EDNA ISSUE 5: 2015
A publication of The Millay Colony for the Arts www.millaycolony.org
EDNA a journal of art in residence Issue 5: 2015
The Millay Colony for the Arts
Barn art by Christopher Kardambikis Millay Resident 2009
Dear Readers, I hope everyone is well in the growing season and our first half year of residencies for 2015. It is always our pleasure to give you a glimpse into a season at The Millay Colony by showcasing some of the work the residents created here. This edition showcases our 2013 Season. And a lovely one it was! Full of warm and wonderful residents, gentle climes and delicious gatherings around the dining room table. Please think of each work you encounter in this magazine as a loving nod in the direction of a marvelous year of wild creation – of studios overflowing with color and form, of music and poetry and prose and walks through blossoming forest, and blueberry season in the hills, and fresh basil pesto…and more. There is so much to celebrate in a given year, so many artists, so much new work, so much flora and fauna and community of all sorts. If the selection here appeals to you, perhaps you will want to visit us at The Millay Colony. We love to show visitors the wealth of creation and community that defines our campus just a little bit differently, but with unmatched resplendence, each day of the year. For now, enjoy the work…put together with the intelligence and perspicacity that we have come to expect from our lovely editrice Cara Benson. Welcome, dear reader. We hope you have a nice journey, and come back for more soon. xo, Caroline Crumpacker
Nikia Chaney ladies, cleansing The catastrophic theory of reform speaks loudly at the stand, projecting words, and perfecting hands so that even the back row can participate and upgrade the performance. Water moves through dust and security glistens, in shiny badges complement for our print skirts our sweet faces and our whispers of “maybe…”. A tasty promise, that laughs at the things falling out of the truck. Don’t forget the bullhorn and machete, girls. And put down your knitting for a moment the bottom of the road calls It is kind of sweet, such a nice little break from reality, knocking on doors and scrubbing this place spit clean.
Metta Sáma Nice, OH The quads were finally four! The parents had awaited this event for three long years and 364 incredibly long days. It seemed that the town, too, had been awaiting this event, and the parents, who were supernice and superpolite, invited the entire town to a massive birthday celebration at the park. The quads, after all, were not the only children turning four that day. No one wanted to rain on the parade of the spectacular once-in-a-lifetime birthday, but they also didn’t want other children to be denied their (not-so-big) day. The mayor (father of two of the April 4, 2004 children (by two women who didn’t know about each other)) had declared the bid day The Big Four. He was a particularly unimaginative man. The third mother was the exceptionally jealous aunt of the quads. Although her child wasn’t actually due to be born until May, the town obstetrician, her husband, performed an early emergency Caesarean for his unbearably envious wife. For the aunt of the quads, 4-4-04 had been an agonizingly long wait. The town of Nice, Ohio, had a population of 295; included in this number were the various cats and dogs of families, considered members of their household, considered children by some, each having birthday parties where the other town dogs and cats were invited and often carried presents of specially-made dog biscuits and catnip toys. A few chickens and two roosters were also part of the count. All-in-all, there were 177 humans occupants of Nice, Ohio, the last seven had been born on April 4, 2000. Like most small U.S. towns, Nice was a clean, well-tended town, but unlike most small, U.S. towns, Nice had two townsquares: one was the original townsquare, established in 1803, and had a proper post office, a saloon, a jail, and a general store. In 1863, soon after the not-so-famous revolt of the war prisoners, the citizens began building a new townsquare, exactly 1863 feet due South of the old townsquare. The new townsquare housed a railroad station, a small hotel, a family restaurant, and a church. All citizens moved out of old Nice, due to the presence of the jail and saloon, leaving old Nice with the farms, but none of the farmhouses. And the prisoners, who worked the farmlands. As an act of politeness, to prove they were not snubbing the prisoners, residents of new Nice patronized the post office the general store. To live in Nice was to practice the Nicean philosophy: be nice to others because you want them to be nice to you.
There’s a rather ignominious history of Niceans who refused to practice the ways of Nice. Take Little Abner of New Nice, who refused to say “God Bless You” after anyone sneezed. He started an anti-Church church in Old Nice, back behind the old wells, where his followers (his best friend, Pete, another fallen Nicean who, instead of helping elderly people cross the street, walked rapidly ahead of them laughing at their progress, his girlfriend, who wanted to be in the Nicean Hall of Shame, her toddler brother and his playmate) wrote a new Bible. Little Abner had never read the Bible, but he adamantly believed that the polite “God Bless You,” said after a sneeze, was the result of some anxious preachertype, and nothing scriptural. The Niceans may have abided this refusal, nicely, as Little Abner mostly kept to himself and tried to avoid anyone with hay fever. However, he also had a bad habit of keeping compliments tightly reined in; someone won a peach pie-eating contest, and instead of saying, “Way to go!” Little Abner, a judge in the contest, just stared at the peach-stained mouth of the winner. Instead of giving a hard-working swimmer a high-five for besting her record, Little Abner, a towel boy, would toss her the towel and move on to give the other competitors towels. The Niceans couldn’t abide Little Abner or his followers and politely banished them. Two years earlier they’d ousted the third grade choir teacher, who always refused to clap for the musicians. “Why,” she asked, “do we applaud before we’ve heard them play?” She’d been politely fired and politely asked to leave town only seven months before the long-time owner of the new saloon in old Nice had been run out of town (nicely) for posting a sign two human figures hugging, with a big X drawn through the hug. The Niceans were huggers, alright, and winkers, to boot.
