Special TIME & PLACE for Mixtape#10 in October!
Thurs., Oct. 10, 7:30pm, the Carrack Gallery
111 W. Parrish St., downtown Durham over Loaf Bakery
HAYMAKER / KRISTIN BEDFORD / ALEX MANESS
How and why do communities form? Three angles of investigation take the form of theater, photography, and film in a special MIXTAPE evening of allsorts at the Carrack Modern Art Gallery—itself an amazing community center—as part of the space’s annual fundraiser celebration.
The performance company HAYMAKER will bring a selection from “What’s That Cost,” their assemblage about the personal systems we develop to deal with complexity, and how those systems bring us closer to or farther from our community. The piece is designed to travel to small communities, from homes and offices to galleries and churches.
In summer 2012, KRISTIN BEDFORD walked into a service at the storefront Apostolic Deliverance Rebirth Outreach Ministries in East Durham, which had only started meeting the Sunday before. With the church’s permission, that encounter sparked a ten-month exploration of the sanctuary. Bedford’s photographs from that experience are on display through Dec. 13 upstairs in the Allen Building on Duke’s West Campus. She’ll show work from and talk about “Be Still: A Storefront Church in Durham,” as well as documentary work with longstanding cults in Philadelphia.
ALEX MANESS went into the “Anytown, USA” class at the Center for Documentary Studies excited about its premise—given a small town in North Carolina, find a compelling subject in that town and make a 10-minute documentary film about it. Enter internationally known psychic Gary Spivey, whose bed and breakfast in Star, NC would have made Liberace sigh with pleasure. Maness screens his portrait of Spivey, a short film as sincere, funny, and perplexing as Spivey’s unprecedented hair.
MIXTAPE is curated by Chris Vitiello and sponsored by the Hinge Literary Center.
The Hinge Flash Feedback
For registration, visit us at EventBrite: https://flashfeedbackhinge.eventbrite.com/
What: A mixed-genre writing group facilitated by a Hinge representative in which writers can get immediate feedback from other writers on a short piece of work, while encouraging connections and growth within the literary community. Each month equals a new group of people, a new group of work, and new connections made.
How it Works:Because pieces will not be passed out in advance, please come prepared with 8 copies of your work. (One for yourself, one for the facilitator, six for the participants.) Regardless of genre, pieces should be no more than 3 pages (roughly 1000 words.)
- Pass out, silently read, and mark up work
- Each writer is given exactly 15 minutes of Flash Feedback time, to be used however he or she wants.
- Participants are encouraged to come with questions about their work in mind.
- To adhere to the “Flash” in “Flash Feedback,” we’ll be timing each 15-minute slot. At 15 minutes, we’ll move on to the next writer.
- The facilitator will run the session and encourage conversation, but this is not a class.
- The goal of Flash Feedback is to encourage connections within the local writing community.
- Flash Feedback is the last Wednesday of each month in the back room of Mercury Studio in downtown Durham. There’s street parking and also a garage on East Chapel Hill Street (across from Rue Cler restaurant.)
MIXTAPE #9 is chock full of VISUAL MUSIC with live performance and collaborations! Come out to the Casbah for a unique night!
Tuesday, Sept. 24, 8pm, Casbah Durham
The Argentinian trio “ORQUESTRA NEGRA” will play “Reír” (“To laugh”), a musical composition that explores the intersection between theatrical gesture and musical drama. The piece will be accompanied by a short film made by composer and visual artist Martín Virgili.
LEE WEISERT will discuss the role of notation in his recent instrumental and electronic compositions, and the use of graphic design software in the creation of non-traditional scores which reflect the diverging aims of his compositions. Score and audio excerpts will be demonstrated and discussed, as well as the influence of performer interaction and compositional methodology in the final notation.
SHAWN M. GALVIN asks “what is the role of the composer in our culture?” He’ll present a few musical examples to demonstrate how composers have defined the history of American music, and why it’s important to support their work. He’ll also preview New Music Raleigh’s upcoming world premiere performance of John Supko’s All Souls.
KENNETH DAVID STEWART will dive into graphic scores through Cornelius Cardew’s writings, focusing upon his composition “Treatise” from 1963 based on the notion of being free from the bounds of the privilege needed for music notation. He’ll design some rules for interpretation and lead the audience in a community performance of the piece using car keys or vocal aspirations or whatever’s at hand.
MIXTAPE is sponsored by the Hinge Literary Center and curated by Chris Vitiello.
