At first it just sat on its pages, crying at me.
The twentieth century let me discover it.
I loved it so much I tattooed a hundred-year calendar on my wrist.
Its space exploration and its acid trips are what I miss most,
and I want to go back even though the possibility of time travel was already gone by its third decade.
At times I pity it, a century lost inside another one like a toy boat floating in the pump room.
Almost no one goes in there.
Castle Freeman, Jr.’s new collection of short stories, Round Mountain has just been published by Concord Free Press, a new publisher dedicated to “generosity-based publishing.” Instead of paying for the book, its temporary holder is encouraged to donate to a number of different Hurricane Irene relief organizations (whose information is provided in its back pages). The book is designed to be passed onto a friend after it has been read, with each reader signing their name in a space provided. In other words, Round Mountain is a good excuse to create your own community of readers while also supporting the Vermont communities affected by Hurricane Irene.
Freeman’s twelve stories in Round Mountain include “Driving Around,” a piece that was first published in NER 26.4.
For more information, visit www.concordfreepress.com/roundmountain.
“Freeman’s beautifully cadenced dialogue is rich with humor, philosophic depth and a near-mythic sensibility.” – Publisher’s Weekly
Rebecca Solnit’s writing delights and provokes, from the pages of NER to her most recent book, Infinite City: A San Francisco Atlas. Her voice illuminates another layer of her hard-headed intellectualism and her appreciation of beauty, ugliness, and melancholy.
Click above to hear Solnit speak about the history and subjective experience of film in San Francisco in this excerpt from Atlas, which she read at last year’s Breadloaf Writer’s Conference.
Poor Form Poetry, Middlebury’s resident spoken word performance group, proudly returned from going head-to-head and verse-to-verse with poetry slam groups across New England. Over J-term, the college’s team of eight students advanced to finals at the Second Annual Regional Poetry Slam at Yale and won fourth place overall.
According to founding Poor Form member Anna Gallagher, “we were very happy with this result because we felt that our style separated us from the competition’s typical techniques.” She explains that Middlebury’s team “emphasizes writing” and sincere, simmering emotionality while refusing to write about “things we can’t relate to.” Instead, the team took on a quirky, bittersweet range of topics from “almost getting a tattoo” to losing a loved one.
Reflecting on the newfound popularity of performing poetry, Gallagher notes that “it creates a weird tension between art and attention-getting, and there is less appreciation for the subtlety of page poetry. However, slam creates an undeniable energy—a team dynamic that is fostered in the most competitive of varsity sports. It also creates an intimacy unlike any other.”
The team consisted of four performers, Gallagher, Maya Goldberg-Safir, Olivia Grugan Carolyn Orsoz, and Jessi Stevens, two alternates, Lara Shabb and Emily Wheeler, and coach, Cody Ghol.
Watch clips of previous Poor Form poetry slams on YouTube.