New Events and Publications

 

Digigrams forthcoming in Brooklyn Rail, Live Mag!, Local Knowledge and Downtown Brooklyn.
5 Digigrams in Recluse, Issue 13, 2017
5 Digigrams in Pete Spence Magazine 2017
3 Digigrams in Rascal, Issue 1, 2017

On March 3, 2016, I read for Don Yorty’s Blog, Explorations in Writing.  Here is the reading and some of the poems:  http://donyorty.com/blog/2016/03/13/barbara-henning-reads-from-a-day-like-today/

On Nov 27, 2015 I interviewed Patricia Spears Jones to discuss her new book, Lucent Fire: New and Selected Poems (White pine Press).   The interview was then published in The Poetry Project Newsletter (February/March 2016 Issue #246).  Now it is available on line at: http://www.poetryproject.org/15089-2/

Reviews of A DAY LIKE TODAY
A DAY LIKE TODAY is now available

“Just to Stay Afloat,” “In a Small Cloud,” “Hallelujah,” “Text Me Please,” and “Unnameable,” forthcoming in Boog Portable Reader Instant Anthology (2016).

New class starts on April 6, 2016  Writing Fiction: Image by Image.  This class is perfect for folks wanting supportive critical direction writing prose fiction while concentrating on getting as particular as possible, learning from Japanese haiku masters.   http://writers.com/classes/building-fiction-image-image

6 Week Poetry Workshop at The Poets House beginning Saturday, April 23, 2016: The Prose Poem and Poetic Prose.  Register

 

Classes on Writers.com for 2015

For more information on these courses or to register, go to Writers.com

Flash Fiction: Writing the Short Short Story (Begins 5 Jan). In this course we experiment with writing tiny fictions using many poetic forms and constraints to generate narrative. We read other examples and some theory. I have taught the identical course (except shorter here) for the MFA Program at Naropa and at Long Island University, as well as the Poetry Center in Tucson and The Poets House in NYC.

Poetic Prose and the Prose Poem: Poetry and Fiction (Begins 2 Mar).  This course is a combination of a workshop course and a reading sequence about various experimental writing movements. I have taught the identical course (except shorter here) for the MFA Program at Naropa and at Long Island University, as well as the Poetry Center in Tucson and The Poets House in NYC.

From Journal to Poem or Prose (4 May)

Flash Fiction: Writing the Short Short Story (6 July)

Poetic Prose and the Prose Poem (1 Sept)

From FLASH to SUDDEN to SHORT FICTION (2 Nov)

Flash Fiction: Writing the Short Short Story (4 Jan 2016)

Poetic Prose and the Prose Poem: Poetry and Fiction (7 Mar 2016)

My Upcoming Classes at Writers.com

As many of you know, I teach several ten-week on-line classes for Writers.com. Many of these courses I also teach in MFA Programs. The cost to enroll is minimal compared with the universities..

My upcoming schedule is:

“Poetic Prose: The Prose Poem” begins on 9/17/12. This course is a combination of a workshop course and a reading sequence about various experimental writing movements. I teach the identical course (except shorter here) for the MFA Program at Naropa and at Long Island University, as well as the Poetry Center in Tucson and The Poets House in NYC.

“Borderline Writing: A Writing/Lit Class” begins on 10/1/12. In this course we read several works that bridge the novel and poetry. Journal Writing and Fiction/Poetry workshop. I have taught this course for the Poetry Center in Tucson and also the MFA Program at Long Island University.

“Flash Fiction: Writing the Short-Short Story” begins on 12/3/12. In this course we experiment with writing tiny fictions using many poetic forms and constraints to generate narrative. We read other examples and some theory. I teach the identical course (except shorter here) for the MFA Program at Naropa and at Long Island University, as well as the Poetry Center in Tucson and The Poets House in NYC.

