to three artists: Sophia Dawson, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, and Vaimoana, each of whom explores through and is dedicated to using her art to heighten awareness of social issues. All three are worthy of greater recognition.

Sophia Dawson (aka "Wet Paint") of Brooklyn, New York, uses art to tell the stories of people seeking to overcome the barriers and other injustices they face.

Tatyana Fazlalizadeh is a painter, muralist, and illustrator who addresses in her street art social issues such as racism and sexism. Her recently exhibited project Not Going Anywhere, a series of wheatpasted portraits of American artists and activists, aims to challenge post-election misogyny and xenophobia. Another of her projects, Stop Telling Women to Smile, concerned with street harassment, was exhibited in the city streets of Brooklyn, Chicago, Atlanta, Paris, and Mexico City. Be sure to take a look at Fazlalizadeh's recent portraits in oil on canvas. Fazlalizadeh is a 2015 "Forbes 30 Under 30" recipient.

✭ Tongan Vaimoana, who was among more than 40 artists and scholars who in 2016 participated in the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center's "Crosslines: A Culture Lab of Intersectionality", describes herself as a community muralist. Her Sunset Park, Brooklyn, project We Come From the Future, featuring women, women of color, indigenous women, and immigrant women examined women's relationships, especially those of mothers, grandmothers, and daughters, by celebrating their voices and sharing their often-too-invisible stories. The project came about when, in 2014, Vaimoana received a grant to produce a mural for the community-based nonprofit organization Turning Point, which offers free housing, health, and social services programs to the community. Vaimoana completed her project in 2015.

Vaimoana also is a poet, writer, actor, playwright, filmmaker, and educator.

(My thanks to the Brooklyn-based cultural programmer BRIC | BRIC Arts Media.)

BRIC TV on FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wednesday Artist: Margrethe Odgaard

For more than a decade, designer Margrethe Odgaard of Denmark has used color diaries to "see more specifically" — to document her environment and its surroundings and objects so that she can remain "open [to] a new dimension inside as well as outside" herself.

Below, in a brief video interview with Louisiana Channel, Odgaard explains what she does, how, and why. She was interviewed at her studio in Copenhagen in February 2016.

Winner in 2016 of the Torsten och Wanja Soderbergs Prize, a prestigious design award, Odgaard is part of Included Middle, which she co-founded with furniture designer Chris L. Halstrom. In the past, she has collaborated with a number of famous brands, including Georg Jensen. She was educated at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, and worked as a printing assistant at The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, and as a textile designer for EPICE, a French fashion company.

Currently, Odgaard is enjoying through August 27 an exhibition at Designmuseo, Helsinki, Finland.

Margrethe Odgaard Website

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

'Dear Domenico'

From award-winning filmmaker Kate Jessop, the mixed-media, 2D animation Dear Domenico presents a poetic letter from Stefano Gabanna to Domenico Dolce. The letter relates the breakup of the Gabanna-Dolce relationship and their fashion label's evolution.

Commissioned by Festival delle Lettere (Milan), the film uses stop-motion, fabric collage, and digital drawing.

Jessop is a co-founder of Girls on Film.

Dear Domenico - English subtitles from Kate Jessop on Vimeo.

Kate Jessop Website

Kate Jessop films Blog

See more of Jessop's promotional, narrative, and non-narrative films.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Monday Muse: 'We Real Cool' (Video)

This year marks the centennial of the birth of the highly influential poet Gwendolyn Brooks (June 7, 1917 - December 3, 2000). Adding to the many other forms of recognition of the centennial is the charming video below, produced by the Poetry Foundation. From Manual Cinema in association with Crescendo Literary, the video uses paper-cut puppetry to imagine what inspired Brooks to write her famous poem "We Real Cool". The story is by Eve Ewing and Nate Marshall and the music by Jamila Woods and Ayanna Woods; the director is Drew Dir of Manual Cinema.

Commissioned by the Poetry Foundation for the centenary is a live, staged production of No Blue Memories: The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, by Eve L. Ewing and Nate Marshall; it premieres this November.

