Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Dan Wakefield's new book!

hijack_175, originally uploaded by carbonator.

get your copy now or die trying!

"Dan Wakefield has had a long career of fair-minded and important and meticulously researched journalism. And he crowns that career with as complete an account and analysis as one could wish, of the capturing of Jesus Christ as a totem for a few powerful Americans, intent on becoming powerful all over the world, and by violent and corrupt means which are anything but Christ-like. The very last words in this fine book are not by Dan Wakefield but Jesus, his Sermon on the Mount, not what you would want to call Pat Robertson or Dick Cheney stuff."
— Kurt Vonnegut

newspaper account of our reading @ Butler

Visiting writer series returns strong

By Sarah Hill
Dawgnet Editor-in-Chief

Competing against a basketball game and tornado warnings might cause some poets trouble drawing a crowd; this was not true for Denise Duhamel and Nick Carbo who read works ranging in nature from Barbie and Ken attempting to have sex to the tales of Ang Tunay Na Lalaki, a bare-chested muscled character of Philippine hard liquor commercials.

Laughter echoed from the Johnson room of Robertson Hall Thursday night for the wife and husband duo, the first visiting writers of the second semester. The reading was also the first to occur after the death of Vivian L. Delbrook, the series endower.

Duhamel, winner of the Crab Orchard Poetry Prize and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, began the night by reading from her book "Two and Two." She wrote the poem, “Noah and Joan,” after hearing that when asked who Joan of Arc was, twenty percent of Americans responded, Noah’s wife.

She critiques society in the poem saying, “I’ll admit it- Americans are pretty dumb and forgetful when it comes to history. And they’re notorious for interpreting the Bible to suit themselves.” The poem goes on to describe the life Joan would have had if she had been the wife of Noah rather than a French martyr who died at 19.

In her book "Kinky," Duhamel again comments on society through the use of Barbie as her main character. Duhamel read one of the works from "Kinky" in which she describes Barbie and Ken “trying to do it” but they have nothing to do it with and so they must be creative. Barbie and Ken experiment with removing each others parts; Ken removes her leg and tries to stick his arm in the empty socket, and Barbie also encourages him to try on her outfits. According to Duhamel, she used humor in her poetry to discuss feminist and political issues.

“I thought she [Barbie] was a really interesting vehicle or metaphor for women,” Duhamel said during the question and answer session following the reading. “She always has to smile, even if a dog is chewing her arm off.”

When asked what it was like to be married to another poet, Duhamel responded that they went into it making a pact to be in poverty together forever. She described her familiarity with poverty in the poem “Egg roll” in which she debates using the last of her savings, seven dollars, to buy herself an egg roll.

When Carbo came to the podium after Duhamel, he informed the audience that he would be reading a poem that included genitals and if anyone needed to leave he would turn his back and they could do so. When Carbo turned back around, no one had left the room. In the poem, “Grammaronics,” Carbo said he was trying to explain grammar to his students so he made it “sexy.”

According to Carbo, the most important aspects that he conveys to readers through his poetry are political. He said that he uses poetry to reveal the hypocrisy of conquerors of empires. In his book "Secret Agent Man," Carbo takes his main character Ang Tunay Na Lalaki, an immigrant from the Philippines, and brings him to New York.

Throughout the book Ang Tunay Na Lalaki has many encounters and experiences such as visiting famous museums, watching TV, and meeting women. In one of Na Lalaki’s adventures, he meets Duhamel’s main character Barbie at a bar. Barbie says to him, “I was made in the Philippines; it looks like you were made there too.”

Lightning began to illuminate the windows behind Carbo towards the end of his reading, and soon the tornado sirens were sounding.

“Should we run?” asked Carbo. “I’ll finish this poem first.”

Carbo finished his reading on a note of laughter from the audience, and after spending an evening in the world of Barbie and Philippine immigrants, it was time for audience members to brave the cold rain and head back to reality.


b-audienceleft, originally uploaded by carbonator.

there's karen & geno in the first row. behind them making peace fingers is luba haliki (who recently got married and moved to indy and hey girl, send me some poems for the mipo apa issue!), fifth row at the edge is nicole (who was one of our dublin summer students who now teaches high school in indy. it was great to see old friends.


b-audienceright, originally uploaded by carbonator.

pic of the right aisle of the audience. this was just before the tornado sirens sounded off and everybody stayed to listen to some poems instead of seeking shelter.


b-geno&karen, originally uploaded by carbonator.

see, there's geno and karen amidst the sea of white faces which reminds me of luis francia's title of his anthology: brown river, white ocean. true, huh!


b-dinner, originally uploaded by carbonator.

o.k. the picture is blurry but we had a nice italian dinner with some butler undergrads (foreground), and our nicest of hosts norm minnick (who runs the writers series, last on left), and susan neville (awesome writer, last on right). on the left is eugene gloria and his wife karen who drove in to indy from depaw to come hear us read.

the next day, thursday butler university reading

we both read in this one.


p-amy,marianne,denise, originally uploaded by carbonator.

after the reading, don platt graciously opened up his house for a party for us and he made his famous olive tapenade. here's amy quan barry (visiting poet at perdue for the year), marianne boruch (so relaxed and kickin' it back during her guggenheim fellowship leave), and denise.


p-us, originally uploaded by carbonator.

they were very nice hosts. here's leslie, denise, nick, porter (director of mfa program), and bich.


p-flowersfan, originally uploaded by carbonator.

here's leslie, a fine perdue mfa grad student who introduced denise at the reading and who also drove us back to indy the next day but she got a little lost finding the hotel.


p-signing, originally uploaded by carbonator.

denise signing a book for one of her many fans.

p-denise fans

p-denise fans, originally uploaded by carbonator.

yes, many denise fans and the bookstore sold out all the books they had to sell.


p-audience, originally uploaded by carbonator.

last week we had our Indiana readings extravaganza which began with the great poet Donald Platt picking us up at the indy airport and driving us all the way to Purdue (to first have a tasty lunch at a japanese restaurant) where Denise read to a packed room.

Friday, February 10, 2006

just in time for valentines day

sex&chocolate, originally uploaded by carbonator.

the SEX & CHOCOLATE anthology edited by lucinda ebersole and richard peabody. lots of delicious authors in this one!