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Michael Eastman/Photography

©Michael Eastman

“There is no substitute for working.

None.”

An Interview with Michael Eastman

by Mike Foldes

Eastman

Michael Eastman’s photography captures the imagination in much the way it captures the essence of it subjects, merging the two in a surreal admixture of self and other. The current exhibition of meticulously produced images at Barry Friedman Ltd. Gallery, taken on Eastman’s fourth (and most recent) trip to Cuba in 2010, gives evidence: Rooms, facades, streets, all fade against memory when viewing the saturated color and play of light in monumental prints, as if to say, “This is what was, as well as what is.”

Los Angeles Times Art Critic, Leah Ollman, writes, “Walker Evans’ legacy is evident throughout Eastman’s work: a love of the vernacular, a consistent, frontal approach, and a fondness for … time and neglect.”

Michael Eastman is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin. He has been a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Grant. His photographs are in the collections of Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum, San Francisco Museum of Art, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, St. Louis Museum of Art, and the International Center for Photography, New York, among others.

The following interview was conducted via an e-mail exchange in March of 2011.

Q: How did you happen to gravitate to photography?

ME: Photography’s immediacy.

Q: What was your first camera?

ME: Nikon

Q: And what do you use today?

ME: I still use film, my camera for architecture is a Cambi from Denmark. It’s a 4×5 view camera, and also, I use old 500C Hasselblads. I still love a square.

Q: How much lighting equipment do you carry around with you? Your photographs have a remarkable intensity and  revealing of detail that seems hard to capture with natural light alone.

ME: I do not use lighting equipment.  All my photographs are made with natural light. By scanning my negatives myself and using Photoshop as my digital darkroom,  I am able to make prints that I never could have made with traditional methods. The amount of control is unmatched.

Q: In your Havana series, what time of day were most of the photographs taken? Everything appears to be very well lit.  Are these ‘long’ exposures?

ME: Photographs were made all during the day.  No particular time of day. Yes, fairly long exposures.

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Michael Eastman/Havana 2010

Volume 7 No 2.5 April 2011

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View larger photos from the gallery please enter the FS button.

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Q: You say “Fairly long.” Can you give an example using, say, the following staircase image:

ME: 30 to 60 seconds at F22. Very low light …

Q: Of the hundreds of photographs on your own and other websites, and in your books, humans are conspicuous by their absence. Some of the settings give the flavor of life as we think we’ll know it after everyone else is gone but us – take that in the imperial singular. Did you ever photograph people, and if so, when did you stop?

ME: When I photographed commercially, I only photographed people. Real people doing real things. Very documentary.

In my fine art work, I am more interested in finding places to photograph that are full of evidence of human activity but without the specific people that inhabit the places.  These photographs are portraits of the people without the people in it.  Through inference, we tend to “create” the portrait from what is in the room and from our own personal experiences.  I feel successful when my interiors feel like someone has just left the space or is about to enter.   Almost like a stage set.

Q: Do you work with assistants, or is all the setup and digital darkroom work and printing handled by you?

ME: I do not work with assistants.  I photograph alone and print alone.  When I first began to photograph, there seemed to be many voices in my head. Imaginary critics telling me what to do, What not to do. Voices of parents wondering what I was doing with my life and why was I wasting my time with a camera, etcetera. Over the years, the only voice in my head is mine. The only one I am trying to please is me. I think this is what people mean when they say finding one’s voice. I try to find places that speak to me and one needs silence to hear it. That’s why I photograph alone. No interferences. No noise. No distractions. In the beginning my voice was very weak and very hard to hear. Now, it’s the only one up there.

Q: Your images are “huge”. What kind of printer do you use? Any special inks?

ME: The prints are six feet by eight feet. No ink. They’re not ink jet. They are conventional chromogenic prints (C Prints) exposed with a light jet.

Q: How do you happen to live in St. Louis? Are you originally from the Midwest?

ME: Saint Louis is where I am from. Where one is based has very little effect on what one accomplishes. It has been an advantage to be an outsider.  It is easy to get lost by being overexposed. And it easy to get lost in trying too much to advance one’s career.  The best thing one can do for one’s career is to continue to make better photographs. If your work gets better, you will get opportunities.  That is all you have control over.

Q: Do you still take commissions?

ME: Not really, although I still am open to collaborating.  Art is very singular activity. Whenever I have an opportunity to collaborate with others I respect, I am interested in exploring that opportunity.

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View larger photos from the gallery please enter the FS button.

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Q: What or where would you like to shoot that you haven’t, yet?

ME: Nothing specific.  I just want to continue to look, make better photographs and grow both as an artist and as a person. Those two things have much more in common than one might think.

Q: Do you enjoy teaching? And even if you don’t, what advice – other than find your own voice – would you offer the aspiring artist/photographer?

ME: I do not teach, although someday I would like the opportunity.  Currently I keep busy with my own work. I like to stay busy. I am a bit compulsive that way; if I was growing up today, I probably would be on a Ritalin™ drip. I believe an artist grows through working. I have learned mostly from my own photographs, both the ones that work and probably even more from the ones that do not work.  Editing is so important. Essential. And I have learned so much from just looking at prints. One has to be driven. There is no substitute for working. None.

Q: If you were to ask yourself a question, as an interviewer, what would it be, and what would be the answer?

ME: How did you succeed?

I think one needs to be a bit in denial, especially in the beginning. You have to believe you are better than you are. And still be ready to respond positively when you face rejection. Which I have to do all the time.  Still do. You have to keep making photographs even when you doubt, especially when you doubt. And you want your photographs to have more and more levels of ideas.  More is more. The only thing I have ever had control of was my work. The better it gets, the more I have achieved.

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For more images and information about Michael Eastman, visit:
http://www.eastmanimages.com/

The Michael Eastman show at Barry Friedman Ltd. runs through April 30, 2011. The gallery is located at 515 West 26th Street, New York, New York 10001.
http://www.barryfriedman.com/

April 2, 2011   Comments Off on Michael Eastman/Photography

COVERS: Look back

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Ten Years & Counting …

Welcome Ragazine

Ragazine.CC

 * * *

Chilling

They say there are 8 million stories in the Naked City. Some days it seems like every one of those 8 million stories is being told in an independent magazine, on stage, in a zine on the web, in a TV show or movie theater, distributed on a broadsheet, voiced in a spoken word performance in a poetry bar, or even — emulating Speakers’ Corner in London — shouted out by someone standing on a soap box in Times Square. Not to be forgotten are the Mimes, whose actions speak louder than words. An artist acquaintance recently explained her paintings as an attempt to portray the noise she hears all around her every day, that anxiety-inducing clamor that seems almost sub-atomic, in that it carries on even when the screaming stops. This issue of Ragazine cuts through some of that noise, at the same time it contributes to it. Kind of like an air conditioner that cools the room you’re in, while it heats the air outside. A thermoelectric device that sparks a creative fire, even while you’re chilling out.

Now here’s this issue’s mix — in no particular order. It’s ALL GOOD…  Enjoy!

* Short Fiction: Jason Allen puts love on the block;

* Art: Hawk Alfredson takes a classical background and puts it to work in surreal explanations of an inner life. Find out what makes Hawk tick in an interview and gallery of some of his favorite work;

* Musician and Theremin master Eric Ross interviews himself on the extraordinary and groundbreaking video artistry of his late wife and long-time collaborator, Mary Ross;

* The We Are You Project International traveling art exhibit goes to Colorado, and takes along a few new artists;

* Photography: Mia Hanson spent years living in the Hotel Chelsea with her husband Hawk Alfredson; now the couple live in Washington Heights, and she’s still taking photographs of superstars. See what’s behind the lens in an interview with the photographer and a gallery of her images;

* Stephen Verona, filmmaker, photographer, artist, writer and world traveler. Verona can’t be accused of sitting still, unless it’s at one of his favorite restaurants. Next project: Compare and Contrast China, Then and Now!

* Contributing editor John Smelcer cuts to the quick with his take on “We Are Still Here,” or, “How American Indian Literature Re-visions the American Indian Experience in American History.” A must read for all “red-blooded Americans”.

* Poetry: A terrific mix of poets and reviews of poetry and poetry volumes.  Emil Fishcer reviews  Paul Sohar’s translation of In Contemporary Tense, the most recent collection from Sandor Kanyadi, considered by some to be Hungary’s greatest living poet. True to our mission of publishing both established and emerging talent, you’ll also find the poetry of Chloe Marisa, Daniel Rehinhold, Carlton Fisher and Dana Shishmanian.

* Books & Reviews: Something a little different here are capsule reviews of three chapbooks by Robert Joe Stout, and back to “normal” are studied reviews of four books, not all of which were published last week… Reviewers and books include: Kathryn Levy’s This Is For Life, by Jorge Rodriguez, who also reviews Micah Towery’s Whale of Desire. Matthew Ray examines ethics in The Kidney Sellers: A Journey of Discovery in Iran, by Sigrid Fry-Revere. and William Taylor Jr. reviews A. D. Winans’ In the Pink.

* Creative Nonfiction: “In Breathing Underwater,” Mark Montgomery marks the time he spent growing up,  trying to get to know his father, and staying alive.

* Columns: Jim Palombo takes a careful look at the Common Core curriculum and the direction of post-secondary education; Stephen Poleskie in his “Now and Then” has at it with an episodic look back at life in NYC in the ’60s; Mark Levy keeps himself awake with a Casual Observer‘s take on napping; and Bill Dixon goes to the edge reflecting on suicides he has known.  Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret, On Location” in France interviews artist Valentin Magaro. And Barbara Rosenthal reviews the work of Allison Berkoy.

* Music: Fred Roberts opens doors to other worlds with reviews of new music groups playing in Hamburg‘s underground. The piece includes a few lines from one of the more memorable tunes of the summer in Germany, one that got the group’s catchy video banned from YouTube. Not to worry, we’ve got the Vimeo Link.

* Memoir: Artist-Writer-Sailor and world traveler Helene Gaillet has provided Chapter 42 of her memoir, I Was A War Child.mother’s art gallery, and her private decision to secretly provide safe haven for a French Jew who eventually chose to go his own way.

* News, Haps, Snaps, Short Takes & Events: Check out these pages for updates on recent happenings and upcoming events. Updated at random, so don’t ignore….

* And don’t forget our illustrators, those artists and photographers whose works help tell our stories. Thanks as always to Walter Gurbo, Edmond Rinnooy-Kan, Jonathan Kelham, Angela White and Lynda Barretto.  For more about the editors who help bring you this zine every couple of months, see ABOUT US, where you’ll also find links to the websites of the artists who contribute to our “headers”. It’s a great group of people who work hard to make this an entertaining and visual treat.

* We’re running a Fall Fundraiser to keep our program in the air … Contribute if you can; want to if you can’t….

Thanks for reading … and spread the word.

— Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

 

We need your help… 

From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. We want to change that, but the only way we can do it is with your help…  If you are in a position to — and care to donate, or become a sponsor, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!


Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All relevant rights reserved.
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combofallingworked-for-liked
Walter Gurbo, Drawing Room, Click to Enlarge
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

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Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762

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Ten Years & Counting …

V10N4 Cover -- Soffian

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The Old World Order

(Chaos)

While many of us are watching the World Cup or enjoying the first real days of summer – or in the Southern Hemisphere anticipating the coming snow of winter in the mountains – the Old World Order appears again to be gaining ground. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central America, and in the United States itself … the list goes on. And on. One would think that peaceful co-existence would have made headway by now, in the broadest sense, but no one is holding his/her breath that will happen anytime soon – at least not without intervention by external forces – and we all know how effective that is. While the seemingly endless cycle of senseless human activity continues, there are a few people feverishly working outside the fray to understand the underlying cause of Conflict, and to artistically express both frustration with current events and wonder at the amazing accomplishments that come about despite the resistive drag of conflict on progress and harmony.

Whether or not you agree with this premise, we trust you’ll find the latest Ragazine.CC articles will provide grist for the mental mill where these and other ideas are constantly at play. From the photo essay and interview with “war” photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie, who provides an alternative view on Ukraine, to a review of the recently released “Writing of Blue Highways,” by John Smelcer, to the art of Robert Soffian, there’s just enough in this issue to keep you reading and on your toes until our next issue in September. Stay tuned…

Thanks for reading … and spread the word.
Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

 

We need your help… 

From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. We want to change that, but the only way we can do it is with your help…  If you are in a position to — and care to donate, or become a sponsor, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!

 

Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All relevant rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

GOT A DIFFERENT WAY OF SAYING IT?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

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Ten Years & Counting …

Haupt UK Cover V10N2.1
Photo credit: Chuck Haupt

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Winter, Spring, Sum…

 WHAT’S INSIDE?

