Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Jules Boykoff- Overseas & In Your Ear 

Jules Boykoff is featured on this week's edition of David Barsamian's Alternative Radio broadcast from London. Jules talks about the squelching of American dissent from the Palmer Raids to the airports of today. The radio show readies us for the release of his new book coming out next month on AK Press- Beyond Bullets: The Suppression of Dissent in the United States.

Ah-ite Jules!

- Frank Sherlock


Premiering in Philadelphia
Thursday, June 28
National Mechanics Bar & Restaurant
3rd Street btw. Market & Chestnut
8:00 p.m.

Film specials to wow the senses
Drink specials to dull them
This film is directed by Philadelphia native Mike Land
Frank Sherlock and CAConrad play extras
(scene shot in Good Dog Bar & Restaurant)
and other scenes were shot in Will Esposito's apartment
And there's a rumor that Ish Klein will also be showing a film
the same night, at the same venue! WE LOVE ISH!

Friday, June 22, 2007


Sina Queyras has just interviewed Zoe Strauss for her blog LEMON HOUND.

Once you get started, the Love for Philadelphia, the Love for her work, it all comes pouring over the reader and you can't slow down! There's also some amazing examples of Zoe's photographs.

Click HERE to read! Trust me, you WANT TO READ THIS!

Friday, June 15, 2007


Sina Queyras's AMAZING new book LEMON HOUND has just won the Lambda Literary Award, and has ALSO just won the Pat Lowther Award, and she has ALSO just been granted a residency in Calgary!

Here's about the residency:
The University of Calgary's Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writers Program in the Faculty of Humanities today announced that Sina Queyras is the 2007-2008 Markin-Flanagan Canadian Writer-in-Residence. Her residency begins at the University of Calgary on August 15, 2007, and runs until June 15, 2008.

If you don't own LEMON HOUND let me tell you, BELIEVE THE HYPE! It's fucking great! The links above should lead the way. There's also her poetry in EOAGH (poems she wrote while living here in Philly), and she also read at the Philly launch for EOAGH, which should be online any day now.


One of your fans,
p.s. her blog is also called LEMON HOUND, and some day very soon she's going to post an interview she recently did with (the one and only!) Zoe Strauss!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The protest today was exhilarating, in many ways! 

First, WOW, what a huge crowd we made! And the police blocked our initial attempts at our original location meet-up by parking very large police vans and trailers over and around the area.

Luck was on our side though that governor Rendell sent a liaison from his office in Harrisburg, probably wondering just WHAT IN THE HELL was going on! This murder (and it astonishingly being classified an accident) is starting to get press coverage beyond the state of Pennsylvania, finally, and I'm sure Rendell wants to have some closer evaluation of what's happened before WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN happens.

What's going to happen is that the police are going to be FORCED to classify Erika Keel's death a murder, and the suspect Roland Button brought to trial.

But back to the protest, this liaison didn't have the facts, that's clear from what she said at the microphone. She said that the police are awaiting witnesses to step forward. Of course anyone involved with this for more than fifteen minutes knows full well that witnesses were immediate! But they too were trans, and they were harassed and bullied out of their statements. Savannah Hornback was told by police not to make something out of nothing, and Savannah wasn't even a witness to the murder!

Savannah by the way is amazing! Savannah brought together so many activist organizations, from ACT-UP to The Global Women's Strike, and many others, that the police, and mayor will have to pay attention.

At the end of the march from Franklin Square to the police barracks Savannah read to us the number of signatures we have all worked at putting together to open the investigation as being almost 3,000. WOW, and in such a short time period!

What an amazing day it's been! Carol Mirakove would be happy to hear that this protest had a lot of joy! Not at all like the Festival idea she has, but it felt lively, spirited, and hopeful. It was without a doubt one of my favorite protest-marches I've ever been on. Everyone looked SO FUCKING BEAUTIFUL!

Because we were fucking beautiful!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007



In memory of slain Philadelphia transsexual Erika Keels WE DEMAND THAT Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson, District Attorney Lynne Abraham, Mayor John Street and other Philadelphia public officials rule Erika's death a murder, and charge her murderer Roland Button with first degree murder!

A medical examiner's report supports the eyewitness accounts that Erika Keels was in fact run over four times by a car.

The police have ruled, and maintain their ruling that Erika's death was an accident.

If you cannot make the protest Thursday, please tell friends who can, and PLEASE sign the petition by clicking HERE!!!!!!!



Friday, June 08, 2007

more on the GIL OTT event 

Tim Peterson has written a very generous account of the event. For those who couldn't make it I suggest you read Tim's posts, then come back here to scroll down to yesterday's post to find the link to Ron Silliman's posts. I just think both accounts are good to read before listening to the audio as they carry the weight of the atmosphere that you can't get from the audio.

Tim is the recipient of the first annual Gil Ott Book Award for his book SINCE I MOVED IN (CHAX PRESS, 2007) and the event was a book party for him as well as a tribute to Gil.

Here's his first link, which has a picture of the event's program.
Here's his second link, which is the post with the commentary.

Thanks Tim for taking the care and time,

Thursday, June 07, 2007

audio for the Gil Ott event is now online 

Many thanks to everyone who brought the power of Gil Ott alive! The event is now available online for those of you who were unable to make it. I'm not sure exactly HOW to locate the audio files on MiPOesia, but that's okay because Ron Silliman has them set up on his blog. If you click HERE you'll see the post from today about the event, complete with photographs (an old friend told me I look like Shelly Winters, HEHEHEEE!) and some of Ron's notes and commentary. At the very bottom of the post you will see 3 files for the audio.

Thanks to Ron for recording the event. And to Didi Menendez and Amy King of MiPOesia for making the event available on their site. Oh, and while you're on MiPOesia, check out the David Trinidad issue, VERY NICE!