Full Descriptions of the Courses are here
My Classes at Writers.com

The Annual Akilah Oliver Memorial Reading

In Aporia: The Annual Akilah Oliver Memorial Reading

September 19, 2012 at 7pm

Lang Café, Eugene Lang College
65 W 11th street

The annual Akilah Oliver Memorial Reading at The New School honors the memory of Akilah Oliver, a radical poet, professor, feminist, and activist. The second of this annual reading series, this event will feature the work of Nick Von Kleist, Krystal Languell, Wendy S. Walters, and Eileen Myles.

Nick Von Kleist is a current senior at Eugene Lang College of the New School, where he studies Literature, Chinese and Fine Arts. Nick has been published on the online zine ShortfastandDeadly in London, where he also did many readings at the Woodburner. In New York, Nick has read at Bowwow at the Bowery Poetry Center.

Krystal Languell is a graduate of the MFA program at New Mexico State University, where she won the Mercedes Jacobs Thesis Award. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, was published by BlazeVox in 2011. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, DIAGRAM, esque and elsewhere, and her reviews and interviews have been published online at NewPages and Coldfront. Founder of the feminist literary journal Bone Bouquet, she is part of the Belladonna Collaborative in Brooklyn and teaches writing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and Pratt Institute.

Wendy S. Walters is the author of Troy, Michigan (forthcoming from Futurepoem Books in 2013), Longer I Wait, More You Love Me (2009) and a chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles (2005), both published by Palm Press (Long Beach, CA). She is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry. Walters’ poetry has been recognized with residency fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell, Cave Canem and Yaddo, and her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Los Angeles Review, Callaloo, HOW2, Natural Bridge, Seneca Review and the Yalobusha Review, among several others. She has been a nominee for the Essay Prize and her prose has been published or is forthcoming in Bookforum, The Iowa Review, Coldfront, Seneca Review, Seattle Review, and Harper’s Magazine. She is also a co-founder of the First Person Plural Reading Series in Harlem with Amy Benson and Stacy Parker Le Melle.

Eileen Myles is from Boston and moved to New York in 1974 to be a poet. Eileen has published 18 collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction most recently Snowflake/different streets (poetry), and Inferno (a poet’s novel). Also The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009) for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capital art writers grant. She is a 2012 Guggenheim fellow. She lives in New York.

Interview of Harry Mathews

A year ago or so, I interviewed Harry Mathews about Oulipo and women and about politics of the members and such. This interview will be published by Critiphoria/Eoagh in their next issue. Because the interview started in response to a correction to the preface of LOOKING UP HARRYETTE MULLEN, it is now posted on Belladonna. It is a very interesting interview. Please check it out

Here’s the website —

www.belladonnaseries.org/images/reviews/harry_mathews_interview.pdf//

Georgia Marsh

Georgia Marsh is a dear friend and collaborator. I absolutely love her paintings, watercolors, whatever she does–the transformation of line and color, the delicacy, and celebration and transformation of material, sense, intellect, emotion, etc. We met in the early nineties at an art colony in the Catskills. We wandered through the forests, spending our days with Georgia drawing and me writing. Anyhow, I want to share her website with you, all of you.

Here’s the website —

http://www.georgiamarsh.net//

Harris Schiff’s One More Beat (Accent Editions)

What I noticed when I left New York City was that when I wasn’t here, I wasn’t here, even though I had been here for a very long time. We New Yorkers are always moving so fast and the clock on Union Square keeps flashing new numbers and new poets arrive all the time from here and there and old ones stay or migrate elsewhere. I arrived in New York in 1983, a few months before Ted Berrigan died, and it was like the end of an era that I had missed. But Harris Schiff was there and in his new book, One More Beat (Accent Editions), he writes a phenomenal introduction, talking about how he became a poet and who was there and where and how the East Village poetry scene fit into the greater political world of the USA back then and today.