kate hers RHEE, stills from 7 Drawings, 28 Kisses performance 30 minutes, MOMENTUM
Randon Billings Noble excerpt from Fall at Steepletop … I visited Steepletop on Friday the 13th of September, 2013. That same day, 421 years ago, Montaigne died. That morning a fellow resident told me it was the anniversary of David Foster Wallace’s suicide (although I later learned he killed himself on the 12th). It was also my last day in residence at the Millay Colony for the Arts. All of these overlaps felt auspicious. In a fine misty rain, I crossed the road and joined a tour of her house … There in the entranceway is her .22 rifle, her saddle and a pair of impossibly small riding boots. Size 3, the docent says. He calls her Vincent. What makes us choose to call a writer by her first or last name? To me she remains Millay, even after I see a photograph of her, posing with a friend and an urn, nude … And then the tour came full circle, back to the top of the stairs. On these stairs she liked to perch and chat with arriving or departing guests. And on these stairs she made her final departure. Early on the morning of October 18, 1950, dizzy from a night of gin and white wine, she pitched forward, grabbed a spindle of the staircase, broke it, fell, and died. A caretaker found her the next day. The ninth spindle remains broken. Later that day, back in the barn, climbing the stairs to my studio, I paused a moment. Did I feel a slight tug, a small threat to my balance? Or was it my own hesitation, thinking how easily one’s life could come crashing down, how your story would pass from your own possession, and how a biographer or a tour guide might shape it from there? That night one of the other residents – a playwright with a diploma from the French Culinary Institute – and I made a tart with apples from Millay’s tree. The apples were small and hard and each the size of a small plum. They were crisp and tart but sweet enough to enjoy – much like Millay, perhaps. While the playwright finely sliced them, making little armadillo humps in the crust, I read from a collection of Millay’s poems. They were a little rough to take all at once, and none had anything to do with apples or tarts (not in the culinary sense, anyway). But I had been working on an essay that explores hauntedness, and it was my last night at the Colony, and I still felt vaguely unsettled by the shrinelike quality of Steepletop, and Sonnet XLIII deeply impressed me: What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why, I have forgotten, and what arms have lain Under my head till morning; but the rain
Is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh Upon the glass and listen for reply … Thus in winter stands the lonely tree, Nor knows what birds have vanished one by one, Yet knows its boughs more silent than before: I cannot say what loves have come and gone, I only know that summer sang in me A little while, that in me sings no more. Outside the night had turned dark and still, the windows black reflections of our warm kitchen. The tart went into the oven and I went to bed. In the morning I woke up early, before anyone else, and found the tart in the toaster oven, safe from the mice that had been nosing around the kitchen since the weather cooled. I ate a large slice of it with coffee. “I am eating your apples,” I said to no one. I wrote a little in my journal. I packed up the last few odds and ends from my room. I got in my car and rolled my windows down to the fall air. It was time to leave, but I tried to soak it all in for one last moment – the barn, the goldenrod, the apple tree, the table atop Steepletop, the tiny boots in the entranceway, the narrow staircase, the vanishing birds and the song I could still hear. But it was all going, or gone, and without thinking too much more about it, I turned the key and drove home. (previously published in Superstition Review, November 2013)
Jonathan Sokol Topographic Survey excerpt from Resident Songs
Davy Knittle big boy if I were a boat a poet’s room my harbor if a poet’s room is a lion’s a poet in lion towns if I had a lion’s parts if lions part teas in the bay if I moved the parts easy in the orbit of sweetness I’d move you hard if around a lion’s parts were an aquarium if we are fish we are in unlikely schools I wish I could be in that one under the stairs my life unapparent or I’m filled with its room the run of a poet is his own what he makes I make a lion’s room a boy’s that a poet might part a lion come home with room to spare
Gessy Alvarez excerpt from In the Flesh Last night. Cora's first night out without Ramona as her chaperone. It was around two in the morning. She had her high heels in her hands as she kissed her boyfriend Ryan goodnight. They stood in front of her tenement building. Ryan lived in an SRO on Tenth Avenue near the hospital about twenty blocks uptown. Cora bit his bottom lip, licked it, and pushed him away with a wink. "Be careful," she said. She spoke some English, but she spoke it slow so that she could hide her accent from Ryan. He cupped her chin and pulled her back in his arms for a kiss on her forehead. He held the front door open for her. “I should walk you upstairs,” he said. “No, it's okay,” Cora said. She knew her mother would be waiting by the door to their apartment. It was late and as long as she was quiet she would be safe. On her way upstairs, Cora tiptoed by the landlord's door. John and Edith's apartment was on the first floor by the stair landing. She took one step up and heard the landlord's door creak open. John came out of his apartment. Red faced, unkempt hair and lips shiny with saliva. He stared up at her, his belt wrapped around his fist. Cora wasted no time. She ran up the stairs, digging for her house keys in her coat pocket. As she ran up to the third floor, to her apartment door, she pulled her keys out, her grip shaky on the door handle. She pushed the key into the first lock. John hummed a tune from below. Before she could get to the second lock, the door opened. Ramona, with pink foam curlers in her hair and sleepy eyes, pulled Cora inside and slammed the door. Cora and Ramona jumped at the sound of the landlord's belt hitting the door. "I'll get you next time," John growled. They listened as he stomped back down the stairs. "See what happens when you go out on your own," Ramona said.
“He's drunk again and thinks I'm his wife.” “He knows exactly who you are. He's been after you since we moved here. You sassed him last time. Even after I told you to ignore him.” Cora walked to the kitchen sink and splashed cold water on her face. Her mother stood behind her. “It's not my fault, he's a creep,” Cora said as she wiped her face with a paper towel. “You think kissing a man in front of the building isn't giving him ideas.” “Were you spying on me?” “Of course I was spying on you. Now John thinks he's got a chance with you.” “I can't believe you.” Ramona reached for the radio on the kitchen counter. Her favorite overnight Spanish show was on. A beautiful warm male voice introduced a bolero by “The Nightingale of the Americas,” Julio Jaramillo. Ramona began pulling off her pink foam curlers. “These things are giving me a headache,” she said as she fingercombed her loose curls and swayed to the refrain Te odio y te quiero. Cora thought about what could have happened to her if her mother hadn't opened the door in time. She gasped. Ramona watched her, but didn't comfort her. She didn't know how. When Cora reached for her, Ramona patted her daughter's back. “I'll help you fix this,” she said. “But, you have to promise to listen to me.” Cora buried her face in her mother's neck. “I promise,” she said.
(previously published Literary Orphans, Issue 13: Blondie, May 2014)
Lydia Conklin Bad Raccoon
You’re five years old and you’re lying on Jenny Richardson’s deck, facing the electric blue sky. You watch the trees scratch the night as you fall into your fantasy. You’re a raccoon who’s collapsed on his back from eating too much. You stole food from Jenny Richardson, who is human. She found you on the deck, bloated and unable to escape. Now Jenny will humiliate you. You know the emotions of the game. She’s supposed to be furious, and you’re supposed to take it. You want to feel punished, because it feels good, somehow, sends a charge through you. You can see Jenny’s chin, her puffy cheeks, above you. Her pale bob moves around her ears in the wind. Even though Jenny is only seven, she looks like a small mother. She leans closer, and you feel the charge. “Bad raccoon,” she says, but her voice is limp. “Yell,” you say, shifting on the wooden planks. “You have to mean it.” “I can’t,” Jenny says, turning to the glass doors at the back of her house. There’s yellow light inside, brightening as darkness falls. She’s nervous. And her father is moving around inside.
(previously published in Ocean State Review)
Jackie Branson, Karpet (red) 2’7”h x 4’w x 2”d, used circular saw blades, steel, expanded steel, carpet, cpu fans, zip ties (plugs in: cpu fans spin), 2013
Gina Occhiogrosso, Just this time 36 x 48 inches, oil on canvas, 2013
Cathy Earnest excerpt from Another Bone MARIE: 38 years old. RHONDA: 50 years old. FRANK: Marie’s husband. About the same age as Marie. NED NELSON: Marie’s son. 15 years old. STEPHANIE BREMMER: Late 20s. New York City. A remarkably well-lit, two-story Manhattan apartment. We see a living room - dining room combination, with a doorway exiting to the kitchen, a staircase leading upstairs, and a front door. Off to one side there is another room with a closet. All are visible. No set changes. ACT I SCENE 1 It is September 11, 2006 in MARIE and FRANK's Manhattan apartment. MARIE and RHONDA, on two sides of the stage, face the audience and begin the play. MARIE My husband died in 9-11.
RHONDA My husband died
RHONDA . . . in a fire on 18th Street in November 2002. MARIE He was a fireman.
RHONDA He was a fireman.
MARIE Joe . . . [Pause] But there's a difference between these deaths BECAUSE "BECAUSE" is spoken together; do the same throughout play when the same words are capped at the end of one and the beginning of the other. RHONDA BECAUSE one is valued more highly than the other. Both of our husbands are dead. (Eye contact between the women; MARIE acknowledges Rhonda. ) The initial result on the family is THE SAME.