OK, the plan was to take the summer off and figure out what we’re going to do next, and how. Then all this stuff starts coming in that we didn’t expect and that couldn’t wait until September to be published. Time sensitive, and all… So “Voila!” Special Issue. Easy … and a very good collection it is, at that…

* Photo editor Chuck Haupt’s collection of images from England, where he’s been since January;

* Miklos Horvath’s Coverage of the European Parliament in Strasborg, it’s last gathering before elections in May;

* Columnist Bill Dixon’s first article since a brush with death last winter;

* An interview with historical fiction author Jeanne Mackin and review of her latest book, “The Beautiful American,” publishing date: June 2014;

* A review by Fred Roberts of Hamburg’s regional battle of the bands, where three out of four contenders moved on to the German “nationals”;

* Artist-Author-Aviator Steve Poleskie, who provides a worrisome answer to the question, “Do you know who’s in your cockpit?”

* A review of Marc Vincen’s recently published collection of poems, “Beautiful Rush,” by Larissa Shmaillo.

* A short triptych and photo essay by The Camel Saloon barkeep and high plains drifter Russell Streur on a trip to Wyoming.

* A bio on the late artist Pamela Brown Roberts, and the group organizing an exhibition of works by lesser known artists who “died too young;”

* And, reflections on the passing of time and life at end of an era, in the article “Kumaon is Dead, Long Live Kumaon,”  by batik artist and writer, Jonathan Evans.

As always,

Thanks for reading …

Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

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Ten Years & Counting …


V10N2Cover

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SOS: It’s a Jungle Out There

(but we’re good with that)

If you haven’t seen Ragazine before, “Welcome.” If you have, then “Welcome back.” Either way, this issue’s collection of articles, images, poems, and stories won’t disappoint. From discourses on the politics of “Deep State,” to the art of Dorothea Rockburne and the photography of Ralph Gibson, to the poetry of John Smelcer illustrated by R. Crumb, to an exploration of the logging regions of Amazonian Brazil, to the “Moveable Feast” of Ernest Hemingway, there’s food for thought on every page.

As an independent e-zine, we compete with thousands of other zines, blogs and websites for your time and attention. And we really appreciate when we get it! Your page clicks, likes, tweets, retweets, pins and good old-fashioned word of mouth are key to growing Ragazine. And to keep us fueled for another ten years. We know not everyone is in a position to contribute financial support, but it’s an easy step, and free, to spread the word. You do that for us;  we’ll keep doing “this” for you.

As always,

Thanks for reading …
Mike Foldes, Founder/Managing Editor

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 WHAT’S INSIDE?

INTERVIEWS:

Ralph Gibson: The modern master of monochrome photography, shares his thoughts on the medium and one of its greatest tools, the Leica MONO camera, used to produce the images in his new book, aptly titled, “MONO.” With Mike Foldes.

Dorothea Rockburne: One of the foremost abstract artists of the 20th Century — and now the 21st — talks about her inspiration, motivation, and “the work”. With Charles Hayes; photographs by Guenter Knop.

John Cage:  This previously unpublished interview took place 30 years ago as part of a series Charles Hayes launched to identify key components of the creative processes, in particular factors inhibiting creative and artistic productivity. Cage and Rockburne were at Black Mountain College together in the ’50s, so it seemed purposeful to run her and Cage’s interviews “side by side” in the same issue.  With Charles Hayes.

Paul B. Roth:  Bitter Oleander Press stands as one of the guardians of independent book publishing. In an age when the small press industry and its plethora of startups struggles against giants of print and internet,  Roth’s The Bitter Oleander journal continues to weather the storm. With Alan Britt.   

On Location, France: Contributing editor Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret offers up two interviews, the first with Swiss-born artist Alexandra Navratil, and the second with Austrian Barbara Ellmerer.  See what’s happening in their parts of the world.

CREATIVE NONFICTION:

Amazonian Water World by Robert “Bob” Walker: As creative nonfiction editor Prof. Leslie Heywood writes in Submission Guidelines,  “Ragazine’s creative non-fiction section brings together the kind of writing I like most:  grounded, compelling first-person narration set in a concrete time and place that reflects thematically some way on the human relation to the natural world and the ways we’ve transformed that world, and in the process, transformed ourselves.”   Walker’s narrative on the effects of loggers and logging in Brazil’s Amazon region perfectly conforms to this ideal.

POLITICAL COMMENT:

DEEP STATE: Two Views

In the twin posts of this Politics edition, Jim Palombo presents a provocative premise in his “Deep State” article. This is accompanied by a commentary from Henry Giroux who has his own take on the “deep state” concern. Coming from somewhat different perspectives, the two pieces provide engaging and informative thoughts on what should be considered a most disturbing situation.

ART: Two Moveable Feasts

FOOD, ART & HEMINGWAY: Artist, writer and Hemingway scholar Raul Villarreal writes about Hemingway’s love of food and place, especially as it relates to his life in Cuba, and his love for Finca Vigia, the great writer’s retreat near Havana. Villarreal’s article is followed by a summary of “The Moveable Feast” exhibit at the Therese A. Maloney Art Gallery at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J.,  curated by the author, Dr. Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph.D.  With galleries of art from the exhibit.

MUSIC:

DARSHAN: Contributing music editor Fred Roberts reflects on the music and influence of “Darshan,” and the strange coincidence in meeting its creator, Patrick McMahon, in Cincinnati.
EVERLY BROTHERS: Music writer/Contributer Jeff Edstrom provides a 20-20 hindsight review of the unforgettable Everly Brothers reunion concert at Royal Albert Hall in London, in 1983.

FICTION:

Commented judge Sheree Renée Thomas on Speculative Fiction Contest runner-up Ely Azure’s “NEVER. GIVE. YOU. UP.”:  “Moving but creepy adopted monster/baby/zombie? (I) don’t usually care for zombie tales, but this family’s attempt to adopt and become parents during a biological epidemic was compelling.”

Award-winning author Paul West’s “Hurled Into Eternity” achieves stark reality in the dark world of life in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation.

POETRY:

John Smelcer’s poem, THE BOOK OF GENESIS, REVISED FOR AMERICAN INDIAN HISTORY, appears with an illustration by R. Crumb from Crumb’s “The Book of Genesis Illustrated.” Smelcer’s poem “Genesis” has been taught in a course on genocide at the Open University of Israel. Completing the quadratic are poems from Adele Kenny, Dana Jaye Cadman and Martin Willitts, Jr.

COMICS:

Everyone needs a laugh, even though it might take a minute to figure out what’s funny. With this in mind, we trust you’ll enjoy the latest entry to our wry comedic offerings: Gou-gou World, the brainchild of artist Edmond Rinooy-Kan. Kan explains Gou-gou’s history best, and to start out, there’s a page with pix from Gou-gou’s latest adventures…

Walter Gurbo, whose Drawing Room panels appear on Ragazine’s Welcome Page, and sometimes appear on other pages, suggested a fund-raising contest where writers submit a flash fiction story to go along with one of his drawings.  The entry fee is just five bucks. Winner takes home a third of the entry fees received for that issue. Submission guidelines appear on the “WRITING ROOM” post. The first contest illustration appears here (and there):

bear-swan-bomb-RAGAZINE.jpg-800

And while you’re looking through various articles in the zine, you’ll likely run across two other illustrators: Jonathan Kelham and Lynda Barretto. Enjoy the hunt.

BOOKS & REVIEWS:

Photo editor Chuck Haupt’s “the PHOTOGRAPHY spot” features “City of Shadows,” photographs from the Sydney, Australia, police department during a period in the city’s history when “select” men and women under arrest were routinely allowed to help compose their own “mug shots.” More than 2500 of these “special photographs” were taken between 1910 and 1930, providing the grist for this most unusual historical record. … And there are more ….

Barbara Rosenthal reviews A Dirt Road Hangs from the Skypoems by Claudia Serea, and Cherise Wyneken reviews Jester, Grace Marie Graton’s latest book of poems. Miriam O’Neal reviews Mary Szybist’s award-winning IncarnadineDiana Manole explores the poems of Flavia Cosma in On Paths Known to No One; and Grayson Del Faro reviews the novel by Rick WhitakerAn HONEST GHOST.

COLUMNS:

Artist/Author/Professor Steve Poleskie joins Ragazine as the contributing columnist of “Now & Then,” reflections on his life and career in the worlds of art and academe. Join Poleskie as he writes in a most engaging style about NYC gangsters, Andy Warhol,  the Mercury Riders motorcycle gang, and more.

From the Edge: Bill Dixon allows recent life-changing experiences to color-in parts of his past, lending understanding to a father-son relationship perhaps stronger in retrospect than it was in life.

Galanty Tweets: The glib and popular sociologist shares recent reflections about life, love, hate and things between, in these, a collection of his recent favorite – and  favorited – tweets.

Casual Observer: Mark Levy was one of the first contributors (and pro bono legal adviser) to Ragazine.cc. In this, Ragazine’s 2nd 10th Anniversary Issue, Levy cogitates on what a decade means, and brings it all to the table in his usual casual and empathetic fashion.

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Diamonds — and Not In the Rough:

As this issue’s cover attests, we’ve had a varied and colorful history graphically presented for the past five years by Ragazine‘s photography and contributing editor, Chuck Haupt. Chuck not only designs covers and edits “the PHOTOGRAPHY spot”, he also produces the art used in the email blasts we send out two or three times during the two months between issues.

A high-resolution poster of this issue’s “cover featuring covers” (V10N2) is our way of saying thanks for a contribution of US $30.00 or more. Includes shipping and handling in North America ($40.00 outside North America).

* * *

catwomancoverV10N1-B

Thanks for a Great Ten Years

This issue of Ragazine.CC is the first of our tenth year of online publishing. It contains a wealth of material from around the world. Literally. Pakistan, Kyrgyzstan, Brazil, the United States, Mexico…. We think that’s just one of the things that makes us a little bit different from the enormity of other online and print publications available today. The variety of material we publish reflects not only diversity of humanity, but also the diversity of interests of those people who inhabit the planet — and who work on or contribute to Ragazine. The family tree of our contributors runs along the right side of this page, on the About Us  page, and in the growing number of readers, known and unknown, to all of whom we owe a huge debt of Gratitude.

And while V10N1 begins our 10th year, watch for V10N2, the real anniversary issue (coming in March) that promises to offer one of the finest collections of material on the web. Eclectic content for a global audience …. Thanks for reading! 

* * * * *

heart-hiding-behind-rockfinish300wmDrawing Room/Walter Gurbo

_______________________________
Help us if you can … and spread the word
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent on the basic costs of not just keeping Ragazine.CC alive, but also helping it grow. Thanks!
* * *
* * *__________________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

__________________________________
Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762

 

* * * * *

NewYearV10N1 

________________________________
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent.



________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
 Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Local Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
 Linked-In    MySpace    Facebook    Blogspot
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA! Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets

* * * * *

V9N6-Blast3

 * * *

REMARKABLE.

* * *

The final week of October marked the final days and passing of two notable characters of the 20th and 21st Centuries. As with all remarkable characters of any time and place, their names may not be remembered one hundred or two hundred years from now (I believe in this case they will), but the effects of their lives will be long felt. The two people of whom I write are Deborah Turbeville and Lou Reed. I never met either one of them, but I readily remember what I felt the first time I looked at one of Turbeville’s photographs that atypically captured a spectacular blend of sex and death – so mesmerizing I never forgot the images or her name. I got the same powerful impression when I first heard, then played and replayed Reed’s  “The Velvet Underground & Nico,” produced by Andy Warhol.  Couldn’t get enough of it then, and some days still can’t. Without a doubt, they left us with something that stirs the soul… and who could ask for more.

* * * * *

What else? In the column to the left, you’ll find the standing Pages. Beneath them, the latest posts of all the stuff of which we’re made.

BRAZIL…. In a first-person essay by Brazilian-American artist-poet-filmmaker Duda Penteado, the artist DUDA09_Arte19 (2)explains the creation of an historical — and historic — mural in Sao Paolo.

In a separate piece examining Brazil’s contemporary art and culture, Professor Dinah P. Guimaraens posts a review of the country’s  transformation from a post-colonial agrarian society to a member of the global socio-politico-economic community. The concern being, what about the past, what about the people? What is happening in this transcultural event that many fear will change the face of the nation forever – and not necessarily for the better? Art editor Jose Rodeiro  provides an overview in News/Haps/Snaps of the ongoing exhibit of New Jersey landscapes at Drumthwacket, the New Jersey home of Governor and Mrs. Chris Christie.

Regular columnists humorist Galanty Miller, gay life writer Mircea Filimon and adventurer Bill Dixon are back with their various takes on life in earth’s ether, joined by JH Mae who brings us the ruralist’s view from New York state’s North Country.

