So my office hours passed without a student in site. That’s how it goes. But I wasn’t doing as well as usual at Tetris. That got me down. More than it should have. Good thing my former WIU colleague, Jennifer McGaha, just published this about fighting the February blues.
You don’t need a black belt to do it, but any exercise helps. McGaha also suggests cutting back on negative news. She doesn’t suggest burying your head in the sand, but I know I’ve made things worse by reading too much Chompsky from time to time. Other tips: Call, text and hang out with the funnest people you know and the yeasayers.
From the library’s press release:
WIU’s own Jason Braun will bring monsters to the library this October. On Wednesday, October 28th, Braun will read from original poems featuring Dr. Frankenstein’s Monster, Faust, The Walking Dead, The Reanimator’s cadre of corpses, and other beasts. The reading will take place in Room 180 of Malpass Library and is free and open to the public.
Jason Braun teaches English at Western Illinois University. He has published fiction, poetry, essays, reported or been featured in Prime Number, ESPN, Squalorly, The Nashville City Paper, The Evergreen Review, Lowestoft Chronicle, The Riverfront Times, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and many more.
Some examples of the kinds of things I’ll be reading:
Here’s a poem set in the beginning of season two of The Walking Dead. It’s about love, loneliness, and well living during a zombie apocalypse.
Here’s another love poem, written from the perspective of the Swamp Thing. I’m sure you’ve seen hundreds of those, so don’t bother clicking this link.
Before there was Dr. Frankenstein there was another doctor selling his soul for science. His name was Dr. Faust or the more German, Dr. Faustus. Here’s a song I wrote about him with a little help from my friends. https://jasonandthebeast.bandcamp.com/track/faust
Check out this great review of Megan Hudgin’s new chapbook. She’s representing SIUE real proper like!
By Megan Hudgins
(winner of the 2014 Two of Cups Press chapbook contest)
Two of Cups Press, 2015
In Crixa (Two of Cups Press), Megan Hudgins twists sensuality, artificiality, lost innocence, the creation of life, and relationships into a collection of fresh yet familiar statements on femininity and the various sinews that connect different moments and thoughts into a single meaningful web – or, better yet, a warren – called life.
Hudgins displays a strong eye for different poetic shapes and forms, and how theme and content can affect (and be affected) by those more aesthetic choices. Poems hinging on allusions to Watership Down (where the collection’s title originates) stand side-by-side with descriptions of Eduardo Kac’s famous bioluminescent rabbit Alba, explorations of adolescent sexual awakenings, and emotional explications of Wolfgang Tillmans’s Freischwimmer print series. So too do poems built from couplets…
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So this reading is going down Sunday night around 7:30 at Foam in St. Louis The show includes great poets and friends like Matthew Questionmark, Zaire Imani, and Seymour Justice. I’ll be saying some new poems (some these are about Superman and other comic books characters) with Adam Sirgany on saxophone, and Mic Boshans (aka The Proprietor) on percussion. This is because Sean Arnold made it happen.
Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon is the kick in the pants you’ve been looking for.
Kleon has the medicine that many beginners and “blocked” experts need. Take what you like and transmute it. In contrast to the old advice to write what you know, Kleon throws out the challenge, “Write the book you want to read.”
This would be a better use time than watching On The Road and buying a boatload of new denim designed to look like old denim.
But if you’ve ordered Steal Like An Artist and you need something to hold you down until it arrives checkout Exit Through the Gift Shop. Or you could just check out Kleon’s Ted Talk right here.
Here’s a link to a new podcast Kevin Eagan and I have cooked up for you.