Monday, December 3, 2012


To live at all is to live in last days.
Loom is: 
1. The first appearance of an object seen in darkness or fog, esp. at sea.
2. To indistinctly see the presence of something massive, imminent, and threatening.
3. An apparatus for making fabric by weaving yarn or thread
4. a bi-yearly hand-bound arts, poetry, and literary zine.

Loom is: 

A collection of maps (poems, visual art, essays, and fiction) featuring thoughts towards the end of the world, and the end of one's life. The curation of these is intended to help build a better world as this one ends.

Let them be one star in the constellation that only you can name.
Let this constellation guide you towards a world that only you can build.

Loom is: 

Co-curated and published by Noel'le Longhaul and Jess X Chen, who are striving to come to terms with their own perishability and the temporality of the phenomenal world. They are trying to find and enlarge doorways into a better world with each map they make, each word they say/sing, and each moment they live.

Loom is: 

A beginning of all these journeys, as the end is always looming.
Please email your visual art, poetry, literature, essays, music,
(anything you want) to by Dec 31st, 2012.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012



Tenets of Imagism (1916)

1. To use the language of common speech, but to employ always the exact word, not the nearly-exact, nor the merely decorative word.

 2. To create new rhythms -as the expression of new moods -- and not to copy old rhythms, which merely echo old moods. We do not insist upon "free-verse" as the only method of writing poetry. We fight for it as for a principle of liberty. We believe that the individuality of a poet may often be better expressed in free-verse than in conventional forms. In poetry a new cadence means a new idea.

3. To allow absolute freedom in the choice of subject. It is not good art to write badly of aeroplanes and automobiles, nor is it necessarily bad art to write well about the past. We believe passionately in the artistic value of modem life, but we wish to point out that there is nothing so uninspiring nor so old-fashioned as an aeroplane of the year 1911.

4. To present an image (hence the name: "Imagist"). We are not a school of painters, but we believe that poetry should render particulars exactly and not deal in vague generalities, however magnificent and sonorous. It is for this reason that we oppose the cosmic poet, who seems to us to shirk the real difficulties of his art.

5. To produce poetry that is hard and clear, never blurred nor indefinite.

6. Finally, most of us believe that concentration is of the very essence of poetry.

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Bridge

To Brooklyn Bridge

by Hart Crane

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty--

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
--Till elevators drop us from our day . . .

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,--
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky's acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,--

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path--condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City's fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

from The Complete Poems and Letters of Hart Crane, edited by Brom Weber.  New York: Liveright, (1933), 1958, 1966


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


This short paper is totally focused on the book. You can, if you wish, state your opinion of it, but it's not necessary. I'm more interested in reading your close observations of the book.

Think about the one or two most interesting points you want to make. Find examples in the book to support your points, or better still write in detail about specific passages, recurrent themes, or patterns in the book.

Think very carefully about the form of this paper. Yes, it's just a page. But how many paragraphs? Is it in paragraphs? What are the options? What is the best form for this paper? How can the form assist you in making your points?

Will this paper be a fun, juicy, provocative, smart read? Remember: your reader is at least as smart as you are. Give your reader a good time!

Quote from the book. Always include the page number in parentheses after the quote, so the reader can find it easily in the book, e.g.,

       Even when Brainard's images are too bound to his own time or culture to be    
       shared by the reader, the precision with which he presents them makes them 
       accessible: I remember white margarine in a plastic bag. And a little package 
       of orange powder. You put the orange powder in the bag with the margarine 
       and you squeezed it all around until the margarine became yellow. (8)

One page is sufficient.  The paper should be clean, printed, and headed with your name, class, date, and a title specifying the focus of the paper, i.e., not just "Joe Brainard's I Remember," but "Domesticity and Taboo in Joe Brainard's I Remember,"  "The Effect of Pattern in Joe Brainard's I Remember," etc

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall 2012 Readings at Brown

Paul Legault

Saturday, September 15, 2012
4:00 pm5:00 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street (at Fones Alley)
Paul Legault was born in Ontario and raised in Tennessee. He holds an
M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and a B.F.A.
in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. He is the
author of two books of poetry, The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010)
and The Other Poems (Fence Books, 2011). He co-founded and co-edits
the translation press Telephone Books. He'll be reading from his new
book, The Emily Dickinson Reader. In this original collection,
Dickinson classics are reinterpreted by a modern voice.