MARIE THE SAME but the result on those around us is different. Ron's death is, of course, personal to Rhonda and their children and friends. JOE'S DEATH RHONDA JOE'S DEATH, though, is personal to everyone. M arie's grief, and Ned's, is widened to the grief of a country, the fears of a country, and the wallets open and POUR OUT . . . MARIE POUR OUT cash. A lot of CASH. RHONDA CASH to ward off evil, to appreciate those doing the work they don't want to do, to value the victims of this international crime. The checks start POURING IN. MARIE POURING IN. There was a delay in the firemen pension check while it was figured out whether overtime would be paid for the time they might still be alive there, among the collapsed buildings. (beat) But then I get a check for a million dollars. Another few months go by and I get another check - another million. Then another. And the pension check goes up: it was now 100% of his salary, and completely tax free for life. Rhonda, on the other hand, GETS RHONDA GETS part of Ron's salary, partially taxable. And the two hundred and fifty thousand dollar life insurance policy for a uniformed public servant killed in the line of duty. It was raised retroactively from one hundred fifty nine thousand BECAUSE of the 450 responders lost. Thank you 9-11? MARIE Right. RHONDA When asked about my husband, Ron--his name was Ron, and I answer he was a fireman, he was lost--before I can finish people always say, "9-11?" No, I say . "Oh. Well that's good at least." And they move on, less interested. Of course a regular fire--the one they ward off with insurance and taxes--that kind of fire just doesn't have the panache. MARIE Our friend Ron was there on 9-11. But he survived. He was the one who came two days later--9-13--and told me . . . he told me it was unlikely Joe would be coming HOM E. RHONDA HOME. Home? Ron was never home. He was there, they were all there. At The PILE.
MARIE PILE. At Ground Zero. Oh, but the SMELL RHONDA SMELL, it was . . . horrid! Metallic and stone. The air was thick with it. We were breathing in buildings and . . . people too. Some asshole said it was "Safe." MARIE
Sure it was.
Sure it was.
RHONDA We brought sandwiches so our loved ones would eat; mostly we went to see if they were still ALIVE. MARIE ALIVE, or might be alive. RHONDA And God, the noise! There was an amazing, constant (We should hear three distinct "constants.") MARIE Constant RHONDA Constant noise. Amazing, mostly for its MARIE regularity (MARIE preempts RHONDA's word, interrupting. RHONDA looks at Marie, surprised--not her turn.) RHONDA . . . regularity in this most irregular time. Radios MARIE clicked (Again MARIE preempts RHONDA's word. RHONDA looks at M arie, again, annoyed, then goes on.)
RHONDA . . . clicked in and out, workers calling every ten minutes to report their progress, their position, their aliveness. Earth moving machines buzzed, grinding, STRAINING MARIE STRAINING, lifting workers onto twisted piles to see WHAT RHONDA WHAT was there, WHO MARIE WHO was there. M etal hitting metal, whistles blowing. Yet even amidst the cacophony, everyone was listening, like a mother in the night, for any sound that did not belong to despair, any sound that rose apart from the rest, for any hint of life, for civilians, for firemen, FOR JOE. RHONDA FOR JOE because that IS what firemen do. MARIE Yet my son has a full scholarship, 100% paid when he needs it. Rhonda and Ron's children do not. I am honored among widows; she is pitied. RHONDA When the house collapsed onto Ron, a beam crushed his chest. It didn't matter that he was freed immediately. They said Ron DIED QUICKLY. MARIE DIED QUICKLY. No idea about Joe. No idea where he was, when it was, what he was doing. No evidence he's even really gone. Yet eight weeks later we put pictures into a silk lined casket, some hair from his hair brush for DNA, a baseball our son Ned dropped in, and we buried it under a head stone with his name on it, Joe Nelson. His mom wanted a grave to visit, with his name, his dates. She said it was important for Ned. Okay, I said, Yes. Fine. RHONDA We leave a lot of pieces BEHIND. MARIE BEHIND. Voices, images . . . RHONDA . . . partially eaten granola bars in the car glove box. MARIE Dirty underwear.
RHONDA A phone number on a piece of paper next to--in his handwriting--the name "Angie." And in someone else's, "Call me." Oh well. MARIE Lost gloves that turn up a month later. RHONDA Seasons tickets to the M ets. MARIE A guitar no one here knows how to play . RHONDA A new football helmet for our youngest. RHONDA (CONT’D) HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
MARIE HAPPY BIRTHDAY.
MARIE Yet Rhonda had . . . RHONDA --I had-RHONDA (CONT’D) a body to bury.
MARIE a body to bury.
MARIE I did not. RHONDA It's true that you call to listen to his RHONDA (CONT’D) MARIE voice mail message. "Hi, it's Ron." voice mail message. "Hi, it's Joe." " . . . Leave a message and I'll get back to you soon." Well, do it! I've left enough messages. Call me back, why don't you-MARIE --Bastard!
Lights down. (World Premiere September - October 2014: Redtwist Theatre, Chicago, IL)
Joseph Harrington Play Pen Is Fine as Long as Baby Isn’t Prisoner (excerpt from Goodnight Whoever’s Listening)
Spock, second in command, continued: “Above all, parents must maintain the hermeneutic seal around the bubble, so that their own emotions, such as grief or anger, do not contaminate the child. Emotion is contra-indicated precisely because Your baby is born to be a reasonable, friendly being, despite being human in origin. So in the end, simply tell the child you don’t want to get up and go to work. You just decided to stop being alive, so now it is the child’s turn to do so instead.” Thus, with merely a raised eyebrow, he would gently, ingratiatingly intensify the mother’s responsibility to tend to the subtle unfolding of the infant unit. With his faux-Amerind gravity, Spock caused all mothers on the planet to quiver with guilt -fairy tales made children nervous; fairy tales provided a wholesome outlet for fear; fairy godmothers restored the princesses to their natural state, while the grandmothers gobbled them up like a wolf. The mother should put nothing above her children; but she should avoid smothering them. It was not illogical to Spock, who perceived the higher consonances of the whole, as he left his Vulcan wife and child behind, and vowed never to interfere with history.
Graeme Bezanson [THERE WERE GRANITE-JAWED WINDOWS, THESE THINGSâ€Ś]
There were granite-jawed windows, these things were visible to the west of me: gentle slopes broken by earthworks which throw long shadows at sunset; an overripe clump of azaleas; the footman disclosing an egg-salad sandwich from its greasy packet; the footman sneaking down to the brook for a hortatory pinner; the footman on the patio practicing his crossover dribble. Yesterday an itinerant chorus sang glorious-voiced in the garden. It was like a modern force of nature. Airplanes dropped altitude. Zeppelins erupted in laughter. The footman ran off with our most impractical maid. At night when Iâ€™m still I can hear my ancestors arriving. It sounds like a rattle and then hours and hours of hissing.
Gabriel Pionkowski, Regarding the Fold Installation, 2014
Margaret Withers, Agreement and Disagreement went walking in the woods and diminished a fifth ink, vinyl paint, oil on linen, 40â€?x40â€?, 2013
Kasia Nikhamina Thirteen Ways I All the things you see and say, and all the things you see and don't say, and all the things you don't even see. II How do you look to a bird in the road? The bird doesn’t see a bicycle. The bird sees a line moving towards it, and even then, barely a line, barely moving. III "So how did you get into bicycles?" "Same way most girls do -- boys." IV “It’s been such a short season.” “It’s been such a long season.” V “Fear is not a law of physics. Fear does not govern aerodynamics." “Fear is expensive.” VI “I saw red, and knew it was you.” VII “Is this the end of the Park?” “The Park has no end. It is the circle of life.”
