Music by David T. Little
Libretto by Anne Waldman
Story & Screenplay by Michael Joseph McQuilken
Produced by Beth Morrison Projects
Drawing on the disturbing and complicated mythologies of the surrealist writer William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch), Black Lodge uses dance, industrial rock, classical string quartet, and opera to take viewers through a Lynchian psychological escape room.
Set in a nightmarish Bardo, a place between death and rebirth, a tormented writer faces down demons of his own making. Forced to confront the darkest moment in his life, he mines fractured and repressed memories for a way out. A woman is at the center of all the writer’s afterlife encounters. She is the subject of his life’s greatest regret, and she materializes everywhere in this Otherworld. The writer cannot detach any thoughts of his life from her.
"A Twin Peaks-inspired musical theater piece” – LA Times
"Complex, layered, thought-provoking, and over the top"--Broad Street Review
Showing soon at Bryn Mawr Film Institute (Delaware County), Ambler Theater (Montgomery County), Princeton Garden Theater (Princeton, NJ), County Theater (Doylestown, Bucks County), and the Colonial Theater (Phoenixville, Chester County).
Save the date! Our next symposium and poetry reading will take place in London on Saturday 27th May. There's more info on our website but as ever you can expect a day of poetry readings, conversation, and connection in an informal setting. Plans are still taking shape and we'll update you as and when they do, but we're not issuing a Call for Papers for this event. Everyone is welcome to attend, and there will be no registration fee.
Stephanie Anderson and Kristen Tapson joined us in December for a discussion of their new book, All This Thinking: The Correspondence of Bernadette Mayer and Clark Coolidge, which came out in late December, with the University of New Mexico Press. We talked about coterie, friendship, family, mentorship, groupings, self-construction, influence, correspondence as a form, poetry as lived experience, science/geology, thinking and space, and border crossing. Watch/listen here or on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PumGuCtphak.
Patricia Hope Scanlan's dynamic small press Artery Editions has several gorgeous things either out or in the pipeline: Covodes by Robert Hampson (a series of 19 experimental odes documenting the pandemic, with accompanying music, 2021); Le Madame (a broadsheet with art work by Louise Bourgeois, and poems by Deborah Levy, Mine Kalyan and Scanlan, 2022); The Pente, A Book of Woe by John Wieners (a second edition of Ace of Pentacles incorporating the changes Wieners requested to be incorporated all the way back in 1966 but hadn't been done since, including the title change; with an introduction by Michael Seth Stuart and an afterward from Jeremy Reed, 2023); and Brighton Blues: A Tribute to Lee Harwood with poems by Jeremy Reed, poem by Anne Waldman, letters from Lee Harwood and John Ashbery, an essay from F.T. Prince and art from Derek Jarman., as well as an early recording of Lee Harwood reading his poems.
Tia Shearer Bassett is performing Kenneth Koch's poem-play Edward and Christine this Saturday, 2pm EST (running time approx. 80 mins, on Zoom): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/edward-christine-tickets-296927176177. Tia will also be performing on Tuesday Feb 7th and and Sunday March 5th.
Lisa Pearson from Siglio Press brings us the good news that a second printing of Bernadette Mayer's Memory is in the works and scheduled to be released next fall. Lisa's tribute to Bernadette is here: https://sigliopress.com/readings/thank-you-bernadette/.
Verve Poetry Festival returns in February (15th-19th), a wide-ranging festival of poetry that has much in common with the ethos and aesthetics of the Poetry Project and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and that features a wonderful line-up of events, poets, performers, and more, and things taking place in person and online. The full line-up is here.
There's a great review of John Yau's exciting new book, Joe Brainard: the Art of the Personal (Rizzoli, 2022), at The Brooklyn Rail.
Two new works from Alice Notley are out in February with Fonograf: Early Works (edited by Nick Sturm) and The Speak Angel Series. Both are available for preorder.
Anne Waldman's Bard, Kinetic, a multifaceted portrait of her life and praxis as a groundbreaking poet, is out with Coffee House Press this month. There will be a celebration of the book on February 2nd at the Algonquin Hotel in New York, 6-9pm. She also has a book coming out in Algeria, in French and English with translation by Pierre Joris and Nicolle Peyrafitte, edited by Habib Tengour at Apic.
On January 10th, at the southeast corner of the southernmost grassy field in East River Park, just off the Houston Street entrance, Eileen Myles and Alice O'Malley held a press conference for an octogenarian London Plane Tree and survivor of Hurricane Sandy named Mathilde. Bringing together media, local politicians and educators, artists, community members, environmentalists and activists, the aim was to celebrate and protect the abundant biodiversity of East River Park, home to 120 varieties of birds, squirrels and endangered bumblebees, and offering people of all ages access to green space and the river. You can read more here.
WHO: Mathilde, an 83-year-old London Plane Tree with 1000people1000trees
WHERE: At the southeast corner of the southernmost grassy field in East River Park,
just off the Houston Street entrance
WHEN: Tuesday, 9AM, January 10, 2023
This is a gathering of media, local politicians and educators, artists, community
members, environmentalists and activists to underline the scorch and burn approach
taken by the DDC, City Planning, The Parks Department, the City Council and two
mayors over the past twelve months in the name of Climate Resiliency, wreaking havoc
on the abundant biodiversity of East River Park, home to 120 varieties of birds, squirrels
and endangered bumblebees, offering to people of all ages access to green space, river
views, sports, relaxation and health.
Mathilde is an 83-year-old London Plane, recognizable in the neighborhood for her
solitary stance at the southern end of the largest field in East River Park. People,
since the half-razing of the park, come to hug and be near her. There’s a new nest at
her top and by state law it is illegal to cut this tree down. One local resident has taken a
photo of Mathilde every day for the last 2 years. We call attention to this tree because of
the violent uprooting of 700 trees before this one; trees are speechless, and we gain so
much from their life-giving powers. A sewer is now being built in the park and with the
enormous resources of our city we are demanding an alternative approach to cutting
down this tree and ask the broader question of how to protect the five hundred and five
trees that remain north of this tree. New York City Parks Dept. is proud of their intention
to expand our city’s tree canopy. By cutting down trees that are seven and eight
decades old, one by one? Is that the way forward?
London planes live for 200-300 years. Mathilde was originally accompanied by seven
other London Planes, all blown down during Sandy, but Mathilde survived. The day after
Sandy, the field she resides in was mostly dry and so this tree stands as an exemplar of
true storm and flood water mitigation. She protects us. In 2013 the Parks Dept. planted
a row of saplings and this tree was an elder to them, entangling roots and exchanging
nutrients and info with the new family. And those trees were torn out when the city
began its demolition of this park last December under the auspices of a non-
environmentally friendly and deeply unpopular flood protection plan (ESCR). We want to
begin a broader conversation by talking about just one elder tree. The destruction of this
park has often been explained by the city as done in response to an overriding need to
protect the residents of the NYCHA housing across the street. It’s been recently
revealed that there are high levels of arsenic in the drinking water of the same public
housing and even one fatality and it is not being treated like a crisis. We say it is all a
crisis and we know we can do better.