Interface Play

Sunday, September 16, 2012
8:00 pm9:00 pm
Granoff Center - Studio 1 154 Angell Street
An organic, interdisciplinary performative digital arts event integrating image, text and sound, featuring new work generated through a multi-day workshop by artist Catherine Siller.
A graduate of RISD's Digital + Media MFA program, Catherine Siller uses technology to integrate sculpture, video, performance, and creative writing into a hybridized, process-oriented creative practice.  Her most recent work centers on developing dynamic systems for structured improvisations--computer programs that change dynamically in response to her movements and in response to which she moves.  Catherine received her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University.  She has studied mixed media with Grace Knowlton at the Art Students League of New York; theater with the SITI Company, the Atlantic Theater Company, and Circle in the Square; and dance with Igal Perry, Marcus Schulkind, Nicole Wolcott, and through a Radcliffe Externship with Juilliard's Dance Department.  She has performed and shown her work in New York and New England.  For more info visit:

Martin Corless-Smith

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Martin Corless-Smith is the author of English Fragments:  A Brief History of the SoulSwallowsNotaComplete Travels; and Of Piscator.  A limited edition chapbook,Roman and Moscow Poems, was published in 2011.  Born and raised in Worcestershire, England, he has studied painting and poetry, with degrees from the University of Reading, Southern Methodist University, the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.  He is currently director of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University.

Lynne Tillman

Thursday, September 27, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Lynne Tillman’s most recent book, and fourth collection of stories, Someday This Will Be Funny, was published in April 2011 by Red Lemonade Press.  Her most recent novel,American Genius, A Comedy, was published by Soft Skull Press in 2006, and was cited as one of the best books of the Millennium (so far) by The Millions. Her other novels areHaunted HousesMotion SicknessCast in Doubt, and No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has published three nonfiction books, including The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-67, based on photographs by Stephen Shore. Her other story collections include This Is Not It, stories and novellas written in response to the work of 22 contemporary artists. Her work has appeared in the journals Tin HouseMcSweeney’s,Black ClockBombAperture, and Conjunctions; her criticism in ArtforumFrieze,ApertureNestThe Guardian, and The New York Times Book Review.  Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence at The University at Albany, and teaches at The New School, as well at School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Brian Evenson

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Brian Evenson is the author of twelve books of fiction, most recently Immobility (2012) and Windeye (2012).  His other books include Last Days (which won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009) and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York's top books of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he directs Brown University's Literary Arts Department. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and three O. Henry Prizes.

Erín Moure

Thursday, October 18, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Montreal poet Erín Moure  has published seventeen books of poetry plus a volume of essays, My Beloved Wager. She is also a translator from French, Spanish, Galician (galego), and Portuguese, with twelve books translated of work by poets as diverse as Nicole Brossard, Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A.M. Klein Prize (twice), and was a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Moure holds an honorary doctorate from Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada. Her latest works are The Unmemntioable (House of Anansi), a poetic investigation into subjectivity and wartime experience in western Ukraine and the South Peace region of Alberta, and Secession (Zat-So), her fourth translation of internationally acclaimed Galician poet Chus Pato.  

Monday, December 12, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

ave atque vale


Multas per gentes et multa per aequora vectus
advenio has miseras, frater, ad inferias,
ut te postremo donarem munere mortis
et mutam nequiquam alloquerer cinerem.
Quandoquidem fortuna mihi tete abstulit ipsum.
Heu miser indigne frater adempte mihi,
nunc tamen interea haec, prisco quae more parentum
tradita sunt tristi munere ad inferias,
accipe fraterno multum manantia fletu,
atque in perpetuum, frater, ave atque vale.

