Writing

Talking Paper podcast: Texts 2 Tascha

Dallas Athent reads poems from Theia Mania during Texts 2 Tascha

Dallas Athent reads poems from Theia Mania during Texts 2 Tascha

On this episode of Talking Paper, Christian Niedan went to GAMBA Forest, a multi-purpose space that serves as both a performance and art venue, located at 231 Norman Avenue in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. It's run by Melissa Hunter-Gurney and Chris Carr, who are co-founders of the literary publication, GAMBAZine. They recently worked with literary nonprofit Nomadic Press to host a poetry and music showcase at GAMBA Forest, titled "Texts 2 Tascha." The event's name and the night's lineup was curated by poet Dallas Athent, to honor the birthday of her friend, the artist Natascha Young, who was visiting Brooklyn from her home in England -- where she oversees the Venus A Day project, in which she carves the ancient female form, known as "the venus", from one of a variety of materials over the course of a single day, as part of a larger series, which she then chronicles on Instagram. I recorded the event, which included the following performers: 

Joanna Valente reading four poems: 
-- The Ones You Left Behind Are Still With You
-- The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors
-- Son
-- Your Only Son Is Dead

Craig Kite reading two poems:
-- Fuck, We're All Going To Die
-- The Algorithm Hates Me

Stephanie Valente reading three poems: 
--Lake
-- It Happened To Me, I Kissed A Gravedigger
-- Married To The Mob

Chris Carr reading three poems.

Melissa Hunter-Gurney reading one poem: 
-- We Still Wear Fucking Fur

Dallas Athent reading four selections from her new book of poetry, Theia Mania
-- Page 21.
-- Page 27.
-- Page 33.
-- Pages 58 & 59.

La Julietissima singing four songs:
-- Cuando vuelva a tu lado (or, "When I Return to Your Side"). 
-- Angelitos Negros (or, "Black Angels").
-- Besame Mucho (or, "Kiss me a lot").
-- La Llorona (or, "The Weeping Woman").

GAMBA Forest: gambazine.com 

Nomadic Press: nomadicpress.org 

Dallas Athent: dallasathent.com

Natascha Young: cargocollective.com/nataschayoung

Joanna Valente: joannavalente.com/

Craig Kite: twitter.com/craigkitefly

Stephanie Valente: stephanievalente.com/

Chris Carr: brooklynwildlife.tumblr.com/

Melissa Hunter-Gurney: facebook.com/mhgurney

La Julietissima: lajulietissima.com/

You can also read Christian's June 2016 print-version Talking Paper interview with Hunter-Gurney and Carr.

Talking Paper podcast: Claire Durand-Gasselin, Craig Kite, & Brian Sheffield

Sheffield, Durand-Gasselin, & Kite at the 2016 NYC Poetry Festival on Governor's Island

Sheffield, Durand-Gasselin, & Kite at the 2016 NYC Poetry Festival on Governor's Island

On this episode of Talking Paper, Christian Niedan speaks with Claire Durand-Gasselin, Craig Kite, & Brian Sheffield. They are three of the co-founding editors (along with Margaux Taleux) of POST(blank) -- a French-American bilingual word-art publication from Mad Gleam Press. The publication's first volume, titled POSTpaper, debuted in fall of 2016 with 92 pages. The second volume, POSTmortem, came out in winter of 2017 with 144 pages.

The Mad Gleam Press website describes its mission as highlighting "the conjoined strengths of text and image by publishing visual poetic pieces, visual poems, dialogues on arts and ideas between artists of the two media, and excerpts of artist books. We also want to celebrate and speak to the infrastructure of the physical communities that come together around small press publications. We hope to offer a space for visual and literary artists to compliment each other’s work and to make new connections across mediums, genres and cultures." 

The Mad Gleam summary of the content found in POSTmortem states: "Death less represents the romantic stuff of tragedy as much as a shirked inevitability, viewed indirectly through the rosy lens of metaphor, or through some white frowning mask. Death is a hard-nosed fact checked on the ice of stark reality, an open-eyed kiss and reason to fuck, to connect, to practice life. We can only understand the constant flux of our experience, collective or individual, through reflection: taking stabs at post-analysis, even if only via abstract expression. In our own ways, we attempt to make sense of these things without it shaving any days off our lives. So allow yourself a reminder. Touch the bone inside your skin. Tickle your mortality and understand that nothing ever has been, currently is, nor ever will be, permanent."

You can also read Christian's September 2016 print-version Talking Paper interview with Sheffield and Kite.

Talking Paper podcast: Chris Campanioni, John Gosslee, and PANK & Nomadic Invasions

On this episode of Talking Paper on Radio Free Brooklyn, Christian Niedan travels to Washington D.C. for the 2017 AWP Conference and Bookfair, where he interviews writer, teacher, and model Chris Campanioni, who edits PANK magazine and is the author Death of Art, published by C&R Press. He also interviews C&R and PANK owner John Gosslee

You can also read Christian's September 2016 print-version Talking Paper interview with Campanioni.

