Thursday, October 26, 2017

Letters to Kelsey Part One

As someone who started his poetry through journaling, I would recommend being open to just writing in whatever way you feel is poetic while you are in the midst of that time. I sometimes feel it tough to make time for writing, so it's awesome that you are doing that.

I've found part of being a poet is just a willingness to be there on the page to see what happens.

Prompts are a great way to do that. One prompt I like using is to think of a favorite color and write a dedication poem to someone using that color as many times as you can. Some write lists of, let's say, purple things. I like to think of a scene with, let's say, Carrie and the boys, and begin with the purple night.

Another wonderful prompt is the word association: start with a word and do the word association--first word that pops into your head, write it down, thing. Then repeat that next word to yourself, write the next word that pops into your head. See how long you can go until you know you have a poem in there. No need to even use most of the words--just whatever poem you feel like writing at that point.

Finally, I will send a few books your way, but stay away from "how to" books in general.


I really got my start in open-mic poetry nights. They are supportive, non-judgmental, non-critical. There is one here in town on the first Wednesday of every month and I'd be happy to hang out with you if/when you want to go. They all know me there, so you could meet amazing people. My dear sister-friend Annette Hope Billings helps host it.

Oh, and this is nice--to get a poem a day in your email: https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem-day



Sunday, October 15, 2017

CCW

W7. “Leading Public Creative Writing Workshops for Social Justice”
Rose Gorman, NY Writers Coalition / The Tuxedo Project, Marygrove College
Aaron Zimmerman, NY Writers Coalition

A7.  Writing as Ecology: How Writing Environments Shape Public Encounters
Chair: Katherine Silvester, Indiana University Bloomington
Katherine Silvester, Indiana University Bloomington
Joan Linton, Indiana University Bloomington
Laura Clapper, Indiana University Bloomington


DTT3: DEEPTHINK TANK: “Feminisms, Activism, and Community Writing”
Jenn Fishman, Chair, Marquette University
Heather Branstetter, Executive Director, Historic Wallace Preservation Society
Erin Krampetz, Board Member, Watson University and Amani Institute
Sagashus T. Levingston, Founder of Infamous Mothers
Tessa Zimmerman, Founder of ASSET Education

B8.  Feminist Connections and Outreach: Building Networks for Women and Girls
Chair: Jennifer Bay, Purdue University
Becca Hayes, University of Missouri-Columbia, “We’re a Very Connected Community, Very, Very Interconnected: Engaging Lesbian Community Through Rhetorics of Gathering”
Carrie Grant, Purdue University, “From Community Outreach to For-Profit Tech Camps: Technofeminist Interventions into Girls’ Digital Literacies”
Wendy Vergoz, Marian University, “Life in These Bones: A Community/University Partnership in a 21st Century Women’s Writing Workshop”
Jennifer Bay, Purdue University, “Women Mentoring Women: Rhetorical Networks Across Institutional and Community Settings”

C5.  Riding a Wave of High Impact Community Engagement Practices: An Institutional Story
Chair: Melanie Burdick
Dennis Etzel Jr., “A View of the Pool:  Defining HICEPS”
Melanie Burdick, “Swimming Lessons: Models for Professional Development”
Jennifer Pacioianu, “Dipping a Toe in the Water: HICEPS in Process”
Mary Sheldon, “Diving Right In: A Second Time Around”

W7: WORKSHOP: “Leading Creative Writing Workshops for Social Justice”
Rose Gorman, NY Writers Coalition / The Tuxedo Project, Marygrove College
Aaron Zimmerman, NY Writers Coalition


G7.  Food Literacies
Chair: Steven Alvarez, St. John’s University
Steven Alvarez, St. John’s University, “Taco Literacies: Mexican Foodways Writing in the Bluegrass”
Constance Gordon, University of Colorado Boulder, “Community Food Justice: Re-Defining Food ‘Deserts’ from the Ground Up”
Molly Kugel-Merkner, University of Denver, “Emily Dickinson’s Botanical Legacy, Community Gardens, and Poetic Pedagogy”
Tara E. Friedman, Widener University, and Patricia M. Dyer, Widener University, “Generating Powerful Voices: ‘Farming’ Local Change and Sustainability Through Writing”



Sunday, September 24, 2017

My Grunge of 1991


To purchase a signed copy of My Grunge of 1991 at a discounted price, please use the link here.