VIII “You’re burning the candle at both ends.” “I’m burning the candle from the inside.”
IX We talk, about asking for what you want, and getting it. As in, the public library. X When I ride, the world is round. Cotton candy light. When I separate from the bicycle -- the world reverts to flatness. XI Magic happens to me in the Park at night. I am, a planet, albeit a small dusty one, and I go into orbit around the eye of the Park once, twice, three times around, maybe four -- I lose track of the laps, like drinks -- and then I spin off into black ordinary time. Pedal bones connected to leg bones connected to heart bones. XII I wake with wool stuffed inside my chest. I feel, hungover. Waiting for our coffees. A last bastion of intimacy, if the barista is right. I drink, from an hourglass. I sleep, on the wing.
XIII After a year of trying to write about cycling -- usually in the high that follows a ride -- it occurs to me that Iâ€™ve been writing a kind of erotica.
Lincoln Michel Routine
This morning I murder your mother, but then I always murder your mother. You are in the barricaded bathroom weeping or possibly asleep. I use the machete as quietly as I can. I understand why you cannot kill your mother, but, if I am being honest, it is hard on me too. Even with strips of skin hanging off her flesh like peeling paint, she bears an uncanny resemblance to you. You’ve always had her proud cheeks and slightly sunken eyes. Your mother dies slowly, moaning all the way down. This is the worst part. I would never admit this to you, but your mother’s moans mirror the moans you made when we used to make love. Although we no longer have the strength to couple anymore, it is when I murder your mother that those happy memories come back to me. One of your mother’s lopped off hands has alighted on my boot. I pick up the hand and move her piece by piece to the front yard. I move a safe distance away and collapse on the ground. But your mother returns earlier than normal this time. Her parts recollecting, her long dead flesh willing itself to still more life. I roll over and pull the machete from her femur. It has dulled on her bones. This time it takes twice the effort, twice the strokes, and this when your mother is only half-reformed. It was easier to murder your mother when we had the bullets and easier still when we had the shotgun pellets. Then again, what part of life isn’t harder these days? This time, I find the shovel and dig a pit. My fingers blister on the wooden handle. My legs ache.
I push the parts of your murdered mother into the pit one by one. I get the gasoline that we foraged from the neighbors’ charred car. It spills on my hands, burning the blisters. I’m too weak to even cry. I shuffle back to the house, the smoke of your mother in my clothes. Do you remember when we first came to this house? It was the first home that either of us had ever owned. Our own little cottage in the woods with a big red mailbox and a hammock out back. We thought we had our whole lives ahead of us. I want to say it was a happier time then, but it was a not all happy times. We fought incessantly and our income dried up along with the creek out back. You were still very beautiful to me, yet cold. I was afraid to wake you when I came home at night. There was happiness too. There were days we lay in bed together till sun down, covered in sweat. Yet the bad times seemed destined to keep coming back again, the same way your mother must reform and be murdered each day. I find you in the bedroom. The sun is going down and in the dying light your skin looks almost as blue as your mother’s. How long have you been lying there, still? Tomorrow, when the remains of your mother dust off their ashes and return, I will have to murder her again. The only way to break this cycle is by failing. If I fail, then you will have to murder me alongside your mother, or else I will have to murder you alongside her, or perhaps, if we are lucky, some other people huddled in some other house will have to murder the three of us together.
(previously published in MonkeyBicycle)
Aaron Hodges Longshoreman
Album Cover To listen to songs visit the website: http://longshoremansound.com/
Christopher Robinson Imperative
Do it now while you are feeling low, lonely in your filing, clueless as regards the mechanism of your happiness. Do it now and now to seal this moment of dog shit meeting shoe, to seal it in your future like a false window to a painted vista. Do it now or do it later, but do it when what you most want is to not be a thing that can meaningfully do.
Thomas Cummins, Photo of Steepletop
Caroline Clerc, Passage, hollow Archival pigment print, 30.25 x 42 in., 2013
Shruti Swamy excerpt from The Mourners
That night they all eat at the table, they drink wine. It is not good wine but it doesn’t matter. They begin to tease each other, and tell jokes, jokes to shock each other into laughter. Laughter tastes funny in their mouths, mixed with the bitter taste of the wine, then they warm to it. They tell stories of old lovers. Maya rests her bare feet against the legs of her chair, Mark looks at those feet: he would like to become a dog and lick them, and the fat bones at her ankle. A lover who only wanted to fuck in the bathrooms of moving trains, a lover who called for his mother as he came, a lover aroused by the sound of running water. A lover who always kept on his socks. Chariya: Mark would never say it. Crying after she made love, tears beading the small corners of her eyes. But not sad, she said, wiping her face and laughing. Not sad. “I slept with a white man who kept asking me to talk to him in Hindi.” “Did you?” “Well, I don't know Hindi. So I just started saying the names of dishes in Indian restaurants.” “Did he notice?” “He didn’t seem to. I never followed up with him.” The baby tires, Maya takes her and changes her and puts her to sleep. She stands tipsy in the dark room looking at the child with night-sharpened eyes. The child is curled, her fists, her feet, pulled tightly into herself, impenetrable in sleep. She looks fierce in her crib, giving the profound illusion of self-sustenance. Asking nothing from the young woman who looks down at her, and yet, the question posed anyway. Will she fly home with sleep knotted in her throat, go to work, and have drinks in bars, never marry, mourn alone? Will she remain in the company of these mourners, as the child grows more and more substantial and lovely, and learns the breadth and depth of her loss? She cannot
face this question. She wants to wake in her apartment and shake this dream off herself off like a wet dog, take a shower, drink strong coffee, and sit in the bright possibility of morning. But morning will never come to her like that any longer. Each morning she will wake with the metallic tang of absence on her tongue. In the kitchen Reggie helps Mark put away the dishes. But she is suddenly exhausted, and all at once, the light in the room becomes white at the center and expands. The hand grasping the plate loosens and the plate shatters against the blue tile. She leans against the counter, until Mark’s arms come around her and she slumps into the bulk of him, half awake, half dreaming, apologizing through furred lips. She can smell his swallowed tears but does not have the strength to feel pity. There is a bright buzzing in her body, the sound of a train. He lifts her above the shards of the plate, stepping carefully around them with his feet in only socks, calm, murmuring to her as he would to a child, saying she’s very tired, she needs to rest. She has not been carried since she was a girl, Mark does it easily. For all her solidity and tallness she is light in his arms as he puts her to bed. He inspects each callused foot for embedded slivers of china, and when he finds none, asks her if she wants some water. No, she says, waving him away. She says sorry. “Sorry for what?” She doesn’t answer. Sleep hovers above her eyes with milky thickness. Then she has passed through it, without a dream to soften it.
Antena (Jen Hofer and John Pluecker) from A Manifesto for Discomfortable Writing
To make common currency uncommon.
To make us strangers in a place we thought was home. To find spaces for listening inside strangeness.
To refuse complacency and allow risk to alight inside our own bodies.
Thinking is doing. Doing is thinking.
We write discomfortably because we are probably wrong, yet compelled to learn. To learn from our errors.