Next, a recorded selection of readings from the PANK & Nomadic Invasions author showcase at Sixth Engine restaurant. The event was co-organized by Nomadic Press and PANK magazine during AWP 2017, and featured 14 authors, including: 

Cassandra Dallett, reading "The Day Prince Left" 

George Anderson, reading from "The Kaleidoscope Kid"

Natasha Dennerstein, reading "Love Me, I'm Fake" & "Serial Eileen"

Ariel Francisco, reading "The Young Men Along the Bar Are Too Tired Even to Die"

Hollie Hardy, reading "The Animal Trail of Tears"

Beth Ann Miller, reading "Your Bones"

Roberto F. Santiago, reading "The Domestican" & "I Was Set up to Fail But Never Given The Chance To"

Annie Christain, reading "He Developed the Habit of Playing Airs, Most Correctly, Upon His Chin: March 3rd 1994, Rome"

Elwin Michael Cotman, reading from his upcoming novella

Joy Deva Baglio, reading from "Ron" 

Matthew Siegel, reading a poem inspired by California's Bay Area

Sidney Taiko, reading "Here be Monsters" 

Raina J León, reading "Poet Anxiety Disorder" 

Will Cordeiro, reading "Dialogue With The Moon"

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Ilana Simons

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Ilana Simons

Ilana Simons is an artist and clinical psychologist currently based in New York. She has produced many short animations, featured in Hyperallergic, Electric Literature, and the Sundance Film Festival, and is the writer of A Life of One’s Own: A Guide to Better Living through the Work and Wisdom of Virginia Woolf. In August 2016, Simons performed her play, All Together Now, a multimedia solo show that premiered as part of the FringeNYC festival. The play involves an intimate, immersive experience, in which a small audience of twenty lies in a handmade tent, while Simons projects videos onto the ceiling and narrates. She explores her memories, the house she grew up in, her love, her divorce -- and, ultimately, how she came to make things, and see things, as she does today.

Simons sat down to speak with me shortly before a 3-month trip to work with refugees in Greece. In this variation on the Artists and Mental Illness interview series, she offers her perspectives as a woman both psychologist and artist, whose story is a unique mix of cerebral, vulnerable, eclectic, and raw.

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Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Caits Meissner

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Caits Meissner

Caits Meissner is an award-winning poet, artist, and educator dedicated to the transformative power of creation. Meissner’s poetry has been featured in Drunken Boat, The Literary Review, and The Offing, among many others, and she has been awarded first place prizes from the Pan-African Literary Forum, the Ja-Nai Foundation, and City College's The Jerome Lowell DeJur Prize in Creative Writing. Her multidisciplinary poetry book, Let It Die Hungry, will be released in October 2016 on The Operating System, and she is currently writing with Re(Emergent) Theatre, an ensemble in collaboration with people recently released from prison. She teaches as Writer-in-Residence at Bronx Academy of Letters, and faculty at City College and The New School. Meissner’s courage, like her art, is both nuanced and full of love. In this interview, she shares her experiences with belonging, identity, healing—and what it means to grapple with grey.

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Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Shira Erlichman

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Shira Erlichman

Born in Israel and based in Brooklyn, Shira Erlichman is a nationally acclaimed poet, singer-songwriter, and visual artist. Passionate and prolific, Erlichman is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee and has shared stages with TuNe-YaRdS, Mirah, Coco Rosie, and Andrea Gibson. She has been awarded two residences: the James Merrill Fellowship at Vermont Studio Center and the Millay Colony Residency. She is finishing up her first book, Odes to Lithium. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed Reader, BUST Magazine, and Winter Tangerine Review, among others. Her upcoming album, Subtle Creature, will be released in August 2016. Of her work, poet Ocean Vuong says, "Shira shows me that the mind's sanity is relative, but its beauty is total." In this interview, Erlichman shares her journey navigating Bipolar Disorder with brutal and intricate honesty.

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Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Bassey Ikpi

Artists and Mental Illness Interview Series: Bassey Ikpi

Bassey Ikpi is a Nigerian-born poet, writer, spoken word artist, and mental health advocate. She has been a cast member of Russell Simmons’ Def Poetry Jam and is the founder of The Siwe Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is to promote mental health awareness throughout the global black community. Both Ikpi's work and her advocacy reflect passion and social consciousness, woven together with raw and fervent honesty. In this interview, Ikpi shared with me her story.

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Talking Paper Interview Series: Amy Saul-Zerby

Talking Paper Interview Series: Amy Saul-Zerby

Amy Saul-Zerby is a Philadelphia-based poet and managing editor of Voicemail Poems. Her writing has appeared in The YOLO PagesPainted Bride Quarterly, and other publications. Among her inspirations are digital image macros, and in 2013 she self-published a collection of Snapchat poetry titled 10 Seconds in Heaven. She joined Voicemail Poems in 2014, two years after its founding by Jamie J. Mortara during 2012’s National Poetry Month. A collection of Saul-Zerby’s poetry, Paper Flowers (Imaginary Birds), is being published through Punk Hostage Press. In July 2015, she journeyed to New York City to take part in a Nomadic Press-organized reading at Nunu Chocolates Café & Tap Room with fellow Punk Hostage authors A. RazorPuma Perl, and James Anthony Tropeano. I later followed up with Saul-Zerby and interviewed her about working with Punk Hostage Press, Voicemail Poems, the importance of readings, and the Philadelphia literary scene.

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