Posts Tagged ‘VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE)’

“…and to this hour the image of Carmilla returns to memory with ambiguous alternations — sometimes the playful, languid, beautiful girl; sometimes the writhing fiend I saw in the ruined church; and often from a reverie I have started, fancying I heard the light step of Carmilla at the drawing room door.”
– From J. Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla

So this, the final reading on THE POETS WEAVE, on radio station WFIU, was actually broadcast Sunday, October 28.  But that was simply because that’s the Sunday closest to Halloween, while here we can greet today officially with its recording.  Two previous segments were aired on October 14 and October 21 respectively (see October 17, 21), on the “Who” and the “Where” of vampirism.  And now, to end it, are four poems on the “Attraction of Vampirism,” as produced by LuAnn Johnson and introduced by Romayne Rubinas Dorsey:  “Moonlight Swimming,” “The Aeronaut,” “When She Won the One Million Credit Galactic Lottery,” and “The Esthete.”  All poems are still from my collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) and may be heard by pressing here.

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“Listen to them—the children of the night. / What music they make!”
– From Bram Stoker’s Dracula

So begins the second of three readings, by me (cf. October 17), on the topic “Let Us Explore Where Vampires May Be Found,” on the Indiana University Public Broadcasting Station WTIU.  The program:  THE POETS WEAVE, produced by LuAnn Johnson and announced by Romayne Rubinas Dorsey, and which may be heard by pressing here.  Thus, to repeat the introduction:  Today, [James Dorr] will read on the subject of vampires and things vampiric from his all-poetry collection Vamps (A Retrospective), which is available from White Cat Publications or Alban Lake Publishing.  More information can also be found on James’ blog.

James reads “Why She Started Writing Poetry,” “California Vamp,” and “Chagrin du Vampire.” 

Listen Now:  Let Us Meet Some Of The Vampires

The word does not necessarily travel fast, but it comes.  Let us recall posts for August 17 and 8 (and also related, September 30, August 26) in which I spoke of recording poems for the WFIU radio feature THE POETS WEAVE.  Today, from producer LuAnn Johnson:  I’m not sure if I ever got back to you about air dates for your episodes.  . . .  The first aired this last Sunday.  The second is scheduled to air this Sunday, Oct 21 — but we’re in our fund drive week so there is a chance they will need to cut it for pitch time.  If so, I’ll reschedule for the following Sunday, and then the third will air the Sunday after that.

Thus the first of three sessions for which one may press here,* as announced by MC Romayne Rubinas Dorsey:  James Dorr writes short fiction and poetry leaning toward dark fantasy and horror, with his latest book a novel-in-stories, Tombs: A Chronicle of Latter-Day Times of Earth.

Today, he will read on the subject of vampires and things vampiric from his all-poetry collection Vamps (A Retrospective), which is available from White Cat Publications or Alban Lake Publishing).  More information can also be found on James’ blog.

James reads “Le Meduse,” “Vampire Thoughts,” “Daylight Savings,” and “Night Child.”
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*(Or for gluttons for punishment and/or lovers of King Kong, for WTIU’s TV counterpart one may also check here, cf. September 25, 18.)

With a busy week coming up, today’s “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic” (cf. August 26, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Monroe County Convention Center, offered featured readings by relative newcomer Breon Rochelle Tyler (see May 29 2017) who read a poem about being free, introducing her own work on freedom, mothers, art, and creation; followed by many-time participant Maria Hamilton Abegunde (August 27, April 1, et al.) with several works in progress, including two inspired by current events, and ending with three selections from her LEARNING TO EAT THE DEAD.  In the audience readings afterward, my part consisted of three more poems from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), the second of the three recordings done for fall broadcast on WFIU’s “The Poets Weave” (see August 26, et al.), “Why She Started Writing Poetry,” “California Vamp,” and “Chagrin du Vampire.”