Shawn M. Galvin is the Curator of New Music Raleigh (NMR), a collective of dynamic musicians dedicated to presenting outstanding performances of music by living composers.
Lee Weisert is a composer of instrumental and electronic music and an assistant professor of music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His recent work draws inspiration from a wide variety of scientific disciplines and reinterprets their respective principles into an artistic context. His compositions have been commissioned and performed by artists such as the Callithumpian Consort, Wild Rumpus, Steve Schick’s red fish blue fish percussion ensemble, and the International Contemporary Ensemble. Along with composer Jonathon Kirk, he is a member of a collaborative sound installation team, whose immersive environmental sound installation works have been presented at galleries and conferences across the country.
Kenneth David Stewart is working on a Ph.D. in composition at Duke and is a part of the Duke New Music Ensemble. His compositions cover a diverse range of genres, from chamber and vocal music to symphonic compositions and various works written for or containing electronics. In 2008, Kenneth won the ASCAP Foundation’s Morton Gould Young Composer Award. Most recently, his work ‘t h e t a s t a t e’ was given a studio recording by the jazz trio, The Bad Plus and will soon be released by Duke University in conjunction with the Duke Performances concert series.
The Orquestra Negra consists of dramatist Gastón Mazières, guitarist Guillermo Bocanegra, and composer and visual artist Martín Virgili. Maziéres is co-director of the La cósmica Theater Company in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Bocanegra is Professor in the Arts Department at Francisco José de Caldas University, Colombia, where he serves as director of the Curricular Project of Musical Arts and the Acoustic Guitar department. Virgili works as the Director of the Arts and Culture Area of Technology Unviversity in Mar del Plata. He also serves as a founding member and musical director of the “RARISMO” group (Mar del Plata, Argentina), the Negra40. project.
Writers’ Day is an opportunity to hear from and talk to some of the area’s most accomplished authors and publishers, as well as representatives of graduate writing programs from across the state.
Leading poets and fiction writers will talk about the reasons they started writing and the lessons and experiences that have been most important to their growth. Influential publishers will explain their priorities and processes making editorial decisions. And both representatives and recent graduates of MFA programs will answer questions about the advantages (and potential downsides) to pursuing a graduate degree in creative writing.
Among the featured writers will be Gabrielle Calvocoressi, Randall Kenan, Haven Kimmel, Dorianne Laux, Eric Martin, Michael McFee, Joseph Millar, Nancy Peacock, Alan Shapiro and Daniel Wallace. Everything is free, and we’ll be gathering for drinks and conversation with many of the panelists at Lucha Tigre afterward.
Join us Saturday, September 14, at Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill for any and all of the conversations you want to hear. Each discussion will include time for questions from the audience.
2:00-2:50: Meet the Publishers
3:00-3:50: Becoming a Poet
4:00-4:50: Becoming a Fiction Writer
5:00-5:50: Considering an MFA
6:00-8:00: Afterparty at Lucha Tigre
MIXTAPE #9: Phillip Shabazz / Damien Aida-Marassa / Jenny Morgan
Tuesday, August 27, 8pm
Free of charge, but here are some things you need to know.
So we’re all a little pissed off lately. And some of us have been making work too. Mixtape cuts the August heat with 3 wicked-smart artists who put mind into the mad-ness.
Jenny Morgan is a documentary radio artist and writer living in Raleigh. Her work is based both in North Carolina and Palestine.
For Mixtape, Morgan asks how does one document a movement? Since early May, she’s been on the street at Moral Mondays with her recorder. It was straight-up fieldwork at first—go to protests, record the sounds, interview a few people—but now it’s a long-form portrait of both people and place. Personal stories take the fore. Morgan presents a snapshot of this moment in North Carolina and situates it within the state’s Civil Rights history. Check out some of her previous work here: http://snd.sc/130FGjf
Damien-Adia Marassa is a poet, musician and also Ph.D. candidate in English at Duke studying black writing in the Americas and focusing on the US and Brazil in the 19th century. Music, film, and poetry are fields of expression he explores through spirit work, continental philosophy, critical pedagogy and translation in African practices of diaspora.
“Have you ever worn a mask?”—The Fugees
This part of Mixtape will consist of a presentation and analysis of some of the multiple uses, meanings and manifestations of masks and masque(rade) in African / American performance and diasporic experience from the 17th century to the present. Drawing from research on slavery societies in the US and Brazil, we will consider images, descriptions and performances of masquing in literature, art, music and (post-)industrial technology in order to prepare us for some masque- and mask-making of our own.
