Sunday, October 28, 2007

it's still saturday night, right?...

feeling my Old Nat/Colli Park roots (direct from my hood, mentioned in the song)...

maybe the greatest hip hop group ever.

"oh yea-er"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

go buy this, part three...

I'm damn pleased to announce the official release of my new chap, Next Exit: Five from Kendra Steiner Editions:

here are the kind words from Bill regarding this release:

The newest entry in our Next Exit series—-collections of poems rooted in particular towns and steeped in a deep sense of place—-is also the first solo Next Exit chapbook. When I asked Georgia-based poet Christopher Cunningham to submit some material for a future NE installment, I was assuming I’d pair him with someone else, as we’d done in the first four volumes. However, after reading the poems he sent, I felt they had such power and immediacy and diversity that he deserved an entire chapbook to himself, and here it is: NEXT EXIT: FIVE (KSE #69).

With so much flat-prose-broken-up-into-lines and so many clever-slogans-that-belong-on-a-bumpersticker being passed of as poetry, what a joy it is to read someone whose rich yet lean poetic language seems sculpted, who combines power and passion and rage with sensitivity and understatement. These ten new poems—-never before available anywhere and written especially for this project—-take the reader on a deeply-felt tour of Southern places and we experience the joy and the pain of people trapped in or bravely trying to transcend their environment. The perfectly chosen details in each poem expand in the reader’s mind but retain a sense of mystery and create a feeling of tension. This is a book you will come back to many a time, but that’s true of all Cunningham’s work.

Christopher Cunningham is author of a number of chapbooks, including THRU THE HEART OF THIS ANIMAL LIFE, from Liquid Paper Press; AND STILL THE NIGHT LEFT TO GO (a unique two-volume set, featuring both verse and correspondence that sets forth the philosophy behind the poet’s art and role in society, published by Bottle of Smoke Press) ; and, most recently, FLOWERS IN THE SHADOW OF THE STORM, just issued a few months ago by Sunnyoutside. He is also a key player in the Guerilla Poetics Project and publishes an excellent blog, UPRIGHT AGAINST THE SAVAGE HEAVENS.

Mr. Cunningham is a complete original—-he owes little to previous poets’ styles. This chap will probably not stay available very long (CC’s other books tend to sell out), so send that four dollar check today, made payable to Bill Shute, 8200 Pat Booker Rd. #399, San Antonio, Texas, 78233—or better yet, get three new releases for $10.00 postpaid in North America: Next Exit: Five; Misti Rainwater-Lites’ LULLABIES FOR JACKSON; and my own BRIDGE TO NOWHERE or DON’T LOOK BACK, whichever you prefer. There’s an offer you can’t refuse!

Europeans should order from Volcanic Tongue in Glasgow, which should have the book in stock by mid-November. Also, Kendra Steiner Editions has donated five copies of
NEXT EXIT: FIVE to the GPP store, so feel free to order it there and 100% of the proceeds will go toward keeping the GPP doing its important work. I'm also happy to trade for other authors' chapbooks--send me an e-mail if you are interested.
Thanks! Bill S.

I appreciate Bill's confidence and hope you support his dedicated press by buying one of his productions; he really cares about poetry and making sure the poems get to the readers. I've dealt with a shitload of editors, most good, some bad, and there are very few die-hards like Bill Shute. if any of you poem-monkeys out there get a chance to work with him, you'd better leap on it.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

go buy this, part 2...

William Taylor Jr. has an unbelievable book out by the good folks at Centennial Press called Words For Songs Never Written: New & Selected Poems. Bill is without a doubt one of the best writers in any sphere; his spare, tragic and beautiful poems speak with a unique voice, part confessional and part imagistic, creating moving snapshots of the human experience that sing with a hopeful melancholy and a determined endurance. Bill's work always gets many votes over at the GPP, and several of his poems can be found on GPP Broadsides. I highly advise anyone who cares about powerful literature presented by a press that truly cares about its output, from font to finish, to pick up a copy of this sure-to-be classic. I am.

you can check it out here

Monday, October 15, 2007

go buy this...

Johnny America has a print compilation that features, among others, the prose stylings of one Hosho McCreesh.

the website is a fine one with lots of great reads. go, buy, explore.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

this is...


in a wonderfully 1984/Kafkaesque way. I enjoy particularly how it's dismissed as crazy then immediately followed by confirmation that something like this has been in the works for decades.

probably nothing. silly paranoid protesters.

*definitely NOT the Model X-521 B to keep us safe from hippies*

Saturday, October 13, 2007

good shit...

got a check in the mail for poems.

there's nothing to compare with getting paid for writing poetry, no matter how infrequently it happens in our stupid fucking society.

gonna buy some wine and the rest I'll just squander.

saturday music fun...

my friends in the local band The Selmanaires are really doing well. they recently returned from a month-long tour with The Black Lips (recently on Conan's show; don't care for the Lips jangly punk, though) and played some really well-received shows. our 'alt-news' paper, Creative Loafing wrote em up here, and their bright-red 7" single has just been released (here's my signed copy):

you can listen to both songs on their Myspace page linked above, as well as a couple others. this is a damn good video of em performing at Georgia State University here in Atlanta:

these are some of the nicest motherfuckers you'll ever meet, and some damn good musicians ta boot. they definitely stand out among the post-punk retro-jangle thing happening around town these days.

and mathis plays in Noot d'Noot as well, who just had a 7" single release party at the local gallery Beep Beep, (a kick ass place for all types of art). all the sleeves were either letterpressed or hand spray-painted, and I got one of those printed by another very cool local artist on a Vandercook press:

I'm seriously limbering up my fingers and cleaning up my guitar to jam with the Noot real soon. I'm excited about something other than poetry for a change...

and lastly, check out local ladies Rising Appalachia and their brand of southern gothic bluegrass with a billie holiday gut wrenching, fog thru the trees sound. they're good, and they have a new album I'm gonna get real soon...

