Nov 17 2014

Go visit a museum and tell me what you see, who is represented? Who is represented disproportionately? Or, better yet, go to any museum of your choice via the internet and count how many artists of color are represented. Below is a poetic “review” by Sesshu Foster which he wrote after a visit to the U.C. L. A. Hammer Museum in Los Angeles with his mother.

review of “made in l.a.” at the ucla hammer museum

it’s okay that the artists are all white, even the nonwhite artists (2?) are kind of white

it’s okay that the curators are all white, it’s

okay that the l.a. reflected in this show is like the l.a. in robert altman’s “shortcuts” which is a strange all-white l.a. Read More >

Nov 10 2014

In May of this year I participated in Aller Retour Paris:  a week of art, poetry, film, and music in the heart of Paris, celebrating the city’s role in shaping Henry Miller as a writer and raconteur. Ping-Pong literary journal hosted the opening night party at Shakespeare and Company. Reading poetry while looking at Notre Dame Cathedral is kind of wondrous. I hope I never get to that place where I think that isn’t the coolest thing on earth, cuz it kinda is. I figured since I was in Paris I’d see about interviewing one of my favorite poets, Alice Notley, who kindly agreed. J. Hope Stein, my friend and newest poetry editor at Ping-Pong also came along, and together we had tea and conversation with a woman who makes life itself an art, like Henry says is the trick of the whole thing. What follows is a shortened version (you have to buy the print copy of Ping-Pong to read it in its entirety). I have placed the first half here, and J. Hope Stein will put the second half up on her site tomorrow.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore
the (partial) interview with Alice Notley

by: Maria Garcia Teutsch and J. Hope Stein
May 2014 at a café in Paris, France

MGT

I find a playfulness with language and punctuation in your writing with the things that bind our language and in some ways release them. And I’m wondering if in English you find there are more boundaries on the language than you do in the French?

Alice

No (laughs). No, because English is my first language and for me it has no boundaries. But I don’t think one has more or fewer boundaries than the other.

MGT

In French everything is gender, and I know in German everything is gendered.

Alice

In English a lot is gender and nobody notices it.   And if you speak a language you don’t notice it. I don’t notice it so much in French. Mostly I strive to master it so I can speak the language. The words you expect to be feminine are never feminine.   It never works the way it’s supposed to. It all comes from Latin. I took Latin in high school and I know that gender is always unexpected. (Laughs) Read More >

Nov 5 2014

Henry Miller Memorial Library announces “Speech is Not Free! 50th Anniversary: Tropic of Cancer Obscenity Trial”

Friday, November 7th at Coagula Curatorial Gallery in Los Angeles
Henry Miller is responsible for — to quote scholar James Decker — “the free speech that we now take for granted in literature.” It began fifty years ago when Miller’s novel “Tropic of Cancer” was deemed not obscene by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur and its literary magazine Ping-Pong, will be throwing a party at the Coagula Curatorial Gallery in Los Angeles to honor this landmark event while ruefully acknowledging that free speech is once again under siege.

“Speech is Not Free! 50th Anniversary of the Tropic of Cancer Obscenity Trial” will celebrate this historic win for free speech by bringing together writers, poets, and authors who will read or display a piece of art/prose/poem/song that was banned and that effected them in a transformative way. Participants will also read or sing an original piece. Read More >