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Radha Says

The final collection by award-winning poet Reetika Vazirani, published by Drunken Boat.

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Annotations of contemporary poetry edited by Lisa Russ Spaar, published by Drunken Boat.


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Photo by Doug Anderson
The Hygienic Art Park lights up New London
Photo by Doug Anderson
Antic improv by Edmund Chibeau and Thomas Mitchell
Photo by Doug Anderson
Archival film edited by Zoe Beloff
Photo by Doug Anderson
Founding editor Ravi Shankar emcees
Photo by Doug Anderson
Performance artist Mat Bevel in one of two digital incarnations

 Photos thanks to Doug Anderson.

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Published Aug 19, 2009 - Comments Off on DB’s Intermedia Event @ Hygienic Arts

We’re pleased to have Deborah Poe join us as our new fiction editor. Deborah brings experience as both a fiction writer and poet, as well as enthusiasm and great ideas for the fiction we’ll be featuring in the future.  We’ll be re-opening fiction submissions in September, so send us your best!

Here’s a brief description of her achievements, history, and current projects:

Deborah Poe is assistant professor of English at Pace University. She is the author of a poetry collection entitled Our Parenthetical Ontology (CustomWords 2008) as well as chapbooks from Furniture Press and Stockport Flats Press. She has received several literary awards including three Pushcart Prize nominations for her poetry and the Thayer Fellowship of the Arts (2008) for her poetry and fiction.

Deborah’s writing is forthcoming or has appeared in Sidebrow, Ploughshares, Filter Literary Journal, Denver Quarterly, Copper Nickel, Drunken Boat and other journals as well as in the anthologies Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS From the Black Diaspora (Third World Press 2007), A Generation Defining Itself: In Our Own Words (MWE 2010) and A Sing Economy (Flim Forum 2008). Deborah is also co-editor of the short fiction anthology,  provisionally entitled “Between Worlds,” with her colleague Ama Wattley.

Deborah was born a military brat in Del Rio, Texas and has lived throughout the United States and abroad. After her undergraduate studies, she worked in various positions including hostel clerk and bartender in Paris, environmental activist in Austin, a waitress in Taos, engineering assistant at Oregon Steel Mill in Portland, editor and international program manager in Seattle and educator in Washington and New York.
She has taught at Western Washington University, where she received her Master of Arts, and at Binghamton University, SUNY, where she received her doctoral degree. She has also taught as afternoon faculty at the Port Townsend Writer’s Workshop in Washington.

More information can be found at www.deborahpoe.com, including upcoming readings and audio/video of past performances.

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Published Aug 13, 2009 - Comments Off on We have a new fiction editor: Deborah Poe


Sabina Murray joins the electric lineup for Saturday, August 15th’s performance at the Hygienic Art Park in New London from 7:00 – 10:00 pm

Sabina Murray was born in 1968 and grew up in Australia and the Philippines. She is the author of the novels Forgery (Grove, 2007), A Carnivore’s Inquiry, and Slow Burn. Her short story collection The Caprices was the winner of the 2002 PEN/Faulkner award. Her stories are anthologized in The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction and Charlie Chan is Dead II: An Anthology of Contemporary Asian Fiction. She is the writer of the screenplay for the film Beautiful Country, which was an Independent Spirit Award Best First Screenplay nominee. She completed her Master of Arts as a Michener Fellow at the University of Texas at Austin and is a former Bunting Fellow of the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University and a recipient of a major grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Murray is a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow. She has served as the Roger Murray Writer in Residence at Phillips Academy Andover and is currently Associate Professor of English, Creative Writing, at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

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Published Aug 10, 2009 - Comments Off on Sabina Murray added to Hygienic Lineup!

And now it’s August.

I’ve taken a brief sanity break after delivering that ten-headed hydra in breech position we’ve nicknamed DB10.  I’m ashamed to admit (though not *that* ashamed, or else I’d keep it to myself) that I had not read every single bit of every folio of our tenth issue.  I’m not sure anyone but the intrepid and beloved Sarah Clark, now our assistant editor, had done so when we launched.  It’s so damned massive, occupying a space somewhere in the area of triangulation between “literary magazine issue”, “archives for the ages” and “group delusion.”

So I’ve been reading and want to share from time to time my own “looky heres” as I work my way through the current issue and how it rubs up against what’s happening out there in both the literary and grayer worlds.  We’ve also also offered our editors, genre readers and editorial assistants the opportunity to explore Drunken Boat’s latest issue and write blog posts.  I have a few takers among the staff and am hoping to spur or shame (either will do) a few more people to do so.

One of woolier folios in DB10 is the Black Mountain folio, whose copious materials were gathered by Doug Duhaime last year during a ten day voyage from Connecticut to North Carolina.  Doug spent time both at  Black Mountain College itself, as well as the North Carolina State archives and came back with over 1500 images, films and audio that pertains to this historic  experiment in education which yielded numerous writers and thinkers important to American literature.

 I was struck by an audio interview with BMC alum Michael Rumaker, who when asked why he decided to attend, says ” North Carolina sounded so romantic.” Sounds like a resonable answer to me, who decided to attend Bowdoin College thirty-odd years later because the gender ratio was 3:1 male to female.  Listen to his interview here:http://www.drunkenboat.com/db10/03bla/faculty/rumaker/

 I wonder how many current English Composition students could pass this “elementary English” exam, laboriously typed by the teacher: http://www.drunkenboat.com/db10/03bla/pedagogy/exams/

And here’s interesting (and yes, eyebrow-raising) insight into the admissions process, circa 1937.  http://www.drunkenboat.com/db10/03bla/history/admissions/

The sexism, the racism, the questionable use of power, it was all there in 1937 and remains alive and kicking today in various corners of our lives.  I’d like to leave you with a link to founding editor Ravi Shankar’s op-ed piece in the Hartford Courant, in which he describes his treatment at the hands of a couple of Manhattan traffic cops and the judicial system as he drove home from Drunken Boat’s last event in Chelsea a few weeks ago.


We live in interesting times.  May they become more just.

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Published Aug 03, 2009 - Comments Off on A Few Thoughts on the Black Mountain Folio