Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Absinthe Reading at Oakland University

On April 16th our two interns (Crystal and Christina) organized a reading at Oakland University to celebrate the release of Absinthe, issue 7. They read selections from the new issue and students Mary Dunn and Liz Perales read from their own translations. In addition, Professor Fran Meuser talked about her experience working on a translation and Doris Runey read a selection from an interesting translation of a novel adapted as a film script(!).

It was a very good event thanks to all our participants, Annie Gilson, and the work of Crystal and Christina.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Arthur Phillips reading at Shaman Drum

Five years ago I had the opportunity to attend the Denver Publishing Institute--a month long graduate-level course in all aspects of publishing. It was during this time that I conceptualized Absinthe and while in Denver received advice from a number of the faculty and visiting lecturers. Also in Denver, at the Tattered Cover bookstore, I met the writer Arthur Phillips who was in town promoting his debut novel Prague. Arthur had spent some time living in Paris and so I discussed with him my plans for Absinthe and he recommended I contact David Applefield, the editor of FRANK. Since that time Arthur has continued to be a valued advisor to the journal.

Last night he was in Ann Arbor at Shaman Drum bookshop to read from his new novel Angelica. It was the first night of his book tour and if he stops by a city near you I highly recommend making it out for the reading and purchasing a novel or two or three.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Copernicus Lecture

On Friday evening I attended the annual Copernicus Lecture at the University of Michigan. This series is organized to promote a deeper understanding of Poland, its people, and its culture and they've brought in a number of important Polish writers, artists, and intellectuals over the years, including Adam Zagajewski in 2005.

This year the speaker was Krzysztof Czyżewski, a social activist, poet, essayist, and publisher. He founded The Borderlands Foundation and since 1993 has been the editor-in-chief of Krasnogruda, a publication devoted to Central and Eastern European cultures, art, and literature.

He spoke on the subject of borderlands, its relation to the work of the great poet Czeslaw Milosz, and the need for a new movement of bridge-building and dialogue among peoples.

It is my hope that Absinthe, in a very small way, can contribute to bridge-building between Europe and the U.S.