FAVORITE ART THINGS OF 2010
1. patti smith's "Just Kids" - her memoir about her early life with robert mapplethorpe. reading this, i feel why i am a writer and artist. again and again. exhilarating! thanks, patti (and robert).
2. Voices of Light / The Passion of Joan of Arc at the Paramount - david and i went with friends to see the passion of joan of arc at the paramount theater, featuring a 22 piece orchestra conducted by Mark Sumner, as well as a chorus of something like 160 voices singing in latin and old french. stunning. this was also the first time i have seen the passion of joan of arc, and i was speechless. absolutely speechless at the end. evan kennedy was two seats down from me and he leapt to his feet in applause, and i wanted to do that too, but i had trouble even standing up because i was just in a total state. it was magnificent.
3. the condensary series - jacqueline frost and zack tuck took up the house reading series baton in the last half of this year here in the bay area, and it's been really flawless. they kicked it off with an unforgettable reading with evan kennedy and rob halpern, and through the past few months hosted lindsey boldt, david brazil, lisa robertson, carl skoggard, jacqueline waters, brent cunningham, rachel zolf, myself, michael cross and erica lewis. i'm looking forward to seeing what's up in 2011!
4. nathaniel dorsky films - sfmoma, in association with the poetry center, recently hosted an evening of nick dorsky's films "Sarabande", "Compline", "Aubade", "Winter", and the new film "Pastourelle". dorsky's films are sublime. silent, shot in kodachrome, and shown at 18 frames per second (i read that he calls this "sacred speed"), the images are ones only dorsky could film. his films seems to "click" me into that heightened sensory sensitivity of art-making...except it's the experience of watching in this case, rather than in the process of making. rare. it's how i know it's really special.
5. TRY magazine benefit hosted by the new series at 21 grand - ah, all i can say is thank you all for supporting TRY! really this is on my list because 30 poets came out to read their favorite pieces (not their own) from years past of TRY magazine! truly a magical, superfun, we-are-this- community-full-of-love kind of eve!
6. rob halpern and david wolach at the compound - rob read from an older story called "Trolley's Kind", which i believe he wrote (or at least began) while taking bob gluck's writing class some years back. david read from his new book Occultations. both of these works resonate continually with me, hence this was one of my fave readings of the year.
7. labor day 2010 - 20 poets gave short talks on labor at this all day event. fantastico. dream come true. and happily, actions are still spiraling out from this event, so if you want to take part, please do! the day's talks were recorded and are online at: http://labday2010.blogspot.com/
8. The HD Book by robert duncan - finally, it's out! ok, so i haven't read this yet, but i have it at home, and it's BEAUTIFUL, effin' BEAUTIFUL! i can't wait to read this tome. i'm sure i'll be finished in, oh, 3 or 4 years...so i'll let you know what i think then...heehee....
9. Reading groups of various sorts - shakespeare, greek, sanskrit, hebrew, chaucer, euripides, freud, marx...these are but few of the molto reading groups in play this past year. oy, probs even more than this, but this is what i can think of now. best part of these is talking and laughing with friends. also, eating. and reading, learning!
10. i feel like i'm forgetting important, amazing things ... and i guess i didn't put as many books on here as i wanted to initially. o well. maybe next year. thanks michael for your rigorous, wonderful blog and for the favorite things - i'm looking forward to reading them all!
happy solstice, welcome back sun, and love. onwards!