Nov 21, 2012
Yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day on a real bonafide college campus. It brought me back about ten years, and I instantly remembered how much I love the collegiate atmosphere. Not only did I enjoy an amazing (free) lunch at the faculty club (where each place setting had SIX pieces of silverware - very fancy!), as well as strolls around the main green, a trip to the university bookstore, and the like, but: I was lucky enough to give two readings from Makebelieve, as well as try out some workshop activities (guided meditation, video trance, free association, place-based writing exercise, ‘geometric shape as vessel,’ text-visual diptychs) in an evening graduate class for poetry. So much fun. Plus, had the day off of work. Thank you Lee Ann for making this happen!!
[nighttime grad class reading]
[collage-making, in the spirit of joseph cornell]
[me pretending for the evening to be a professor]
[about to share my obsession with geometry]
OH. In addition. One of the coolest things about my St. John’s experience: a graphic design class was assigned the task of creating posters for my readings. So when I showed up, there were 9 different versions strewn around the university walls. I was beyond flattered.
Nov 17, 2012
Jun 5, 2012
Join us for an evening of words, moving pictures, and music for a group performance of MAKEBELIEVE (a book by Caitlin Scholl), and other works. Caitlin will be joined by New York -based writers and performers Matt Wise, Jon Reiss, and Justin Allen.
Route 9N · Upper Jay, NY 12987 (next to the bridge)
SATURDAY JUNE 9
Published in 2012 by UNO Press as part of their Contemporary Poetry Series, MAKEBELIEVE is a multi-genre and mixed media archive of memory, tall tales, and poetic collage. As with a treasure chest, one must sift through this work and the ephemera it collects, in order to transcribe the aggregated stories of its contents — the landscapes are real & imagined, past & present, finite & infinite. Part historical fiction, part diaristic exposé, & part philosophical love affair, MAKEBELIEVE is less categorically a book and more simply a rhythm that speaks to the underlying and insatiable state of human desire.
Matt Wise spent his formative years playing paint ball amidst cubist sculpture gardens and vacant garages in the desert surrounding his hometown of Marfa, Texas. His parents, both artists, encouraged his interest in both violence and beauty. Matt holds an MFA in prose writing from The Jack Keouac School in Boulder, Colorado—where he was also an editor of Bombay Gin magazine, founded by Allen Ginsberg. His work has been seen in numerous literary journals from University of Pittsburghs HOT METAL BRIDGE to Fast Forward Press and Tin House. He currently works as a literary agent and assistant in Manhattan.
Jon Reiss is a Brooklyn-based writer/performer/editor whose worked as the arts and culture editor for Jewcy and as a contributing writer for Vol.1 Brooklyn, Brooklyn Based, The Rumpus, The Brooklyn Paper, Venus Magazine, Punknews.org, NY Press and Spin Magazine. He’s recently completed his debut novel Getting Off. His first words were Beat it, from the Michael Jackson song. His favorite ice cream flavor is black raspberry.
Justin Fredrick “The Snake” Allen was born, second of fourteen, to a loving family of Irish/Swedish/German/Russian migrant workers. He spent his youth traveling the east coast, picking apples in the north, tobacco and cotton in the south. At fifteen, he took work apprenticing the great Harry “The Best There Ever Was” Munroe, from whom he tirelessly learned the craft of blacksmithing and knife throwing. He soon became revered as one of the fastest knife throwers in the circuit. In his first amateur competition he threw two knives for every one of his opponent’s. It was from Munroe himself that he acquired the nickname “The Snake,” which referred to the hissing sound the knives made as they spun furiously through the air. After accidentally disfiguring his first love, in a show of drunken bravado, Justin vowed to never throw a knife again. He traded his knives for chisels and began honing his skills as a carpenter. He’s continued to travel the east coast taking work here and there, passing the time playing his father’s guitar and singing the traditional songs of his youth. In 2009 he recorded an album of original music called Flowers and Fists which is soon to be released. Other side-accomplishments include but are not limited to: co-writing and starring in the feature length film Redbelly, and appearing as a runway model in a number of N. Hoolywood’s NYC Fashion Week shows.
Caitlin Scholl is a writer & artist originally hailing from the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. Her first book, Mocemoce, Na Vanua, is unpronounceable by most Americans and only sells in certain areas of Melanesia & the Pacific Rim. Makebelieve, published by UNO Press in 2012, is her second book. Other workshave appeared in Juked, Sonic Eclectic, Edna, r(e)volve, manifest animists, Adirondack Life Magazine, not enough night, and The Spirit of Black Mountain College (a book anthology from Lorimer Press). Caitlin also tinkers away on experimental film shorts, photographic journals, songwriting, and with acrylic on canvas. She has worked as a teacher, editor, and horticulturist, and presently writes and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Event is free and made possible from a grant by Poets & Writers, NY.
Mar 24, 2012
The launch for Makebelieve on Thursday (3/22), at the Brooklyn Art Library, was so much fun. The ambiance was dreamy as the lights went down and a truly diverse & talented line up of readers took the mic, accompanied by projections streaming images from the mountains of Appalachia, doodles on the backs of envelopes, sketches, and of course some archival footage from the Land of Makebelieve.
Thank you so much to the Lee Ann Brown, Jeffrey Joe Nelson, & Corina Copp for sharing your lovely work - it was such a pleasure to read with you. Big thanks also to all the friends & poets who showed up. It was such a nice turn-out, and your presence made the night really special for me.
Corina Copp & myself, backed by a wall of artists’ sketchbooks.
An angelic pic of poets Iris Cushing & David Henderson, post-reading.