We are language workers in a workspace made of language. We are using language to push language into wild, unsettling, discomfortable forms. This process might be painful. This process might be joyous. This process will be infinite.
Language and world are inseparable. Language and action are inseparable. We use language to think about the world: the world being language. We turn our minds and bodies to the language we are using: aware of the constant constraints and impositions of that language upon us. The language being the world, its multiple and multiplicitous brutalities. The perpetual brutalities of an unjust language. The perpetual possibilities of justice in language.
We use the term “writing” to refer to a range of forms of aesthetic work and practice. If writing is a form of art, then we insist on the cohabitating inverse: art is a form of writing. We embrace the different materials and techniques that various forms of art-making and organizing entail: the discomfortable welcomes them all.
Criticality is the seeing of the window and the frame and the smudges on the glass, as well as the landscape, cityscape, or humanscape outside the window. Criticality is the seeing of our own seeing, accounting for our own position, stance, perspective, history, infrastructure, substructure.
Criticality is not optional.
Discomfortable writing unsettles the complacent eye and opens it to the unexpected, the real and the hyper-real and the sub-real: the conditions of the world as it is and the potentials of the world as it might be.
We reject the automatic. Automaticity is unquestioning acceptance of the conditions and brutalities of the world-as-it-is. To automatically act is to automatically collude.
We embrace the everyday. Repetition, routine, and ritual also contain sparks of discomfortableness. The foundations of daily life are a springboard into the stratospheres of the discomfortable. The discomforts of daily life are the texture of our resistance.
We are not averse to good rhythm, but we distrust language that is too fluid, too easeful, too smooth. Without the snags, the surface becomes slick and we slide into so-called comprehension without pausing to question or remember how much we do not know.
Capital traffics in the smooth, the cool, the easy. Capital is not interested in reminding us that there is more to learn; in fact, capital colludes to soothe us into thinking we already know everything, to produce a sense of normality, expectedness, regularity in a world that is anything but.
Capital is also famously obsessed with the new and the next. We insist that its aim is not learning, but consumption and assimilation, with its attendant leveling of difference. Discomfortable writing rejects assimilation, preferring to linger in moments of rupture, to dwell in the snags, seeing what we would not, could not see, seeing our own seeing.
If our work does not question the terms of the status quo, it is the status quo. The murderous status quo. Our context is an avant-garde that has throughout history aligned itself with revolutionary political movements.
It is our responsibility to make the world as we wish to experience it—to create the conditions of our resistance, our solidarity, and our irrepressible liberation even as we acknowledge the very real and concrete effects of living in a world where injustice is institutionalized and enforced via all kinds of subterranean and overt violence.
We have no patience for the divide between art practice and political practice. We have endless patience for doing the hard imaginative and practical work of building a more humane and just world. We are here to dismantle the master’s house!
Audre Lorde: “The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.” Yvonne Rainer: “You can dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools, if you expose the tools.” Antena: “The master’s house began to collapse on its own long ago. Use any and all tools you can get your hands on and speed the process. Demolish the master’s house carefully enough to recycle the building materials and make tiny houses for everybody. With any leftover materials, we’ll make small books.”
Discomfortable aesthetic work is necessary if we are to imagine and begin to build a new world. Art is more than graphics to accompany our slogans. Poetry can imagine new possibilities within language. Poetry and other non-conforming forms of writing can create discomfort, manifest expressions of our distress and dysfunction in the context of unjust structures. Our work is made of attempts and failures and further attempts: we will learn to think, dream, and imagine differently and it will not be easy. Our work is ongoing.
This is an excerpt from a manifesto which was written collaboratively by Antena in the barn on the estate of Edna St. Vincent Millay in Austerlitz, NY, in Summer 2013. Gratitude to Lyn Hejinian and Rob Ray for their attentive reading and astute comments and to the Millay Colony for the Arts for the space to articulate our discomfortable ideas. The text, along with a collaborative experiment in discomfortable writing titled “(Outside, glorious illusion),” was originally published in issue 2 of Floor journal (http://floorjournal.com/2013/07/30/a-manifesto-for-discomfortable-writing/), edited by Lyn Hejinian and Christopher Patrick Miller. This manifesto was also published as a pamphlet by Libros Antena Books. It was distributed for free as part of the installation Antena @ Blaffer at The Blaffer Museum at the University of Houston from January 18 – May 10, 2014. It is also available as a free download on Antena’s website: http://www.antenaantena.org. You can contact Antena at firstname.lastname@example.org; we’d be excited to hear what you think about the ideas in this manifesto.
Leslie Brack, A Cloud in Trousers oil paint on LP album cover, 12" x 12", 2013
Lisa Gabrielle Russell, Intonation #340-332 oil on canvas, 8 x 12 in.
Cindy St. John YOLO I don’t know the names of the stars or their constellations. I don’t know the names of clouds. I don’t know the names of trees, most flowers, most plants in general. I don’t know the tune a man whistles in the next room though I am usually pretty good at identifying songs. I don’t know the meanings of many acronyms. I just looked up the meaning of IRL which means in real life. In real life I stare at the stars and the clouds and the trees, flowers, plants and the movements the wind makes in these things for hours. You only live once. Last week my friends had to define FOMO for me which means fear of missing out. I fear missing out on real life. I don't know what that means. I fear missing out on the future. I want to live a very long time. pink gray fog at dusk what am I forgetting?
Rick Burkhardt TED (for speaking violinist and speaking pianist)
Lily Cox-Richard, The Stand: Eve Disconsolate Carved plaster, H:69 W:26 D:26, 2013
Carey McKenzie excerpt from the screenplay CASH CEO ANDREW RANDALL is gravely injured on his way to work, hours before he is due to sign off on the sale of his family’s food company to VIKTOR VOLKOV. His wife LISA is convinced it wasn’t an accident, citing Andrew’s recent paranoia. Viktor is not for stalling, egged on by Andrew’s uncle, HARRY RANDALL, who is chairman of the board. As COO, EVE KLEIN, insists on delaying the deal to avoid having the company pilloried in the press. She is badly spooked when she is attacked in Andrew's home while trying to retrieve his digital devices. She learns that Andrew was blocking the deal; it seems Lisa may be right. Panorama producer FERGAL McCABE pursues Eve for a programme he’s making about Russian oligarchs. They were at college together; there's chemistry that has never played out. He's after some dirt on Viktor and his oligarch brother ANTON.
EXT. WILTON CRESCENT HOUSE, BELGRAVIA - EVENING Eve strides round the corner in high heeled boots. Three RUSSIAN BUSINESSMEN smoke and talk shop on the front steps of a house near the other end of the crescent. Eve goes confidently towards them. INT. WILTON CRESCENT HOUSE - EVENING In the HALL a Russian HOSTESS greets Eve with a perfect smile, iPad in hand. EVE Eve Klein. I work with Mr Volkov. HOSTESS A moment please. She indicates that Eve should step aside, then turns to a SECURITY WOMAN, who types Eve’s name into a hand held device. MARTEN PROUDFOOT (30s) an Aussie journalist with attitude, comes out of the party carrying a hardcover book. EVE Marten. Don’t make me wish I had no morals.
