amongst books

amongst books

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Attention Canadian Poets: Poetry 100 - postcard exchange


Attention Canadian poets, would you like to participate in a Canada-wide postcard poetry exchange?
E-mail me at amanda at amandaearl dot com and i will send you the instructions.

BACKGROUND

I received a box of 100 postcards (Postcards from Penguin - One Hundred Covers in One Box)
via Ottawa’s Sawdust Poetry Reading Series door prize,which I won on May 23, 2018.
I’ve decided to send out 100 postcard poems from a series of 100 short poems I am writing entitled “Clare,” inspired by the book titles.

ACTIONS

E-mail me and I will send you a link to a Google doc with addresses and instructions.
As addresses are added, you can send out and receive more postcards.
You can send poetry, prose, song lyrics or a hybrid. Genre doesn't really matter. It has to be short enough
to fit on a postcard.

You can send as many or as few postcards as you like; no obligations.
I am limiting the exchange to Canadian addresses only due to mailing cost expense.

THANK YOU

Thank you to the wonderful and always inspiring Sawdust Reading Series for the door prize
and for its series, which takes place at Bar Robo on the 3rd Wednesday of the month year-round.
I appreciate the way it includes both established and emerging poets through its poem-off contest
and its open mic. Jennifer Pederson, the host and creator of the series is one of the friendliest and
most welcome hosts I've ever encountered for a series. She makes sure the audience claps all the way
up when a poet is coming to the stage, for example.
For more information about the series, please visit http://sawdustseries.ca/
or https://www.facebook.com/sawdustseries/.




Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Lady Lazarus Redux reviewed

My chapbook, Lady Lazarus Redux (above/ground press, 2017) received a lovely review from Michael Dennis on Today's Book of Poetry. Thanks, Michael and friends for the kind words.

Last year, Greg Bem was kind enough to write a good review of the chapbook on Goodreads. Thanks to Greg.

Lovely to see this chapbook getting some love.

Friday, May 11, 2018

for those who love colour - an update

i wrote this post back in 2011 and i still have cause to refer to it today. i thought i would update the post, since it continues to be relevant. I can't read enough about colour, dye, textiles and paint, so please feel free to make more suggestions.

On GoodReads.com, there's a list called The History of Colors you  might enjoy.

Colour: Travels Through the Paintbox (also called a Natural History of the Palette) by Victoria Findlay

the first book i ever read specifically about colour. it’s full of wondrous tales about colour in art, fashion, design, health, music, pretty much everything you could imagine. there’s a wee bit of science for the layperson too, explaining how colour works. here is the story of colour from the cave to the canvas, from the indigo workers to the Spanish ox-blood coloured fatty beef stew. this is a collection of fascinating stories.

A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage and the Quest for the Color of Desire by Amy Butler Greenfield
the history of cochineal, the brightest, strongest red in the world

The Primary Colors: Three Essays by Alexander Theroux
blue, red and yellow in history, art, textiles, literature. love the way this book wanders and takes imaginative leaps from one instance of blue to the next. from eye colour: Hitler’s eyes were blue to a blue vegetable dye made from human urine. Given to me by a dear friend when i was in hospital in 2009. She knows me well.

And The Secondary Colors, also by Alexander Theroux

On Being Blue by William H. Gass (recently deceased). This book had more to do with expressions that used blue in them, rather than about the colour's history and properties.

by  - a beautiful coffee table book given to me by a dear friend, the same who gave me the Primary Colors


Kandinsky's Concering the Spiritual In Art has a big section on the psychology and theory of colour from 1911.

Pigments Through the Ages
a brief description of the history of specific pigments and their symbolism, often with references to art.

Crayons: Crayola colours

the colour clock represents time as a hexidecimal colour value.

Lilac, the color of half mourning, doomed hotels and fashionable feeling by Katie Kelleher, the Paris Review 

The Racist Message Hidden in a Masterpiece by Kelly Grovier in BBC Culture (thanks to Eric Schmaltz, author of the wondrous Surfaces (Invisible Publishing, 2018) for this link.

The Color Thesaurus by Ingrid Sundberg

The Life and Death of Mummy Brown by Philip McCouat in Journal of Art and Society

From Crushed Bugs to Cow Urine - the History of Colours in Pictures by David Coles in the Guardian

part of my interest in colour comes from my synaesthesia. i have grapheme synaesthesia which means i associate letters, numbers, people's names, days of the week, months and a few other things with colour. for example pain for me can be a green ache, a yellow throb, a white sharp jab and sometimes other colours like brown, purple and red come into play.

Diane Ackerman's A Natural History of the Senses has a great section on synaesthesia; in his memoir Speak, Memory, Nabokov talks about how musical notes evoke textures for him.

Another good book is Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: How Synesthetes Color Their Worlds by Patricia Lynn Duffy.

As a child, i didn't know that i was doing anything unusual when i mixed up colour and names, for example i would sometimes call someone green if their name was Steve. i got 4 and 5 confused because they were blue and green and that seemed similar to me. at some point, i was trotted out at parties and asked to tell people what colour their names were, like a child psychic or carny act. my sister wrote down the correspondences and would test me on them every once in a while and they stayed constant. i've done tests and my synaesthaesia seems to be still very high. if you'd like to do a test, you can take one here.

after being treated a bit like a circus act, i figured i was the only person with this thing, i didn't know it was a condition and i didn't know it could be quite extreme for some people. some people have severe physical reactions to colour or smell or other senses. at 18 in university, i was exposed to Baudelaire's Correspondances and Rimbaud's Voyelles, two poems where senses are blended. Voyelles was particularly exciting for me and confusing. Rimbaud's matches were not my own.

how does this show up in my writing? when i first started to workshop my poems with others, i was told that my colour associations were arbitrary and made no sense. they probably still don't, but it's not something i have heard in the last 5 years or so.

i'm also quite gaga for visual poetry and visual art where colour is prominently featured, such as abstract expressionism, Mark Rothko's pieces.

i found it difficult when i was in hospital due to the lack of colour or the lack of strong colours. everything was white, pale blue, pale yellow. these pale colours were also in my delusions.

if you know of other sites or books on colour or synaesthesia, please let me know. and if you are a colour lover like me, you're a kindred spirit. i'd love to hear more about your colour proclivities.