Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yma's art sale

Yma has been hosting an art sale this weekend in the front yard of the Lettre Sauvage studio. She is selling drawings of various sizes, and has also taken this opportunity to sell some toys and housewares. When I arrived to print this weekend, she greeted me at the car and convinced me to buy some of the work.

Yma's artwork has long been an inspiration for us at the studio. She's learned about printing from her parents and creates strikingly original work. We've also included some of her poems in the zine, brick. There are times when words seem to just spill out of her with tremendous poetic force. Just last week she said to us, "What do you know? Pomegranates can be secrets."

I'm particularly fond of this drawing. It demonstrates an unusual amount of restraint and shows how Yma is aware of the borders of the paper. The color choices, alternating between strong and soft tones, work so well with the smudging and blurring that are otherwise occurring in the piece.

When I asked Yma to sign her piece, she was at first confused and insisted that I sign it, since I would be the work's owner. I am impressed with her willingness to let go of her objects, to release them into the world without names or titles or figurative reference to cling to. It is a good lesson for artists of any age.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Green, city, beautiful poets

Greener & Greener

Lettre Sauvage has been added to, the premier
search engine for websites with social and environmental values.
We’re already learning about how to run our studio more
responsibly from other sites we found in their directory!
Check it out.
City Lights
The long wooden stairway lined with shelves and framed broad-
sides leads to the most exquisite seat in town: the simple
wooden chair under the small window where one can sit flanked
by floor to ceiling shelves of poetry. Upstairs at City Lights
is one of my most beloved reading spots.
Genevieve has been in San Francisco for a couple weeks. She took
our latest publications to City Lights where they enjoyed a very
warm reception. We’re so thrilled to have our work in their store
and on their website.
Santa Barbara Summer Poetry Workshop
I visited the workshop to talk about my experiences publishing
collaboratively with poets. I couldn’t help but borrow the term
“the third mind” coined by Brion Gysin and William Burroughs to
describe that realm of shared thought and creation where
collaborative work is produced. I think the group shared my
enthusiasm about

“a praxis of two subjectivities that metamorphose into one”
-George Gerard Lemaire

While at the workshop I had the pleasure of hearing some
impressive work,
fresh from the notebooks of participants.
I also sat in on their discussion time and learned more about the
monthly poetry journal, Sage Trail (cover above). I had picked
one up at a Santa Barbara Poetry Series reading, and was honestly
surprised by how strong the writing was – not to sound jaded or
anything- but there are so many bland journals out there. This is
not one of them. And, this gem is only $15 for a year’s subscription
or free online.