Sunday, December 1, 2013
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
La Bloga reports on SDSU Professor and author, Bill Nericcio's, recent visit to UCLA. Take a look at here:
William A. Nericcio is a professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University, where he also serves on the faculties of the Latin American studies and Chicana/o studies departments, and as director of MALAS (Master of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences), a cultural studies graduate program. He is the author of Tex[t]-Mex: Seductive Hallucinations of“Mexicans” in America (2007), and editor of The Hurt Business: Oliver Mayer's Early Works Plus [+] (2008) and Homer from Salinas: John Steinbeck’s Enduring Voice for California (2009). Nericcio blogs at http://textmex.blogspot.com/ andhttp://eyegiene.tumblr.co.
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I just watched the documentary A Band Called Death. What a story! I'd heard of the movie, but forgot about it. Uncompromising. Ahead of their time. Super talented musicianship. Check it out!
Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death.
Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early '70s formed a band in their spare bedroom, began playing a few local gigs and even pressed a single in the hopes of getting signed. But this was the era of Motown and emerging disco. Record companies found Death’s music— and band name—too intimidating, and the group were never given a fair shot, disbanding before they even completed one album. Equal parts electrifying rockumentary and epic family love story, A Band Called Death chronicles the incredible fairy-tale journey of what happened almost three decades later, when a dusty 1974 demo tape made its way out of the attic and found an audience several generations younger. Playing music impossibly ahead of its time, Death is now being credited as the first black punk band (hell...the first punk band!), and are finally receiving their long overdue recognition as true rock pioneers.
Monday, November 25, 2013
|David Antin introducing Jerome Rothenberg: DG Wills, La Jolla California|
My goodness. Such history and sustained, vigorous artistic output in the main space at DG Wills on Saturday night (Rothenberg has four just-published books out this year). David Antin introduced his old friend, Jerome Rothenberg, while the amazing and tough Diane Rothenberg and Eleanor Antin sat in the front row. It was nice to hear stories about the two couples long history together as told by Rothenberg and Antin, sixty years, if me remembers correctly.
The reading was in support of Rothenberg's giant collection Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader, Edited with Heriberto Yépez. The reader was published by Black Widow Press, and it features a portion of Goya's Asmodea as the cover art. It really is a beautiful book. Selections from Rothenberg's years of producing amazing poetry, translations, and anthologizing world literature is presented in this volume. If not for Rothenberg's anthologies and translations, who knows if I would have ever had an entry point into the work and/or chants of figures like María Sabina, Léon Damas, among many, many more.
|María Sabina--Mazatec curandera|
|Léon Damas--One of the founders of the Négritude Movement, poet and politician|
Inclusivity is a word that I often hear or read regarding Rothenberg's work. The idea of enthopoetics, and the act of forging into the luster of deep culture, as he calls it, I can dig it.
|J. Rothenberg--BTW: the bag of chips didn't belong to him.|
Following the reading, I began fingering through Eye of Witness at home, as well as pulling up old footage of Rothenberg readings and interviews on my laptop. A piece that struck me can be found on the LINEbreak program. It's from "The Horse Songs of Frank Mitchell." In it, Rothenberg performs a 'total translation' of a Navaho horse blessing. In the same episode, Rothenberg answers Charles Bernstein's questions about those who might criticize 'the outsider' who is perceived as infiltrating cultural artifact.
In closing, I wish there were more younger people in the audience that night. An oral history was on display that evening that could have been tapped with deep and hungry questions.
Upon having my copy of Eye of Witness signed:
Me: muchísimas gracias, Mr. Rothenberg.
Rothenberg: de nada.
Saturday, November 23, 2013
|by Rod Bradley|
Such trials could grind any person down, but for Coleman they became a vital source for poetry that compelled attention to racism and hatred — the themes that most drove her to transcend the barriers of her birth and take her place as one of the city's most perceptive writers.
Mercurochrome is a book that I return to ever so often. To see Wanda Coleman and Austin Straus read and perform together a couple of years ago at the San Diego City College International Book Fair was a undoubtedly a highlight for me. Damn.
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Check out this incredible project driven by two of my fabulous colleagues and their students. The teachers are Nuvia Crisol Ruland and Matthew Simon. Please donate if you can!