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Poetry: I read it, write it, teach it, edit it, review it, publish it; Etc.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

KGB Bar: Last Night!

This is jet-lagged Sally Ashton, back on terra firma, though somewhat wobbly. But here's a review of the reading I did with Nin Andrews last night. Such a blast. Viva New York City!

From Best American Poetry Blog and the lovely pen of Megin Jimenez.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm off to New York tomorrow to read with Nin Andrews at the KGB Bar next Monday evening, March 30, 7pm. I'm really looking forward to it and know it will be great fun. I get to hang with my daughter, too, AND it's spring break. Too much joy. I'll be back next week. In the meantime, a little KGB humor sent by my pal Kelly:

Come on down if you can!

Sunday, March 22, 2009



It was as if she held a bee in her mouth,

as if only she knew what that buzzing was.

It was as if words had six black legs, wings, antennae,

as if thought hovered over each possibility.

It was as if she tasted what she’d waited so long to know,

as if the bee formed the first surprised syllable.

It was as if something tapped behind her teeth,

as if a music hummed itself in her throat.

It was as if she knew when to open her lips,

as if she knew when to stay completely still.

It was as if such things were entirely possible,

as if she could relish the sweet without sting.

c├ęst moi.

First appeared: Syracuse Cultural Workers Women Artist’s Datebook 2007

Monday, March 16, 2009

Calvino, at last.

Yes, it apparently all comes down to Calvino. Yes, I did finish Six Memos for the Next Millenium some time back, but I have not felt that I finished with the book here. I think I shall not finish with Calvino for some time, however. For one thing, I'll be teaching a short-short workshop at the Gold Rush Writer's Conference at the beginning of May using Six Memos, so I'll be digging back into my notes and into the text in preparation before long.

The final chapter is called "Multiplicity." In it Calvino chiefly addresses the novel, its encyclopedic nature, its value as a vehicle for a "network of connections." Good if at times abstract reading, including excerpts from Italian, German and French authors! Then, a swift return to Ovid and Lucretius all in the matter of the first 10 pages. Then onward to more reflection, Henry James, Dante and Dostoevsky, and of course Borges. The novel considered here as a work of infinite possibilities, and Calvino seems to reach toward them all in pulling this concise yet potently expanding last chapter together. Well, go read it.

But here's the quote that stuck, last page of the book, in which Calvino defends against the notion that such movement toward multiplicity in a work of literature is an inevitable movement away from the vortex of the author's self, that the author must somehow surrender a degree of integrity in order to allow for such unbounded expression.

"But I would answer: Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combinatoria of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable."

Who are we indeed?

the good part

Now I've come to the good part.
I don't hesitate to write--
My bed floats above the city, the city
of abandoned ships.
Happy is the woman who can tell of such things.

(after Wilfried Satty)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Americans for the Arts: take 2

Whenever I think of the name "Americans for the Arts," I immediately think of "Men in Tights." I can't tell you why.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Americans for the Arts

Cool beans. Check it out. Join, it's free. The political is personal and the personal is political. Step lively, now. Americans for the Arts!