The lovely Eli Dvorkin, my co-worker at Art House Co-op (mother of the Brooklyn Art Library), on the nature of multi-media literary performance.
And Chris Heuberger, the master of ceremonies at the BAL … featured here saying “POETRY!”
For those not in the know, here’s a little more about the Brooklyn Art Library: it’s the public archive that houses The Sketchbook Project, one of Art House Co-op’s many public art projects which are, in fact, open to anyone. From the Art House site:
The library acts as the physical extension of Art House and is home to the Sketchbook Project. Our walls are lined with shelves where we display the sketchbooks and visitors are welcome to check out a pile of books, have a seat at one of our sun-soaked oak tables, and pass an afternoon happily browsing.
Anyone who hasn’t checked this place out yet, please make a stop in next time you’re in Williamsburg. The enormity of work they have archived here is really inspiring, and it’s all fully accessible. Plus, there’s a coffee shop next door, so you won’t have to peruse the sketchbooks un-caffeinated. I’d like to help curate more multi-media readings & performances there, so please get in touch if you have any interest in this!
* * *
In Chicago at the AWP reading, as I got up to start, publisher Bill Lavender asked me, “Ummm, how are you going to READ this book?” I suppose I was planning on doing the traditional thing: sitting up on the stool, cracking the spine, and jumping in somewhere. The problem is, Makebelieve is such a tactile, visual book that just putting the actual text out in the aural sphere really doesn’t reflect the work in its entirety, which in some ways is more artifact or tactile experience than an aggregation of, well, text. So for the launch, I put together an accompanying film strip of images from the book, bits of handwritten text, archival video footage from the Land of Makebelieve, and such. I think this helped bring to light a little more that which makes Makebelieve what it is. Here are some snapshots from the reel. Thanks again to everyone who was there to see it - it makes me so happy to share this with all of you.
Mar 11, 2012
Brooklyn, NY - On March 22, 2012, I’ll be reading from Makebelieve at the Brooklyn Art Library, along with NY poets Lee Ann Brown (winner of the 2012 Modern Poet Series Award at Fence, for her manuscript In the Laurels, Caught), and Jeffrey Joe, an Ugly Duckling Presse author.
We’re making grand use of the space, so get ready for some multi-media performances!
Location: Brooklyn Art Library @ 103A N 3rd St (Bedford L or Marcy JMZ)
Please come out to support my first “hometown” reading of Makebelieve, as well as the other fabulous authors & the AMAZING art library where we’ll be performing. Anyone in the NYC vicinity - hope to see you there!
Mar 2, 2012
Well, it’s official … Makebelieve is on the move, and spreading little by little to readers near you. Here’s a recap of the last couple days:
1 - AWP: So Short, but So Sweet!
[Above: Makebelieve on a plane, en route to Chicago]
The reading at AWP was so much fun. I was lucky enough to share the stage with 3 other fabulous writers: UNO author Rob Smith, reading from his novel The Gravedigger; UNO author Ray Bianchi, reading from his translation of Sergio Medieros' Vegetal Sex; and UNO publisher Bill Lavender, reading from Memory Wing (Black Widow Press). They are amazing books, and I hope everyone checks them out.
I was also thrilled to finally meet Bill in person. After probably hundreds of emails over the past year as we prepared to publish Makebelieve, there of course existed a relationship of sorts, but nonetheless it felt so good to finally meet him face-to-face. He’s such a generous reader and man, and I feel so lucky that he has given my book a chance!
[Bill Lavender & myself, with our books after the off-site AWP reading for UNO authors/publishers on February 29, 2012]
In addition to the reading, I was also lucky enough to attend other AWP events on Thursday. Being that it’s the biggest writers/publishers conference in the country, there were rows and rows of almost 900 booths or tables belonging to a whole slew of presses, journals, programs, and the like. I saw so much amazing work in just a few shorts hours. I was even able to cross-pollinate a little, and swapped books with some other authors. I was really pleased to do a buy-swap with Brendan Constantine of Red Hen Press. I can’t wait to jump into his book Calamity Joe, because I think that (like Makebelieve), it approaches a poetry volume from a different – perhaps slant or narratively conceptual – bent.
[Just one small shot of what was a humungous & sprawling book fair]
2 - COMING TO A BOOKSHELF NEAR YOU!
Here is a picture a friend just texted me last night, of her bookshelf. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to see that Makebelieve is making its way into the collections of my nearest & dearest. This also means that the online orders are underway and delivering!
I just want to thank everyone again who has ordered the book. It means so much to me to share this work with everyone, and I’m more excited now than ever for this book’s prospects!
[Above: so many people ordered the book last week that it was temporarily rated at #36 in the best-sellers list on Amazon, for volumes of American Poetry. AMAZING!! Thank you all!!]
So far I’ve been contacted for a few radio & print reviews & interviews, too. I would love to do more, so please do get in touch if there is any interest in reviewing the book!
Next reading will be in Brooklyn in a week or so… more details to come.
Feb 16, 2012
Third Coast Cafe, 1260 North Dearborn, Chicago, IL
6:00 - 9:00 pm
Join myself, fellow UNO authors Rob Smith & Ray Bianchi, as well as UNO Publisher Bill Lavender, at an AWP off-site UNO Press reading!
Feb 16, 2012
My book Makebelieve, which has been in the works for almost 3 years, is finally being released by UNO Press!
Thank you so much to everyone who supported the process of making this book – and especially to all of the amazing folks who shared their time, skills, stories, images, and words to help this project reach fruition. Makebelieve would not be the “many-headed tale” it is without all of your contributions.