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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

The MFA Program schedule of lectures and readings

The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College
Public Schedule – Winter 2007

The public is welcome to attend the morning lectures and evening readings in fiction and poetry offered during the Warren Wilson College Master of Fine Arts Program for Writers’ winter residency. Events last approximately one hour. Admission is free. For more information, call the MFA Office: (828) 771-3715.

Readings will begin at 8:15 pm in the Fellowship Hall behind the Chapel unless indicated otherwise.

The schedule is subject to change.

READINGS – 8:15pm
by MFA faculty and graduating students

Wednesday, January 3
Maud Casey, Debra Allbery, Alexander Parsons, Eleanor Wilner

Thursday, January 4
Stacey D’Erasmo, Mark Jarman, Danzy Senna, Stephen Dobyns

Friday, January 5
Jennifer Grotz, Percival Everett, Brooks Haxton, Kevin McIlvoy

Saturday, January 6
Victor LaValle, Betty Adcock, Megan Staffel, Steve Orlen

Sunday, January 7—in Gladfelter, Canon Lounge
Rick Barot, Adria Bernardi, Marianne Boruch, Robert Boswell

Monday, January 8, 5:30-7:00pm
Reception and faculty reading at Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, 55 Haywood
Street, Asheville

Tuesday, January 9
Charles D’Ambrosio, Tony Hoagland, David Haynes, Ellen Bryant Voigt

Wednesday, January 10
Maurice Manning, Debra Spark, Martha Rhodes, Peter Turchi

Thursday, January 11
Graduating student readings: Leslie Blanco, Thad Logan, Anna Clark, Kathy
Alma Peterson,
Jason Githens

Friday, January 12 (4:30pm, followed by Graduation Ceremony)
Graduating student readings: Jeneva Stone, Catherine Brown, Catherine
Williamson, Bora Reed

Faculty Lectures
by Warren Wilson MFA faculty follows:

The MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College
In the Fellowship Hall behind the College Chapel unless indicated otherwise.

Thursday, January 4, 11:15am

Friday, January 5, 10:30am
DEBRA SPARK: Size Matters

Saturday, January 6, 10:30 am
ELEANOR WILNER: "Like a piece of ice on a hot stove, a poem must ride on its own melting…." (Frost)

Sunday, January 7, 10:30am
KEVIN McILVOY: Unmasking “God” in Fiction

Tuesday, January 9, 10:30am
RICK BAROT: The First Herbert

Wednesday, January 10, 10:30am
BROOKS HAXTON: Else Lasker-Schüler

Thursday, January 11, 10:30am
STEPHEN DOBYNS: The Nature of Metaphor

Friday, January 12, 9:30am

Friday, January 12, 10:45am
ADRIA BERNARDI: The China Night-Light and the Bottle-Tree: Visual Image and Noise in Eudora Welty

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Christmas Day kids

sometimes the packaging is more exciting than the gift itself

nothing better than playing with Lego blocks on Christmas Day

So this is Christmas Day

It is raining. It has been raining most of the day. Still, it is Christmas Day.

About 96 percent of Americans say that they celebrate Christmas in one way or another; but Christians didn't start celebrating Christmas until the fourth century A.D. Apparently, the earliest Christians weren't nearly as interested in Jesus' birth as they were in his resurrection from the dead. Historians believe that the Gospel of Mark was the first Gospel to be written about Jesus, around 50 A.D., and it doesn't even mention Jesus' birth. It starts with his adult baptism.

Only the Gospels of Luke and Matthew tell the story of Jesus' birth, and they give slightly different accounts. In the Gospel of Luke, an angel appears to Mary to tell her that she will give birth to the Son of God. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is Joseph who learns in a dream that Mary is pregnant with the Son of God.

The Gospel of Luke tells the story of how Mary and Joseph went to the city of Bethlehem because of the Roman census, and since there was no room at the inn, they were forced to take shelter in the barn, where Jesus was born, wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger. The Gospel of Matthew tells how a group of wise men go to find the baby that has been prophesized as the future king of the Jews. They follow a bright star in the East until they find Jesus, and they offer him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh....

Unfortunately for the church, Saturnalia was usually celebrated with drunken revelry. And for Christians, for the next thousand years or so, Christmas became the wildest party of the year. There were huge feasts and street parties that often led to riots. It was writers who helped turn Christmas into more of a domestic holiday. The poem "The Night Before Christmas," published in 1823, was one of the first works of literature to suggest that Christmas should be focused more on children than adults. And Charles Dickens's novel A Christmas Carol, in 1843, helped popularize the idea that Christmas should be about family.