Through many peoples and many seas have I travelled
to thee, brother, and these wretched rites of death
I bring a last gift but can speak only to ashes
Since Fortune has taken you from me
Poor brother! stolen you away from me
leaving me only ancient custom to honour you
as it has been from generation to generation
Take from my hands these sad gifts covered in tears
Now and forever, brother, Hail and farewell.

CATULLUS (ca 84 BCE - ca 54 BCE)

Monday, December 5, 2011

library poetics

Those of you who don't keep up with Edinburgh's literary world through Twitter may have missed the recent spate of mysterious paper sculptures appearing around the city.
Guardian article, 3rd March 2011.
One day in March, staff at the Scottish Poetry Library came across a wonderful creation, left anonymously on a table in the library. Carved from paper, mounted on a book and with a tag addressed to @byleaveswelive - the library's Twitter account - reading:
It started with your name @byleaveswelive and became a tree.… ... We know that a library is so much more than a building full of books… a book is so much more than pages full of words.… This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas….. a gesture (poetic maybe?)
Mysterious paper sculptures
Next to the 'poetree' sat a paper egg lined with gold and a scatter of words which, when put together, make "A Trace of Wings" by Edwin Morgan.
The mysterious paper tree
Nobody knew where it came from, nor was anyone forthcoming with information in person or online, despite a fair amount of local news coverage.
The mysterious paper tree
It looked like this was a one-off, a beautiful and delicate piece of art created by a fan of the Poetry Library. Until, in late June, the National Library of Scotland found themselves the recipient of a similar piece.
Mysterious paper sculptures
A gramophone and a coffin, sculpted from a copy of Ian Rankin's Exit Music, and again deposited anonymously. The tag in this case read:
For @natlibscot - A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..... (& against their exit)
Mysterious paper sculptures
And soon afterwards, the Filmhouse had a pleasant surprise!
Guardian article, 30th June 2011.
Mysterious paper sculptures
This time the sculpture is a complex scene in a paper cinema; punters arrayed on seats watching men and horses coming alive from the screen and charging outwards.
Mysterious paper sculptures
The tag?
For @filmhouse - A gift in support of libraries, books, words, ideas..... and all things *magic*
Amongst the audience is a figure with Ian Rankin's face, clutching a Deuchar's.
Mysterious paper sculptures
Finally (so far), in early July the Scottish Storytelling Centre found a dragon nesting in a window.
Scotsman article, 11th July 2011.
Mysterious paper sculptures
Once again carved from a Rankin novel, they don't know how long it might have been sitting there unnoticed as it's quite well hidden. Perhaps the loveliest tag so far:
For @scotstorycenter - A gift in support of libraries, books, works, ideas..... Once upon a time there was a book and in the book was a nest and in the nest was an egg and in the egg was a dragon and in the dragon was a story.....
Mysterious paper sculptures
Nobody knows whether there are more to come and if so, where they might appear. Some say the newly opened National Museum, others suggest the Edinburgh International Book Festival. It's all a bit exciting!

Having been on display in the Scottish Poetry Library for a few months, the poetree is now kept behind the counter for safety, but if you ask nicely I'm sure they would let you have a look.
The National Library's gramophone is in a display case near the front door.
The Filmhouse's cinematic diorama is currently not on display.
The Scottish Storytelling Centre's dragon is probably going to estivate during the Festivals to avoid any possible manhandling by infant hordes but will surely make a return in the autumn.

