Read Nina Lindsay’s poem, “The Two Worlds,” in Blue Fifth Review.
Sixteen Rivers Press has submitted the following Pushcart nominations:
“Crucifixion, Kinetic,” and “Passencore,” from Gerald Fleming’s The Choreographer, and “Love Poem,” and “Arrival,” from Miriam Bird Greenberg’s All night in the new country, and “The Small Knock,” and “Divesture” from Barbara Swift Brauer’s At Ease in the Borrowed World.
Sixteen Rivers Press co-founder Carolyn Miller has an essay, “Always,” in the November issue of The Sun. Her college memoir, “Arts and Science,” published in the Fall 2012 issue of The Missouri Review, is listed as a Notable Essay in Best Essays 2013.
On Sunday, November 24, 2013 from 3 PM to 5 PM, Sixteen Rivers Press poet Barbara Swift Brauer (At Ease in the Borrowed World) will read with prose writer Kaitlyn Gallagher at the MINE Gallery in Fairfax, California, at 1820 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, on Sunday, November 24, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. MINE Gallery, 1820 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax, CA 94930 415-755-4472
Sixteen Rivers Press is pleased to invite you to our annual fundraiser, to be held on Saturday, November 2, at a beautiful private home in San Rafael. Our reader this year is Camille T. Dungy, author of three collections of poetry (Smith Blue; Suck on the Marrow; and What to Eat, What Drink, and What to Leave for Poison) and editor of three anthologies, including Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry.
Lucille Clifton wrote of Dungy’s first book: “She is a brave poet writing true poems, and I salute the music and courage of her work.” Stuart Dischell calls her work “sweet with the richness of life and laced with the bitterness of knowledge.” Dungy’s honors include an American Book Award, two Northern California Book Awards, a California Book Award silver medal, and a fellowship from the NEA. Recently a professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University, she is now a professor in the English Department at Colorado State University. For more about this fine poet and a selection of her work, see her website at camilledungy.com.
The event begins with a reception from 7 to 8 p.m., with Champagne and hors d’oeuvres. The reading begins at 8 p.m. Our two spring authors, Barbara Brauer and Gerald Fleming, and our 2012 chapbook award winner, Miriam Bird Greenberg, will each read a poem, and Lynne Knight, co-translator of our fall book I Know (Je sais) will read a short selection from that book, before Dungy’s reading. A selection of Dungy’s work will be available for purchase at the event, along with books from Sixteen Rivers Press authors.
We would love to see you at this festive gathering in honor poetry and Sixteen Rivers Press, a Greater Bay Area collective. Donations are $100 for one person or $150 for two. To reserve a place and receive directions to the fundraiser, please call us at 415-273-1303. You may also pay at the door, or on the Sixteen Rivers Donor webpage.
The following interview in English with Ito Naga was conducted in English by e-mail in May 2013.
Could you talk a little bit about how Je sais came into being?
I had been looking for Georges Pérec’s Je me souviens for quite some time. I’d only heard of it and I thought it was an amazing idea. Many years ago, I asked the bookseller (whose name was Mr. Vie; isn’t that a nice name?) in my neighborhood about this book and he told me that the idea actually was from an American painter, Joe Brainard, who in 1970 had published a book called I Remember. This book had just been retranslated into French, and there was a lovely preface by the translator, Marie Chaix. “Brainard,” she said, “has found a key to open memory from which he extracts words corresponding to old images.” This so-called key of “I remember” lies in the fact that you directly access the “old image” without caring about introduction or other literary preparations. You sort of jump to the memories, and it’s a jubilant jump. I realized that Brainard’s idea was not only fun but also amazingly stimulating. Then came the obsessing question of knowledge and of how much memory is vital to us, in our jobs, in our daily lives and our projects. And one day when I was walking in Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Brainard’s key and the question of “What do I know?” came into contact together. Why? I don’t know.
There’s such an exquisite delicacy and restraint at work in all three of your books. How much has your familiarity with the Japanese culture contributed to your work?
I’m glad that you see such a delicacy in these books. As for the Japanese culture, I’m not sure that I’m as familiar with it as you say. One thing for sure is that, once you let this culture enter your mind, it gradually grows. I did not make up the story with the “shy” singing insects and the caring shopkeeper in Nara (No. 40 and No. 41 of I Know). These are delicate things you encounter in Japan. I think this Japanese delicacy partly lies in the fact that they do not make everything explicit. They care for what is present but not explicitly said; they care for the shade that gives shape to things and not only for full light that flattens everything. They’ll tell you a few things and you’ll have to manage by yourself to fill the gaps. “Someone who can’t read the air (kuki ga yomenai hito)” they say about someone who doesn’t get the feel of a situation. It’s a sort of training, and it’s almost a miracle that, in the end, you can be understood.
There is delicacy also in the fact that the Japanese are extremely good at observing. To describe a small garden, they may say “a garden that is small like a cat’s forehead (neko no hitai no yona niwa).” Listening to this, you not only understand that the garden is small; you develop a feeling for its smallness. Little is said, so you have to rely on different senses. It seems to me that senses are more solicited in the Japanese culture, be it for food, architecture, arts and crafts . . . The Japanese go very far in understanding the senses and our relationship with nature. In contact with that culture, you find yourself paying more attention to subtle things. And this makes you happy.
“Aphoristic and Zen-koan-like, I Know is a collection of 469 observations on life and the universe by a scientist whose eye for detail is keen and whose wit is ever-present.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-kudler/review-i-know-je-sais_b_4097604.html
The members of Sixteen Rivers Press are deeply saddened by the recent death of our founding member, Susan Sibbet. Not only was Susan a talented poet, but she was a passionate advocate for poetry as well. A long-time board member of California Poets in the Schools, Susan worked tirelessly to send poets and poetry into schools throughout our state. Sixteen Rivers Press published Susan’s collection No Easy Light in 2004. Her warmth and kindness and the friendship that many of us shared with her will be greatly missed, but the work of Sixteen Rivers will continue, in part to honor and celebrate Susan’s love of and commitment to poetry.
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This fall is an especially busy one for the press, as we are publishing two fall books for the first time in our history. [Read more...]