MARTEN I think you mean scruples. No one in London has morals. EVE We could’ve closed today but it just seemed ... wrong. MARTEN Was it an accident? EVE No question. MARTEN Will he make it? EVE Definitely. The Hostess indicates that Eve may enter. MARTEN Definitely, you hope so or definitely you know so? EVE Definitely this has no bearing on the buyout. I’d better go in. MARTEN Yes, go and pay court to your Russians. Eve gives him a tight smile and heads into the MAIN RECEPTION. Expensively suited Russian MEN and their WIVES mix with LAWYERS, ACADEMICS and RUSSOPHILES. Eve skirts a table laden with hard cover copies of “WHO WANTS TO BE A BILLIONAIRE?”. The cover illustration is a Russian doll: emerging from dowdy traditional outer layers is a glamorous inner doll dripping with bling.
Eve spots Viktor with Anton. Anton’s Bodyguard and his BACKUP are a few feet away. Viktor’s man, Dmitry, hovers farther off, nibbling on a skewer of chicken satay. Anton lords it over his sibling. ANTON (in Russian) Come to the house. VIKTOR (in Russian) If it didn’t take an hour... ANTON The trees are incredible. VIKTOR In every season. I know. (in English) Eve. Come and meet Anton. Eve initiates a handshake with Anton. EVE Eve Klein. VIKTOR Eve is the Randall I intend to keep. ANTON The one who married a Jew. EVE Actually it was my mother... VIKTOR Eve is the acting CEO. ANTON Can a Russian owned Randall’s make mint sauce “By Appointment to the Queen”?
EVE As long as the Palace keeps ordering it, absolutely. ANTON How will you sell the Royals on Viktor? EVE Esteemed family firm, having reached the limit of its UK potential, embraces participation in an emerging global food conglomerate. Anton raises his chin and looks down his nose at her. ANTON You’re a good liar. EVE I don’t lie, Mr Volkov. I sequence the truth. Viktor smirks. Anton gives Eve his business card: “Anton Volkov, CEO, VERIKSET” ANTON Call me when you tire of Viktor. Viktor takes the snub like an icy drink in the face. Eve is embarrassed for both of them. Anton turns to greet another OLIGARCH who comes trailing his own CLOSE PROTECTOR. VIKTOR Did you meet my wife? Viktor indicates KATYA (30s) who has bright eyes behind her stylish fringe and dark rimmed spectacles. EVE Not yet. Katya signs a copy of her book for a WIFE (50s) in Chanel.
VIKTOR She’s a lot cleverer than me. He nods, pleased with himself. EVE Her book isn’t flattering to the oligarchs is it? VIKTOR Katya is interested in the power of the rich, not their feelings. EVE So why are they here? VIKTOR To see Anton. Eve glances at the Oligarch and Anton chatting nearby. She notices the Oligarch’s head bowed in rapt attention, the little gestures of familiarity, the bodyguards. VIKTOR (CONT’D) It’s known that he has old fashioned ideas about family. They could be certain he’d come. Shoulder to shoulder, they survey the scene. EVE I got my job on merit. VIKTOR And you deserve to keep it. EVE I do. VIKTOR I like you, Eve. EVE Unfathomably, I like you too Viktor.
Hoa Nguyen DIỆP BEFORE COMPLETION
Her first name deemed too delicate for a failing baby She was a baby failing (arrived blue feet first) Newly named Diệp after the strapping Chinese butcher Renamed
She says later “It’s an ugly sounding name” and thus not popular I say it wrongly can’t really say it fake my way Do we believe in The Compassionate Protector of Children? (The past tense of sing is not singed)
(previously published in EVENT)
Douglas Degges, untitled oil on panel, 14 x 11", 2014
Ken Hill, untitled Acrylic on canvas, 48" x 66", 2014
Paul Rusconi excerpt from the novel A Motion to Extend Time
Shopping for band-aids always made me think of my middle school social studies teacher, who summed up communism in this way: they don’t have any choices when they shop, because there’s only one of everything on store shelves, if there’s anything at all. At the time, this explanation was meant to (and did) invoke the horrors of the U.S.S.R., the glories of the U.S., and the reason for the Cold War, but communism looked pretty good when I was standing in front of the band-aids at Duane Reade. There were too many sizes, too many styles, too many brands, and the packaging was difficult to decipher. I didn’t want choices. All I wanted was a box of plain 3/4" x 3" band-aids—the only size band-aid I or anyone ever needed, and therefore, I bet, the only bandaid on store shelves in the Soviet Union. What usually happened was, after contemplating the band-aids on display, I’d choose the box that I thought I wanted only to discover as soon as I cut myself that I’d made the wrong choice, that is to say, I’d chosen a box of band-aids of many different sizes, most of them useless, like the tiny thin strips, for instance, or those dots that wouldn’t even stick to the skin. I had a box of these useless band-aids under the sink in my bathroom—a consolidation of all of the wrong band-aids I had bought in my entire adult life—which moved with me from apartment to apartment, because I didn’t feel right throwing out unused band-aids, not to mention the superstition I harbored, i.e., as soon as I threw them out I’d cut myself in such a way that demanded one. If I had been a middle school social studies teacher in the Soviet Union, I would have used my box of band-aids to illustrate the evils of capitalism, the waste of the West, and the impotence of the American consumer, who was forever at the mercy of band-aid manufacturers and their ilk. They overwhelmed us with choices to make us feel empowered, but it was all an
illusion. It was an elaborate business plan, actually; with so many choices, we were bound to choose products we didn’t need, buy them, not use them, throw them out, and then be forced to go out and make more of the wrong choices, buy more of the wrong products, ad infinitum. And it went deeper than that. Sometimes we weren’t even making a choice. Several years ago I read a magazine article about a razor that had been marketed to white, educated, urban men in their late 20s and early 30s who cared about the way they looked but didn’t want anyone to know that they cared about the way they looked or that they spent as much time as they did making themselves look good. In short, this razor had been marketed to men like me—and it was, in fact, my razor, the razor that I thought I had chosen on my own. How did they know that I’d want that razor? How did they make me believe that I had chosen it on my own? And how did they know that I cared so much about the way I looked? And wasn’t it possible that the health of the American band-aid industry was predicated on consumers continually buying the wrong boxes of band-aids, i.e., that the band-aid manufacturers orchestrated my wrong choices just as the razor makers directed me to “freely” choose the razor that I loved? Because I always chose the wrong box of bandaids—the same wrong box—and when, on a previous band-aid-buying excursion, I had tried to upset my purchasing pattern by eliminating from consideration the box of band-aids that I thought I wanted first, I ended up with a box of iridescent band-aids, that is to say, a different box of band-aids, yes, but still wrong. Who would buy iridescent band-aids? The only person I ever saw wearing one was Anthony—blue, on his elbow—which meant, if my theory was correct, that iridescent band-aids were wrong-marketed to old Italian women who shopped for their middle-aged sons. “Can I help you find something?”
It was a clerk, an Indian teen, or a teen of Indian extraction, from India, not Native American. I must have been staring at the band-aids display for too long, because Duane Reade clerks never offered assistance. But instead of jumping to conclusions based on my first thought, i.e., that I was being watched by a suspicious store manager, I went with my second thought, which was: how fortuitous! This probably straight Indian teen clerk can choose band-aids for me. He certainly won’t choose the same wrong box of band-aids that I would choose—the same wrong box that the band-aid manufacturers wanted me to choose—and we were so different that his wrong box might turn out to be the right box for me. “I’m looking for band-aids,” I said. The clerk pointed at the shelves and walked away. I returned to my first thought: they were watching me. I left the store.