Shabazz is a poet, writer, and teaching artist based in Carrboro. Currently he reaches approximately 12,000 people annually through writing workshops at schools, libraries, universities, correctional facilities, and cultural centers throughout NC.
For Mixtape, Shabazz opens up his spanking-new book of poems, Flames in the Fire, which brings a counterpunching, personal voice to current events. He’ll also read selections from previous books like Freestyle and Visitation, which explored experiences of growing up in a housing project and XYZoom, which examined personal memories, reverberations, and impressions following 9/11. Some inspirational sources from other writers may also percolate up in the mix.
MIXTAPE is a performance/presentation/reading series sponsored by the Hinge Literary Center and curated by Chris Vitiello.
Here’s the latest from The Hinge Literary Center:
The Hinge + Mercury Studio presents: Connections!
Are you looking for a writing group? For a way to share and develop your work with likeminded folks? Join us this Friday, July 19, at Mercury Studio in downtown Durham and make the connection.
The Hinge Literary Center is comprised of creative writers and readers in all genres, as well as artists, friends, and folks of all stripes. July 19 marks our first Third Friday event at Mercury Studio and we’d love to see you there. If you’re interested in forming or joining a writing group, we’ll have signup sheets on site, or you can network at the event. We’ll also have representatives on site to talk about two other exciting opportunities for workshopping your writing—The Hinge’s Flash Feedback and The Writer’s Salon presented in collaboration with The Hinge and The Carrack Modern Art.
But most importantly! Come out to mingle, have fun, and enjoy a cool beverage on a sultry Southern evening. Both The Hinge and Mercury Studio are regular participants in Durham’s Third Friday art walk. All are welcome. 7-9 pm.
After a successful debut of Flash Feedback last month, The Hinge is gearing up for round 2, which will be held on Wednesday, July 31 from 7-9 pm. Please note, this event requires pre-registration, and space is limited. Flash Feedback is $10 per person. Here are the details:
What is Flash Feedback?
A mixed-genre writing group facilitated by a Hinge representative in which writers can get immediate feedback from other writers on a short piece of work, while encouraging connections and growth within the literary community. Each month equals a new group of people, a new group of work, and new connections made.
For further details and to register, click here. Can’t go this month? No worries! We will be doing Flash Feedback the last Wednesday of each month.
The Writer’s Salon
Join with fellow writers every second Thursday for a Writer’s Salon, hosted by the Carrack Modern Art in collaboration with The Hinge Literary Center.
The Writer’s Salon is a new series designed to facilitate feedback and build community for writers in the area. These meetings provide a welcoming space for writers to give and receive constructive critique and develop connections.
The evening will begin with a short reading and focused group critique for one individual each session. The group will then divide into small self-selected groups of two to three.
Writers in any interpretation of genre are welcome. If you would like to share your work please bring at least three printed copies, not exceeding 8 pages.
7:30 – 10 pm. Free and open to anyone.
The first Writer’s Salon will be held Thursday, August, 8 at the Carrack Modern Art in downtown Durham.
The Hinge is happy to announce the return of Mixtape!
June 25 8pm
Free! Gratis! We’d love to see you!
– poet TANYA OLSON will read from her new debut collection and share resonant work by others, too
– photographer MICHAEL ITKOFF will present a selection of previous work and give a sneak peek at new work for an upcoming show at Flanders Gallery
– filmmaker/installation artist FRANCESCA TALENTI spins a multimedia excerpt from her upcoming robot play “The Uncanny Valley”
– plus a double elegy slideshow for two great visionary artists who’ve traveled beyond us this month
TANYA OLSON lives in Durham, organizes Third Fridays, and teaches at Vance-Granville Community College. Boyishly, her first full-length poetry collection, is just out on Yesyes Books. In 2010 she won the Discovery/Boston Prize and in 2011 was named an Emerging Voices Fellow by the Lambda Literary Foundation.
MICHAEL ITKOFF is the cofounder of Daylight Magazine and runs one of the coolest spots in the Triangle—the Daylight Project Space in Hillsborough. He’s received a Creative Artists Fellowship from the
Pennsylvania Arts Council (2007), and a Puffin Foundation Grant (2008). Itkoff’s monograph ‘Street Portraits‘ was published by Charta Editions in 2009.