--from today's The Writer's Almanac

So it is the writers are to blame for the domestication of Christmas? Whether they are or are not, I posted a Christmas Day piece on Write Stuff: All I want for Christmas. Also, Blue Sky Asheville published a personal Christmas essay that you may read here: The nights and days before and after Christmas.

My sister-in-law needs help finishing a 3L bottle of Blush Chablis and some Dutch apple pie. Meantime check out Listless's two favorite Christmas things and Edgy Mama offers a great Christmas meme.

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American Christmas Man

[W]hoever wrote the poem, "The Night Before Christmas" changed the way Americans celebrate the holiday of Christmas by reinventing the character of Santa Claus, and by combining St. Nicholas Day with Christmas.

The image of Santa went through many variations, until the political cartoonist Thomas H. Nast drew a picture of the fat, jolly man with a white beard that became the standard version. Santa started wearing red and white clothing after an ad campaign for Coca Cola in the 1930s.

In Holland, children are now visited by St. Nicholas on December 5th, and on Christmas Eve they are visited by Santa Claus, whom they call, "American Christmas Man."

--from today's The Writer's Almanac

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Flood Fine Art Center Poetry Reading

My wife and I just returned from a poery reading at the Flood Fine Art Center. Four great poets read their work. All I can say is... heavy, man, real heavy.

Had to cut out early because morning comes early when your one of the maniac Americans traveling this weekend. If you're on 95 heading to NYC look for me... I'll be cussin' out drivers in Old English; Geoffrey Chaucer style--thou dryve as if the develes on thyn ers.

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Poetry reading at the Flood Fine Art Center

Audrey Hope Rinehart handed my wife an event card about this poetry reading:
Asheville, NC... On Friday, December 22, 2006, at 7:00pm The Flood Fine Art Center in the River District, will host the first in an ongoing series of poetry readings. Four local poets: Jeff Davis, Josh Flaccavento, David Hopes, and Audrey Hope Rinehart will each read in a round robin format.

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Some Mtn X link love

Mountain Xpress blog links to this post and writes:
"Blogger Coffeehouse Junkie... recently posted a few photos and some parting thoughts about Bartell on his blog..."

Thanks Steve (Mountain Xpress interim A&E editor)!

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D'licious Magazine News

Many have asked me (via email, blog comments, on the street or around town), when the next issue of D'licious is available. Awhile ago I announced that the October/November issue was at the printer and would be out soon. A week went by and the printer called me and asked if it was ready to go. I told him I thought so. He told me that he hadn't heard from the publisher of D'licious and where should he send the proof. Another week went by and D'licious staff/volunteers called me frequently wondering what was going on and where are the magazines. I don't know, I told them. I'm the art director not CEO. I found out later the publisher held the job due to lack of ad sales (i.e. not enough cash to pay the printer).

October slipped by and no word from the publisher. Finally I got a hold of the publisher via cell phone and the publisher explained that the second issue was delayed until December. Realizing the financial instability of D'licious Magazine, I put together a business plan (complete with annual budget, profit and loss analysis, and a few other notes) that the publisher could present to an investor. The publisher took the business proposal and called me a week later informing me that the second issue would release in March of 2007.

It is now December and I have heard nothing of the publisher. After recently discussing the future of D'licious with the editor, we have both concluded it has deceased and are considering other projects.

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Jaye Bartell poetry reading at The New French Bar

Jaye Bartell

Here's some images from last week's farewell poetry reading at The New French Bar. Sorry I didn't post these sooner. I have been cur-AY-zee BIZ-ee (that's listless lingo for "crazy busy").

If you missed it... too, bad. The place was packed--standing room only! The entire Asheville literary scene was there... OK, maybe not the entire literary scene. Jeff Davis, Keith Flynn, Sebastian Matthews (BTW, congrats on your Pushcart nomination), Chall Gray and many more came to enjoy a night of poetry and say good-bye to poet Jaye Bartell. Jaye invited several local poets to read and then he closed out the evening by reading from his chapbooks and yes--his beer coaster poems. His beer coaster poems are scheduled to be published in April 2008 by someone who I can't remember. Anyone remember?

Chall Gray

Audrey Hope Rinehart

Ingrid Carson

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Recently published writings

Blue Sky Asheville published a Christmas essay I wrote and Wander published a poem.

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Where did all the great drinks go?

Here's a poem sketch I wrote a couple years ago. I am considering editing it a bit and including it in an upcoming manuscript. Suggestions are welcomed.

ASHEVILLE, 10 PM--He tears his t-shirt off outside the downtown club, throws it in the back seat of his car, dons a white button down and velvet smoking jacket, grabs his Epiphone and strides down the small flight of steps to the bar.

