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Stephanie Barber Talks with Laura Van den Berg

Over at BOMB Magazine, Laura Van den Berg interviewed Stephanie Barber about her new book, All the People (Ink Press 2015), which is a collection of short, prosey portraits of dozens of fictitious-but-real humans. It’s a beautifully produced book—the cover is nicely printed onto cereal boxes and the binding is hand-sewn  In the interview, Laura prompts Stephanie to talk about the thinking behind her varied types of work like writing a haiku everyday on Facebook, or the time she installed her studio for a month inside the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Stephanie Barber talks about the what:

But also, as regards media, I feel very strongly that I am simply making pieces of art. I don’t think a painting is a poem, or a film is a song, but I do think they can be received and created and considered as simply emotional or philosophical offerings made somehow sensorially manifest. I like the Buddhist word ayatana, which includes the mind as a sense organ.

and also how that works in her new book, specifically:

I’m also interested in using a sort of generic vernacular, particularly when what I am writing about is potentially too precious or heavy. There’s a desire to balance the depth of the concept with a light—or degraded?—handling. Mostly I was thinking about how something is being said as “the portrait,” not what is being said.

Read that interview here. Also check out Stephanie’s brilliant photo essays at Art21—and right here you can buy her DVD of films or her sensational YouTube book, Night Moves.

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Free Comic Book!

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Hot off the press!

I just got home from the post office, where I’d shipped off the contributor copies of The Well-Dressed Bear to Jarod. As I pulled in, the mail carrier was putting these mini comics on my porch. He could tell how excited I was, but he didn’t stick around to watch me open the box. He shoulda! Look how pretty this is. Jarod used his risograph printer on sketchbook paper.

These are going out FREE to all the people who preorder the book.

Don’t forget to use coupon code BEAR-Y CHEAP to get the nice price.

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Review of Well-Dressed Bear at The Small Press Book Review

Screen Shot 2015-08-19 at 5.00.22 PMAt the Small Press Book Review, Melissa Reddish has put together a thoughtful look at Jarod Roselló’s graphic novel, The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found. Her review centers on current events—responses to the shooting of Cecil the lion in contrast to the shooting of unarmed people of color (she goes on to reference Trayvon Martin and his hoodie, as some characters in Roselló’s book wear hoodies)—and how through that we seek connection. She points to the ringing telephone and how it’s always the wrong number. In summarizing WDB structure, she says:

There are two parallel narratives in The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found: the text, which tells the story of a persistent wrong number, and the artwork, which tells the story of the Well-Dressed Bear’s persecution.  Although seemingly separate, they occasionally merge within the artwork.  The wrong number that rings, again and again, evokes Murakami while the menacing streets filled with hooded figures and helicopters beaming searchlights evoke a kind of noir/sci-fi mystery.

Read the review and then don’t forget to order your copy of The Well-Dressed Bear using the coupon BEAR-Y CHEAP for 33% off.

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WORDS: music by David Smooke

BabyBigger
The first couple pages of the story

Composer David Smooke has written a musical monodrama (Wikipedia’d it) based on a story from WORDS by Andy Devine by Michael Kimball. It will be performed in Baltimore on September 8, as a collaboration with Margaret Rorison. The piece will feature vocalists and woodwinds.

From the Facebook invitation:

The September 8 concert will feature the world premiere of Baltimore composer David Smooke’s “A Baby Bigger Grows Than Up Was,” an hour-long monodrama on a text by Baltimore writer Michael Kimball (from the book “Words” published under the name Andy Devine), with visuals by Baltimore filmmaker Margaret Rorison. In this alphabetized tale, the relative stress created by repeating individual words as many as 443 times allows us to perceive elements of an underlying narrative structure while the repetition of words forces us to perceive them as sonic events. Within this unusual organization, we find intimations of more traditional stories that might possibly provide expressive foundations for our listening experience. What at first appears to be an abstract series of words eventually reveals itself as a beautiful, emotionally charged story. The narrator gradually develops a sense of self, growing up with a doting mother and a nearly absent father.

I can’t imagine a better description of what the book does, or a better medium to capture this effect.

Years ago, when Words was released, “Andy Devine” went on tour to dozens of cities across the country by having other people perform as if they were Andy Devine himself. I got to see Smooke perform as Devine in Baltimore, and his presentation was skillful and musical … and funny. I’m excited to see the final project, years in the making, in concert.

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Wet, Hot Fun Camp Discussion Guide

Durham Front WebThe discussion guide we made for Fun Camp (links to ebook version, $5.95) a few years ago could work just as well as a discussion guide for the Netflix show/prequel Wet, Hot American Summer. Here’s a link to download the PDF, if you wanna. (Particularly good for teachers who are looking for texts to use in their humor writing classes.)

FUN CAMP discussion guide (PDF download)

 

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Welcome to the New Publishing Genius Website

Hello, and welcome to the new and improved online home of Publishing Genius. The update was past due, and when the site started crashing a lot I knew I had to steal some time to fix it up.

If you’re interested, the Wayback Machine can show you what PublishingGenius.com looked like throughout the press’s history. Here’s the first iteration of the site, from 2006:

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There was even a Weblog!

That was coded in HTML. Pretty amazing, right? Do you ever miss Verdana? Continue reading Welcome to the New Publishing Genius Website

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Meet Jarod Roselló in AWP’s Spotlight

JarodRoselloJarod Roselló, author and artist of The Well-Dressed Bear Will (Never) Be Found (coming out soon! Preorder it here), is featured on AWP’s website this month. It’s a cool interview about reading habits and his writing and teaching. “Part of the joy of reading,” says Jarod, “comes in entering into dialogue with a book. I want to be affected by a book, of course, but I want to answer back as well. So, I need to write in a book.” Why not read the whole interview how about?

 

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Eat, Knucklehead Featured at Hopes&Fears

Thanks to Kristen Felicetti for featuring Eat, Knucklehead! for summer reading over at Hopes&Fears, a very beautiful new culture website. Her description of the book is wonderful, and it ends, “This book should also appeal to those who understand that cooking can truly be a performance, or an act of creative expression, just like any other art.” Spot on. Order Eat, Knucklehead! right here.