Archive | May, 2007

Frances McCue in White Center talking about Richard Hugo

Kreg Hasegawa is hosting a reading with Frances McCue on Sunday June 3, West Seattle Public Library, 2-3 PM. Frances will present a lecture and discussion on Richard Hugo, a poet who was born and raised in White Center.

Hugo’s poetry made him internationally known and created a loyal following. His celebrated poems artfully evoke the intimacy of the Pacific Northwest’s austere majesty, its abandoned towns, and its people. Currently, she is finishing a memoir called “Chasing Richard Hugo,” a book about her obsession with the deceased poet and his work.

Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required.

CONTACT INFO: West Seattle Branch 206-684-7444 or Ask a Librarian ADDRESS: West Seattle Branch 2306 42nd Ave. S.W. Seattle, WA 98116

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Star Wars + Wikipedia = Space Junk

Star Wars WikipediaWikipedia’s inaccuracies put forth by people interested in defaming famous figures is well documented. I still find the communal junk heap of information useful in the same way I find I find a casual search in Google useful: it will tell me what people are thinking and what people have felt strongly enough to post. I have long ago lost any sense that what I’m reading is actually factually accurate, but I do take a random webpage to have some insight into whatever subject I’m trying to read. When I want to find facts, though, I consult ProQuest and hope the newspaper article I pull has been fact checked.

Yesterday I found myself reading the voluminousness and apparently rapidly growing body of knowledge of Star Wars. And realized that Wikipedia easily has more information relating to George Lucas’s fantasy life than it does to the entire city of Seattle or the Pacific Northwest. I discovered that Jedi when using lightsabers use eight historical combat styles. Yoda and Darth Maul use Form IV – Ataru which means the Jedi uses the Force to throw around their body. Darth Maul is that face-tattooed guy from the first of the new movies played a marital artist who threw himself around. Yoda flitted around in the same series during sword fights, a random green CGI blob.

I’m enough of a geek that it didn’t occur to me that I was reading this on the web’s version of the encyclopedia. It didn’t occur until I began to the history of the Jedi space craft that these entries put to bed the entire idea of inaccuracies about famous people, the infiltration of the entire Wikipedia encyclopedia with the gnats of buzz marketers, that the entire foundation of a communal repository of fact is flawed since it assumes that fact has any kind of residence inside the communal mind.

Even if we were able to create a digital version of Borge’s Library of Babel, I suspect people would spend more of their time consulting this complete set of all human knowledge looking for information on Star Wars or Lost or finding crackpot theological scrolls. Well, maybe not everyone, but I would.

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Live Tonight: The Genuine Charles Potts

Charles Potts will be reading with Anna Maria Hong, Susan Landgraf, and Howard W. Robertson tonight as Jack Straw Production at 7 p.m. free or suggested donation. In anticipation, here is a video of the The Charles Potts Magic Windmill Band, named after Mr. Potts.

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Theodore Roethke, No Northwest

Theodore Roethke is not a Northwest Poet I just read a biography of Theodore Roethke — and toward the beginning of his career there is a bit about how much of an operator Robert Lowell (Roethke’s rival, Robert Frost (previous generation) and Roethke were — they were always writing letters, sending postcards, and working at dazzling influential critics. Roethke had Louis Brogan who pretty much paved the way for him. I’m not that cynical about it — I mean if Roethke or Frost or Lowell weren’t writing very good poetry it wouldn’t have gotten them far I suppose. But on the other hand I can’t help but think they were also all creatures of this system. Anyway it is a very interesting biography by Allan Seager (a famous Michigan novelist and teacher who has faded into obscurity) called The Glass House.

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Jack Straw Writers 2007 – May Readings

Jack Straw Writers 2007

Beginning on Thursday next week I’d like to invite you to the performances and recording of the 2007 Jack Straw Writers. Musicians Paul Rucker (5/24) and Dennis Driscoll (5/31) will play music. Writers Willie Smith, Kathryn Trueblood, Laurie Bluaner, Doug Nufer, Anna Maria Hong, Howard W. Robertson, Charles Potts, Susan Landgraf, Cheryl Strayed, Corrina Wycoff, Molly Tenenbaum, and Vis-A-Vis Society will read. Each event will happen at the Jack Straw Studios (4261 Roosevelt Way NE; Seattle’s U District) at 7 P.M. May 17, 24, 31. The 2007 Jack Straw Anthology will be available. In addition, a podcast and blog featuring these writers is already underway at:

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Dennis Driscoll at Jack Straw Productions

Dennis Driscoll is going to perform with the Jack Straw Writers 2007 on the May 31st reading. I’m looking forward to hearing him. I found this video of his, filmed in Astoria circa 2000.

Check out the Jack Straw Writers site for a promo for the reading series which starts next week.

Paul Rucker will be making music and sounds on May 24th. In addition, he an interactive audio and video installation at Jack Straw.

I’ll post the schedule of the whole series soon.

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Poets and Writers Reading Program

I received this note from Poets and Writers this morning, I think because I’ve been funded by them (generously, thanks) in the past.

Dear Writer,

The Readings/Workshops program at Poets & Writers is planning to launch an

e-newsletter about our grant program and the opportunities it offers. We

would love your feedback on the ideas we have for the newsletter. Please

click here to fill out this very short survey, which will help us serve you


As I filled out the survey I became kind of flummoxed because underneath the survey it made a number of odd assumptions, and it struck me that an e-newsletter would be a lost opportunity for Poets & Writers and myself, since I’m hungry for real information about how writers actually made the business of writing work. This kind of Poets & Writers mission, although there is an element of their magazine that engages what I call writer-porn, that is presenting writing is a series of glamorous summer retreats, award ceremonies, and earnest discussions about “craft,” when in fact my experience is short on this qualities and long on waking up early and staring at a computer screen wondering why I don’t sleep and stare at a computer screen for a cause that actually pays something, you know, like a job.

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