Anthony Gatto excerpt from WISE BLOOD
Portions can be heard here: https://soundcloud.com/anthony-gatto/sets/wiseblood-last-12-minutes
Jen Mazza, Space CH 4 oil on canvas, 15 x 17 inches, 2014
Larry Krone, Mean Vicious Wild Mylar, tape, 8 x 26', 2013
Jonathan Skinner The Unbending of the Faculties leaving the Cheerios-scented nature preserve we pass General Mills’s Elevator a billboard reading Instant Everything up the Thruway and Niagara to Santasiero’s for Pasta Fasoola, Pasta Santanesca dry red table wine past Cornershop: “An ‘outside’ was always what I wanted to get to, the proverbial opening in the clearing, plain church with massed, seated persons, the bright water dense with white caps and happy children . . .” to Bidwell Parkway no neighborhood more than “many minutes’ walk” from a PARKWAY where some substantial recreative advantage is incidentally gained in passing through or that was the idea: to put the city in the park, not the other way around to be done in fresco, considering exterior objects, some of them at a distance
and even existing only in the imagination PARK a simple, broad, open space of clean greensward, with play of surface and a sufficient number of trees about to supply a variety of light and shade. Buffalo’s estimated canopy cover twelve percent, the national average one third crossing a bay—the distances hard to judge, what seemed empty ripple with singularities: a sort of tumulus (“par”) Natural Regeneration Area, “Planetary Garden” with insect soundscapes “an agitation of flows around the planet —winds, marine currents, animal and human migrations—through which the species transported find themselves mixed and redistributed.” what is the park to me spots of time on the edges of the fairway I know a place some mower with a sense of humor left a weedy island city of clover and iris flag datura thistle & daisies . . .
Stone bridges, in the northeast corner of the park, once spanned the Quarry Garden — since filled with debris from the construction of Route 198 — now sit on grass. “Four Trees — upon a solitary Acre — Without Design Or Order, or Apparent Action — Maintain —” Survivors of the Columbus Day storm where the snow did THUNDER in the Episcopal Church as poet Robin Blaser, reading for Robert Creeley said “God” into the Silurian, into Onondaga limestone, “the Devonian” right where the tracks from Canada cross Main Street . . . “a precise Route 20 limit of Western New York.” the sky towers over the towering trees, in Burchfield’s The Three Trees .
all the art of a park . . . of which the predominating influence is to stimulate exertion; OR which causes us to receive pleasure without conscious exertion . . . is to influence the mind through the imagination favoring the unconscious or indirect recreation . . . which goes back of thought, and cannot be fully given the form of words
with a pastoral, hazy outline . . . obscurity of detail further away . . . Humboldt Parkway, a green artery from The Park in the west to The Parade to the east, made way for Route 33, four lanes pounding the suburbs to work, dividing them, a moat, a border vacuum . . . the color line the Conservancy's master plan crosses, with Delaware Park: “Reconsider the golf course—maintain, downgrade to a 9-hole course, or remove.” Who plays here who can’t play in their own Olmsted park, east of the Main Street line? Push-back from the mayor’s office, with the unions. “This is Buffalo”—crushing an invisible cigarette butt, on the back of his hand. Drawing a line, with her finger and eyes — “that long northern light.” There are vast quantities of it in the air immediately above The Park, reflected off the lake. Locke: to establish sound minds in sound bodies—the foundation of all wealth. a condition is necessary, known . . . as the unbending of the faculties which have been tasked, with objects and reflections of quite different character from those . . . associated with their bent condition the foundation of all wealth . . . in Olmsted’s parks the open space system, the progressive era, and the reform park
are layered the foundation . . . one of the great ironies of Olmsted’s country landscape legacy: that his greenswards have been preserved as golf courses of all wealth
Note: all text in italics from the writings of Frederick Law Olmsted; other quotations from Robert Creeley (“An ‘outside’”), Gilles Clément (“an agitation”), Emily Dickinson (“Four Trees”), Douglas Manson (“This is Buffalo”), Bobbie Louise Hawkins (“that long northern light”) ~~
Rachel May Rorschach, after Andy Warhol
Annita Sawyer excerpt from Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass: A Psychologist’s Memoir How long could a body hold together once the person inside of it had gone? Except for some veins and maybe a few wasting muscles, when I thought of myself, I saw hollow corridors with cobwebs hanging in the dark, empty spaces. I recognized a smell that lurked in basements, damp and mildewy, from dust and dirt and dead animals. From old newspapers, rags, oil, and sweat that had become too cold and hung in the air long undisturbed. All of these fell apart if you touched them. I wondered if I were destined to fall apart like that, or if the move to a different hospital might save me. I wondered how long I would last. Seated on a pale, lumpy love seat in the alcove of a room in the Admissions Building, I pressed my body into the small sofa’s cushioned arm. Mrs. Callahan, a big nurse from my ward, crowded beside me. We were waiting for my parents to drive me to the psychiatric hospital in New York City. I heard nurses and doctors talking and laughing as they walked through a hall past the room. Some startled when they saw me. They stopped short, then moved slowly, as if I were asleep and shouldn’t be disturbed. Patients weren’t usually there. I’d left my ward early, before the others were up. “Could I say good-bye to Jill and Megan?” I’d asked Mrs. Callahan, while I tied my shoes. “I promise I won’t make noise.” “No,” Mrs. Callahan had said. “We’ll have no scenes on my watch. Move along.” My doctor said it was good news for me to be going to another hospital, and I believed him. It was good news for me to be getting a fresh start. And it was good news for him to be getting rid of me.
Gudrun Barenbrock, images from punchcard music
Contributors: Gessy Alvarez earned her MFA from Columbia University. Her prose has appeared in Literary Orphans, The NewerYork, Hothouse Magazine, A Clean, Well-Lighted Place, Bartleby Snopes, Pank, and other publications. Antena is a language justice and literary experimentation collaborative that uses writing and multilingual space-building as conduits for collective creative activist practice that reimagines the power of language. More info: http://antenaantena.org/. Gudrun Barenbrock is a Cologne/Germany-based painter and video artist. Her space-related multi-channel installations often develop in collaboration with sound artists and can be seen both in gallery shows and on international festivals. Graeme Bezanson is a founding editor of Coldfront, an online magazine covering contemporary poetry and music. His writing has appeared in Washington Square, Verse, Coconut, Everyday Genius, and elsewhere. Randon Billings Noble is an essayist. Her work has appeared in the Modern Love column of The New York Times, The Massachusetts Review, The Georgia Review, Shenandoah, The Rumpus and elsewhere. Leslie Brack is a painter who lives in Ithaca, NY. Jackie Branson received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied printmaking, digital media, and sculpture. She has held fellowships at VCCA, Sculpture Space and the Millay Colony. Rick Burkhardt is an Obie-award-winning playwright, performer, composer, and songwriter whose original chamber music, theater, and text pieces have been performed in over 40 US cities, as well as in Europe, Mexico, Canada, Taiwan, Australia, and New Zealand. Nikia Chaney is the author of two chapbooks, Sis Fuss (Orange Monkey Publishing, 2013), and Ladies Please (Dancing Girl Press, 2013). She teaches at San Bernardino Valley College. Caroline Clerc is a Los Angeles based artist showing in west-coast galleries. Residencies include Obracadobra, Mexico and NKD, Norway. Her MFA is from UCSB and she is faculty at USC.