Following Harris’s introduction is an introduction Ted Berrigan gave when Harris read at the Poetry Project on May 18, 1977. And then interspersed between Harris’s poems is a set of photos by Monica Claire Antonie of Harris, Ted, Susan Cataldo, Lewis Warsh, Burroughs, Bernadette Mayer, Rudy Burckhardt, John Godfrey and many others. Reading the introduction, Ted’s introduction, the photographs, and then the poems is like quickly living through those years with Harris. There is a wonderful collaboration between Harris and Ted, “Love Song.” This book is a must read for anyone who wants to know what was going on in the 70’s and early 80’s with poetry in the East Village. I was sitting in Quantum Leap reading the poems, and when I finished, I felt like weeping. Sometimes when life is good, you suffer a lot afterwards.

Go to this website for more information: http://www.accenteditions.com/

 

Bill Kushner’s Walking After Midnight. (Spuyten Duyvil 2011)

I have a stack of books to read by my bedside and a journal. When I finally crawl into bed, usually just after midnight, I pick up the journal and I write one page. Then I start reading the book on the top. Last week I read from Bill Kushner’s new book Walking After Midnight. I loved reading these story poems. Some of them are childhood memories, others veer off into an imaginary life, sometimes like a fairy tale. I found myself more than once lying in bed laughing. I’m putting three that I really liked here.

HUMMER

“I’ll tell you nothing,” he said, as we drove along.
I could almost count the poles as we sped along.
And my father hummed. He was a hummer. I
looked up and saw the clouds holding up the sky.
“You’re not gonna see me,” my father said, “once
we get there.” And then he sort of chuckled, a
funny sound. “I mean,” he went on, “that I am
just gonna disappear.” Ahead, I saw a kid on the
side of the highway, holding out his thumb. The
kid looked hot. The sun was out and it was hot.
I could see he was almost soaking wet in sweat.
My father just drove by. “You could’ve stopped
for him, Dad,” I said. “It would’ve been like a nice
thing to do.” Immediately, my Dad stopped the
car, and we both lurched forward, then back. “You
wanna get out and walk it? he queried. I thought
about it and swallowed. “No, sir, I don’t” “Don’t
what?” “Don’t wanna walk it, sir.” He stared hard
at me for one long minute. I could see the cactus,
sky and the mountains in the far far distance, as he
kept on staring. i could see the kid sort of running
in a funny hop towards us, my father’s car. “So
do we understand each other from now on?” my
father asked me. “Do we understand each other at
last?” Thick silence, and I had to answer. “Yes, sir,
Dad.” “Yes, sir, what, boy? I said yes, sir, what?”
“Sir, we understand each other at last.” My father’s
arms shot up as if in a weird kind of victory. “At
last!” he said, almost breathless. “At last!” By now
the kid had almost reached the car, and he had one
arm out as if to quick grab at the handle of it, my
father’s sky blue car. And I could see the kid’s eyes
kind of crazy scared eyes. “Good,” my father said,
as he gunned the motor, and away we drove real fast.

THE LITTLE DEER

The witch said, “The deer! The little deer! Run
after the deer and capture him, my little darling,
and you shall be king! So I did what the witch
told me. I ran and I ran, but that little deer was a
fast one, and always leaped ahead, just out of reach.
Suddenly, there I was, in the heart of the forbidden
forest, and I was alone, for the little deer was gone.
“Who is that under me?” asked the talking tree.
“It’s me,” I answered, “your little king.” “You’re not
my little king!” replied the tree. “you’re just a lost
and frightened little boy, aren’t you? Afraid that
someone will eat you? Afraid you’ll never find your
way back home?” “Yes, tree,” I said, for it was true.
“Climb a bit up me, little boy, and I’ll try to protect
you. I’ll try to find someone to guide you out of this
forest you are lost within.” Just then, a riderless
white horse came along. “Oh dear me, oh dear me,”
said the sad horse. “For the Prince of this strange
kingdom and I went out riding, but the Prince he
strangely fell off me, he fell to the ground where he
is now unconscious, and I can’t wake him for the
life of me, oh dear!” “Then let this little boy ride on
you, and take him where the strange Prince lies. I do
believe the boy has the magic to wake the Prince up!”
So there I was, riding on the white horse. “Hold me
tight, boy!” the horse commanded, and soon there we
were before the sleeping Prince. “Do your magic,
boy!” the horse whispered. So I bent over the Prince
who was so handsome why I kissed him on his lips, and
that kiss seemed to do it. The Prince awoke and lifted
his head toward me. “Is it you, boy?” he asked. “Yes,”
I said, “oh yes!” “You’ve saved me, boy! Why I was
lost in a dream of wolves and dragons!” “It was my duty
and my honor, sir!” “Then come and we shall ride back
to my kingdom, boy, and you shall stay at my side forever,
for who knows when I shall need that magic kiss again!”
And so it came true, for I find there is no denying the
command of a handsome Prince. Could I? Could you?