Cover by Staci Dawn Ogle



Dennis Etzel Jr.'s precise prose poetry examines injustice, Star Trek, George Bush's oft-ridiculous internal monologue, and a vague, nebulous past. Didacticism is just another device in My Grunge of 1991, one that makes technical yet poetic points about feminism and the nature of utopia. Etzel also challenges the idea of pure art, instead using his meanders to promote a utopia to be striven for.  But "Does the Reader know the Watcher is watching him read as he reads about the Watcher? " Tune in to accompany Etzel as he interrogates our surveillance state. 
--Amy King, The Missing Museum

Like the smart, My Secret Wars of 1984, Dennis Etzel Jr.'s My Grunge of 1991 sings with intensity. Collaging pop culture, feminist scholarship, and politics from that year, these prose poems question. Etzel asks, You doubt my honor as a warrior? and Who made my home a McHome? If in Fast-Food Sonnets, Etzel explores the meaning of customer service work, here Etzel turns the focus to the ways culture works on the self. Reading this new collection is a lovely disorientating echo of dictions that transport. Like a Kansas tornado with its resonating swirl, readers of My Grunge of 1991 land among Happy Meals, Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes, and Desert Storm coverage. In the muzak, grunge stars Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Nirvana voice and scream. With lines arranged alphabetically across 75 poems, My Grunge of 1991 offers a sound answer to Dana Gioia’s 1991 question, Can Poetry Matter? With a poet’s ear like Etzel, it can.  
--Laura Madeline Wiseman, Through a Certain Forest

Within the poem, “a list of alphabetized semblances for keeping track of occurrences out of post-trauma,” the speaker negotiates a way between quotations. Even pre-9/11, “we [were] no longer safe,” so he cloaks himself in “Grunge music, comic books, and Star Trek.” Amidst the dystopia of the First Gulf War, Dennis Etzel, Jr. brilliantly imagines a utopia where “there are no boy or girl Happy Meal toys – only Hot Wheels or Barbie.” In other words, this absorbing prose-poem sequence is an inoculation against – and hope for – the present.
--Joseph Harrington, Of Some Sky

In My Grunge of 1991, the mix is all: the combo of high and low, public and private, your life & her life & theirs, all at once, an intersectionality of those bold prosperous times (for some) and the madness below and in between—of a Bush war, a Happy Meal land filled with “boy” and “girl” toys: Hotwheels, Barbies. Both clever and tender-hearted (and “woke”), this collection allows a steady gaze at what the early ‘90s and Dennis have wrought.
--Kevin Rabas, Songs for My Father, KS Poet Laureate, 2017-19.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

All Creatures Here Below Announcement

The director Collin Schiffli will soon make the announcement as to when All Creatures Here Below will be released. I am SO EXCITED to see how KC locations are used for this film--as well as well-known actors and what looks like a fantastic script crafted by David Dastmalchian.

Funding from the Kansas City Film Office helped make this Hollywood film in KC. Here is the testimonial for the making of the film.

I will let you know anything else as I hear it.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Why this is difficult

The Alamo Drafthouse was my number-one destination for movies, for getting away, for enjoying and getting a breathe of fresh air.

Here are the films I logged in as a member of the Victory program:





WIND RIVER

Saturday, Sep 02 2017
9:30 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

DETROIT

Saturday, Aug 12 2017
6:45 PM
1 x Free Birthday
Mainstreet

2D WONDER WOMAN

Sunday, Jun 18 2017
11:30 AM
1 x Admission V
Mainstreet

Tough Guy Cinema: STREETS OF FIRE

Tuesday, Jul 18 2017
7:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D WONDER WOMAN

Sunday, Jun 11 2017
11:45 AM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING

Sunday, Jul 09 2017
11:30 AM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

FULL METAL JACKET

Monday, Jun 26 2017
7:00 PM
1 x Admission Single w/
Mainstreet

2D PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALE

Thursday, May 25 2017
10:15 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

Friday, May 05 2017
3:15 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet


COLOSSAL

Saturday, Apr 22 2017
9:30 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

3D BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (2017)

Tuesday, Mar 21 2017
6:15 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

NAUSICAA OF THE VALLEY OF THE WIND (Subbed)

Sunday, Feb 26 2017
4:00 PM
2 x Admission
Mainstreet

LA LA LAND

Thursday, Jan 05 2017
7:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D ROGUE ONE