Lydia Conklin has received a Pushcart Prize and scholarships and fellowships from Millay, MacDowell, Yaddo, Bread Loaf and others. Her fiction has appeared in The Southern Review, Narrative, and elsewhere. Lily Cox-Richard is a sculptor based in Houston, Texas. She has exhibited at Hirschl & Adler in New York, Vox Populi in Philadelphia, and the Poor Farm in Manawa, Wisconsin. Thomas Cummins is based out of his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. His photographs of architecture capture vast empty spaces and disclose how individuals define themselves throughout surrounding social structures. Originally from Louisiana, Douglas Degges graduated with his MFA from the University of Iowa. He currently works as an art handler and recently had a solo show at Horse House in NYC. Cathy Earnest is a Chicago playwright. She holds an MA from The Writersâ€™ Program at University of Illinois and a Bachelors in Music from Elmhurst College. Anthony Gatto is a composer of music for theater, dance, film, opera, and concert music. Founder of The Festival Dancing in Your Head, held at the Walker Art Center, dedicated to the music, ideas, and influences of Ornette Coleman. Joseph Harrington is the author of Things Come On (an amneoir) (Wesleyan), a Rumpus Poetry Book Club selection, and the critical study, Poetry and the Public. Ken Hill recently earned an MFA from Rutgers Mason Gross and holds a BFA from Tyler School of Art. Ken currently maintains a studio in Brooklyn, NY. Aaron Hodges is a musician and occasional physical performer. He makes music under the moniker Longshoreman. He is from the South and resides in Brooklyn, NY. Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder of Antena. A recent chapbook is Conditions/Conditioning, a collaboration with TC Tolbert (Newlights Press, 2014). Davy Knittle's poetry and criticism have appeared recently in Denver Quarterly, Caketrain and Rain Taxi. He lives in Iowa City, where he co-curates the Human Body Series with Sophia Dahlin.
Larry Krone is a New York-based visual artist, musician, performer, and designer. His most recent solo exhibition was at Pierogi (Brooklyn) with a corresponding performance at Joeâ€™s Pub (New York). Rachel May is a writer and Assistant Professor at Northern Michigan University. Her book, Quilting with a Modern Slant, was named a Best Book of 2014 by Library Journal and Amazon.com. Jen Mazza received an M.F.A. from Mason Gross School of the Arts (2001). She teaches at Parsons The New School of Design and is represented by Tibor de Nagy Gallery in New York. Screenwriter and director Carey McKenzie read English at Cambridge and studied filmmaking at NYU. Her film credits include Original Child Bomb, a documentary about nuclear weapons, and Cold Harbour, a thriller. Lincoln Michel is co-editor of Gigantic and online editor of Electric Literature. His debut collection, Upright Beasts, is forthcoming from Coffee House Press. Find him online at lincolnmichel.com and @thelincoln. Hoa Nguyen teaches poetics and reads tarot. She is the author of nine books and chapbooks, most recently an early uncollected gathering Red Juice: Poems 1998 - 2008. Gina Occhiogrossoâ€™s work has been included at The Painting Center and The High Line in NY, and Pierogi in Brooklyn, and has been mentioned in the Brooklyn Rail and The New York Times. Gabriel Pionkowski was a resident at the Millay Colony during the summer of 2013, and since has exhibited at The Hole, NYC, Galerie Helene Bailly, Paris, and VIGO Gallery, London. John Pluecker is a writer, interpreter, translator, and co-founder of Antena. His work is informed by experimental poetics, radical aesthetics and cross-border cultural production. A recent chapbook is Killing Current (Mouthfeel Press, 2012). Kasia Nikhamina writes, and rides bikes. Follow her blog and Instagram: TheMayorsHotel.
kate hers RHEE, visual artist and cultural producer, born in Seoul, grew up in Detroit, lives and works in Berlin. Uses language and food as ethnic markers of difference. www.estherka.com Christopher Robinson’s debut novel, War of the Encyclopaedists, is forthcoming from Scribner (May 2015). His work has appeared widely, including in New England Review and McSweeney’s. He lives in Seattle. Paul Rusconi lives in Brooklyn. This is an excerpt from his novel A Motion to Extend Time. Lisa Gabrielle Russell is a Boston based artist whose work has been shown in over 200 national and international exhibitions. Metta Sáma is author of AFTER "SLEEPING TO DREAM/AFTER AFTER (Nous- Zot 2014). "Lillian is an ordinary child" and “Nice, OH” were written at Millay: the former appears in ALL ABOUT SKIN (UW Press 2014). Annita Sawyer is a clinical psychologist and writer. Her memoir Smoking Cigarettes, Eating Glass won the 2013 Santa Fe Writers Project nonfiction prize and will be published by SFWP in spring 2015. Jonathan Skinner founded the journal ecopoetics. His books include Chip Calls (Little Red Leaves, 2014), Birds of Tifft (BlazeVOX, 2011), Warblers (Albion, 2010) and Political Cactus Poems (Palm Press, 2005). Jonathan Sokol Lecturer: Baldwin Wallace University, Cleveland State University. Artist Faculty: Brevard Music Center. Composer-in-Residence: Boulder Symphony.Awards/honors: ASCAP, Boston New Music Initiative, Millay Colony For the Arts, Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. Cindy St. John is the author of four chapbooks, most recently I Wrote This Poem (Salt Hill). She lives in Austin, TX. Shruti Swamy lives and writes in San Francisco’s Tenderloin, and is currently at work on her first novel. You can find more about her and her work at shrutiswamy.com. Margaret Withers is an artist who currently lives in Manhattan. As a painter she is constantly chasing a narrative that is wrapped in play and touches on melancholy and humor.
Millay Colony Staff: Executive Director Caroline Crumpacker
Millay Colony Board: President Melissa Sandor
Residency Director Calliope Nicholas
Vice President Nora Maynard
Program Manager Cara Benson
Secretary Sunil Bald
Chef Donna Wenzel
Treasurer Anthony Lacavaro
Building and Grounds T. Hall & Evergreen Property Management
Nicholas Boggs Stacy Flood Betsy Rosenfield Samet Virginia Sheridan Ben Statz
Web Designer Ira Sher
The Millay Colony for the Arts offers one-month residencies to six visual artists, writers and composers each month between the months of April and November. Nurturing the work of artists of all ages, from a range of cultures and communities, and in all stages of their artistic career, the Colony offers comfortable private rooms, private studio spaces and ample time to work in a quiet, pastoral atmosphere. 454 East Hill Rd / Austerlitz, NY / www.millaycolony.org
The Millay Colony for the Arts is an artistsâ€™ residency program on the former property of poet Edna St. Vincent Millay located in Austerliz, New York. Founded in 1973, the Colonyâ€™s mission is to nurture and promote the vitality of the arts by providing writers, visual artists and composers with a rural retreat that encourages creative intensity and exploration in the context of a nurturing and communal artistic community. The strength of the Millay Colony's resident program lies in its 18-acre campus nestled in the foothills of the Berkshire mountains, the intimate size and multidisciplinary nature of each resident group, and our faithful adherence to a policy of assuring complete freedom and privacy for residents.
The Millay Colony for the Arts-454 East Hill Road-Austerlitz, NY 12017-Ph (518) 392-4144--