CHIWAWAS

Did you know chiwawas are descended
from wolves? Do not get a chiwawa mad at
you or he’ll bite your head off and eat it for
lunch. I saw a chiwawa eat a sheep once,
and then knit himself a sweater with the
leftover wool. He says you got a secret.
A chiwawa can tell if you got a secret. A
chiwawa can smell your secret in you, and
spell it out. “I’m gonna tell on you, sucka,”
my chiwawa whispers when we go for a walk.
Sometimes I just wanna kill my naughty chiwawa,
but I love my little Chi Chi too much. At night, as
we sleep together, and he howls at the moon in
my ear, I just wanna kiss him all over, my sweet
little sweetheart Chi Chi, my very darling dear.

Rebecca Brown’s The Terrible Girls

Last month I read Rebecca Brown’s The Terrible Girls. It is a curious, combination of dream-story and science fiction, a bit like The Twilight Zone with a touch of sado-masochisism, the characters allowing themselves to be wo-manhandled or doing the handling themselves. The “The Dark House” is one of my favorite.

In “The Dark House” a woman pursues the one she desires, by doing anything and everything for her. She grovels, becomes the coffee-cart girl, the hidden one, serving the conference star, her would-be lover, who blabs on and on at the podium with out-dated information. We have no idea what the conference is about. It’s just in that middle realm of conference twilight zone. Someday, someway the girl will have the one she desires. Just “do things right” and “We are going to be part of a fine and lovely and long and true tradition.” A kiss in the elevator and then out the door they go, running away from the conference. The coffee-cart girl carts the conference star on her back with her twisted ankle across a river and through the woods. Ah, here they are. Now you go away, the dominatrix demands, her ankle apparently recovered. A figure is in the house waiting for the desired-one. Brown carefully avoids telling us whether this figure upstairs is a man or a woman. And then she kicks the coffee-cart girl out and makes love to this other one, leaving the curtain open just a bit, with a promise, perhaps, for the coffee cart girl, too. The coffee-cart girl is a curious character, desiring someone who is so vacant and so demanding, and still wanting her, with a terrible driving desire.

“The Ruined City” reminds me a little of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Everything is ruined and beware of the gangs of roaming girls. No men here except Lord Bountiful. The narrator and her girlfriend hide from the terrible girls who fight over what they steal. The city they left behind before the disaster—they are here now searching for something the narrator left behind, “what was left of me,” something hidden under the mat. “I tried to pick up what they’d hacked from me but I was weak and it was very heavy.” Parts of her body? Too heavy she had to leave “it” behind. Her lover has super psychic powers. Kinesiology? She can hold her hands over the earth. Here it is here, she says. The bag is there and it’s rotted away, “the resurrected heart.” She gets her heart back like the tin man.

When I read these stories, I sometimes have the sense that the fictional writer is writing out of revenge, to get back at some lover, striving for fantastic fictional revenge. And there are these odd objects in each story that are pursued and hunted, usually without resolution, an “it”, a bag, a box, a body part. And the language of the stories moves from straight action and description into poetic prose. It’s very hip writing, laying out with a kind of glee the damage love can do.