Music editor Jeff Katz, taking a break from writing a book, takes aim at the annoying behavior of a free spirit run amok at a small-venue concert. Contributing music editor Fred Roberts, in   “Soundscene Europe ” and “World Out of Control,” gets behind Felix KubinMary Ocher and Gustav, and goes deeper into the black hearts of men with a timely retrospective of “Decoder,” the 1984 German film inspired by the writings of William S. Burroughs with an equally dark sound track by Soft Cell and Einstürzende Neubauten.

Politics editor Jim Palombo poses a series of rhetorical questions you can answer on your own time about where we as Americans are on the scales of justice, equality, and other civic concerns, including the degree of critical thinking that takes place – or doesn’t – in our everyday lives. He also points to several organizations that are currently at work trying to improve our civic understanding and public dialogue prospects.

On the literary side, poets Nicole Broadhurst and Teresa Sutton bear witness to events very often beyond their control; Alex Straaik blends fact and fiction reflecting on the whereabouts of a long-lost friend who took the other fork in the road; and Michel Collins takes us to a western desert where a team of young app2undofailures2©GN_2013anthropologists discovers how wide the divide between digital and analog. John Smelcer offers up two pieces, one a poem written years ago with Ted Hughes over a couple of drinks in an English pub, illustrated for this occasion by Micah Clarke, and a memoir recounting how his acquaintance with the famed Irish poet Seamus Heaney got off to a shaky start.

A raft of book reviews includes “Ekphrastia Gone Wild,” “The Natural History of Asphalt,” “Poised in Flight,” “Coffee House of Confessions” and “Strange Borderlands.” Thanks to Reviews editor Alan Britt for recruiting the able talents of Silvia ScheibliDavid FraserMiriam O’Neal and Boris Dralyuk.

On the visual side: An interview with Gabriel Navar, and galleries of recent work reflecting the worldwide obsession with smart phones, add another dimension to the West Coast art scene… Particularly gratifying:  Rod Serling, and “The Masks.”  Then there’s photographer Jennifer Georgescu, whose “Sand, Stones, Dead Leaves & Bone #13” is one of many images that swim in the river of nature’s chaos.  the Photography Spot features images from a new book by Belgian Photographer Marc Lagrange; contributing writer/photographer Ginger Liu interviews ex-rocker Andy Summers about his life on the road as a photographer; and from place to place you’ll find the work of Walter Gurbo, Lynda Barreto and Jonathan Kelham. Bottoms up!

 

* * * * *

Speculative Fiction by People of Color Contest 

We are very thankful to the writers who entered our Speculative Fiction by People of Color contest, and offer our sincere congratulations to the winner and runners up, whose stories will be critiqued by our final judge, Sheree Renée Thomas, announced on or about December 1st, and will appear in Ragazine.CC in 2014.

Best wishes for the holidays, whatever holidays they might be in your part of the world.

Thanks for reading… spread the word.

— Mike F.

* * * * *

introvert2noDRwm
Drawing Room. “Introvert.” Walter Gurbo.

 

 

________________________________
From its start in 2004, Ragazine has been kept alive by editors and contributors of  a tremendous amount of excellent material without financial compensation. As with all erstwhile ventures, it would be great to have resources to pay contributors for the work they do. For now, that’s still in the future – but hopefully not beyond our wildest dreams.  If you care to donate, rest assured your contributions will be much appreciated and well spent.

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

 

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
 Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Local Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
 Linked-In    MySpace    Facebook    Blogspot
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA! Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets
_________________________________

 

V9N5 COVER 3

What to do “After the Fall”?

Our friend Nick Buglaj is in Idaho this week, trekking at 10,000 feet. Most of the rest of the world’s population  is living somewhere between sea level and, oh, maybe 1000′ above it. Max.  I didn’t get that figure from Wikipedia. I made it up. But from all I’ve learned over the years about population centers and their proximity to the sea, it’s true. So what do we all do when the seas begin to rise? Head inland, of course.  Which leads to the next question, how many humans can live on the head of a pin — or a Himalayan peak?

Forty years ago a couple of pals hiked Glacier National Park. There were still glaciers then. I was driving around this week with a business friend. We stopped for a brief look at Taughannock Falls in Tompkins County near Ithaca in upstate New York. Taughannock has the highest vertical drop of any water fall in the Northeast – at 215 feet, 33 feet higher than Niagara. The geological history map reports the area was under a mile of ice just a  hundred thousand years ago (or so). Goes to show the phenomenon of global warming is nothing new — it’s just accelerating now, helped along by humanity’s varying needs for power and light, without which this web site wouldn’t be possible. I’d like to be able to say, “Don’t worry about it,” but that’s not entirely true. Just have to consider the alternatives. That’s a bit of what journalist Tom Wilber does in his recap of President Obama’s visit in August to Binghamton University, and the controversy over fracking.

The cover of this issue perfectly meets the coming season. We had several choices to make and settled on Tom V9N5 COVER 1Bovo’s simple, yet elegant photograph depicting what happens to a leaf when it falls. In this series, the photographer gives leaves an afterlife worth  living. Some of the other choices were a collage by photo editor Chuck Haupt from the art works to be displayed at the Ponce, Puerto Rico, exhibition Past, Present, Pa’lante # 2, and a sunrise image taken by Cheryl Carter-Price in Maine that is part of the current exhibition at the  National Center for Atmospheric Research  (NCAR) in Boulder, CO.  All three pieces are excerpts from features that appear in this issue of Ragazine.CC. We hope and trust you’ll take the time to see and read who and what are behind their respective curtains.

Thanks to the many talented people whose contributions to Ragazine.CC  make worthwhile the effort to bring it all together, among them:  Poets Christopher Phelps, Dante Di Stefano, Edie Angelo  and Oliver Rice, and in translation by Flavia CosmaLuis Raul Calvo; steadfast columnists Mark Levy (Casual Observer), Jim Palombo (politics), Galanty Miller (Re-Tweets) and Bill Dixon (From the Edge); music reviewers Jeff Katz (music editor) and Fred Roberts V9N5 COVER 2(contributing editor, music); and,  creative nonfiction writers Jaron Serven and Cris Mazza.  Behind the curtains, Leslie Heywood (CNF editor), Joe Weil (fiction editor) and Emily Vogel (poetry editor). And where you find them, illustrator/cartoonists Walter Gurbo, Jonathan Kelham, Lynda Barreto and Benoit Jammes. Roberts, by the way, also contributed a review of “Berlin! Berlin!,” translations of Kurt Tucholsky’s “Dispatches from the Weimar Republic.” If you have any interest in politics and positions leading up to WWII, this should get you interested in reading these translations of Tucholsky’s heroic essays that led to him being driven out of pre-war Germany.

Other new books on review include “2057,” “Figures of My Century,” “Silvertone,” “Parabola Dreams” and “The Fellowship,” while contributing editor John Smelcer takes a critical look back at Jean Toomer’s “Cane.” Jean-Paul Gavard-Perret reviews artist Annette Messager’s  “La Tortures Volontaires,” a collection of images that explores “the frontiers between art and marketing.”  Behind the curtain: Books and Reviews editor Alan Britt, and the reviewers themselves: Smelcer, Abigail SmootMiriam O’Neal and Matthew Hoffman. 

The Past, Present, Pa’lante # 2 exhibit preview by contributing art editor Dr. Jose Rodeiro with an assist from photo archivist Christie Devereaux explains how the modern day La Ruche gallery in Union City, New Jersey, got it’s name, and provides brief bios of curator Robert Rosado and the many artists whose works are included in the exhibit in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Comments, questions and suggestions are always welcome, so post them at will. Find an error? Let us know and Monique Gagnon or I will make it right…

Thanks for reading.

– Mike Foldes

*********************

 Thanks to all who entered Ragazine’s

Speculative Fiction by People of Color

writing contest. Winner and runners up

will be announced in December.

 

*****

 

exit-graveworkednoDRwm

 

WALTER GURBO’S DRAWING ROOM

 

 

 

________________________________
 

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
_________________________________

2013 V9N4 COVER 1

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Summer reading …

Take us to the beach (or Else)

***********

And while you’re in Oakland

Check out the WAYPI

California Exhibition

Mel-Ramos-Catwoman-Web-File

 Mel Ramos, “Catwoman,” Lithograph, 2010

Click here: For the California Exhibition page

 

What’s Inside:

Pretoria, South Africa. September. Join the Conversation as artists, writers, politicians, diplomats and others congregate in Pretoria to discuss an agenda that could mean keeping humankind alive for another 1,000 years. Or more. Afro-American artist Ben Jones will exhibit his series, “Evolution, Revolution,” at this ground-breaking world gathering, and in this issue we present both an art critique of Jones’ work by art editor Jose Rodeiro, and Rodeiro’s interview with the artist with photos by Christie Devereaux.

Joao Pessoa, Brazil. July. With the best interests of the people in mind, politics editor Jim Palombo excerpts information from the upcoming program, “The Economy of the Workers” conference.  Jim comments on the concept of “work” from his own experience, and includes the program notes to provide the backdrop for a discussion that is mushrooming from the bottom up about differentials that experiments in Capitalism and Democracy must come to terms with in an increasingly globalized world.

Nocturnes On the matter of Darkness in Art. A studied overview and motif for the current show at the Therese A. Mahoney Art Gallery, College of Saint Elizabeth in Morristown, N.J., by curator and art history professor Dr. Virginia Butera.

Music:  A unique presentation of recent work from New York musician David Gaita, with excerpts from the score of his Veterans’ Day Parade for String Quartet, and a video outtake of the piece performed by a string quartet at the Eastman School of Music, in Rochester, N.Y.

More Music: Fred Roberts from Germany on the Dream SyndicateJean-Paul Gavard-Perret from France, on Elainie LilliosPhotography: An interview with and gallery of photos by, our cover art photographer Dina Litovsky; and, the Photo Editor’s Choice, a selection of work from Chris Anthony.

Poets: Can’t live without them …  Kate Sweeney, Tim Suermondt & Hal Sirowitz

Fiction: Kevin Carey’s “Lucky Day” … when the sun shines…

Creative Nonfiction: Alex Holmes’ “114” … there’s no way like the highway…

Columns — holding up the house: Bill Dixon/From the Edge; Mircea Filimon/Gay Life; Mark Levy/Casual Observer; Galanty Miller’s Re-Tweets.

More Art: Shades of Phillipe Mohlitz — A trip to the studio/apartment/studio of artist-curator Gloria Duque, with Jorge Alberto Perez! It’s not easy to capture what  Gloria’s life and work is all about, but Jorge’s done a great job – and that’s why we asked if we could re-run his story, which first appeared in the newsletter of the Camera Club of New York. Seeing is believing.

Books & Reviews: Alan Britt and Abigail Smoot  review  Eclectic Coffee Spots in Puget Sound; Seven American Deaths and Disasters; Words the Interrupted Speak, and Flies and Monkeys.

For a short take on what’s going on in the world of medicine, check out the report on M Sedlof’s recent visit to the annual SAGES conference. SAGES is the acronym for Society of Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons. You did want to know more about that, right?

And, keep a keen eye out for Walter Gurbo, Bennoit Jammes, Jonathan Kelman and Lynda Barreto. They’re all in here somewhere.

*********************

FICTION CONTEST DEADLINE EXTENDED

The first Ragazine.CC Fundraiser-Writing Contest deadline is extended to September 20. The theme of this event, “Best Speculative Fiction by a Person of Color written in 2013,” is meant to bring attention to this under-served genre, and we trust you’ll find the winning entries provide fascinating encounters with other worlds.  Complete background on the contest, including its origins by fiction editor Joe Weil; a bio of the final judge, speculative fiction editor and author Sheree Renée Thomas; and, full contest guidelines, can be found on the “Contest” page.

 

Thanks for reading! 

— Mike Foldes

 

**************

fashion-in-the-future-cl-3-levelDRwm275
Fashion of the Future
________________________________
 

________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in Ragazine.CC is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
_________________________________

 

In this issue

Another side of the coin …

We sometimes hear about renaissance men, but it’s less often we can appreciate them in their lifetimes. So it is with great pleasure we profile George Nelson Preston, a New York City native son who traces his lineage farther back than almost any of us can to the 18th Century. A septuagentarian man who plays baseball with unabashed enthusiasm, who ceremonially and effectually presides over the Ghanian tribe to which he claims the deepest roots, whose studio on the lower east side of Manhattan in the ’60s hosted the greatest poets, artists and writers of the latter half of the 20th Century. And more… Preston has been called a National Treasure, and to know more about him, as you will discover in this in-depth profile by author-photographer Petra Richterova, will convince you of no less.