FRANCESCA TALENTI teaches media production at UNC-Chapel Hill. As a filmmaker and animator she’s shown work from Sundance to PBS National, by way of Mumbai, Göteborg, Casablanca, and many others. She’s been pushing video outside of the flat rectangle into sculptural/installation spaces, recently showing two pieces at a group show at the Carrack involving body cross-sections projected onto the seat of a chair and a sink basin with swimming creatures projected onto sand.
Mixtape is curated by CHRIS VITIELLO.
– Announces New Officer, Writing Feedback Opportunities, and Volunteer Staff Positions –
The Hinge Literary Center is excited to announce the election of a new executive director, the opening of several volunteer staff positions, and the launch of new programming.
The Hinge has appointed Lisa Shroyer as new executive director, effective immediately. Shroyer has been a loyal member of the Hinge community, participating in several poetry workshops and serving in support roles on key initiatives of the organization. Shroyer works as an editor in magazine publishing, is a published author, and also serves as business manager for At Length, a Durham-based online literary and arts journal. She lives in Carrboro. Former officer Bridget Bell served as executive director of the Hinge from its inception in 2011 through April 2013. During her tenure, the organization grew immensely and achieved success in its mission to play an active role in the local literary community. Bell will remain closely involved with The Hinge.
In conjunction with its new director, the Hinge is excited to announce the opening of several volunteer staff positions including Social Coordinator, Online Coordinator, and Programming Coordinator. The Social Coordinator will be in charge of organizing and promoting the Hinge’s Third Friday events. The Online Coordinator will be in charge of updating the Hinge website as well as social media content. The Programming Coordinator will be in charge of marketing for Hinge classes. Each position requires a one-year time commitment. These are unpaid positions. Those interested should send a cover letter and resume to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, June 28. Questions can also be directed to email@example.com.
The Hinge is also excited to announce the launch of Flash Feedback, its newest programming. The Hinge Flash Feedback is a mixed-genre writing group facilitated by a Hinge representative in which writers can get immediate feedback from other writers on a short piece of work, while encouraging connections and growth within the literary community. The first meeting of The Hinge Flash Feedback will be on Wednesday, June 26 from 7-9 p.m. at Mercury Studio in downtown Durham. Flash Feedback sessions are $10 a head and are limited to six participants. More information and registration is available at flashfeedbackhinge.eventbrite.com.
Co-presented by the Center for Documentary Studies and the Hinge Literary Center, Professor Diablo’s True Revue is a collaborative performance series showcasing artists—writers, musicians, visual artists, and others—who make use of documentary ideas, methods, and impulses in the creation of their work.
Following five full house performances since its launch in the spring of 2012, the True Revue returns to club Casbah to dig through arrowheads, love, and weather stations in a one-time event that explores the theme of “Lost and Found” with biologist and artist Courtney Fitzpatrick, songwriter/musician Melissa Swingle, photographer Leah Sobsey, and interdisciplinary artist Jane D. Marsching.
Professor Diablo’s True Revue VI: “Lost and Found”
Tuesday, May 28; doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
1007 W. Main St., Durham, North Carolina
Tickets: $7 in advance, $10 at door. Click here to purchase.
Courtney Fitzpatrick’s undergraduate training was in visual art, and she taught photography at New York City’s Hetrick-Martin Institute before returning to her original interest in evolutionary biology and animal behavior, research that has been supported by Duke University, the National Science Foundation, a Fulbright Fellowship, and the Leakey Foundation. Her collection of nonfiction essays and photographs, Maji Moto: Dispatches from a Drought, emerged from seventeen months in Kenya studying primate reproductive biology in the wild. Fitzpatrick is a post-doctoral fellow at the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.
Jane D. Marsching is an interdisciplinary artist who explores
our past, present, and future human impact on the environ
ment through collaborative research-
based practices with scientists, educators,
kite builders, meteorologists, architects, and musicians, among others. The author of Far Field: Digital Culture, Climate Change and the Poles
, Marsching is an associate professor and Sustainability Fellow at Massachusetts College of Art and
Design. Victor McSurely collaborated on her NOAA Webcam piece featured in Professor Diablo’s True Revue.
Leah Sobsey is an artist who works in traditional, digital, and alternative-process photography, mixed media installations, and public art, exploring memory and the notion of collections as they relate to personal and public identities. Sobsey has exhibited nationally in galleries, museums, and public spaces, and her work is held in private and public collections across the country. Cofounder of the Visual History Collaborative, her current work includes Collections, a photographic series on specimens from the National Parks Museum collections, and Bull City Summer, a collaborative documentary project that explores the Durham Bulls.