UPDATE: The dragon has been moved out of harm's way but is still visible to the public!
Paper dragon
UPDATE 24/08/11: Two more appeared today at the Edinburgh International Book Festival!
One, addressed to @edbookfest (the Book Festival), was left on one of the signing tables in the Bookshop.
Mysterious paper sculptures at the Book Festival
The tag on this reads:
To @edbookfest 'A gift' This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas...... & festivals xx
It includes a teabag filled with cut out letters, on the tag of which are the words "by leaves we live". The cup on the top has a swirl of words which read " Nothing beats a nice cup of tea (or coffee) and a really good BOOK", and on the 'tray' next to the cupcake it says "except maybe a cake as well".
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011 Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011
The other, addressed to @edincityoflit (UNESCO Edinburgh City of Literature), was secreted about their stand in the entrance tent.
Mysterious paper sculptures at the Book Festival
The tag reads:
To @edincityoflit 'A gift' LOST (albeit in a good book) This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas.... "No infant has the power of deciding..... by what circumstances (they) shall be surrounded.. Robert Owen
Intriguingly, this is crafted from a copy of The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinnerby James Hogg.
Edinburgh International Book Festival 2011
This book is not only a favourite of the City of Literature team but is also known to have been an influence on Ian Rankin's work. So far quite a few of these sculptures have overt links to Mr Rankin, suggesting this is no coincidence. As Ian was due on site later in the day and had not yet met any of these creations face to face, the @EdinCityofLit team introduced him to their new baby.
@EdinCityofLit paper sculpture, modelled by @beathhigh
Former local Guardian beatblogger Michael MacLeod and all round top journo was on the scene to file a swift report. The Book Festival's blogger also shared with the world, and @edinCityofLit's Anna has a mention of them...
     Guardian article, 24th august 2011
     Edinburgh International Book Festival blog post, 24th August 2011
     Anna Not Karenina's blog post

Once the latest additions to the family have found offical homes I will update with further images and information...
UPDATE 30/08/11
Another has appeared in the Central Lending Library on George IV Bridge.
Paper sculpture: Central Library
Taking the form of a book with a magnifying glass mounted atop it (made of paper of course!) it was left on a shelf and was unreported for at least a couple of days.
Paper sculpture: Central Library
For Central Library ‘A Gift’ @Edinburgh_CC This is for you in support of libraries, books, words, ideas…. LIBRARIES ARE EXPANSIVE
The word "expensive" has had the E crossed out and replaced with an A. No question of the creator's views on library cuts... The tag then notes, "Words on book - Edwin Morgan". No talk of Rankin this time!
Paper sculture: Central Library Paper sculture: Central Library
In the news:
Scotsman article, 30 August 2011
Library blog post, 31 August 2011
A plastic cover has been placed on it and for the time being at least it is on display where it was left.
Paper sculture: Central Library
And here's some coverage from STV.
UPDATE 16/09/11:
The 'poetree' is now on display in the reception area of the Scottish Poetry Library.
Poetree update
Which has clearly had the desired effect, as the comments book next to it shows:
Poetree update
UPDATE 20/09/11
The Edinburgh Evening News claims to have discovered the identity of the sculptor. The general view is that We Don't Want To Know...
"It's important that a story is not too long ......does not become tedious ......."
There was a flurry of excitement when someone at the Scottish Poetry Library spotted this note in their guest book:
Paper sculptures - the end!
"Hopefully next time I'll be able to linger longer - I've left a little something for you near Women's Anthologies X. In support of Libraries, Books, Words and Ideas...."
A quick dash into the library led to the discovery of another gift.
Paper sculptures - the end!
The tag on this read:
"To @ByLeavesWeLive....... THE GIFTS "Gloves of bee's ful, cap of the Wren's Wings......." Norman McCaig .... maybe sometimes impossible things... In support of LIbraries, Books, Words Ideas...."
And with the suspicious addition in the corner reading 10/10.
Paper sculptures - the end!
So here we have a cap made of a wing.
Paper sculptures - the end!
A wing, of course, made of exquisitely crafted paper feathers.
Paper sculptures - the end!
And with it a pair of paper gloves...
Paper sculptures - the end!
... made in the texture of a bee.
Paper sculptures - the end!
And an explanation!
Paper sculptures - the end!
"It's important that a story is not too long ......does not become tedious .......
'You need to know when to end a story,' she thought.
Often a good story ends where it begins. This would mean a return to the Poetry Library. The very place where she had left the first of the ten.
Back to those who had loved that little tree, and so encouraged her to try again .......and again.
Some had wondered who it was, leaving these small strange objects. Some even thought it was a 'he'! ....... As if!
Others looked among Book Artists, rather good ones actually.......
But they would never find her there. For though she does make things, this was the first time she had dissected books and had used them simply be- cause they seemed fitting....
Most however chose not to know..... which was the point really.
The gift, the place to sit, to look, to wonder, to dream..... of the impossible maybe.......
A tiny gesture in support of the special places.....
So, here, she will end this story, in a special place ... A Poetry Library ..... where they are well used to 'anon.'