News from the sidelines, and inside baseball …

Music editor Jeff Katz is taking a sabbatical to write a book about the 1981 baseball season and strike …. Qualifications: Jeff not only is a baseball fan, but also mayor of Cooperstown, N.Y., home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He has great access to research materials. And people who  really care about The Game. Fred Roberts, On Location in Germany, has picked up the ball, so to speak, with a look at a David Bowie redux exhibit on the artist-musician’s years in Berlin, and reviews of au courant European music groups.

no-worms-#15-susLynda Barreto, who contributed “The Litchfields” cartoon/illustrations for a couple of years a few years ago, is back with a new series she’s managed to produce between turns as a barrister in her café in Naples, FL.  She and Benoit Jammes join Walter Gurbo and Jonathan Kelham with illustrations on ‘gray pages’ and other suitable locations to inject a change of pace into our cyberpages.

Art …
Contributing art editor Jose Rodeiro , with photographer Christie Devereaux, take readers on another art odyssey, this time to ancient Greece and Rome and “Art of the Mediterranean.”  Midori Yoshimoto interviews artist Babs Reingold, whose latest series “The Last Tree” speaks to the unnatural decimation of the natural environment.

Photography …
An e-interview with Sebastian Łuczywo by photo editor Chuck Haupt reveals the passion that drove the Polish photographer to pursue his art and craft. Brent Williamson, aka Teknari, is back in Ragazine with Whatever Comes, a showcase of large images on tempered glass created using his own film and plates in a unique photographic process. Ellen Jantzen returns with a series titled Compressing Reality produced by blending a series of shots ‘taken in the moment,’ into a moment. Ghislain & Marie David de Lossy share their ultra-high resolution images of nature; unfortunately, you won’t be able to see them here as they and others do when properly presented, but you’ll certainly get the idea. Rounding out “photography” is “Photo Editor’s Choice,” vibrant images from some of Sweden’s top photographers.

Video …
Contributing editor Ginger LiuOn Location/LA, interviews videographers Enrico Tomaselli and Francesca Fini.  Video posts include works from FiniCecelia ChapmanSteve Johnson and Jeff Crouch. Tomaselli is project director of The Project 100×100=900, which celebrates the 50th anniversary in 2013 of Video Art. One hundred video artists from around the world are invited to participate; each will produce a video artwork inspired by one of the previous 100 years, with an international exhibit to follow.

Politics …
brics flags
Politics editor Jim Palombo extemporizes from his winter residence in San Miguel Allende on re-thinking Karl Marx. In this latest chapter of his ongoing analysis of “Is it Capitalism, or is it Democracy,” Palombo looks at the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), and how they relate to America’s economic, social and military presence in the modern world.

Literary …
Contributing editor (Latin in America) Lilvia Soto reviews Eulogy for a Brown Angel, by Lucha Corpi, “a murder mystery set against the background of the Chicano civil rights march of August 29, 1970.” Books editor Alan Britt reviews Lost Arts, by Leslie HeywoodRagazine‘s creative nonfiction editor. Britt writes that what you will find in Lost Arts is “a hands-on, often literal, bare-bones diction that is occasionally peppered with the right dose of metaphor.”

Poet and professor Silvia Scheibli reviews Duane Locke’s The First Decade, a collection of poems the reviewer describes as “a book that takes its readers day by day through the pantheistic, sacred landscape of the imagination into a new and exciting linguistic reality and also constructs a broader picture of the callous and inhumane treatment society perpetrates on itself through menial self-deceptions and unmistakable denials.”

John Smelcer,Tom Sorci, Dave BongaandTrudell Guerue  remember author/friend Michael Dorris. Dorris (1945-1997) was the award-winning author of numerous books, mostly about the Native American experience, including his popular novel, A Yellow Raft on Blue Water (1987).

In Sarah Odishoo‘s creative nonfiction  piece, “The Projectionist: Show Me,” the author grapples with the existential balancing acts of love and life. Thaddeaus Rutkowski, in his fiction piece “Out of Fashion,” examines reasons why one might not want to declare as an artiste.

On the poetry front,  poets Emily Vogel and Lisa Flowers take a look at each other’s work in two analytical essays that reflect each woman’s approach to her own poetics, as well as an understanding of the other’s. Reviews and analysis aside,  we trust you’ll appreciate and enjoy the work of poets Abby MurrayPaige Gittelman and Andy Doyle.

Holding up the roof …

columnsMark LevyCasual Observer: Comments on the anxiety created when you don’t know where your anti-anxiety pill has gone.

Mircea Filimon,Gay Life: Ponders the contradictory roles religion plays, and the influence it has, on being gay.

Bill DixonFrom the Edge: Delights in not sharing   oddities of the English language, preferring instead to keep a beer-drinking friend a friend. Dixon, by the way, recently underwent quadruple bypass surgery and isn’t back, yet, to his old habits… or haunts. That should be something to write about.

Scott “Galanty MillerRe-Tweets. The professor rants in short form about peeves, pecadilloes and personal favorites, among them, Sean Connery.

Fiction Contest …
Ragazine.CC ‘s fiction contest is under way! We are offering $1000.00 first place prize for the best speculative fiction story written by a person of color in 2013. Complete information on the contest, including its origin with fiction editor Joe Weil; a bio of the final judge, speculative fiction author Sheree Renée Thomas; and, contest guidelines, can be found on the “Contest” page.

Thanks for reading!
— Mike Foldes

________________________________

Fear itself.
_
Fear itself.

________________________________

Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Got a different way of saying it?

ADVERTISE WITH US!

CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________

___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
Art Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog DirectoryLocal Directory for New York, New York
You can also find us on:
USAFESTIVAL.NET - The Event Collector Site of the USA!Duotrope's Digest: search for short fiction & poetry markets

 

**********************************

march-april02

………………………………………………………………………………….

Yes, it’s a whistle.
__________
Constant discoveries occasioned by simply moving forward make the effort, no matter how difficult, all worthwhile. We trust you’ll advance to the horizon with us by spending a little more time than usual reviewing the most diverse offerings we’ve ever assembled under ‘one cover.’
Fundraiser:
For starters, while putting together this issue, many of us were still burning off the energy created during the recent Ragazine/We Are You Project fundraiser at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Photos and comments from the event appear at www.weareyouproject.org, and elsewhere here in Ragazine.
Fiction Contest:
With this issue, we bring aboard fiction editor Joe Weil, who is taking over for Metta Sama. When the idea of having a fiction contest was bobbing around, Joe suggested we make it a contest for “Speculative Fiction by People of Color,” and Metta suggested we get in touch with Sheree Renée Thomas, who we’re most pleased to say, agreed to be the final judge. Thomas’ bio, which reveals why she’s precisely the right person for the job, appears on the contest page along with Joe’s thoughts on the subject, competition rules and submission guidelines. http://old.ragazine.cc/2013/03/contest/
What’s inside:
An interview with artist Chuck Plosky, whose years in Tonala, Mexico, helped shape whistle sculptures, such as the one above. The interview, by Ragazine art editor José Rodeiro, includes galleries of Plosky’s work.
An interview with Brooklyn-born street artist RAE, whose recent show in London drew RAEve reviews. You may have seen some of RAE’s works around New York. See more in the gallery accompanying the interview.
Rodeiro doubles down in an interview with Dr. Deborah A. Sanders, a leading US supporter of this fall’s trail-blazing “Africa Speaks” global initiative in Pretoria, South Africa. The article includes a statement by American artist Ben Jones, whose “Evolution/Revolution 2” is to be featured at the initiative.
wide-ranging update from Zaira Rahman, on various subjects and conditions On Location in her native Pakistan. 
Kids Like Blues,” an interview with the popular program’s creator Jon Schwartz, by contributing editor Ginger Liu On Location in LA.
An article looking back at the influence of Politics on Art in 19th Century France, by Patrick Ferguson with an introductory comment by politics editor Jim Palombo.
A studied look at the influence of boarding schools on Amerindian literature by contributing editor John Smelcer, and Joseph Bruchac.
Multiple reviews selected or written by books editor Alan Britt, including two on the same collection, “Native American Classics,” Graphic Classics Series Volume 24. One is by Britt, the other by Dale Seeds, who aptly describes it as “a collection of Native American stories rendered in the graphic novel/comic book format (that) features a synthesis of Native American traditional stories transcribed on or before the 20th century with the work of contemporary comic/graphic novel artists.”
Music reviews and commentary by music editor Jeff Katz, contributor Jeff Edstrom and Jeff’s buddy in Berlin, Fred Roberts.
Poetry by Joel SoloncheTara Betts and Gerburg Garmann.
Fiction from Eric Schafer in Vietnam, and Rachel Guido deVries.
New columns by Bill Dixon (From the Edge) and Romanian ex-pat Mircea Filimon (Gay Life), as well as the continuing saga of Casual Observer Mark Levy and the Re-Tweets of Scott “Galanty” Miller.
Videos from Stephen Schweitzer, Eliane Lima, Jason Greendyke and Karina Wiciak.
Creative nonfiction from Rick Bailey,James Randolph Jordan and long time environmental activist Daniela Gioseffi.
Photography of Dance from German photographer Franziska Strauss; American Larry Hamill’s experiments in creating 3D images; Serbian Rina Vukobratovic’s photographic exploration of sources of emotion.
Look for illustrations by Walter Gurbo and Briton Jonathan Kelham; they could appear anywhere, anytime, and sometimes do. Enjoy!
Thanks for reading!

Mike F.

stairs-of-lifeDRwm
Stairs of Life, Walter Gurbo’s Drawing Room

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Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

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jan-feb2013_01


On with the show!

 Let’s start with the anonymous aphorism, “Time stands still for no one,”  that familiar and inclusive declaration of the transitory nature of being. Simply put, 2012 is over, long live 2013…

Not too soon to say good-bye, either …. floods, fire, famine, war, wanton murder, plague… Six Horsemen, and an Apocalypse that didn’t happen.

So, on with the show, and a good one it is, including: John Smelcer‘s memoir of times shared with John Updike; images from the portfolio of Rahi Rezvani (cover image, above), accompanied by an interview with the photographer; poetry from Elizabeth AndersonTom BairJohn BellingerMolly Goldblatt, and an interview with poet David Ray.  Art content features a retrospective of the work of Mary-Ellen Campbell, and Jose Rodeiro’s Art History romp from Ireland to Italy and back again. Politics editor Jim Palombo mixes it up with art in an overview by Martin Rosenberg of Polish posters produced under Communist regimes.

Music Editor Jeff Katz provides his annual roundup of  the year’s 10 Best — meaning, most listened to music in 2012, not just FROM 2012 (Yes, there are seismic shifts in that list from year to year), and a review of Graham Parker‘s “Three Chords Good.”  Fred Roberts brings back Berlin, circa 1980s, and Eric Schafer chafes at those who disrespect Rolling Stones from days of yore.

Jonathan Evans recounts in “Legend of a Gone World” time spent with the inimitable Peter One, foremost photographer of  Moroccan kif culture, along with images from Peter’s 1975 postcard booklet, “The Kif Smoker.”Bill Dixon answers a wake up call in New Orleans’ Latin Quarter at dawn. Robert Scotellaro provides a couple of short takes on the fiction front. C. Goodison kicks with her story, “Wolf at the Door.”

Don’t miss regular features: Galanty Miller’s Re-Tweets; Mark Levy’s  Casual Observer, “Life’s a Gamble,”  and pictures from the wall of Walter Gurbo’s “Drawing Room.” Sci-Fi’s on the menu of  Alan Britt’s selections for review. If you want to find out what events may be happening in your part of the world, or elsewhere, have a look at our EVENTS page. And,  from time to time, check out short takes about our readers and contributors that appear in “News, Haps & Snaps.”

We regretfully say good-bye to Metta Sama, our fiction editor for the last few years, whose final selections for Ragazine appear this issue. She’s done a great job and we’ll miss her steadfast effort to identify the best new short fiction writing of the day as she moves on to more teaching, writing and the tribulations of making a real living.

Thanks for reading!

Mike F.

 

Walter Gurbo’s Drawing Room

frackit

 ___________________________________

Ragazine.CC/We Are You Fundraiser Tickets:

Feb 23, 2013, Maysles Cinema, NYC, NY

4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/302533

__________________________________


___________________________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

 Twitter: Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Advertise with us!
Contact: editor@ragazine.cc …

Free as always — But you can still contribute!

If you like this site, please tell your friends about us! Thanks!

___________________________________


___________________________________

Snail Mail: Ragazine.CC
c/o POB 8586
Endwell, NY 13762
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You can also find us on:
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________________

 

Welcome

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

 We are where we’re at …

but we won’t be forever

  

“Ragazine is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.”

You may have read that sentence before; it runs near the bottom of every Welcome page.

