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Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week: SP CE, Pt. 1

9 Jul

Last December, the Nebraska poet Paul Hanson Clark and I exchanged a few emails about SP CE, which is both an art studio and poetry collective based out of Lincoln, NE. With regard to the origins of the group, Clark wrote:

SP CE was founded by myself, Kyle Crawford, and Justin Ryan Fyfe. We had been doing our writer’s group for a few years, and Kyle thought it would be a good idea to have a more public venue for that, which would also allow us to expand what we were able to do. He put us on the waiting list for a room in Parrish Project, and a few months later the studio that we now occupy opened up.

I didn’t really have any expectations for it, but the idea that has driven me all this time has been to attempt to make poetry a part of the larger Lincoln arts/music/whatever community. Also to be open to anyone/anything.

Soon thereafter, SP CE branched out into the SP CEbooks imprint with the release of limited-edition chapbooks that coincided with a variety of local readings and events. On the expansion into the world of publishing, Clark wrote:

A lot of what we do just happens as a natural result of conversation between a lot of people, but also as a function of one or two people acting autonomously. SP CEbooks came about after a consensus developed that we ought to be doing some kind of publishing. This consensus developed pretty slowly over time, and we did not collectively arrive at “we should do SP CEbooks”; [rather,] we collectively arrived at a general direction to go in. The actual implementation of the SP CEbooks idea, I mean, bringing them into existence, was a process that me and Amanda Huckins spearheaded. I think that is how a lot of things go: collective ideas form slowly over time, and then one or two people take additional initiative to turn them into some sort of reality.

A month ago, I spent an evening with several poets associated with SP CE. This week, I’ll be posting videos from that night. Below are two from the reading (with more to come over the next several days).

Paul Hanson Clark reads “Cough Medicine”:

Amanda Huckins reads “Opening My Other Eyes”:

Best Thing I’ve Heard Next Week: Heather Christle Revives Her Phone Poetry Campaign!

28 Jun

To celebrate the 100,000th person following her blog Heather Christle will be reading poems on July 3rd from 9am-12pm and 1pm-5pm Est! You may recall the splash her first phone-call campaign made (almost exactly two years ago!)  when she celebrated the release of her second collection The Trees, The Trees. You can find all of the necessary details for a phone call at her blog.

To give you an idea of what you may hear, here’s her reading Je m’appelle Ivan:

Best Thing I’ve Seen: Big Big Mess Reading Series Posters (and contest!)

23 Jun

The Big Big Mess Reading Series, now in the hands of Mike Krutel and Kati Mertz, has been a major wow spot in Akron, OH for awhile now. I’ve been stoked both times I’ve been up there for events; they’re a little rowdy, a lot good, and with plenty of spunk (see: giveaways of books and weird stuff the hosts find at thrift shops). They’ve hosted such rad folks as Zachary Schomburg, Heather Christle, Matt Bell, Amelia Gray, and many more.


They’ve also got this pattern of having some sweeeet posters for the events. Here are a few:




See the whole collection here.

And now, what you’ve all been waiting for! THE CONTEST. The Big Big Mess Reading Series is gettin’ fresher! They want you (yeah, you!) to submit some poster design for their next round of readings. All the details are here. But like most submission type things, it goes 1) come up with something rad and 2) send it to them. You have until July 15th. Okay, GO, okay.

Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week: Trey Moody

17 Jun

Last week, I visited Lincoln, NE for a few days. During my stay, I spent some time with the poet Trey Moody. Trey’s first book, Thought That Nature, was selected by Cole Swenson as the winner of the 2011 Kathryn A. Morton Prize in Poetry. Sarabande Books will release the collection in January of next year; below are a couple video clips of Trey reading poems that will appear in it.


“So Warm”:

Best Thing I’ve Heard This Week: The Big Big Mess (06/08/13)

14 Jun

Last Saturday, The Big Big Mess celebrated its two-year anniversary. Over the course of the past couple of years, this Akron, OH readings series has hosted local, regional, and national writers, such as Mary Biddinger, Matt Hart, Nate Pritts, Cathy Wagner, Adam Clay, Zachary Schomburg, and Heather Christle.

At their most recent event, out-of-town poets from Albany, Atlanta, Chicago, and Louisville converged on Northeast Ohio for a terrific reading. Check out the videos below for highlights.

Sean Patrick Hill reads his poem “1972“:

James Belflower performs an excerpt from his book The Posture of Contour:

Daniela Olszewska reads her poem “Frontier with Fancy Spurs“:

Bruce Covey reads his poem “Foreign Objects“:

The Big Big Mess’ next reading will be on 05 July. They will host The Line Assembly Tour, featuring S.E. Smith and others.