Some of the panels and panel-dwellers I am most thrilled to see:
- Prose Poetry/Flash Fiction: the Orphic Genre with Alta Ifland, Joanna Howard, Joanna Ruocco, Anthony Tognazzini, and Peter Grandbois
I love Joanna Ruocco's writing. I reviewed her Man's Companions for a forthcoming issue of Prick of the Spindle but the review is really just a meek plea to check every available thing by her out. She and Joanna Howard addressing this topic is a dream. The pieces of a Compendium of Domestic Incidents that were in Web Conjunctions completely knocked me out with how massively the mood ulcerates in such a tiny space. "Josephine's Father" is just badass. That's how I really review.
- What's That Mess? It's Excess! with Kate Durbin, Kate Zambreno, Amaranth Borsuk, Bhanu Kapil, and Johannes Göransson
Every single person on this panel blows me away. If you are someone who found this googling the phrase tattooed on Frances Bean Cobain's back, take heed: Kate Durbin just heaped hundreds of panties onto Sunset Boulevard. Kate Zambreno's Green Girl is out in four weeks and it will do such things to you maybe you will never say them because they'll live in you forever because she said them so perfectly (although the book she will read from in this panel is Heroines for which I am so excited - I have not been this excited for a book since Nabokov's the Original of Laura which was just a fetish object that I needed to clutch and cry at college because I was so weird, going crazy the senior year that turned into my junior year). Amaranth Borsuk co-authored the forthcoming Excess Exhibit with the aforementioned Ms. Durbin and as we speak is teaching the coolest classes at MIT. I recently contributed to public transit's culture of total discomfort by crying like an idiot reading Bhanu Kapil's Incubation: a Space for Monsters and her Schizophrene just came out and I can't wait to cry over that, too. Johannes Göransson is in this month's Evening Will Come and I will get to in a little how jazzed beyond reason I am about Montevidayo. This is an arena rock concert. Not "the literary equivalent of" or anything like that. I hope I'm not the only one ripping my top off. I expect a lot out of the UCSD crowd.
- "Guarding the Fort," which consists of Borderland in Panopticon: all parts of the interior visible from a single point with Chris Mazza, On Pornography and Common Sense with Rob Halpern, Homeland Insecurity: Panoptic Fictions with Pedro Ponce, and Cascadian Poetics y Haibun de la Serna with Paul E. Nelson
Yes! Mr. Pedro Ponce is a Seven Kitchens author and his book, Homeland: a Panorama in 50 States is my favorite 7K title ever! I got to spend a year with its proofs and the mad mad ravishing Roxanne Carter, of whom I'll speak in a second, lent her photography to the cover. They are such flamboyantly uneasy stories! So funny and awful and abruptly cold and visible everywhere.
- Seeing Stars with Tisa Bryant, Roxanne Carter, Masha Tupitsyn, Ronaldo Wilson, and Kate Zambreno
Maybe this is the rock concert. Tisa Bryant is one of the editors of one of my favorite projects living today, the Encyclopedia Project, and is one of the people about whom I know less and am all the more excited to see live. I love falling for art in person. I went to see Amanda Palmer in Philadelphia in the winter of 2008 and her opening bands were Vermillion Lies and the Builders and the Butchers and I am fervently, voraciously, soul-crushingly in love with their music and it hitting me right there in the crowd for the first time was revelatory. Roxanne Carter's Glamorous Freak is due out soon. It cannot come out soon enough because everything she has published of it is maze-like and mesmerizing and that Jaded Ibis rocks enough to feature all of the gorgeous photographs that accompany the work makes me dread not being able to afford the limited-art-edition of it. Since I was unfamiliar with Masha Tupitsyn I googled her and her latest book, Laconia, came out ten days after my birthday and is about "whether we can any longer truly see corporatized cities like LA and NY other than in old movies, how to understand David Lynch's women, and whether there is any real possibility for connection in social media, or for that matter, in watching films," so the fact that I am not all ready a gigantic fan is offensive to me. Here is where Kate Zambreno will read from Green Girl and that all these works of art are being read together is the most unreasonably perfect thing. I am so proud of the time I live in that this art is happening, that this is the art of my time on Earth.
- "Women on Women and Bodies," which consists of a Curious Body: Shelley Jackson's 'My Body' with CA Schaefer, a Species Spectacle: the Hybrid Body Narratives of Djuna Barnes and Bhanu Kapil with Cristina Milletti and Christine Hume, Interlacings: Rae Armantrout and Susan Howe's Filigree-Work with Elisabeth Joyce, and Banal new world: Fatty XL and narratorship in the work of Finnish Poet Tytti Heikkinen with Niina Pollari
Being a massive fan of the work of Shelley Jackson, Djuna Barnes, Bhanu Kapil, and Susan Howe, I am still looking forward to Niina Pollari on Tytti Heikkinen most of all. Niina is a Birds of Lace author and I love the juxtaposition of "no desire to grow" with the name Fatty XL.
- 21st Century Lit as Mashup with Roxanne Carter, Janice Lee, John Dermot Woods, c. vance, Christopher Grimes, and Doug Rice
Jaded Ibis' vision is utopian and I love their promotion of a new generation of art collectors. Everything about it from the commitment to print-on-demand to the authors they've worked with so far - I am sad Anna Joy Springer isn't here but she is in charge of the entire festival, so slack is cut - this is what it all ought to look like, publishing, all this joy.
- Montevidayo Omnibus Reading with Sarah Fox, Johannes Göransson, Lucas de Lima, Joyelle McSweeney, Monica Mody, and Megan Milks
This was the only spot where I was split squarely between two panels but I don't think I can pass this up. I had a really bleak week recently where I stayed in and read Montevidayo, grateful to the marrow that it was free and even if I didn't now have this fuzzy attachment to it, necropastoral is a powerful bargaining chip. Sad that Danielle Pafunda isn't here, she's my favorite contributor, but I think I would cross the US just to see this, anyway. Sans everything else I've just talked about.
Also my festival roommate, Tantra Bensko, will be reading - I don't know where or when, but I am intensely looking forward to that, too. And partying in the Whole Foods parking lot with my best friend the farthest away from Pennsylvania that I've ever been.