But before exiting ...a few mentions. There could be more, because we have all colluded to make this work....... Just a few though.
- the twitter community who in some strange way gave rise to the idea in the first place
-@chrisdonia who gave the story a place, a shape and some great pictures
- and not least @Beathhigh whose books and reputation have been shame- lessly utilised in the making of a mystery ........
...... But hold on. Someone's left behind a pair of gloves and a cap..........?
Cheers Edinburgh It's been fun!
A wonderful end to a wonderful story and a lovely mention for a humble photographer! But talk of ten sculptures had everyone a-flutter. There were only eight we knew of, what of the remaining two? Could they have been lost? stolen? or worse, thrown away by someone who didn't realise what they had found?
Mercifully the answer was forthcoming the next day. The National Museum of Scotland had received a gift, found on the plinth under a skeletal stag. A consciencious member of staff had found it and passed it to his supervisor, thinking it might be something more than average lost property. It soon made its way up the chain of command until it came to rest in the Director's office for safety.
Meanwhile the museum staff were abuzz with the imminent arrival of their millionth visitor since reopening (which was a surprise as that wasn't really expected until about August 2012) so they didn't have time to tell the world about it until that had died down.
And so another is unveiled!
Paper sculptures - 9 of 10
A Tyrannosaurus Rex, bursting from the tattered leaves of a book. And what book could it be other than Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World?
Paper sculptures - 9 of 10
The tag here reads:
"For @NtlMuseumsScot A Gift Your friends at @edbookfest suggested you might like this. .... In support of libraries, books, words, ideas and those places that house our treasures......"
And in the corner, 9/10.
Hidden amidst the tattered leaves of the book are tiny men with weapons that probably wouldn't do much damage to the beast, as its bloodstained jaw seems to prove.
Paper sculptures - 9 of 10

Paper sculptures - 9 of 10

Paper sculptures - 9 of 10
The museum hope to exhibit this as part of the 26 Treasures series.

And what of the last?
Yesterday afternoon staff at the Writer's Museum found something atop the donations box in the Robert Louis Stevenson room.
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
A wonderfully atmospheric street scene with what appears to be a silvery moon with wisps of cloud hanging from it. This tag reads:
"@CuratorEMG A Gift "The stories are in the stones" Ian Rankin In support of Libraries, Books, Words, Ideas ...... and Writers."
And the 8/10 in the corner, confirming that we've found them all!
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
The cover says, "the stories are in the stones / Ian Rankin" ...
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
...which is fitting as it has been sculpted from a copy of Ian Rankin's Hide and Seek.
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
Inside the book are an array of people with birds on wires and a streetlight...
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
There are even goings-on visible behind some of the windows, as well as a pentagram scrawled on a wall in red with the signs of the zodiac around it.
Paper Sculptures - 8 of 10
Along the front of the scene have been placed the enigmatic words, "comming [sic] led out of Good and evil".
Paper sculptures - 8 of 10
The curators are looking into ways to display this piece although it's possible that it will have to live in a different venue due to considerations of space - the Writer's Museum is absolutely packed with stuff! They're terribly happy with it though; apparently they had been hoping to receive one and now feel very lucky to have had one of the last three.
So this seems to be the end of the story. There is talk of organising some sort of exhibition but so far it's just an idea. Some of the 'gifts' are viewable anyway - those in the Scottish Poetry Library, the Scottish Storytelling Centre and Central Library (the gramophone in the National Library seems to have been temporarily displaced). The rest will hopefully find a place in the public eye and I'll keep an eye on them as I have grown rather attached.
Many thanks to whoever has been crafting and distributing these magical objects, and thanks on behalf of the creator to those who have followed their discovery with such infectious delight.