The zine that began eight years ago to share the art, poetry and photography of a small circle of friends now generates growing interest and increasing support from hundreds of contributors and thousands of readers around the world. You might say we’re reaching our target audience. Except for the fact that many in our target audience are themselves targets of another sort. For any number of reasons, from political or military repression, to ethnic and religious prejudice, to social norms and economic disparity, they are denied access to open forums where they can bring their ideas to light and flourish.

What better way, then, than to close out our eighth year of publication with a diverse  selection of material that reflects how we are dealing on myriad fronts with challenges  to human progress and enlightenment in the 21st Century. In early October, we published “The Levant Exhibition,”  a mid-issue post of one of many papers presented at a recent symposium in the United Arab Emirates examining “aspects associated with orientalist art creativity in Levant,” and dealing “with the most prominent features and historical eras related to orientalist arts,” including  “aesthetics, the approach and the printing techniques of the orientalist paintings.” The exhibit, borrowing heavily from the collection of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, a member of the UAE supreme council and ruler of Sharjah, presents western artists’ perceptions of the region, principally in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Many of the images hearken back to what some might recall seeing as children in illustrated editions of The Arabian Nights – where, it seems, too many of us learned our history lessons. Mohammad Mahdy Hemaida’s paper was selected because it seemed more objective about the artwork, and carried fewer political undertones, than some of the other presentations.

The article remains live, residing in the current issue alongside an impressive scholarly review of three “Fertile Crescent” exhibitions in a cross-disciplinary art project on display now in Princeton and New Brunswick, New Jersey.  “Politics, Society and Sexuality in Middle Eastern Art,”  by professor Virginia Fabbri Butera, Ph. D., is an educated look at the art produced by women from or associated with cultures where the social and political fabric binds them in ways that deny opportunities to freely depict frustrations, realities, hopes and dreams. It’s unlikely this breakout exhibition will ever hang in the same halls as art of the Levant.

Some time ago we had the good fortune to connect with We Are You Project. WAYP is an international organization based in New Jersey publicizing contributions of Hispanics to American art, culture, education and the economy, and by their example fighting the anti-immigrant fervor that simmers today in this country. To this end, we’ve shared work of WAYP artists and poets, and have planned a joint Ragazine.CC and WAYP fundraiser at the Maysles Cinema in New York City(POSTPONED due to Sandy; Rain Dates to be announced). We hope you’ll join us.

For a clearer understanding of what many Hispanic-Americans feel and face living in America today, read Professor Lilvia Soto’s insightful message to a Latino audience on a U.S. college campus that holds as true today as it did when delivered in 2009. Then, continue on to her translation of Mexican poet Alberto Blanco’s poem, “The Undocumented.” Blanco, one of the most recognized contemporary  Latin American poets, received the Octavio Paz Poetry Award in 2001.

Photographer Karen Miranda, who lives in Queens, New York, collaborates with native communities and with her relatives as subjects of her photography projects. She has worked with the Mandaeans from Iraq and Iran living in Sweden and Detroit,  Waoranis in the Ecuadorian Amazon and Andes Mountains, and for a brief period with the Mam in Guatemala. Her intimate portraits tell a tale of their own, but you’ll learn a bit more about her approach in our interview.

Tice Lerner’s debut exhibit last summer at the Anthony Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton, N.Y., placed him prominently on the stage of photographers whose works embody both empathy and contrast with an outside world not of his subjects’ own making. Lerner, an engineer by training, captures neighborhood denizens in a once-thriving upstate city striving to remake itself. His photo on this month’s cover (above) is an invitation to see and know more about what makes him, and his approach to photography, unique.

Photographer Steve Bromberg has spent enough time in China to know his way around a bit more than most. His camera reveals a nation of contrasts as it struggles with change, and the scars that struggle leaves as the country transitions from an agrarian Communist to industrial Capitalist power.

Artist Stephanie Rond’s subtly provocative works focus largely on distrust. The “Dick and Jane,”  storybook-type illustrations incorporate clues to a world populated by wolves in men’s and boys’ clothing. Active in the Columbus, Ohio, arts community, Rond is also curator of the miniature s.Dot Gallery.

Jack Zipes discusses “Why Fairy Tales Stick,” with Ragazine contributing editor John Smelcer. Zipes, a foremost scholar of the fairy tale, postulates “that the most important stories in a culture become memes, “which evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins proposed in his book The Selfish Gene (1976)…” If you like fairy tales, or wonder where they come from and why some persist where others don’t, you’ll certainly remember this conversation.

In an artful essay, author and Nobel Prize for Literature runner-up Paul West wakes the unconscious mind with a literary foray into the writings of Samuel Beckett. West ventures to examine the short stories of Texts with a critic’s evincing eye and ear. Commenting on a passage in “Assumption,” he writes, “Something rippling evokes muscle and, as always in Beckett, a better mind than the mind on show makes the whole thing irresistible.” We trust you’re up to it.

Creative nonfiction editor Leslie Heywood says her selection for this issue, “The Sleep Scale,” commanded the rapt attention of other students in her class at Binghamton University when read aloud by its author Cecil Jordan. Read it to yourself. Read it aloud. Be advised: Not a cure for insomnia.

Fiction editor Metta Sama delivers a piece from Alison Meyers titled “Pest Control” that focuses on the continuing divides between haves and have nots, whites and people of color, the privileged and those who work for them.  Live a few snippets of their lives; see what the other sides see of each other. Reflect.

Poetry editor Emily Vogel provides selections from poets Phil Boiarski, Devin McMicken and Nicholas Wilsey.  Boiarski’s been writing and publishing for more than forty years; McMicken’s first public reading took place in early October. Wilsey DJs a poetry-focused radio show.

Alan Britt joins the Ragazine team as Books/Reviews editor. The Books section will move from a Page to a Post, which can be dated and saved for archiving. In his initial offering, Britt reviews three volumes from Split Oak Press, and includes Paul Sohar’s examination of The New Arcana by John Amen and Daniel Y. Harris. Find out more about Alan Britt in “About Us.”

Music editor Jeff Katz examines the “music listening and buying experience” as it relates to The Internet Radio Fairness Act. The bill aims to “lower the royalty rate that Internet radio stations like Pandora pay from over 50% of total revenues, to the less onerous 7ish% of revenues that satellite titans like SiriusXM pay, or even the cable rate of 15%.” Asks Katz, “It’s all about fairness, no?”  Also on Katz’s agenda: Reviews of Bob Dylan’s latest, Tempest, and The Once and Future Carpenter from the Avett Brothers.

Politics editor Jim Palombo discusses education and empowerment in the modern age, where the notion of a healthy society comes into play.  Under-education and a desensitized environment, Palombo contends, contribute to an “unhealthy state of affairs.”  Jumping from that to “Part II,” Palombo comments on what’s being said about the subject on the campaign trail to Election 2012. Add to that contributor Doug Bond’s satirical overview of the Last Minute October Surprises coming our way, and you have a wide-screen advantage over the next guy.

Casual Observer Mark Levy casts a jaundiced eye at too-real developments in high-def television technology; Galanty Miller begins his collection of Re-tweets with, “The richest man in the world has something in common with the poorest man in the world; they both want to be richer.”  And throughout, the illustrations of Nadja Asghar and Walter Gurbo.

Enjoy. As always, thanks for reading!

– Mike Foldes

 * * * * *

 

 * * * * *

Welcome

V8N5

sept-oct2012_02

 

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

If you can’t make Money …

Make Art

If you can’t Make Money, Make Art. If you can’t Make Art, Make Money – and spend it on Art. The arts may not be able to lift everyone out of poverty, but they do have the power to lift the spirits of rich and poor alike. A good enough reason to keep our shoulders to the wheel.

What’s inside:

Karl Polanyi was one of the most influential economists and social thinkers of the last century. His work, widely read and recognized throughout the world, is largely unknown in the United States. When Politics Editor Jim Palombo discovered that Polanyi’s daughter, Prof. Kari Polanyi Levitt, is living in Canada, he reached out for an interview. Prof. Levitt, in her own teachings and writings, is carrying on her father’s legacy, and the two professors share that and some of their own critical thinking here.

Nikolai Buglaj is more interested in capturing the essence of an idea than in fame and fortune. In this regard, he has few peers. Art Editor Dr. José Rodeiro and artist Christie Devereaux interview Buglaj; and, in an accompanying article “The Artist Who Refuses to Show,” Rodeiro examines Buglaj’s work and its historical value as “art for art’s sake.”

Jeff Katz moves beyond the sound stage to share the joy of watching his autistic son Nate achieve a personal best with an art exhibit in Soho earlier this year. Katz’s memoir of that event is aptly titled, “Really, It Was A Miracle.” Elsewhere, Katz jumps back into his role as Ragazine’s music editor with a variety pack of short takes on old favorites and recent discoveries. Also on the music front, Eric Schafer, back in the States for some physical therapy and R&R after several years working in Viet Nam, writes up some of his own “I wish…” covers of favorite tunes from the not-so-olden days.

Photography features this issue include, as always, Chuck Haupt’s “The Photography Spot” – individual photos with explanations from the do-ers about motivation and origins. This post is about the resilience of boys, no matter where they come from. In addition, photographer Todd Smith takes us to the shore and more from the ’70s to today, in a “compare and contrast” visual essay about changing times.

Poetry: There’s plenty to choose from: Lauren Tursellino, Samantha Zighelboim, J. Barret Wolf and Simone Kearney; an interview with poet-author Klaus Gerken, publisher of the literary journal Ygdrasil; a review by Paul Sohar of poet Alan Britt’s Alone with the Terrible Universe; and a look back at the convergence of art, poetry and architecture at 1WTC Visitor Center the day the building became the tallest in NYC.

From author Christopher Panzner, an American in Paris, comes “A Tati Moment,” an entertaining oblique excerpted from his first collection titled SLOW. (In my mind, Georges Seurat paints Marcel Marceau or the Little Tramp.)

Sarah Silbert’s “Mondays Can Seem Like Sundays,” is a mother’s reflections on raising a family in rural Vermont. Silbert strives to maintain the will to preserve the events, large and small, that help her maintain her own identity, even while it further entwines with those of her loved ones.

If you didn’t get ’em while they’re hot, catch Galanty Miller‘s retweets, featuring the wit and wisdom of Prospero. For example, I think it’s unfair that it’s so hard for aging actresses in Hollywood to find good roles in the Transformers movies. And before you stop laughing, tune in to Mark Levy’s Casual Observer as he looks at life through a jaundiced eye. Kind of like Nadja, who did the illustration for Mark’s column. Or our friend Walter, here…

Happy autumnal equinox, and …

Thanks for reading!

__________________________________

Dead_Chair_Ragazine_Submission_Drawing_Room_2012

__________________________________

  Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/
Twitter:
Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
twitter: ragazinecc

 __________________________

 

V8N4 July-August 2012

"Consumption," M. Owczarek, V8N4/2012

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

We haven’t come a long way, baby

June 29/30, Endwell

Pick a topic. Any topic. Write about it without injecting yourself into it. Write about anything else, but not … You. Make a list: Politics, culture, art, war, peace, food, hunger… recognizing opposites begins to come easily, a cheap way to make the list longer with little extra effort. Stop there. Begin again. A month goes by. And then another. Openings, closings, travel for business, travel for fun, travel for no other reason than to get from there to somewhere else. Or here. “Outside the beltway.” “West of the Hudson…” In touch with realities. Each powerful word carries with it a visage, a comprehensive, multi-dimensional emotional package of what is (fill in the blank), for example, CULTURE: So much of what Politicians debate and the Media presents should go without saying. Yet it’s part of Our Culture to be zealously fractious.

So every couple of months the contributors and editors of Ragazine bring at least some of it back together under one e-cover.  We’re especially proud with this issue to provide the vehicle for reintroducing Walter Gurbo’s “Drawing Room” to a surreality-starved world.  Gurbo returns with Drawing Room after an hiatus that followed his 12-year tenure contributing panels to the village Voice. His work appeared in Ragazine simultaneously with a show at Anthony Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton last year. You can recap at: http://old.ragazine.cc/2011/08/walter-gurbo/

Other recent additions to the crew – you already may have seen or read their work – include: Dr. José Rodeiro (Art); Monique Gagnon German (Copy Editor); Rhonda Branca (Flag Waver, until she has time for something more); Scott “Galanty” Miller (Columnist/re-Tweeter-ist)and Nadja Asghar (Illustrator). Metta Sama, our fiction editor for the past few years, is stepping down. She tried to quit once before, but we wouldn’t let her. Metta’s selections will run through the January-February 2013 issue. We wish her well in her new ventures, and the chances are good you’ll be hearing from or about her here again. Joe Weil will be picking up as fiction editor where Metta leaves off – with the March-April 2013 issue. Joe, a long-time Ragazine supporter, was poetry editor early on and we’re glad to have him back in this new role. You can read more about them all in About Us.