Of busy weeks, though, next Sunday’s normally scheduled prose readings will not be held due to FRANKENFEST (cf. August 5), the 200th Anniversary celebration of the first publication of Mary Shelley’s novel FRANKENSTEIN, co-sponsored by the Monroe County Library and the Writers Guild at Bloomington, and made possible by a grant from Indiana Humanities with additional funding from the IU Arts and Humanities Council.  Running October 3 through 7, events will include a Wednesday evening FrankenPanel, of which I will be a participant; FrankenFilms (FRANKENSTEIN, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN, and GOTHIC) on Thursday, October 4; a FRANKENSTEIN Read-a-Thon among other activities on Saturday the 6th; and FrankenTheatre on Sunday, a live radio theater adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN by Russell McGee, who also directs, presenting the creature as an intelligent being who suffered the injustice of mankind.  All events will be held in the Monroe County Public Library.

Well, it’s been rather longer for my attendance it would seem, but this fall’s edition of “Last Sunday Poetry Reading and Open Mic” (cf. September 24 2017, et al.), co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and the Monroe County Convention Center, came back from its summer break this afternoon.  Featured were Lisa Kwong who we’ve met before (see July 17 2016, et al.) reading selections from a new chapbook MS-in-progress, and PDVNCH who we’ve also just met (see August 5) with work from several poetry books he’s had published.  After the break, when “Open Mic” time came I was third of five, reading the first of three four-minute sets I’d recorded for local radio station WFIU’s “The Poets Weave” (see August 8) from my VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) collection, the poems themselves being “La Méduse,” “Vampire Thoughts,” “Daylight Savings,” and “Night Child.”

With the city’s “4th Street Arts Festival” coming up in just under a week plus “Frankenfest,” celebrating the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN (cf. August 21, 5), coming up in October, this fall is shaping up as an especially busy one locally for the written and spoken arts.  To help keep on top of things, one may want to check out the Bloomington Writers Guild’s website (as well as these pages) by pressing here.

This was to be the one on poetry, last month’s premiere “Second Thursday Players Pub Spoken Word Series,” co-sponsored by the Bloomington Writers Guild and local tavern and music venue Players Pub, being dominated by prose fiction — including, ahem, my opening reading of “River Red” from THE TEARS OF ISIS (cf. February 10).  And so it was, mostly, with even its musical component being poetry-based via Evansville Indiana group SHAKESPEARE’S MONKEY, a “poetry band” reminiscent of 1950s coffeehouse safe_image.phppoetry accompanied with jazz (albeit in this case, guitars and hand percussion), who we’ve met before at the Bloomington Arts Festival Spoken Word Stage (see September 4).  The featured readers this time out were Writers Guild Chair Tony Brewer whose poems included a Pushcart Prize nominee, local poet Eric Rensberger who began his reading with a guitar accompanied “Medicine Show” spiel introducing bartender “Dr. Joe” and the pub itself before continuing with the more “serious literary part,” and First Sundays Prose Series Chair Joan Hawkins breaking the pattern with two prose “creative memoirs.”  Then the open mike session added four readers of whom I was second, reading three pieces from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), “La Méduse,” “Émile’s Ghosts,” and “Night Child.”

Then for another quick note, I’ve added two pieces to “Poetry (Essays)” under PAGES in the far right column, my ILLUMEN feature “It Begins With the Sound” (see November 5, et al.) and “What Is a Novel in Stories” (see February 13), the latter admittedly really about my upcoming TOMBS:  A CHRONICLE OF LATTER-DAY TIMES OF EARTH, but springing from Edgar Allan Poe’s essay “The Poetic Principle.”

Mentioned last post, proofreading poetry, and this evening the task has been finished.  We may recall the absence of the orange-colored picture of VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) in the center column (cf. March 16) and hints of a new edition looming.  We’re one step closer as proof sheets arrived just before the weekend, the reading and corrections on which (largely concerning spacing issues for two very long poems, “Dreaming Saturn” and “Chinese Music” — what are these about?  buy the book when it’s out and see for yourself) took a fair bit of the weekend to go through.  But final corrections went in this evening (with possibly now a new problem concerning pagination) so that’s another step completed, at least for the OCTOPODIDAEmoment.  Ah, the writing life — it never  ends, does it?