Melissa Swingle is a songwriter who has performed,
toured, and recorded with her bands Trailer Bride and
the Moaners. She recently has been performing with Melissa and the Swinglers and is at
work on a solo record. Born in Memphis, Tennessee,
and raised in Mississippi and in Ivory Coast, West Africa,
she has toured all over the U.S. with Neko Case, the
Mountain Goats, M. Ward, Drive-By-Truckers, and
Calexico, and has opened for Wanda Jackson and Hasil
Atkins. Swingle is a multi-instrumentalist who plays the singing-saw like no
one else and just recorded saw tracks in the studio with Dexter Romweber for his next release.
We’re back from our break and excited to bring you our first Hinge Essay!
In conjunction with At Length magazine, we’re happy to present Ben Miller and his essay “Ghosts of the Mississippi,” a selection from his new collection River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa from our friends at Lookout Books.
Ben will be checking in here at The Hinge throughout the week to respond to your questions and comments and we’re looking forward to the discussion. We hope you’ll join us!
Ben will also be appearing at The Regulator at 7 pm on Monday, April 15. We’ll see you there!
Ghosts of the Mississippi
In Davenport, Iowa, where I grew up, there was an elderly woman who had encountered Flannery O’Connor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the late 1940s. I heard Blanche’s side of the story many times but never tired of it, partially because she did not take any relish in the telling, always pushing her water glass aside, as though the liquid might become infected by the dirty details. Blanche lived in the Mississippi Hotel with her twin sister, Sadie. Their rooms offered a quizzical view of what downtown Davenport offered: infantry of parking meters, granite hulls of department stores weathering poor sales, levee mélange, and the tugboat-pushed barges riding one of those bends in the Mississippi River that lend eastern Iowa the silhouette of ruptured fruit. Jazz genius and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke, the city’s most famous native, had once described it all by raising his horn and walking out the notes of his winsome composition “Davenport Blues.” Blanche and Sadie must have heard the tune, though Blanche was sure to have dismissed it. In winter, when sidewalks were icy, these tiny sisters clung to the building bricks, creeping like paisley-scarfed mountain climbers with a disdain for the vertical. Neither had married. Both smoked like factory chimneys and sported fine coats of facial down that appeared blond or brown, depending on whether the shades were drawn. From a distance of twenty feet, one might have thought they were identical twins. But to get up close was to note only differences. Sadie’s blue eyes, Blanche’s green ones. Sadie’s wide smile, Blanche’s thin frown. Sadie’s lilting voice, Blanche’s academic drone. Once I had occasion to fetch Blanche from the hotel, whose lobby was scary with couch cushions squashed into the shapes of those no longer on the planet. The elevator shivered, clanked, arrived on the right floor, the edgy hall. I knocked on the metal apartment door. Sadie answered, wearing a robe, and as I was asking her to tell Blanche that her ride was waiting downstairs, Blanche popped out from behind the robe. It was like seeing an atom split. After graduating from the University of Iowa with an MA in English literature, Blanche had immediately enrolled in business school and, a few years later, received an accounting degree—smart move, given her attachment to formal verse, a kind of writing she never gave up, continually testing herself against the sonnet, the sestina, the villanelle, and reading the results at meetings of various writing groups. One of these, Writers’ Studio, is where we met in the autumn of 1978, when I was fourteen.
I joined the club during my recovery from the starvation diet that had halved my weight, from a high of more than two hundred pounds, and granted me a first ghost, the fat boy whispering in my ear: “Did I deserve that? I ate only what you told me to.” I had found the meeting time and place listed in the Quad-City Times and asked my mother to drop me off there, in front of a tenement on a side street in deserted downtown Rock Island, Illinois, across the river from Davenport. It was night: she was glad to do things like that at night. It made things exciting. For some of her children it worked out better than for others. She sped away. A newer car pulled up, parked, and out climbed a man in a tan belted overcoat. He wore a cap, carried a briefcase, smoked a sweet-smelling pipe: awesome. “Here to attend the meeting?” he asked. I said I was. He looked surprised, but extended his pink hand. “I’m Howard Koenig. What’s yours?” I forced it out, loud. Howard nodded and produced an old key that opened the door to the rest of my life. It was dark inside, and still pretty dark even after he’d flicked a switch. Together we climbed a narrow creaking staircase to another door off a hall with all the charisma of an Alcatraz tunnel. Howard, enveloped in maroon pipe haze, unlocked that door, too. We entered the musty room rented by the club. More lights, brighter lights, were flicked on, and I saw that steam heat had cooked the colors out of the walls. The meeting table was crooked. But such sad details, one after another, failed to temper my jubilation. I had shaken the hand of one Howard Koenig. He had taken off the coat to reveal a green chiffon suit and tie that went with. He was relating things I should know. He worked in a civilian capacity for the Army Armament Materiel Readiness Command at the Rock Island Arsenal (the military compound situated on an actual island, as the city of Rock Island was not). His favorite author was Edgar Allan Poe, with whom he shared a birthday. His first wife had died in a car accident out East and after that he had moved to the Midwest. He had remarried. Her name was Rita. They had children.