What in store with V8N4? Where to begin?

* An interview with Cuban artist Raul Villarreal, who co-authored a book with his father Rene Villarrealmajor domo at Ernest Hemingway‘s Finca Vigia estate outside Havana. Villarreal’s paintings embody the culture and sentiment of the disenfranchised who left the island nation after Fidel Castro rose to power. The article appears as Hemingway scholars recall the author on his birthday, July 21, 1899.

Poets Chelsie Malyszek; Alfred Corn; Melissa Schwalm and  Nicole Santalucia appear along with a review of Maria Mazziotti Gillan‘s forthcoming “The Place I Call Home” by poetry editor Emily Vogel.

* Politics editor James Palombo offers a snapshot of Harlem from a visit to the Maysles Theater for presentations of Stain – Changing Lives After Incarceration, and “OWS,” a series of shorts on the Occupy movement.

* On the side of Art, we have an interview with collage artist-photographer Marcin Owczarek, whose piece, “Consumption,” leads this page. Owczarek’s work intrigues and mystifies at once. And get ready for a leap of faith with José Rodeiro‘s exuberant review and analysis of Christie Devereaux’s latest show, which opened at The Treasure Room Gallery in New York at the end of June. Find out what drove Devereaux to make ART in an accompanying interview.

* The Fiction roster lists Rosebud Ben-Oni‘s short story, “As the Twig Is Bent,” and flash fiction from Hermine Pinson, “The Cat and Mouse and the Shoe.” Creative Nonfiction by Paul Sohar, “Worm Dialog,” recounts an endurance run on a trans-Atlantic flight with a fellow traveler who thinks he’s identified the leading actors in the space-time continuum.

Photography highlights include an interview with French photographer Pierre Corratge. Corratge practiced medicine for 30 years before turning his energies full time to the camera. Find opposite points of view in interviews and galleries from DJ Pierce and Dennis Maitland; and, find out what ticks in “the Photo Editor’s Choice,” selections by Chuck Haupt with “the story” behind each piece from the photographers.

* On the Humorous side, read what Mark Levy in Casual Observer has to say about “Bobs”, and be bitten by the satire of Galanty Miller‘s re-Tweets.

* Did someone say “Music“? If you’ve been following our friend Jeff Katz‘s articles, you know he has wide-ranging tastes and angles. This issue he sets up a bunch of friends to go toe-to-toe on “Beach Boys vs Beatles,” while Fred Roberts puts into words the rapture he felt listening to singer-songwriter Maia Vidal in a Barcelona bistro.

* Finally, a visit to Haiti to teach batik takes Jonathan and Beth Evans to Gonaives. There the travelers find themselves face-to-face with a culture unlike any other, as they bring their art to a community where it just might take root and grow.

 

 

 Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes

____________________

Old stuff:

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

Twitter:

Follow @ragazinecc

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

Good god, we even  tweet: ragazinecc

 __________________________

Welcome

Volume 8, Number 3, May-June 2012

………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Real Dreams

I’ve had some strange dreams lately, and not a few had to do with Ragazine. Indirectly, of course, but somewhere in those thoughts, twisted like brambles in a centurion hedge, the trail led back to the Rag. Because that’s where the creativity is. Look at the work represented in these cyberpages, most obviously, perhaps, the Art and Photography, because for those of us with eyes that can see, the visuals are an immediate challenge to fathom, if not believe. The Poetry, the Fiction, the Creative Nonfiction, Music Reviews, Political Commentary and other literary bytes are harder to comprehend; they have to be taken in word by word, line by line, page by page. Only by diving deeper into the heart of these ideas can one hope to grasp their meanings. Reading, however, takes time and concentration, two things too often in short supply. We trust this issue of Ragazine will awaken your inner self, derail the Daily You long enough for the Real You to resurface — without a slap in the head from Larry, Curly or Moe.

* * *

Art-heavy, we are, and internationally so. Briton John Tierney‘s paintings have been likened to David Hockney and Edward Hopper, but he retains his own unique style in bringing scenes to life on canvas. In an interview, the retired criminology professor discusses his work,  ”nature vs nurture,” and whether he would  travel the same road the same way again.

“Three Hot Brazilian Artists” – Priscila De CarvalhoDuda Penteado and Gersony Silva – are introduced to Ragazine readers in an article by Dr. Jose Rodeiro that includes galleries showcasing the work of each. The artists and the article’s author have been instrumental in promoting WE ARE YOU Project International, furthering the cause of equal rights and immigration reform as it affects the growing Latino community in the United States (http://old.ragazine.cc/2012/04/we-are-you-project/).

Canadian Xavier Landry savages contemporary society with the same sharp wit as Lenny Bruce, only on canvas. In an interview, Landry explains how current events, fast food and historical personages figure into his world of Cabbage Patch Kids grown-up. Perhaps as fitting to say, “What Alice didn’t find when she fell down the rabbit hole….”

Danish-American artist Hanne H7L‘s surrealist imagery will teach you not to crack your knuckles. In an interview, H7L talks about her methods, her vision —  including the complex layering of photographic images in ghostly procession – and her artistic influences, among them Henry Buhl and Yoko Ono.

The curative power of art is found in an article from Rose Robin about the recently popularized Mexican fishing village of La Paz, Mexico. Development in La Paz has displaced many of the original residents. Robin organized Painting Pirates to give impoverished children a positive outlet in otherwise bleak lives, imbuing them and their families with hope for better days ahead.

Rounding out the this issue’s art assemblage is the work of Tuten Hiromi Sakurai, aka Tuten, whose vibrant expressionist paintings resonate wildly, at the same time they break with what we in the West might see as Japanese painting tradition.

Poetry editor Emily Vogel has selected the work of five poets for this issue:  Monique Gagnon German, Kathleen Keough, George Moore, Juan Soler and Barbara Sue Mink Spalding. Great coincidence that with so much poetry as National Poetry Month winds down, we’re also showcasing an Anti-Poetry-Month essay by Charles Bernstein on the News & Haps page. It’s a good bet this essay will appear yearly in April (somewhere) as surely as a letter to Virginia appears on editorial pages in newspapers across America at Christmas time.

Creative nonfiction editor Leslie Heywood brings to the fore thoughtful stories by Carol Sanford and Alexis Paige that explore finding the perfect “Now” in the perceived wilderness of rural America. Fiction from Beth Couture traces the path of curious girls and the risk one of them takes that carelessly puts a man’s life on the line. Fiction editorMetta Sama comments, “Hot damn! This is a great story. Creepy. Desperate. Sad. Honest. Familiar. Reminds me, in parts, of the wickedness Alice Munroe can write out.”

In our regular features, Politics editor Jim Palombo, who spent the winter in San Miguel Allende, points to environmental concerns that should be forefront (even if they’re not) at the upcoming G20 meeting in Mexico. Music editor and Cooperstown’s new mayor Jeff Katz reviews Blue CheerCWB and Bruce Springsteen’s  Wrecking Ball.  Casual Observer Mark Levy  returns with a positive take on getting older… sage advice on saving from a new Floridian. Welcome to illustrator Nadja Asghar, whose work appears as one of our rotating headers, and ‘inside’. Last but not least by any means, as you can see when you browse our pages, Photo editor Chuck Haupt has selected five memorable images with photographer statements for this issue’s the PHOTOGRAPHY Spot.

Ragazine.CC. Miss it and miss out.

Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes

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Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

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Volume 8, Number 2, March-April 2012

 


Party On

Let’s hope the worst is over with the GOP Presidential primaries. This is not a political statement. Just the sad fact that so much money is being wasted by also-rans. They’d likely win more votes by contributing the millions they receive in SuperPAC money to help satisfy global needs for food, clothing, education, shelter and medicine. Instead, in the relentless pursuit of a seat at the table with Really Big Poobas, the most resilient candidates settle for a sustained diet of rubber chicken dinners, the style and class of sweater vests, and vain efforts to seat themselves a little closer to their makers, both in heaven and on earth. Why are these losers still in the race? What did Newt do for that special someone in his life to contribute millions to a campaign going nowhere? What will happen to the treasure chests when the dust settles and it’s time to regroup until the next campaign? Go into treasury funds?

It’s a sad day for America when “freedom for all” gives way to parochial interests. But that’s what 2012 is shaping up to be. Now on to more satisfying things.

There’s a load of great stuff in this issue of Ragazine, including much better fiction than I offer, from professor and artist Steve Poleski;  creative nonfiction from Jennie Case exploring community gardens; the inimitable cityscapes in the photography of Martin Stavars; and an incredible look into Mumbai’s dhobhi ghat from Adeel Halim, street photographer extraordinaire, whose photograph of Mumbai’s open laundry tops the Welcome page .

Politics Editor Jim Palombo takes a more serious and encompassing look at the political scene in his “Primer to the Primaries – and Beyond.” With a clarifying review difficult to locate anywhere, Jim presents political, economic and social considerations which in turn affect concerns around the globe. This unusual piece will definitely speak to bettering your ideological acumen, which in these turbulent times, is something to be looking towards.

Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the death of author John GardnerJoel Gardner discusses his father’s work with contributing editor John Smelcer.  Poetry offerings include work from Claudia SereaAlan BrittCarol DineEvan Hansen, and poems from 14-year-old Carly Gove. We round things out with a meditation jointly composed by Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso and Smelcer, and illustrated by Micah Farritor.

Music editor Jeff Katz offers his usual eclectic mix of reviews and opinion turning his practiced eye on the Avett Brothers, the classics of the Jet Set, and his own favorite first tracks of debut albums.

Tara Dervla deconstructs the painting Hips Don’t Lie, from José Rodeiro, art professor at New Jersey City University;  contributing editor Miklós Horváth interviews the worldly performance and visual artist Murray Gaylard; and John Kelly exalts in The Art Museum, a recent release from Phaidon publishing. Indigenous art lovers will appreciate Images from Injalak, a project of the indigenous people of Australia working with Melbourne-based artist and printmaker Andrew Sinclair, with an informed introduction by Marguerite Brown, exhibition curator.

I can’t think of a better way to slide into spring and away from the cacophony of current events than to spend a little more time with us than usual. As for those of you in Southern Hemispheric temperate climes, it’s time for tea and honey.

Thanks for reading!

 − Mike Foldes

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http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

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Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.

__________________________________

Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

___________________________

Volume 8, Number 1, January-February 2012

 

Reader’s Challenge Issue

Fun Food For Thought

Civil society in America is evolving faster than anywhere else in the world. The Middle East, China, Africa, South America will catch up and possibly surpass us well before the end of this century in total economic output, but by then the rules of civil society will have changed dramatically. The economic and even political rules America and the world play by today have roots in the 19th Century. The developing world is doing what we have been doing for 150 years or more, and in some ways doing it better. But better is not going to be good enough. By the time the developing nations catch up, one would hope we will have further evolved into a society that breaks down barriers between humanity, technology and bureaucracy so that corporations — as governments — no longer are regarded as “persons”, but as constructs devised by people to realize human goals — and nothing more.

We hear a lot of complaints these days about what people don’t get in the way of intellectual stimulation from newspapers, magazines, or  television news shows.  “You give us twenty-two minutes and we’ll give you the world,” proclaims the most listened to station in the nation, and that’s great when you’re driving to work in the morning, but not if you want to begin to understand  the “Whys” and “Hows” behind the “Whats”.   Happily, and in a completely random fashion, this issue of Ragazine.CC brings together a banquet of food for thought about relational changes taking place in the biosphere.  We call it the “Reader’s Challenge Issue,” because you’re going to have to read a lot — and think about it —  to see how it all fits together.

A good starting point would be Eleanor Goldfield‘s article about the “Move to Amend” effort in Los Angeles that resolves that corporations should not enjoy “personhood”. Follow that with Scott “Galanty” Miller‘s piece based on his sociology class lectures − a discourse on how corporations, the internet, and technology in general, drain the individual of empathy, sympathy and, in turn, humanity, turning them, he laments, into “F**king A**holes”.

After these, you might want to dive into politics editor Jim Palombo‘s follow-up report on his visit as Ragazine envoy to the Rhodes Forum in Rhodes, Greece, where delegates from around the globe shared their world views on political, economic and social issues of the day. Jim also weighs in the OWS crowd. Not enough? Flay yourself further reading a moderated interview by Rosebud Magazine publisher and Binghamton University professor John Smelcer with Donald Pease, of Dartmouth University, and Robyn Wiegman of Duke University, as they discuss the present state and direction of American Studies.

Garnish this with dynamic portfolios from photographer Olaf Heine; the surrealistic comic bookish fine art of Fernando “Pulpo” Hereñu; fiction from Ann Bogle; Bengali poetry in the original and in translation from Masud Khan; poems by American poets Gail Fishman, Gillian Brall, Myron Ernst and Dwyer Jones; music reviewer Jeff Katz‘s annual TOP TEN Not-All-New picks from 2011; Mark Levy‘s “Casual Observer,” and more.