For octopus fans (see April 25, January 14, et al.), UPWORTHY.COM has brought a followup concerning, in part, an eight-armed diva named Rambo (Rambette?) who takes pictures of people.  The article is “Scientists Gave a Camera to an Octopus and She Only Needed Three Tries to Learn to Use It” by Thom Dunn, also including some things you may not have known about tentacles, and can be found here; and which also links to another fascinating look at cephalopod intelligence with an essay on some moral implications thereof, “Why Not Eat Octopus?” by Silvia Killingsworth on NEWYORKER.COM, for which press here.

Yesterday brought an update from Bards and Sages Publishing to the effect that the first of the “Great Tomes” books, THE GREAT TOME OF FORGOTTEN RELICS AND ARTIFACTS is proceeding on schedule and should be available at most locations before the end of the month (cf. March 4, February 27, et al.).  Also, while first announced last January, to pique readers’ interest here is an up to date table of contents.  For the moment, pre-orders can be made at Createspace here or, for the Kindle edition, at Amazon here.

The Candle Room by James S. Dorr
The Heart of Irelda by Jeff Sullins
Her Long Hair Shining by Simon Kewin
Digging for Paradise by Ian Creasey
Light Bringer by Deborah Walker
The Nimrod Lexicon by Taylor Harbin
Life Sentence by Miranda Stewart
The Shepherd by CB Droege
The Rightful Owner by Linda Tyler
The Head of John the Baptist by G. Miki Hayden
The Binding Agent by Douglas J. Ogurek
Seamus Tripp and the Golden Plates byRichard Walsh and Jon Garrett
Oracle at Delphi Street by Jon Etter
Special Collections by Jon Etter
The Djinn at the Wheel by Kathy L. Brown

For a second item, some may have noticed the orange cover of the poetry book VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE) has been missing from the center column of late.  This is in part because a new edition is in vamps2the works from White Cat Publications, complete with a new cover and slightly altered table of contents (the latter primarily consisting of some tweaks in the order of the poems to bring it closer to the original MS, but also the addition of a new poem, “Metal Vamp,” which had been inadvertently left out [my fault, not the original publisher’s] of the first edition).  Prior posts on VAMPS include September 8 and March 12 2013, July 10 2012, et al.; also an essay on VAMPS, with sample poems, can be found by clicking “Poetry (Essays)” under PAGES in the right-hand column and scrolling down one entry (to where it says “From BLOOD & SPADES. . . .”).  More details will appear on these pages as they are announced.

Saturday, along with the excitement of having sold “Bottles” (see post just below), brought the Bloomington Writers Guild’s end-of-year combination business meeting, voting for officers, pot luck party, and open reading, for which I ran for nothing but brought orange slices for a healthy pot luck dessert.  Just like “party calories” though, which do not count, so, too, healthful party food adds no nutrition, so I with everyone else went for the chocolate chip cookies.  More to the literary point, however, I had brought two items for possible reading: one a Christmas story excerpt which would run about five minutes; the other three poems (one of which some people would have heard before but others wouldn’t) which could be read in less than three minutes.

The business/election part ran a bit long so I ended up taking the three-minute option, but adding that the other, a Christmas story involving a vampire and St. Nicholas, would be read “tomorrow” as a First Sunday open mike option.  And so for Saturday afternoon I carroll-borland-as-spidra-in-mark-of-the-vampire-1365795084_orgread the three poems, “as a sort of introduction, to show the up side of vampirism” and all from my poetry collection VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), the jazzy “Hi-Flying,” the unlife-celebratory “Night Child,” and the exhilarating “The Aeronaut.”

