Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Charles John Olson

Here in Gloucester a foot or so of snow covers the ground. Power has now been restored to most, if not all, of Cape Ann.

Earlier this evening I read "An Ode on Nativity" & conjured Olson's Worcester in my Gloucester kitchen. I also read Donald Wellman & Kenneth Warren's essays on Olson in Warren's House Organ & found myself imagining a host of panel discussions that have not yet happened & few that for temporal & spatial reasons could not happen. Later this evening a cast of characters -- I will not be among them -- will read Olson poems to each other at the Rhumbline, a bar across from Gloucester depot.

skål & sláinte,
James Cook

Friday, October 8, 2010

Breaking Olson 100 News


led by Jonathan Skinner (poet and Olson scholar, editor of ecopoetics)
2:30 - 5 pm, Friday 8 October 2010

Walk from Gravelly Hill to Dogtown Square and back, with some side explorations. Readings of
selected passages from Charles Olson’s The Maximus Poems at key Dogtown sites.

Meet at 2:30 pm at The Bookstore of Gloucester, 61 Main St.

Bring decent walking shoes and your favorite Olson Dogtown poems (if you wish). The walk
leader will have a copy of The Maximus Poems on hand to read from.

Free and open to the public. Questions? Call 207‐449‐7080

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Night: Peter Anastas reads Peter Anastas & David Rich reads Jonathan Bayliss

Last night six poets -- Rufus Collinson, David Rich, Amanda Cook, Schuyler Hoffman, Kent Bowker, and James Cook -- gave the first reading in the new Gloucester Writers Center. Hoffman, the evening's host, remarked upon the range of the evening's work: translations from Scots Gaelic and neobaroque Spanish, a blogger's daybook, lyrics on Linda Crane and the San Francisco Renaissance, meditative free verse, ekphrastic lyric, and seriocomic hallucinatory drama.

Tonight the words of Olson's friends Peter Anastas and Jonathan Bayliss will be celebrated at the Sawyer Free Library at 7 p.m. Map here.

See you tonight.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Olson 100 events this weekend

Hello All,

I just wanted to remind you of three important events this coming

On Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m. at the Ellery House on 245 Washington
Street, State Senator Bruce Tarr will present a proclamation from Gov.
Duval Patrick naming October Arts and Humanities month. This event
coincides with the Charles Olson Centennial. I will be there and it
would be great to have some other members of the Olson Society present.
You will also have a chance to view the installations of Olson-inspired
art by painter Susan Erony and photographer Paul Cary Goldberg, who also
designed the Olson Centennial poster.

At 4 p.m. at the Cape Ann Museum, on 27 Pleasant Street, there will
be a reading, reception and book signing for Dave Rich's new book,
"Charles Olson: Letters Home," a collection of letters from Olson to
various Gloucester residents. I've seen the book and it is marvelous.

At 7 p.m. Ammiel Alcalay will read from his new novel "Islanders" at
the Bookstore of Gloucester, 61 Main Street. This is an extraordinary
novel and I hope as many of us as possible can turn out to support
Ammiel, who has been an incredible help to us in planning and organizing
the Olson Centennial.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Maximus Walk Route

On Sunday, October 10 at 11 a.m. meet us at the Cape Ann Museum (27 Pleasant Street) in Gloucester for a peripatetic reading of poems by Charles Olson.

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Charles Olson Centennial Opens with Five Nights of Readings

Charles Olson Centennial Opens with Five Nights of Readings

Gloucester’s Charles Olson Centennial Week, October 3-10, will open with five evenings of readings at three separate locations. Each reading begins at 7 p.m. They are free and open to the public. The schedule is as follows:

On Sunday, October 3, poet, novelist and CUNY Graduate Center professor Ammiel Alcalay will read from and sign copies of his recently published novel “Islanders,” at the Bookstore of Gloucester, 61 Main Street. Alcalay grew up as a summer resident of Rocky Neck in the 1950s and early 60s, with Charles Olson as a close friend of his parents, painter Albert Alcalay and his wife Vera. He has written extensively about Olson and his childhood memories of Gloucester.

Of his novel “Islanders,” published by City Lights Books, the LA Times wrote: “Atlantic islands, Northeastern U.S. fishing towns, the last years of the Vietnam War: Ammiel Alcalay flies over this time and these places. .. Memories emerge, and from the memories, stories. The placement of details on the pages is stunningly simple.”

On Monday October 4, a group of local poets calling themselves "The Usual Suspects,” will read from their own work at the Gloucester Writers Center, 126 East Main Street. Readers will include James and Amanda Cook, Kent Bowker, Schuyler Hoffman and other local talents. These writers have been inspired by the work of Charles Olson and the school of writing which formed in the 1960s called “The New American Writing,” of which Olson was a major influence. They will read from their work and discuss it with participants. Parking for the Gloucester Writers Center is across the street in the East Gloucester Marina.

On Tuesday, October 5, Gloucester natives Peter Anastas and David Rich will read fiction and non-fiction inspired by Charles Olson at the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library. Anastas will read from a recently completed memoir, “From Gloucester Out,” and his forthcoming novel, “Decline of Fishes,” also set in Gloucester. Rich will read from the fiction of the late Gloucester playwright and novelist Jonathan Bayliss, including excerpts from Bayliss’ posthumous novel “Gloucestermas,” due for publication this fall.

On Wednesday October 6, the Gloucester Writers Center, located at the former home of poet Vincent Ferrini, will host a second evening of readings featuring works by Olson's friends and fellow poets, Vincent Ferrini and Linda Crane. A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of unpublished work by Crane. Readers will include Sarah Stotzer, Joanna Bowker, Jo-Ann Castano, Carol Weston, Peter Anastas, Dorothy Nelson, Elizabeth McKim, and Fred Dewey.

On Thursday, October 7, poets Gerrit Lansing and Charles “Chuck” Stein will read from their work at the Bookstore of Gloucester, 61 Main Street. Both poets were close personal friends of Olson’s and each has paid tribute to Olson in poetry and prose. Lansing’s most recent book is “Heavenly Tree, Northern Earth,” published by North Atlantic Books. Stein is the author of a major critical study of Olson, “The Secret of the Black Chrysanthemum: The Poetic Cosmology of Charles Olson.”

Friday, September 17, 2010

Olson and DiPrima