Just look inside to find it.

Thanks for reading!

− Mike Foldes

_________________________________

http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page. All rights reserved.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

_____________________________

Volume 7 Number 6, Nov-Dec 2011

Welcome

Mr. Hyde, Dale Grimshaw

Occupying Wall Street

(This is not a potlatch)

The periodic redistribution of wealth by some Northwest Coast native American tribes is a great example of what was done at one time to ensure that everyone got an equal chance at a better life. Those “who have” were called upon to give much of it away. The same was expected of others in following years,  as they managed to amass material wealth. The honors went to those who gave away the most. What one accumulated was shared, a reminder we share the earth.  It was called potlatch.

The 99% sitting in at Zuccotti Park are not asking that the 1% give everything away; they’re asking for long-overdue reform of what is euphemistically called a profession, but which in Christ’s time would have been called something worse than “money changer”. It’s one thing to invest one’s own drachma in a venture, on-going or new, and another to skim the cream then spill the milk. That mark of greed coating the lip of the fat cats is a slap in the face to anyone who’s lost a job in the last five years, or who just graduated from college and can’t find one, or who’s working two or three jobs to make ends meet, where one used to be more than enough.

It’s too late to say that if all the money spent in the past ten years on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and misspent by investment banks and brokerages on Wall Street and other financial centers around the world, were invested more wisely in education, health care, infrastructure and the humanities, we wouldn’t be living in this sad state of affairs. And it hasn’t stopped, as shown by recent charges against former New Jersey governor Jon Corzine, who allegedly bled MF Global of hundreds of millions of investors’ dollars. Since we are against the wall, it’s up to us — and the 1% in power who have a conscience — to help clean up the mess. Not the petty mess some point to as the “fault” of a group of urban campers, but the mess the financial and political ruling classes made tripping over themselves to feed at the brimming Wall Street trough. Photos from Occupy Wall Street appear here:  http://old.ragazine.cc/hot-shots/ ‎

* * *

We’ve got another astounding issue covering subjects and events as diverse as the work of Dale Grimshaw, whose painting “Mr. Hyde” is the cover of this issue, to the overlooked beauty of the Pakistani countryside in a travel piece by Zaira R. Sheikh, to the photography and haiku of Sean Lotman.  If you like poetry, you’ll love the work of the five other poets in this issue, Lyn Lifshin, Bianca StoneEsta Fischer, Pamela Uschuk and Ann E. Michael. In the realm of creative nonfiction, Joe Weil writes of “Fishing in a Filthy River,” and its undertow of memories, while Kimberly Dark recounts her unique acquaintance with Greybeard, a down-to-earth neighbor in Hawaii.

Music editor Jeff Katz recounts the “Sad Journey of Gene Clark”; Beth Timmins, resident writer with Giffords Circus, gives a peek under skirt of the Big Top;  Mark Levy, back after taking a break during which he moved to Boynton Beach, Florida, from Binghamton, New York, delivers his “Casual Observer” column, and his “Feeding the Starving Artist” pro bono legal series with a look at the new Patent and Trademark law.

Politics editor Jim Palombo gives an overview of his preparations for the annual Rhodes Conference in Rhodes, Greece. Jim, as an envoy from Ragazine, was one of only a few Americans at the event, which he plans to report on in our January issue.

Maile Colbert‘s “Letter to the Editor” ponders capital punishment with subtle eloquence; Sridala Swami’s short short stories will stay with you much longer than the time it takes to read them. And don’t miss Anthony Haden-Guest’s cartoon panel,  hidden somewhere in the gray matter within these e-pages. If you’re looking for something to do, check out the Events page for ideas about places and events where you’re likely to find like-minded Ragazine readers.

Thanks for reading… And thanks especially for passing it on!

— Mike Foldes

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http://old.ragazine.cc/archives/

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.

ADVERTISE WITH US!
CONTACT: EDITOR@RAGAZINE.CC …

Free at last — But you can still contribute!

 

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WELCOME:

September-October 2011, Volume 7, Number 5

Big Apple Bites Back _ Walter Gurbo

Back to Basics

This issue’s cover art comes compliments of Walter Gurbo. If you were in New York back in the day, and read The Village Voice, you’ll remember Gurbo’s “Drawing Room”, superb panels of surrealistic images surrounded by sexed-up ads on the tabloid’s back cover. Always new. Always sure to stretch the imagination beyond the bounds of decorum. See for yourself in our recap of July’s retrospective at the Brunelli Gallery in Binghamton, New York.

Politics editor Jim Palombo interviews singer-songwriter Eleanor Goldfield, founder and lead singer in the band Rooftop Revolutionaries. Palombo explores and Goldfield explains with refreshing intellect how she reconciles making money and making change in a convulsing world.

John Smelcer offers an intriguing memoir of his acquaintance with Britain’s then poet laureate, Ted Hughes, and a subsequent friendship with Hughes’ and Sylvia Plath’s son,Nick. Smelcer includes a poem co-written by him and Ted Hughes as a bar “game” more enduring than darts.

Don Ruben, lawyer and long-time friend of Ragazine, interviews Drug Policy Alliance’s Tamar Todd on obstacles to legalizing medical marijuana nationwide, including conflicts with federal law in states that have already legalized it, and President Obama’s failure to follow through on pre-election hints he would work to decriminalize the herb.

Adding food for thought to the article on DPA, we’re pleased to offer the first of four panels contributed to Ragazine by noted author and cartoonist Anthony Haden-Guest.Subsequent panels will appear in the next few issues, where you will find them strategically placed to challenge your senses of self and humor.

Music editor Jeff Katz hooks up, so to speak, with Eilen Jewell, at the Oneonta Theater in Oneonta, New York, where the “turbocharged kewpie doll” and her band played in August to a country-loving crowd.

Welcome – in some cases, welcome back – to poets Hal SirowitzJohn Richard Smith,Laura Close; to poet-photographer Jeanpaul Ferro,  short fiction author Carlo Matos, and collage artist Joseph Bowman.  And if you have a few minutes more, check out the books and reviews, and Zaira Rahman’s Islamabad tripper’s diary.  Special thanks to Hala Salah Eldin Hussein who filed a story on the situation “on the ground” in Cairo, Egypt, that posted in mid-August.

Kudos to the editors and contributors who help bring Ragazine to the stage every couple of months,  and to the thousands of readers who give us the motivation to labor on again and again, year after year… We trust you’ll find plenty to enjoy!

Thanks for passing it on.

– Mike Foldes

 

_______________________________
Material that appears in ragazine.cc is copyright the contributor, unless otherwise indicated. Additional Copyright information is available on the SUBMISSIONS Page.
__________________________________
Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience. Please carefully read submission guidelines before sending material.
 
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Welcome: July-August 2011, Vol. 7 No. 4

 

From the 9/11 obsessions of Ultra Violet

The Good, the Bad …

and the Way It Is
Who can forget Nine Eleven? It carries the same tune as Sarajevo did for the generation that lived through World War I, and as Pearl Harbor did for the generation that fought and lived through World War II. It’s historical significance as the start of the War on Terrorism is established, but the lessons learned are indeterminate. The recent art of Ultra Violet explores the cause and effect of Nine Eleven in a variety of media from drawings, to prints, paintings and sculptures. It’s serendipitous that our interview with Ultra is running in this issue, even as the 10th Anniversary of Nine Eleven looms. And ironic that one of the icons of the aesthetic nihilism endemic in the New York City art scene of the Sixties and Seventies is now among those who lead the chorus calling for acceptance and understanding from both sides of a widening gulf between the Ancient and Modern worlds, to help ensure nothing like Nine Eleven ever happens again.
Moving right along …
We think you’ll find this issue of Ragazine especially challenging throughout. Rebecca Young finds out for herself and shares with all, what goes into the factory-like food chain that puts meat and potatoes on the table at a price almost everyone in America can afford — but at what cost?
Join noted author Cris Mazza and interviewer Kristin Thiel as they discuss Mazza’s writing and her recently published book, “Various Men Who Knew Us as Girls,” a woman’s disturbing trek along a path of sexual abuse, and her attempt to climb out of the psychological hole it puts her into.
Artist Shawn Huckins explains in an interview the motivation behind his “Revolution Revolution … ” series, which we think you’ll find surrealistically amusing. Hungarian writer Miklòs Horvàth comments on the recent Gauguin exhibit at the Tate Modern in London, with an examination of why his art was not as well received in Belgium in 1889 as it is today. What a difference a century makes!
Rounding out the art bubble, in a somewhat unusual fashion, Leon Tan in our Politics section brings to the table the ongoing political and legal debate over “Darfunica,”  a painting by Nadia Plesner on the order of Picasso’s infamous “Guernica” that challenges the complacency of the civilized world in the face of constant depredation in the widely ignored African nation, Darfur. Louis Vuitton found it so offensive they instituted a lawsuit against its content.
On the literary front, we’re pleased to have the poetry of Jennifer Diskin, D. Alexander Mosner and Charlotte Lowe; an amusing “mystery” from Pedro Ponce; a short short story of awakening by Racquel Goodison, and our regulars are back: Jeff Katz’s top ten failed musical partnerships, and reviews of Bowl Soup and Vol. 2 of The Baseball Project; Mark Levy reflects on the simplicity of life in the Amazon, and he and Nick Andreadis look YouTube in the face.
As always, your comments are welcome and appreciated. You’ll need to sign in to comment, but don’t let that stop you! And if you like what you find, please let your friends know we’re here. Lots of Summer Reading “Inside”.
Thanks for reading.
— Mike Foldes
 

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Welcome: May-June 2011, Vol. 7 No. 3

………………………………………………


Sometimes,
the less said, the better. Tempting it is to let the statement stand alone. But that would would be to overlook the hard work and contributions so many people have made along the way to get us to this May-June issue of Ragazine, and the start of the summer reading season. With that in mind, take us to the beach on your e-reader, tablet or laptop…

On the docket this time around:
  • An interview with NYC artist Karen Gunderson and a gallery of her black paintings;
    the photography of Slovenian photographer Janez Vlachy, whose photo is on this issue’s cover;
    an interview with veteran Hollywood Cartoonist Herb Moore, and an introduction to his new series, “Duffy MacTaggart, Scotland’s Greatest Golf Teacher”;
    A report from Pakistan by Zaira Rahman on the unsettling deaths and lynching of two boys in the wrong place at the wrong time, and their family’s quest for Justice;
    interviews with, and poetry from, acclaimed poets Maria Mazziotti Gillan and Lyn Lifshin, and additional poetry from Steve Oldford, Svea Barrett and Emily Kagan Trenchard;
    Chris Mackowski’s account of a winter trip to the barrens of his native Maine;
    fiction by John Palen and Eric Bennett;
    a video trailer for a film by Eliane Lima, and a profile of the filmmaker;
    and, all the regular sections: Music comment and reviews by Jeff Katz; free legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” by Mark Levy, who also writes “Casual Observer”; the value of education in “Politics”, from editor Jim Palombo and contributor Frank Gaydos; and more…
We trust that lineup will float your boat, whatever shining sea you’re in. Enjoy!
And thanks for reading.
– Mike Foldes
 

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Welcome

 

Volume 7, No. 2.5

April 2011

© Guenter Knop

What in the World …

Earthquakes, tsunamis, meltdowns, no-fly zones … you’d think the world would be a better place, but hard as we try, there’s always something standing in the way.

Perhaps that’s why the articles in this interim issue of Ragazine, our first attempt after seven years of bi-monthly issues to produce a monthly, are as divergent as they are — our attempt to bring things together in the face of greater odds. And, as interesting (yeah, we know, that’s subjective. So here’s the Challenge: Read on, and decide for yourself).

Here’s what we’ve got: A street-level, local report from Egypt covering not menacing tanks or burning cars, but graffiti on the walls of Cairorecounting the effort and pronouncing the people’s victory over tyranny (Hala Salah Eldin Hussein); a Pakistani reviewer’s take on Dobi Ghat, a Bollywood indie film that took honors in film fests around the world for its look at the effects of caste on four main characters (Zaira Rahman); poetry by Martin Willitts, Jr.; Land Art installation by an American artist (Jody Joyner) working on the grounds ofSoekershof, a botanical paradise in southwest South Africa; life studies of women by a German-born artist (Guenter Knop) who makes his home in New York City; the translation of an excerpt from aRomanian novel, along with the original language text (Daniel Dragomirescu); an interview with the Alaskan writer some have called “a  modern-day Jack London” (John Smelcer); an interview with photographer Michael Eastman, whose unmatched images of Havana capture the color and life of the city and its history (as he does all of his subjects) with surreal accuracy; a look at Ghanathrough the eyes of two travelers (Roscoe Betsill & Steven Keith) who came back to the States with a far different understanding of the country than they went away with.