I was decades younger than any other club member. This did not seem strange to me. I had long been the outgoing misfit who found acceptance only in unconventional social circles, befriending school janitors, parking lot guards, neighborhood shut-ins—those ruminating fragile retirees. But I was a novelty to Writers’ Studio. Members stared happily as they settled onto the folding chairs. Bifocals abounded, and every pair welcomed my long stringy hair and the scar-like facial niches that dieting had cut. No one said a thing about the yellow scampish T-shirt bearing the white iron-on letters I had requested at the mall kiosk where a man would put any words on any rag you handed him. I had picked the Bob Dylan song title: DESOLATION ROW. I returned the smiles of my welcomers. Howard, club president, waived the dollar attendance fee in my case. The lady who introduced herself as Blanche lit a cigarette in approval of the move, before qualifying her enthusiasm, snapping: “We shall see.” We shall, I thought. Some strangers were mysteries inviolate and other strangers were mysteries you felt like you knew, despite knowing nothing. I saw ballpoint pens astride notepads, spiral and bound—it was one of the oldest sights in my life, the blank page to fill with colors and then, soon enough, embroider with letters and words, with a will to seek answers if not necessarily to find, and accept, them. “What have you brought to read us?” Howard asked me right off, and when I said I had come to listen—this time—there were appreciative murmurs. It meant, they thought, that I was polite. I let it mean that, too. Their affection, any love—good or bad—had me. I was the fool for love. I fell all the way, with no strings attached to their warmth to keep me from falling. They had spotted a fellow traveler. At the end of the first meeting of rhymes I was admonished to come back the following Thursday for more grins that were genuine (even if the teeth might not have been). How could I refuse? Iowa City had its aloof workshop, open only to geniuses imported and later exported, like a secret trade in diamonds, but in the most bizarre and comical way Writers’ Studio was more exclusive. Who, seeing our figures spill out of the building, could have imagined what we had been doing up there? Previously I had had but two allies I could totally trust: stroke-stricken Granny Stanley and our neighbor the widower Mr. Hickey, clad in a clip-on bow tie, polka-dotted or striped. Sitting beside Granny’s four-poster bed, and in Mr. Hickey’s immaculate kitchen, had taught me the rhythm and substance of genial patter with the aged, training that had come in handy on this night. I liked acting as if I hailed from an era when I wasn’t born yet. It was the most reliable way of briefly lightening the load that had come of being born to a certain couple on November 5, 1963, a few weeks before JFK’s assassination. “See you later, alligator,” I chirped at worried club members after convincing each, individually, that it was permissible to drive off to a post-meeting snack and leave me in the dark at a pay phone across from the extinguished glow of the Walgreens drugstore cursive. “My mother’ll come . . . ” “Aren’t you hungry?” No, I lied. “She’ll come . . . soon.” “You could call her from the place.” But I didn’t have money for a snack, nor did I feel I’d earned the right to dine with writers who had published in Highlights and Guideposts. I was in awe of their old-school grammar, marketing tips, typescripts. “See you later, alligator!”
Read the rest of “Ghosts of the Mississippi” at At Length.
Our friend Duncan Murrell, Writer-in-Residence at the Center for Documentary Studies, has an interview with Ben Miller here.
And don’t forget to add your questions and comments to our discussion with Ben below.
Ben Miller’s debut memoir, River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa, is forthcoming from Lookout Books in March 2013. He has published in AGNI, the Antioch Review, Ecotone, the Kenyon Review, and One Story, among other journals, and his essays have been reprinted or noted six times in Best American. He lives in New York City with his wife, the poet Anne Pierson Wiese.