by Erica Dawson, Juliana Gray, and Kevin Wilson
At the 2004 Sewanee Writers' Conference in Sewanee,
Tennessee, Erica Dawson, Juliana Gray, and Kevin Wilson recorded works
published in Blackbird, Vol. 2 No. 2. Their readings have been
added to that archived issue and also made available here.
Currents: John Newman
This video of commentary by sculptor
John Newman on his work first appeared on public television's Virginia
April of 2004, producer, Mason Mills.
The video features installation shots of Newman's large-scale public work, Skyrider, in
the Shockoe Bottom area of Richmond, Virginia. The sculpture hangs beneath
Interstate 95 in a tangle of road and rail overpasses known as "the
A Reading by Wesley Gibson
In March of 2004, Wesley Gibson visited the Blackbird office
to read from You Are Here: A Memoir of Arrival (Back Bay Books,
2004). Randy Marshall, reviewing You Are Here in this issue
of Blackbird, writes: "Having had the pleasure of long
talks with the author . . . I can assure you he is here in
the pages of this book, in the voice that emanates from each argument,
shaping the terse, episodic prose of his personal experience into a story
based less on the ebb and flow of day to day than on the slow accumulation
and rearrangement of sympathies and rituals we grasp all too imperfectly
as his life (the book) sweeps us along."
Review | The
Orchard, by Brigit Pegeen Kelly (BOA Editions
Blackbird associate literary editor Susan
Settlemyre Williams reviews The Orchard, the new poetry collection
by Brigit Pegeen Kelly. Williams writes: "Where would Brigit Pegeen
Kelly go? I've been pondering that question since first reading Song (BOA,
1995) several years ago. That extravagant but tightly woven, gorgeous
but terrifying book seemed to represent the apogee of a particular,
highly idiosyncratic poetic vision. Where could Kelly go after
that? The answer, provided by her long-awaited third book, The
Orchard, is 'deeper.'"
Reading by Jon Pineda
On June 17, 2004, Jon Pineda came to the
Virginia Commonwealth University campus to read his story "Animal
Control" from this issue of Blackbird. Pineda is the
author of the poetry collection Birthmark (Southern Illinois
University Press, 2004), winner of the Crab Orchard Award Series
in Poetry Open Competition. A recipient of a Virginia Commission
for the Arts Individual Artist Fellowship, he has new work forthcoming
in Prairie Schooner and in the anthology Asian American
Poetry: The Next Generation (University of Illinois, 2004).
by Patrick Cribben
Overview, a short play by Patrick Cribben,
was read by Cribben and Dean Larsen at Larsen's studios in Scottsville,
Virginia, on April 17, 2004. Patrick Cribben directed. Cribben's play Turnaround also
appears in the Gallery section of this issue of Blackbird.
An Interview with Jon Pineda
On June 17, 2004, Craig Beaven of Blackbird met with fiction writer and poet Jon Pineda at Virginia Commonwealth
University. Pineda is the
author of the short story "Animal Control," which appears
in this issue of Blackbird, and of the poetry collection Birthmark.
They talked about influences and about the relationship between fiction
and poetry, and they discussed how Birthmark moved from unconnected
poems to a Master of Fine Arts thesis to an award-winning poetry collection
(Crab Orchard Award Series 2004).
Craig Beaven, a Kentucky native, holds a Master's
in English from VCU and a BA in English from the University of Kentucky.
His poems and reviews have appeared in ACE Magazine, Limestone,
and the Lexington Herald-Leader. His interviews and book reviews
have appeared in several issues of Blackbird.
Review | Florida,
by Christine Schutt. (TriQuarterly Books/
Northwestern University Press, 2003)
R. H. W. Dillard reviews Florida, the new
novel by Christine Schutt. Dillard writes: "Florida is . . .
an engaging book, emotionally strong, brilliantly written, word by word and
page by page, and profound in its insights—into life, into memory, and
into the uses of language to both capture and to free the human moment." This
review also appears in the June 2004 issue of The Hollins Critic and
is printed here with permission.
Published five times a year, The Hollins Critic has
been a leading American literary journal since 1964. Each issue includes
an essay on the work of a contemporary writer, an artist's cover portrait,
poetry by poets both new and established, and brief book reviews (see Links).
A Reading by Charles
On November 5, 2003, poet Charles Wright read at the Virginia Museum of Fine
Arts as part of Poetic Principles. This series, sponsored by the Virginia Museum
and New Virginia Review, Inc., brings to Richmond the best poets, writers, critics,
and translators at work today. Wright read poems from recent collections and
finished with several new poems.
Memory & Memoir:
A Reading Loop
As we at Blackbird begin to examine
the role of an archive at an online journal, we are struck by how much
the stream of poems, stories, essays, and other bits that we publish
resembles the remarkable river of memory and the personal narratives
that we pull from it daily to signify our lives.
We hope this short "memory" loop will
spur you to think once again about
in the relationship between memory and imagination, as if, as Rick Barot
notes in "Psalm with a Phrase from Beckett," ". . . you
are every morning the world has ever had."
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