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

new CAConrad chapbook: German translations of THE FRANK POEMS (translated by Holger) 

YPOLITA Press (ONLY $5 + shipping)

KONTAKT / CONTACT: ypolita@hotmail.com

for details, including sample poems click here

Monday, June 04, 2007


First let me say that the event yesterday for Gil Ott was amazing! The place was packed even though there were at least a dozen people who called or e-mailed saying the storm kept them home. Sissies, oy, why why why do people fear the rain? Anyway, go on, send me your hate mail for calling you a sissy!

And while the event was more than I had hoped it would be there's something I want to address. While I was at the microphone I mentioned that Gil Ott was what I call the Anti-Mentor. Ron Silliman responded from the audience by saying something like, "But yet he was a mentor." Yes, to an extent I agree with Ron, but that depends if Ron is meaning mentor in the traditional sense. This is something I didn't want to get into at the microphone because in order to do it I would have to talk about my life and experiences in order to do so, and I wanted the event to be about Gil.

When I first met Gil I was just a teenager, and he was old enough to be my father. There were A LOT of poets Gil's age hanging around the Philadelphia poetry scene at that time, and what set Gil apart from those other poets is that he NEVER got in your business with disrespect. Meaning he never thought you didn't know something, and when he talked he talked WITH you, instead of AT you.

All these other older poets were busy telling me what I Should read, how I Should write. And the truth is that all these guys (these poets were men who were doing this by the way) contradicted one another with their schoolings, which I didn't ask for, and didn't want in the first place. It seemed weird that they were so interested in giving me advice when it was clear I was such a disagreeable prick at that age.

One of the most important things to be noted is that all these other older poets had already STOPPED writing poems. They were busy reading their old stuff (like Etheridge Knight, who read the same fucking poems every single time I heard him read, yet was so busy telling me how to write every time I saw him). Gil Ott on the other hand was writing up a storm.

It's important to point this out because Gil was more interested in creating, instead of having others be his little fledgling students. These other guys were spent for whatever reason, not writing, bitter about not writing, and instead of finding SOME WAY TO GET the Muse back on their sides they decided to mope around and tell others what to do.

This is not to say that Gil was not generous, or that he didn't have some advice. For instance when I was 19 my boyfriend at the time was a drug dealer with a motorcycle, and Gil knew that there was NO WAY I was going to give up this excitement! I had just arrived from the country, and all of a sudden I'm going to nonstop parties, all the drugs I could ever want, and what teen wouldn't want that? Well, I should speak for myself. But Gil said to me one night after a reading, "You know he's a real scumbag!?" He said this then backed away. He had a way of seeing danger, making note of it out loud, but realizing where things had to play themselves out.

On one of my visits to see Gil in the hospital he brought this up, and admitted that he could see back then that I was not interested in listening to anyone about the situation. He then said -- which was very nice of him to say -- that he was glad I didn't ruin my life, or lose my life before the whole thing fell apart.

When Jonathan Williams first announced that he was publishing my book back in 1994, Gil Ott was the first person to congratulate me. That was something I remember well because when that announcement was first made on Jonathan Williams's airwaves I was suddenly being treated like shit by a lot of poets I knew at the time. Gil had heard me read some of those poems when I read with Julia Blumenreich and Miriam Kessler at the Painted Bride a year or two before the book offer. It's these small generosities we remember the most, mainly because Gil took the time to actually call me up at home to congratulate me. That says a lot about his character, being the elder poet reaching out like that.

And one of THE BEST pieces of advice anyone has ever given me was during that phone call Gil made to me. He said, "Just don't let it go to your head." And I said, "You mean don't be boastful?" And he said, "No, I mean don't think you've got all the answers now just because you have a book coming out." Yeah, THAT WAS SUCH A GREAT THING TO HEAR! I was pretty young when Jonathan Williams showered me with praise, and Gil Ott brought me back to Earth! Gil let you know you were always a student to poetry, no matter who praised you, or how many books you had, or how old you were going to become.

So in a way, I have to agree with Ron Silliman to some degree after sharing such things.

But how I really mean to convey the Anti-Mentor-Mentor comes into play when running into Gil after I had attended my one and only poetry workshop. It was with the poet William Stafford. It was terrible. It was SO terrible! I told Gil how I had asked Stafford what poets he was reading, and that Stafford said "I don't read poetry, I read novels." That was it, I just tuned the whole workshop out after that. And Gil shook his head and said, "Why would you do that to yourself!? You don't need to go to these workshops!"

The fact is Gil LIKED that I spent time in the library alone, he LIKED that I discovered poets on the shelf, books like Cid Corman's GIST OF ORIGIN, things like that. The awakening of poetry is there for anyone willing to drink it in. Gil was all about giving a high-five to the Outsider notion of learning the poems.

And I think Ron Silliman also probably remembers me telling the story about checking out IN THE AMERICAN TREE when I was younger. And I only did so because I WAS A DISAGREEABLE PRICK, and was told over and over that LANGUAGE POETRY was the worst thing of all time! So I wanted to see what I thought. I wasn't about to take anyone else's opinion until I had checked it out for myself, right!? But I didn't jive with it. And I ran into Gil and he said that I should read Stephen Rodefer's FOUR LECTURES section, and I did, and then I was HOOKED, and the rest of the book found it's way to me with time. But once again, Gil had a way of KNOWING the entrance, where to be with it, then back away.

Gil Ott was not a mentor in the traditional sense, but then again there was nothing usual about him. And that's why we celebrate him, because he was unique.


Sunday, June 03, 2007

Rain be DAMNED! The Gil Ott Tribute goes on! 

Who cares that this storm actually has a name? Well I am not impressed! Gil Ott is the name of the storm we celebrate today! Details are HERE.
See you there!

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