The Life of Gwendolyn Brooks, Louisiana Tech University

Gwendolyn Brooks Obituary (The New York Times)

Gwendolyn Brooks Page at Buffalo University, The Circles' Association

Gwendolyn Brooks Center, Chicago State University

Gwendolyn Brooks Cultural Center, Western Illinois University

Gwendolyn Brooks House, City of Chicago

Karen Grigsby Bates, "Remembering the Great Poet Gwendolyn Brooks at 100", NPR, May 29, 2017

Chicago Public Library, "Gwendolyn Brooks: Chicago's Poet", June 1, 2017

Betsy Schlabach, "The Love Between Langton Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks", Black Perspectives (AAIHS), February 13, 2017

"Frost? Williams? No, Gwendolyn Brooks", The Pulitzer Prizes 

Peter Kahn, Ravi Shankar, and Patricia Smith (Eds.), The Golden Shovel Anthology: New Poems Honoring Gwendolyn Brooks (University of Arkansas Press, January 2017)

Quraysh Ali Lansana and Sandra Jackson-Opoku (Eds.), Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks (Curbside Splendor, January 2017)

Quraysh Ali Lansana and Georgia Popoff (Eds.), The Whiskey of Our Discontent: Gwendolyn Brooks as Conscience and Change Agent (Haymarket Books, Spring 2017)

Centennial Brooks - A Tribute Celebration, The University of Chicago (April 6-8, 2017)

Gwendolyn Brooks Centennial Poetry Prize, Furious Flower Poetry Center, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Our Miss Brooks 100 (This is an excellent site.)

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Thought for the Day

If something is to be destroyed
please don't leave traces behind.
~ Liu Xia

Quoted from "Chaos" in Liu Xia's Empty Chairs: Selected Poems (Graywolf Press, 2015), Bilingual Edition, Trans.: Ming Di and Jennifer Stern; page 53

Liu Xia, Chinese Poet and Artist; Wife of Poet, Activist, and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Winner Liu Xiaobo 

Read "Twilight" from Empty Chairs.

Note: Liu Xiaobo was released from prison on June 26, 2017. Read "Chinese Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo Released from Prison, Suffering from Liver Cancer", The Washington Post, June 26, 2017.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday Short

Today's short introduces the Bridge Theatre, a new performance art space opening this fall in London, next to Tower Bridge. The theatre of 900 seats will debut with Young Marx (October 18 - December 31) and, through the winter and spring, plans to present Julius Caesar (January 20 - April 15, 2018) and Nightfall (April 28 - June 3, 2018). Memberships are available.

(My thanks to the British Council for the link.)

Bridge Theatre on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

Friday, June 23, 2017

All Art Friday

All Art Friday

All Art Friday Spotlights

✦ Word is out that the Renwick Gallery, part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and scene of the immensely popular 2015-2016 "Wonder" show, plans "the first ever major exhibition" of monumental art installations created for Burning Man in Black Rock City, Nevada. The exhibition, titled "No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man", will open March 30, 2018, and conclude September 16, 2018. Read the details in the gallery's exhibition announcement.

✦ If your artistic tastes run to desert landscapes, cloudscapes, and desert blooms and flowers, take a look at Doug West's paintings at Blue Rain Gallery (Santa Fe, New Mexico), Leslie Levy Fine Art (Scottsdale, Arizona), and Ro Gallery (Long Island City, New York). West has had scores of solo shows and his collectors number in the thousands.

Doug West in Taos Artist Guide

Doug West Paintings at Blue Rain on FaceBook

✦ Artist Martin Roth created in mid-town Manhattan in May 2017 an urban garden "nurtured by tweets", specifically, the tweets of the president of the United States. See "I cultivated a piece of land...." and read Claire Voon's Hyperallergic article "A Field of Lavender Nourished by Trump's Tweets".

✦ A filmmaker you've probably never heard of but should learn about: Alice Guy-Blache.

✦ If you're a fan of salads, Salad for President: A Cookbook Inspired by Artists, by Julia Sherman, will visually enrich your life even before you choose a recipe.

Cover Art

Julia Sherman is both an artist and a cook who writes at the blog Salad for President. The book is on tour.

Salad for President on FaceBook and Instagram

✦ Here's a behind-the-scenes look at Gary, Indiana's project "ArtHouse: A Social Kitchen". Opening this fall, the cultural center for culinary and visual art will feature public art and spaces for community gatherings. Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, it will provide local residents and new businesses with access to a commercial training kitchen, feature a pop-up cafe as well as gallery and exhibition spaces, and promote dinners in Gary residents' homes and at the cafe. Chicago-based Theaster Gates is the artistic director.

