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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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When Ed Webb-Ingall set out to tell the story of the children of lesbian and gay parents in the UK in “Raising Hell,” he decided to fuse queer film theory of the 70s, 80s, and 90s with documentary techniques learned on the set of films about Joy Division and Al Gore’s LiveEarth Project. He combined his own experience with live interviews and historical found footage. All this in a compact, 30 minute format, ideal for screening at community centers and schools. Sound ambitious? Maybe, but as Webb-Ingall points out, “evidence out last year states Lesbians do make better parents than conventional ones.”

This Saturday, August 21, at 3 p.m., Webb-Ingall’s film will premiere to New York audiences at the Maysles Film Institute at 343 Lenox Avenue/Malcolm X Boulevard, NYC. The half-hour screening will be followed by a panel with the filmmaker and members of COLAGE, a support and advocacy organization for daughters and sons of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender parents, including Drunken Boat’s Nonfiction Editor, Heather Bryant.

The film is kid-centric with the intention of telling the often ignored and unknown story of the children of Lesbian and Gay parents from a personal and political viewpoint. Through researching, developing and screening this film Ed Webb-Ingall hopes at once to normalise and elaborate on the experiences of the children of lesbian and gay parents. Instead of perpetuating the myth of the perfect family, or the perfect childhood, this film shows kids who, whatever they felt about their families, didn’t want to change or hide them, but be proud of who and what they have made them.

Watch the “Raising Hell” film trailer here:


More info on the Maysles Institute web site:


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Published Aug 20, 2010 - Comments Off on New York Premiere of “Raising Hell”

Join the DB editors for a night of celebration, as we ring in the new issue. Featuring readings and multi-media performances by:

T.J. English
Duriel Harris
Maureen Howard
Alida & Albana Karakushi
Caledonia Kearns
Leslie McGrath
Irina Reyn
Chris Tarry
Eamonn Wall
Quintan Ana Wikswo

and more TBA.

RSVPs are REQUIRED. This night of entertainment is free of charge, with a suggested donation, $5.

September 22 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm
American Irish Historical Society
991 5th Avenue (btwn 80th & 81st)
New York, NY

Click here to RSVP.

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Published Aug 13, 2010 - Comments Off on Party With Your Favorite Boat

For our upcoming nonfiction folio, we’re looking for literary nonfiction by/for/about musicians and music. Writers should submit via our online submissions manager and the call is open until September 15th, with some leeway for truly stellar pieces.

Click here to submit.

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Published Aug 10, 2010 - Comments Off on Nonfiction in Drunken Boat

By Ethelbert Miller

Today is Reetika’s birthday. On January 22, 2010, at the National Press Club, I made the following remarks at the the launch of RADHA SAYS, her posthumous book of poems:

I think Reetika Vazirani’s life and work is a bridge between two worlds. Reetika was a woman who was always on the move – looking and searching for a home. It is no surprise that her work turned inwards to explore such topics as religion and myths. How can we recognize our footprints if we cannot see the path we are on?

In the last poem of WORLD HOTEL, Reetika reminds us that it’s a young country and we cannot bear to grow old.

In RADHA SAYS, she writes:

Never mind the flickering lamp
I am lying on my side
And you who’ve known all breathing patterns
Who’ve finished meditating on
Forever forgoing desire descend
To my room for the last time

In one of the many letters that Reetika wrote me—all of them now at William and Mary for future scholars to read—she jokes about wearing a baseball cap and pretending to be me. That summer of 2003, at Bennington, we sat with our backs together and our heads touching. I told her I now knew where her poems came from.

We rocked back and forth…

I would not sing you to sleep.
I would press my lips to your ear
And hope the terror in my heart stirs you.

In 2010, it is not the terror that stirs us but the love. The love we have for Reetika and all the words that still live.

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Published Aug 09, 2010 - Comments Off on Reetika Vazirani, 1962-2003

Best of luck to these talented writers, nominated by Drunken Boat for inclusion in Sundress Press’s Best of the Net 2010 Anthology. And many thanks to Sundress Press for putting out such a great collection.


Denise Lajimodiere, Starvation Winter: 1888
Rebecca Lehmann, The Shell Game: Young Con Artists on the Move, 1870
Esther Greenleaf Murer, Descort on a Truism
Clare Rossini, Farewell to the First Person
Lee Sharkey, Grievance
Jason Windholz, Ruminant


Beth Couture, Evolution
Balli Kaur Jaswal, Uncle Song

e. keene, The Creature, The Hole, And You
Paul Lobo Portugués, Barrio Journal East L.A.: Living the Recession

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Published Aug 08, 2010 - Comments Off on DB’s Best of the Net 2010 Nominees

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