Saturday, November 24, 2012

winter river: atkinson / horáček / cotman reading + open mic

winter river : featuring first-time river-ers adam atkinson, josef horáček, and elwin cotman. 

plus: river open mic. 

see you at 8 PM.

Friday, November 9, 2012

MA fellowships to be rivered...

November 2012


I am writing in hopes that you will forward the information below, regarding
the writing and visual arts Fellowships at the Fine Arts Work Center in
Provincetown to any visual artists or writers associated with your agency.
The Fellowships are a unique and wonderful opportunity for emerging
artists and writers to spend seven months working at our Cape Cod facility. 

We'd be grateful for your help in passing on word of these opportunities for
artists and writers in your state.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Salvatore Scibona
Writing Coordinator

Fellowship at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts

For the last forty years, the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown has run 
the largest and longest residency Fellowship in the United States for 
emerging visual artists and writers.  Artists who have not had significant
recognition for their work and writers who have not yet published a full-length
book of creative work are welcome to apply.  Fellows receive a seven-month
stay (October 1­­-April 30) at the Work Center and a $750 monthly stipend
Fellows do not pay or work in exchange for their Fellowships in any way. 
Fellows are chosen based on the excellence of their work. Former visual
arts Fellows include Ellen Gallagher, Jack Pierson, Lisa Yuskavage,
Angela Dufresne, Geoffrey Chadsey, and Lamar Peterson.  Former writing
Fellows--nearly all of whom came here before the publication of their first books--have won every
major national award in writing including the
National Book Award and seven Pulitzer Prizes.  Former writing Fellows
include Denis Johnson, Louise Glück, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Yusef Komunyakaa. 

The postmark deadline for the 2013-14 Writing Fellowships is December 1, 2012.
The deadline for the 2013-14 Visual Arts Fellowships is February 1, 2013.

For details, please visit:


Sunday, November 4, 2012

RIVARIETY: performance & poetry 11.13.12

We interrupt our regular river programming to bring you: 

RIVARIETY: poetry & performance, featuring members of LSU's Performance Studies Studio!

With performances by Kaitlin Cannava, Emily Graves, Eddie Gamboa, Benjamin Haas, and Bonny McDonald. 

A spectacle not to be missed!

Same river time (8 PM), same river place (Boudreaux & Thibodeaux's).

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Poet's Diagnosis

One of the best rivers ever Tuesday past! Never-satisfied, River Writers proudly provides a thought-provoking piece from the poet Christopher Shipman; this diagnosis speaks more to the larger context of reading series in general, not specific, and the trouble contemporary poets experience independently traveling the nation to publicize and sell their work:

A Poet’s Diagnosis

A friend mentioned the other day that poets seem to undervalue themselves because they will often read for free. This friend is a great poet himself, but fails to see the source of the problem. Perhaps some poets really do undervalue themselves and their art, and maybe this is the real reason why they don’t expect compensation for their talents. But why do something you don’t appreciate yourself?

The real issue here is that the majority of the American public undervalues poets, which is of course the biggest problem, but what’s more is that poets undervalue other poets, forcing those who really love writing and reading poetry to be more pragmatic about what kind of compensation they can expect from venues and their guests.

There are 3 major indicators that reveal the nature of this problem:

1.) Sometimes poets drive or fly hundreds and hundreds of miles for readings in cities that are known for having good literary scenes and good MFA programs to find maybe 3 people in attendance.  Sometimes the room may be packed with twenty to thirty listeners; then poets will sell maybe two books. And there is always at least one person in the crowd that approaches the poet after the reading to say how much they loved the work...But instead of buying a book, for maybe 15 bucks at the most, the congratulator finds his way to the bar and never considers he could have bought the book while buying his third beer for 6 bucks. In other words, instead of saying it, buy the shit you like.

2.) Oftentimes the poet who has driven the hundreds of miles and has maybe sold two books and has said thank you to the congratulator, becomes that very congratulator at another reading. Why does this happen?  I know a lot of poets, some are good poets and most are good people, who don’t go to readings and don’t buy books. Why not? What new poetry are they supporting? Or valuing? Many poets go to their own readings and apparently don’t care about what other people are writing. This is a way to build a community that is valued by other communities or in the very least its members. If I like what is being read to me, and I am not on the verge of starving, I will purchase the book the poet has so lovingly brought along, and at some point in the near future I will actually read the damn thing. In other words, contemporary poets aren’t  buying and reading enough poetry.

3.) An interesting and perhaps more detrimental indicator of this problem is that poets today have such narrow tastes and styles that they seemingly don’t acknowledge poetry that doesn’t fit into the confines of their own niche. This makes poetry stagnant.

What I really want to say is that I love poems.  I fucking love the poems, and the possibly of publishing and interacting with poets. I can live with the whole world not loving poems so long as poets themselves love them. Support them, read them, hear them, throw them in the river, bury them, and stuff them in your breath. Let’s value each other so others will value us. But if you don’t love poetry, maybe you should just stop fucking pretending.