ArtHouse on FaceBook

Theaster Gates's Rebuild Foundation

✦ Immediately below is the trailer for Yarn (2016), directed by Una Lorenzen with co-directors and producers Heather Millard and Thordur Jonsson. The movie, which can be seen in its entirety on Netflix, introduces artists engaged in innovative knitting and crocheting. 

Yarn: the Movie on FaceBook

Exhibitions Here and There (Washington, D.C., Edition)

✭ Continuing through September 10 at the Hirshhorn Museum is "Markus Lupertz: Threads of History". Concentrated on the pioneering early works of the German artist, from 1962 to 1975, the exhibition presents for the first time in the United States Lupertz's 40-foot-long West Wall (Siegfried Line) and more than 30 other paintings reflecting the artist's exploration of abstract expressionism, Pop art, and German postwar culture. The Hirshhorn exhibition coincides with a complementary exhibition at The Philipps Collection, "Markus Lupertz", which spans the neo-expressionist painter's entire career, from the 1960s to today; the show continues through September 3. The Phillips show features the 1982 painting The Large Spoon. A catalogue jointly produced by the museums and including new scholarship is available. The two exhibitions, which together feature almost 100 works, mark the museums' first formal collaboration.

Markus Lupertz at Michael Werner Gallery (Lupertz is showing in "New Paintings" through July 7.)

Hirshhorn Museum on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ At the National Museum for Women in the Arts, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, you'll find "Revival", featuring work by contemporary sculptors and photo-based artists, including Louise Bourgeois, Petah Coyne, Lalla Essaydi, Polly Morgan, Alison Saar,  Beverly Semmes, and Joana Vasconcelos. Media include video projections, large-scale images, hanging sculptures, and work composed of hair, yarn, velvet, marble, wax, brambles, or taxidermy birds. The exhibition continues through September 10.

Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #20, 2014
Chromogenic Print Mounted on Aluminum
30" x 40"
© Lalla Essaydi
Photo Credit: Miller Yezerski Gallery

NMWA on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube

✭ The summer exhibitions at Katzen Arts Center at American University Museum opened June 17. Among them are a retrospective of the paintings of Val Lewton, "Val Lewton: From Hollywood to Breezewood"; and "Frederic Kellogg: Works in Oil and Watercolor", a selection of landscapes featuring both watercolors and paintings in oil on canvas. Each show is on view through August 13.

Kellogg will demonstrate watercolor painting en plein air tomorrow, June 24, 2:00 p.m., in "Painting with Frederic Kellogg". A gallery talk on the Val Lewton exhibition is scheduled for July 13, 6:30 p.m. 

Frederic Kellogg, Bridge at Waldoboro Bridge, 2013
17" x 21"
Private Collection

American University Museum on FaceBook and Instagram

✭ Donald Sultan's industrial landscape series, the Disaster Paintings, continues on view through September 4 at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum. Work in the exhibition, "Donald Sultan: The Disaster Paintings", is composed with industrial materials such as tar and Masonite tiles and based on events Sultan read about in his daily newspaper. The show comprises 12 paintings dating from 1984 to 1990, including Plant, May 29, 1985, from the collection of the Hirshhorn Museum. Organized by Ft. Worth's Modern Art Museum, the show will open at two other museums, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh (September 23 - December 31), and Sheldon Museum of Art, Lincoln, Nebraska (January 24 - May 13, 2018), upon its conclusion in Washington, which was the third stop of a five-city national tour. It already has appeared at Modern Art Museum, Ft. Worth, and Lowe Art Museum, Miami. A catalogue is available (see image below).

Catalogue Cover Art

SAAM on FaceBookInstagram, and YouTube

✭ The exhibition "Connections: Contemporary Craft at the Renwick Gallery" is ongoing. The show at the Renwick, part of the Smithsonian American Art Gallery, places on display more than 80 objects that celebrate craft as a discipline and approach to how life is lived. All of the objects are from the gallery's permanent collection and include new acquisitions, among them: John Grade's Shoal (Bone Shoal Sonance), Judith Schaechter's The Birth of Eve, Marie Watt's Edson's Flag, and Akio Takamori's Woman and Child, all of which are being presented for the first time. Also on view is work by metalsmith Jennifer Crupi. The connections the artworks make are both explicit and subtle.

SAAM on FaceBook, Instagram, and YouTube