jay besemer - gorgeous hybrids and recombinant poetry

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Four Tips for Working with Editors
I am guest-editing a special issue of NERVE LANTERN with Joel Allegretti!
Register for My Four-Week Poetry Class at Spudnik Press; In Conjunction with Printer's Ball 2015 PUSH & PULL !
New Interview up at Rain Taxi (and a review I wrote, too)
David London's Magic Outside The Box in Chicago - April 22, 2014!


"silicone" vs. "silicon"
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Chicago Calling Arts Festival 2012
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Gary Clean Water Celebration 2013
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seventh annual chicago calling arts festival
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Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics
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art education

Slide Down My Rain Barrel

On Saturday June 29, I participated in the ninth annual Gary Clean Water Celebration, at Marquette Park in Gary, Indiana.  I offered outdoor “creative arts” for all ages, and I also demonstrated ways of decoratively painting rain barrels—sort of a smaller-scale cylindrical mural painting!  Two painted barrels were raffled off at the Celebration: one painted by me, the other by my partner R., whose help was invaluable!   

Marquette Park was a great place to hold an event like the Clean Water Celebration.

The "You Said It" Department

I subscribe toBOMBMagazine, and in the current issue (Number 118, Winter 2012) I found something good in an interview with artistJohn Miller.  He makes some very articulate observations on contemporary circumstances surrounding the profession of artist, and the educational approach that (sometimes) prepares people for that profession. Here's the part of the interview that best resonates for me:

The fundamental problem with being an artist is trying to figure out how to use your time and what to do with yourself.

That Hometown Feeling

Paraphrased and image-quoted from Larry Sawyer's blog:

The Chicago School of Poetics is now enrolling for its first series of classes, beginning January 2012!  

Visit the site to get all the necessary information on course offerings, types, cost and payment options.  

The School "seeks to offer an alternative to, and a community beyond, the Creative Writing MFA." 


Doing It Wrong

Want to know a secret? How about two secrets? 

When I was in eighth grade, I got a D in art.

When I was in ninth grade, I failed English.

How was such a thing possible for a kid who was practically born with a pen in one hand, a pencil in the other? (Ouch...sorry, Mom!) How could I, who loved (still love) art and writing more than anything else in the world--even tamales--how could I have made such a poor showing at the things I loved to do? Obviously, there's no single answer to that question.

albus cavus on tour

The collage workshop I did in DC in March was organized by Albus Cavus, a national organization dedicated to arts activism and arts education for kids.  They have branches in many cities, but this summer they are also going "on tour," bringing mural-painting workshops to various cities.  Follow their bloghere, and join them if you can!  Here's the skinny (minus photo):

Albus Cavus is having an excellent time touring with Applegate Farms this summer promoting healthy lifestyle and healthy communities.
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