* * *

Somethings never change when you turn the amps down and the cigarettes burn out and the haze of memory lingers in the lonely notes of a solo voice and a single guitar.

* * *

Everyone in pairs. The one back home seems farther away when the drink glass is empty and the last song is sung. I know the car is parked outside but I don't want to drive tonight. I want to walk this evening. I want to walk on the cigarette trail in the street light. I want to walk on the moonbeams into the heavens. But I don't want to drive tonight.

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Narrative Non-Fiction Comics: UPDATE

The Indie features part one of my creative non-fiction comic, Strange Familiar Place, this month. It has been a year of trying to find a place courageous enough to take the risk on a no-name amateur artist.

So I am excited and disappointed at the same time. Excited because it is finally printed. Disappointed because the publisher ENLARGED the art almost DOUBLE the size. This may not be a big deal for most of you, but fellow artists (especially those lacking confidence) realize enlarging one's artwork reveals all the naked mistakes. ARGH! Nothing worse than being NAKED IN a DECEMBER issue.

The Indie is available at: Malaprops, True Blue Arts, Pack Library, Woolworth Walk, Rosetta's Kitchen, Mellow Mushroom, Hannah Flannagan's, Fine Arts Theater, Early Girl Eatery, Port City Java, Burgermeisters, Lucky Otter, West End Bakery and many other locations.

Previous thoughts and intimations on creative non-fiction comics: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

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Holiday gift idea

OK, my publisher informed me that I've sold ZERO copies of Late Night Writing this year. How can this be? I asked. There's plenty of used copies on Amazon.com. He said they're "new and used" which is publishing-speak for NEW wholesale copies for 40% off the retail price.

So for gifts under $8 consider a copy of Late Night Writing. In fact, if you catch me around Asheville, I'll sign a copy and draw a picture on the title page for $6.

Seriously, a guy bought a copy at a local reading a few weeks ago. The next week he showed up at an open mic and said he really enjoyed it--went home and read the whole thing. He mentioned how he liked its approachable quality.

Here's what some other folks have said about Late Night Writing:

"Feeling-good reading, almost like a Rimbaud sobering up with Miles Davis over tequila sunrises at Venice Beach on a windy September late afternoon."
--Pasckie Pascua, author of Vagrant Verses, Serpentine Summers

"These poems are for & of the quiet moments we mostly overlook & are doomed to lose, snapshots of what's been lost."
--Nate Pritts, author of The Happy Seasons

"Every time I read [Late Night Writing] I like it better. . . you paint word pictures, and I can see what you [see], and how you feel."
--Coffeehouse Junkie's grandfather (also a poet)

"I'm a big fan of the Late Night Writing... I can't tell you how many times I have enjoyed reading through this quality reading product. I really think this book will gain in popularity... When are you going to publish another book?"
--Coffeehouse Junkie's brother

[I didn't pay any of these kind souls to write the above endorsements.]

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Jaye Bartell says farewell

This week's WordPlay podcast announced that Jaye Bartell is leaving Asheville and saying farewell with a New French Bar poetry performance this Friday, 9:30 PM--no cover. A selection of Jaye's poems are published in this month's Rapid River. Bring your copy and have him sign it--or bring a beer coaster--he might write a poem on it.

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Writing progress report

Updated writing goals revealed that 5100 words were published on Write Stuff in the last few months. Previous reports here and here.

True Home Open Mic :: Nov. 30 : Photo essay

I read a couple poems and stuff--I can't remember what--for the November 30, 2006 True Home Open Mic Podcast that was made available to over 8000 subscribers from 25 countries today on Apple iTunes. Here's some images from the event. I left early because I had a very early business meeting the next morning.

how to listen or join the True Home Open Mic Podcast:

Subscribed to Asheville's coolest podcast, True Home Open Mic Podcast. It is easy to subscribe using Apple iTunes:
1) open Apple iTunes,
2) Click on Podcast Directory,
3) type "True Home Courtyard" in the Search iTunes Store window, and
4) click "subscribe."

[For non Apple iTunes users; copy this address into your podcast application: http://www.webpasties.com/podcast-8670-930.xml]

For those in the Asheville area, join crowd every Thursday at the Courtyard Galley hosted by Jarrett Leone. Signup starts at 8:30 PM and performances from 9pm-12.

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Write Stuff: Shake some action

I wrote today's Write Stuff post in 30 minutes: Shake some action. The post started in one direction and then I heard a song on an internet radio station and the post went in a completely different direction. Hope no one gets whiplash.

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