Friday, October 12, 2007

a review of Flowers

the Outsider Writer's Guild is running a review of my book.

if it sounds good to ya, you can buy it here and here. there aren't many copies left, I'm told, so get it while you can, kids.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

also this guy amuses me...

hardcore snark fortunately aimed at "Real Poetry," not us insignificant small pressers. I enjoy watching him work. he's found something he's good at (because the poems I've read of his don't do a damn thing for me): making fun of the same assholes and idiots in MFA/big money grant/workshop-land that I too find equally worthless*. the fraud and bullshit associated with rigged and expensive contests (and the suckers who enter most of them), the factory-like production of MFA's smearing their useless avant-garde turds all over the place and calling it poetry, the incestuous nature of Univ. mags, etc, is a perfect example of the banality of evil. deliberately obscure abstraction is to poetry as A. Gonzales is to reliable testimony (and the idea that poetry needs folks who don't "get it" in order to stand out as poetry is absurd; poetry's function ultimately is always to reveal a deeper truth about ourselves, to enable an understanding of that which we cannot readily grasp, and bullshit word games do not a good poem make. us chumps without the proper book learnin' just don't have the tools to appreciate Real Poetry, I suppose). and while ostensibly expanding the presence of Poetry in our society, writers like those being snarked above are simultaneously killing a poem's relevance to any readers other than poetic technicians. it's way fucking worse than the "tough guy" silliness that prevails among small press writers, with their chopped flat prose and drinking/woman/child/job/etc. problems. at least small press poems hurt in a good way. poems should speak in vibrating, electric language that actually has something to say, poems should be more than a display of learned technique, poems should be the distillation of our human essences.

anyway, the stuff on BAP is priceless indeed, as that book consistently makes me sad. and gassy.

*not all MFAs. just those who suck.

Friday, October 05, 2007

librarians who irritate other librarians...

I saw this article and thought, who cares? so the "gray haired shusher" stereotype is being replaced with the "hip/ironic/progressive/cool youngster" stereotype. it's good that the NYT mentions the mere existence of libraries, but in a culture of vapid voyeurism where the monopolization of information control, the rise of spin, the prevalence of opinion and agenda masquerading as fact and truth, the omnipresence of 'gadgets,' etc. result in a constantly distracted mass of humanity, books, reading, literature, and libraries become more and more irrelevant to the greater whole of society. whether the shelves are kept by hipsters or spinsters matters little. there isn't any real way to make the world of the imagination, the world of the mind, the world of books themselves mean as much as sunday afternoon football games or American Idol, isn't any way to drag a good poem into the realm of Television Sitcom Popularity, short of a massive realignment of cultural priorities. art, like spirituality, often reveals its necessity, its relevance, its intrinsic importance suddenly, personally, at unexpected times. it's almost never a commodity to be sold regularly, and I'd say that truth, the domain of art, has no place in a Culture of Frothing Consumption populated by a mutation of humanity, The Consumer. who cares if libraries are marginalized? The Market, diety to The Consumer, hath spoken. who cares if Britney's crotch/child custody issues are Most Important? who cares if OJ beats out information about the complete decline of the dollar? not me. I've got art as my crutch, an alert dog standing guard and a sharp eye on the horizon. poetry isn't dead, literature isn't dead, reading isn't dead, and those things won't perish because "that stuff" still matters to some of us, and always will; gathering places like libraries, repositories of our literary heritage, will always have patrons no matter how badly Google and the rest of the intertubes have crushed their world, no matter how Borders and Barnes & Noble take over the world of books. besides, it's nice to have hard copies somewhere backing up this tenuous and fleeting electronic world.

and hell, with the "hipening" of libraries, maybe someday the ten of us left who give a fuck can all go get a drink at our local branch and try to read some Hemingway while the d.js are spinning. that'll be cool.

oh, I did find some folks who care about that article, like this annoyed librarian for one. man, the Librarian World is tough. but fluff pieces that miss larger, overarching problems are typical of our current brand of information brokerage, with complete misdirection being the order of the day. remember, hip or not, red or blue, right or left, infighting over manufactured divides serves only to benefit Those Who Control Stuff, in whatever branch of life you choose, so it behooves everyone to ask questions and dig deeper for a more complete understanding of the truth.

myself, I'm just going to keep writing honest poems and stories to fill some books to populate the shelves to keep all the hip, annoyed librarians employed until the library jobs are outsourced to India or the apocalypse comes. and make sure to patronize libraries, even if it's just to hide some quality items in books because I have it on good authority they prefer poetry over pamphlet.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

go read...

Monday, October 01, 2007

coming soon...

on Thursday, the fantastic indy arts blog What To Wear During An Orange Alert will be featuring an interview with my buddy and all around kick ass poet Hosho McCreesh.

you should probably begin preparing yourself now for the event, otherwise you might perish from the sheer quality of this gentleman; a painter, poet, GPP Core Member and general renaissance man. you can't find his books anywhere right now, but he's got a couple coming out not-soon-enough from Bottle of Smoke Press and Hemispherical Press, so keep your eyes peeled, if you know what's good for ya.

wanna see some good photos? sure you do. head over to Fragile Beauty, Cynthia's blog, where she's finally posted some new photos.

also, my friends in Noot d'Noot have a blog. it's got video. they just released a 7" single with sweet individual letterpressed sleeves. I swear, these guys are gonna make me dust off the Telecaster again so's I can join up, even though I'm already Mathis' guru. ;) fuck all this poetry shit, I wanna get funky, goddammit.