Saturday, Dec 17 2016
7:30 PM
2 x Ticket w/ Glass
Mainstreet

2D DOCTOR STRANGE

Friday, Nov 04 2016
7:30 PM
1 x Ticket w/ Glass
Mainstreet

THE BIRTH OF A NATION (2016)

Monday, Oct 10 2016
6:35 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D SUICIDE SQUAD

Wednesday, Aug 10 2016
3:20 PM
2 x Admission
Mainstreet




2D GHOSTBUSTERS (2016)

Wednesday, Aug 03 2016
7:30 PM
1 x Free Birthday
Mainstreet




2D STAR TREK BEYOND

Sunday, Jul 24 2016
1:00 PM
3 x Admission
Mainstreet

Victory Screening: STAR TREK BEYOND

Wednesday, Jul 20 2016
10:00 PM
1 x Ticket w/ Glass & Mag
Mainstreet

SWISS ARMY MAN

Monday, Jul 04 2016
3:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Friday, Jun 24 2016
7:15 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

30th Anniversary: BLUE VELVET

Saturday, May 21 2016
6:45 PM
3 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR

Sunday, May 08 2016
6:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

DEADPOOL

Saturday, Feb 20 2016
7:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT

Saturday, Feb 13 2016
6:30 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

THE HATEFUL EIGHT

Wednesday, Dec 30 2015
6:30 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS

Sunday, Dec 27 2015
1:00 PM
2 x Admission
Mainstreet



SICARIO

Monday, Oct 05 2015
7:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - ROGUE NATION

Monday, Aug 03 2015
7:00 PM
1 x Free Birthday
Mainstreet

2D ANT-MAN

Sunday, Aug 02 2015
3:30 PM
2 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D INSIDE OUT

Tuesday, Jun 30 2015
10:35 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

SPY

Friday, Jun 05 2015
8:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

BIRDMAN

Tuesday, Dec 30 2014
7:50 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

THE MAZE RUNNER

Friday, Sep 19 2014
10:55 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Saturday, Aug 02 2014
7:30 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

Thursday, Jun 26 2014
10:55 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

2D X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST

Thursday, May 22 2014
10:00 PM
2 x Admission
Mainstreet



DIVERGENT

Thursday, Mar 20 2014
8:00 PM
1 x Admission
Mainstreet

Sunday, September 17, 2017

No More Alamo for Me

I still can't go to the Alamo Drafthouse with a clear conscience. I'm checking out the Screenlands.

Okay, it looks like the articles have removed what the victim blogged to Faraci about what he did to her in front of two other people. It was HORRIBLE! What makes it worse is the CEO of the company, after "agreeing with Faraci" that his resignation was the best thing to do, started easing Faraci back in within a month afterwards--first through emails, then really raising the flags when his name started appearing for movie review blurbs for the film festival Alamo puts on, Fantastic Fest. People were saying, I thought you got rid of this guy? What's the deal? Then the CEO posted on facebook how he saw Faraci had changed, he went through drug/alcohol treatment, and wanted to get him back through another Alamo venture other than the one he had been a part of. The things that bother me: The victim had neither VOICE nor any mention in the CEO's post, that the post came AFTER the slow reintegration without any warning that he was coming back, that Faraci was "being pardoned," but without any sexual addiction treatment (the old, "the alcohol made me do it"), and it is after all of the other comments to the effect of what I mentioned here that led the CEO to the "talk through" and having him "hand in his resignation." If I were the CEO, I would have been like, at Alamo, we don't tolerate this of our employees. PERIOD! You are FIRED. Don't show your face in an Alamo Drafthouse again! If this is their policy about people who talk or text during a movie, it CERTAINLY should be their policy for employees to not rape or sexually assault ANYONE. But it's not my business. I am SAD SAD SAD to not go to the Alamo Drafthouse again, but then I realized that is my PRIVILEGE to feel that way, that it really doesn't compare to how someone was sexually assaulted in public and humiliated by the employee--then has to live with all of the emotions around this, then has to relive it NOW as the employee was sneaked in through the back, hoping no one would catch on? Other things in a removed article I read: that Faraci was known for being a BULLY. Anyway, I am checking out Screenland!

http://www.indiewire.com/2017/09/alamo-drafthouse-tim-league-devin-faraci-sexual-harassment-1201875883/

http://jezebel.com/film-critic-accused-of-sexual-assault-is-writing-again-1805664696

http://variety.com/2017/film/news/blogger-devin-faraci-steps-down-again-sexual-assault-allegations-1202558042/