Then Sunday brought December’s First Sunday Prose Reading with featured participants Shayne Laughter with “Emmonsburg,” from a collection of stories inspired by her grandfather’s writings about growing up in Indiana; speculative fiction and poetry writer Darja Malcolm-Clarke with an excerpt from a novel in progress, HIS ONE TRUE BRIDE; and Poet Eric Rensberger with “a prose thing” composed by taking an existing text, chopping it up, and reassembling it into a new story, in this case from memoirs by an early American actor, John Durang.  These were followed by the open mike session where, as promised, my reading was of the latter, and larger half of “Naughty or Nice?” as published on December 21 2011 in DAILY SCIENCE FICTION, concerning the vampiress Mignonette and whether she could prove to the Saint that she was sufficiently “nice” to get presents.  And which, by the way, you can find out for yourself by clicking here.

And then two more items to complete the weekend.  Friday I went to the opening night of a workshop production of Jean Anouilh’s version of ANTIGONE, in this case combining dance with the action and very well done.  Then Saturday evening, after the party, brought a visit to the local Bloomington Krampusnacht celebration, considered one of the best these days in the United States.  For various reasons this was the first I was able to get to since the initial one three years ago, for which see below, December 9 2012.

What a weekend!  Along with wrestling with income tax (finished the federal forms Saturday p.m., state tax to go) I went to a “matinee” movie Saturday night, then today was actual matinee time for a Bloomington Writers Guild poetry reading.  Matinee what?

Well, Saturday’s movie was part of an “Art and Legacy of Roger Corman” program the Indiana University Cinema has been running this spring, this time celebrating the sf/horror exploitation films of the 60s with a special nod toward Corman rival William Castle in the form of schlock film priducer “Lawrence Woolsey.”  The film itself is MATINEE, directed in real life by Joe Dante, and starring John Goodman and Cathy Moriarty as Ruth Corday, Woolsey’s long-suffering girlfriend, lead actress, and stand-in nurse (to have movie patrons sign wavers in case they die of fright during the performance).  And then there’s 15-year-old monster fan Gene Loomis and his little brother, his new Ban-the-Bomb girlfriend, his friend Simon and his new girlfriend (and her little brother) with her juvenile delinquent ex-boyfriend (who also writes poetry) just back from reform school, all coming together in 1962 Key West Florida, site of the premiere of Woolsey’s latest movie, MANT! — Half Man, Half Ant, in Atomo-Vision with new RumbleRama.  And, oh yes, by coincidence also occurring at this time is the Cuban Missile Crisis (with Gene’s father in the Navy and out with the fleet facing off with the Soviet Union).

Ah, nostalgia!

So it starts off fast with a nuclear bomb blast — which turns out to be part of the trailer for MANT! — which itself ends with another atomic bomb blast to clear out the theatre, in which in “real life” the balcony is about to collapse.  With the juvie delinquent meanwhile in an ant suit.  Getting confused yet?   Then add what may be the movie’s motif, as spoken by Woolsey to Gene toward the end:  “You think grown-ups have it all figured out?  That’s just a hustle, kid.  Grown-ups are making it up as they go along just like you.  You remember that, and you’ll do fine.”

You really just have to see it for yourself.  I recommend it!

So today has been calmer, and also sunnier, good enough weather this afternoon to stroll downtown for this month’s Writers Guild “Last Sunday” poetry reading (see February 23, et al.), starring Abegunde and previous Writers Guild chair and co-founder Patsy Rahn.  And not only that (to quote this month’s announcement):  “We are starting a new tradition at this event:  we will have a table for LITERARY SWAP.  Bring your literary magazines, journals, books that you’d like to pass on, and please take home any of your items not taken by others.”  For myself, I only brought a couple of poems for the open mike session, both this time from VAMPS (A RETROSPECTIVE), “Leaves” (about a vampire competition runner) and “Night Child” (one who grew up as a vampire and “learned quickly”).




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