Speaking of understanding: An American ex-pat group is forming in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, to educate Americans in particular to what their real place is in this world…. Talk about an uphill climb.

As if that’s not enough, reach inside for Jeff Katz’s remembrance of singer/songwriter Marvin Gaye; book reviews; the foodie’s Kitchen Caravan; and thePHOTOGRAPHYspots (Albert Dorsa/translation page & Chuck Haupt/politics page).

Comments, by the way, are much appreciated. Don’t be shy. Let us have it, good, bad or indifferent. We thrive on feedback. And please, ”Pass it on ….”

Thanks for reading!

— MRF

 

 

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Welcome

 

Volume 7, No. 2

February-March, 2011

“The Millinery Studio”, Acrylic on canvas, 14″ x 20″, 2010

Amy Kollar Anderson

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So much to see, so little time …

Science Fiction turned to fact in February when an IBM supercomputer named “Watson”visited upon earth, defeating two heralded champions in a “Jeopardy” smack down decades in the making. We’re not running an article on this noteworthy event, but it says here Watson, named after the company’s founder Thomas J. Watson, will be among the finalists (if not the Chosen One) in Time‘s Person of the Year award selection come December. What makes this all the more special, in a way, is that Ragazine publishes from the Greater Binghamton area of Upstate New York — home of IBM (aka, International Business Machines), and once the stomping grounds of “Twilight Zone” creator Rod Serling. The area always has been culturally and socially influenced by a mixture of science fantasy and fiction. You might say, we’ll believe anything, even that a tsunami of peaceful revolution could irrigate the monarchies and dictatorships of the Arab world, re-making it as a cradle of shared prosperity and humanistic reason. So, let it be known, “Another King is dead. All hail the Thing.”

Of course, there comes a time in everyone’s life when a little fantasy will do you good. Sometimes even better. Fortunately for us, the talented Amy Kollar Anderson came to the rescue, as you’ll see from a thorough look at her work in the galleries embedded in these pages. And for those of you with short attention spans, check out Amy’s captivating time-lapse video that condenses 50 hours of painting into  less than three minutes, backed by the music of Dayton, Ohio, super-group Ape the Ghost.

The horizon doesn’t end there. Check out Ellen Janten‘s photographic essay “Losing Reality; Reality of Loss — 2011”, an exploration of the diaphanous layers between the free-standing worlds that separate life and memory. Internationally recognized architect and artist, Michael Jantzen, Ellen’s husband and model for many of the images in her work, shares his visions for The Sounds of the Sun Pavilion, a curvilinear approach to sustainable living in which solar energy powers a community where there’s literally music in the air.

Other visual delights include the work of John Dobbs, whose recent show at ACA Galleries in New York City closed in February, but you can get a taste of it here. Elizabeth Cohen returned from a recent trip to Gallup, New Mexico, with a packet of cell-phone photos, and an accompanying essay about an Old West indulged by sentiment and confused by age. If you can accept there is sometimes poetry in the subtlety of photographs, see Ida Musemic‘s images that appear following John F. Buckley‘s poem. And don’t be surprised if you find a few more images bringing color to otherwise gray pages in thePHOTOGRAPHYspot, strategically placed by photo editor Chuck Haupt.

Literary complements include short fiction by Ian Williams; an excerpt from R. J. Dent‘s recently published translation (with the French original) of  The Songs of Maldoror, fittingly accompanied by an other-worldly portrait of Salvador Dali by contributing photographer Valerie Brown; and poetry from some of the best emerging and established poets working today, including Buckley, Ann Clark, Micah Towery, Katie Hogan and Florence Weinberger.

Music editor Jeff Katz takes a look at the documentary “LennonNYC”, and sings praises for the library of great releases from Sundazed Music. And while you’re online, have a look at Jeff’s site, “Maybe Baby….”

Politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Professor Randall Sheldenexamine the escalation of force used in the ongoing, increasingly costly (in both lives and money) drug war between the United States and Mexico, leaving even the most jaded among us to question, “Is it worth the price?”

In Feeding the Starving ArtistMark Levy, an intellectual property lawyer, providespro bono advice for wedding and events photographers to protect themselves and their clients against one another, and sometimes even from the guests. Levy, also Ragazine’s Casual Observer, offers his take on moving up to modern appliances — he’d take a washing machine over a washboard anytime.

If you, or someone you know, has work that will fit Ragazine’s eclectic collection of creative content, see and share our submission guidelines. We’re always looking for new artists, illustrators, writers, musicians, poets, travelers, thinkers and others, to collaborate with. It’s a great way to know, and get to know… Likewise, if you have events you’d like to publicize, share the news by adding a comment on the Events page. Keep it short and sweet: Time, Date, Place, Description, Contact Info; nothing more than 45 days in advance, please. As always, Comments are welcome on any or all of our pages; shed a little light while we stumble around in editorial darkness.

For those of us up North, Spring is on the way. For you south of the Equator, well, good luck with that, too!

Thanks for reading.

— MRF

_______________________________

Ragazine, updated approximately six times a year, is a collaboration of emerging and established artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, travelers and interested others, with a goal to promote an eclectic selection of subject matter to an international audience.

Advertise with us!
Contact: info@ragazine.cc

 

 

_______________________________

Welcome

Volume 7, No. 1

 
January 2011
 

…………………………………………………………………

Dancing with Dragons

Putting out a magazine is like dancing with dragons and letting go genies…. You struggle to pull things together without knowing what kind of animal you’ll deliver until the things – the issues — are out of the bottle. We’re doing our best to see that what you take the time to look at and read in Ragazine will add something measurably more memorable to your day than the daily dose of dumbed down pablum delivered by mainstream media to a mind-numbed populous.  Let us know if it’s not and we’ll kick ourselves in the shins, scream “Sakai,” and pay homage to the gods of wind feces (snow), until we get it right.

For those of you ready to dive in now, there’s plenty to break your fall:

The Ragazine cover this month is contributed by New York photographer Gabrielle Revere, whose work reveals the youth and beauty of a new generation. An interview with Revere shows she’s well aware not everyone in the world is so lucky. Our associated galleries include shots from her documentary series, “I only have eyes for you,” which captures the ice-cold irony of the beauty of children living in the midst of oft-neglected poverty.

Photographer Josephine Close explores the world of the psyche in the shadows, a journey into what lies within and beyond the visual field one sees through the camera’s eye, what evolves in the darkroom (or on the computer), and comes to life in the print. Close, in her own words, undertakes the pursuit in “… seeking to illuminate the magic in my life.”

On other fronts: A surreal love story from Stephen O’Connor/Fiction; Michael Parish’s Vignettes/Creative Nonfiction,, which CNF editor Leslie Heywood describes as a “series of vignettes on our strange contemporary relationship with the natural world.  There’s the poetry of John F. Buckley, Anne Babson and John Richard Smith; Jeff Katz’s unusually broad Top Ten music picks of 2010; Mark Levy’s eye on life as theCasual Observer, and his pro bono legal advice column for creative types in Feeding the Starving Artist.

From deep in the heart of Mexico, San Miguel Allende to be exact, politics editor Jim Palombo and guest contributor Horace Whittlesey comment on the effects of modern day prohibition and the unfulfilled promise of California’s recently defeated Proposition 19.

There’s more, of course, including illustrations, book reviews, a couple of events that caught our eyes, and more. … Such As —

WATER:

Water, from Cecelia Chapman’s Video series

This is the first video we’ve run in Ragazine, but we’ll have more, soon. We are looking for original short videos (approx. 2 minutes) that have not been posted elsewhere, but we’ll sometimes take them if they have. They’ll run in a window on Ragazine, without redirects to other sites, but we will include the videographer’s site references with the piece. E-mail to editor@ragazine.cc, as attachments, with a still from the video.

So, while we close out 2010 dancing with dragons, and let the genie out of the bottle with VOLUME 7 Number 1, we wish you a healthy and progressive new year.

As always, thanks for reading.

— Mike Foldes

Shop the Ragazine store: http://old.ragazine.cc/support-ragazine/

 

 

_______________________________

Welcome

 

Volume 6, No. 6

November-December 2010

©Aline Smithson

Arrangement #3

Aline Smithson: The Photographer’s Mother

……….

The Art of Being Modern

Hello, again. Thanks for coming back. We know it’s not easy to take a few minutes out of a busy day for an “arts’ breather,’ but we’re glad you did.
The beauty of the web is also the spider at its center, that being people’s ability to spin whatever yarn they like and put it out in cyberspace. Everybody gets a shot. It used to be there were so few people with sites that it was a small community, many of whom knew one another, often righteously so. That community has grown so that now we’re not just a city, not just a nation, and each site has become one in a million. Or more likely, one in a few hundred million. The web, like the universe, is expanding exponentially, and it’s our challenge to keep up.
The New York Times newspaper is a great example of meeting that challenge. The gray lady may not be at her best these days, circulation and advertising revenue-wise, but she hasn’t lost her touch with news, features, reviews, opinion and leading edge journalism. Say what you want, but take a Sunday morning and afternoon off to read the Times cover to cover (if you can) and you’ll see what I mean. Don’t just take it for granted, because of the paper’s reputation, or because it’s been quoted from or talked about in news and movies since you were two. Read it once cover to cover and deny you’re less of a person than you were hours before when you picked it up — all two or three kilograms! (Sorry, tree people.)
I used to work for a newspaper conglomerate that published News Lite. The managers of the empire knew that busy people didn’t have time, and many didn’t have the interest — to read anything “in depth”. And in order to deliver bite-sized morsels of information people could digest, they peeled the onion until there was little left to eat. Reading theTimes on Sunday is like going to a farmer’s market in September. Two-page spreads on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, who too few Americans really know about, and fewer understand. Interviews with Centenarians who too often are passed over in favor of attention to youth culture. Articles on youth and growing up in America, the cost of education, and the more exorbitant costs of not having it. Political coverage by international correspondents who live and work close to the ground they cover. And, of course, so much more.No paper, of course, is perfect, and I’m in no position to tear wings from the dragon. But so much of what we see and hear on the web these days is a mirror of what the least-common-denominator print publishing offerings give us, that it’s a blessing the Times is still with us — and a sad fact of life that so many other great papers have died, not all of them with their boots on.
This issue of Ragazine has a lot to offer, too. We’re not just a Sunday read; we’re here two months at a time, and it’s OK to come back — again and again, we hope — until you’ve read us “cover to cover”.  Poetry, art, interviews, photography, fiction, creative non-fiction, music, reviews, travel and more, from around the world.

November-December 2010 brings you the photographic series by Aline Smithson, taken of her mother in a variety of poses, including the one at the top of this page; poems by Hannah Greenberg; Farsi poetry by ex-pat Iranian poet Ali Abdolrezaei in the original and in translation by Abol Froushan; an interview with Belgian-American artist Amy Swartelé; fiction by Paul Lisicky and Sarah Sarai; music columns byJeff Katz; a take on illegal immigration by politics editor Jim Palombo and guest writer Robert Murray Davis; a story of reconciliation with the harsh reality of a child’s death in creative non-fiction by James Benton; the Casual Observer followed byScott Hardin’s pane;our legal advice column for creative types, Feeding the Starving Artist; and, from Colorado, Art & About, where Jonathan Evans explores a bit of the blues.

There’s more, of course, but you’ll have to find it. And again, thanks for reading!

– MRF

 

 

_____________________________________

Welcome

Volume 6, No. 5

September-October 2010


©Albert Watson

Taking the best shot yet

Welcome to another killer issue of ragazine.cc.

Photographer Albert Watson,  in an interview at his NYC studio, discusses aspects of his craft, the evolution of his career, the equipment he uses to produce his prints, and more.  Referred to byPhoto District News as “one of the most influential photographers of all time,” Watson generously allowed ragazine.cc to reprint an extensive portfolio of images, many of which you’ll no doubt recognize from the covers and pages of Vogue, Rolling Stone and Harper’s Bazaar.  Showing no sign of slowing down, Watson has two book collections coming out this fall from PQ Blackwell publishing company, a solo show in Chelsea opening in October, and more than one project in the works.

Sara Ellison Lewis tells what it’s like for her to be a photo stylist in New York. Brookly-based sculptor Miya Ando explains what it means to her “to do good” in the world, a task that merely begins with making art. The cast and crew at Spool MFG, a gallery-performance space in Johnson City, New York, share part of their group’s latest production,Ampersand, a collage-like assemblage of history, poetry and art.

In Music, Jeff Katz reviews the latest musical offering from Eli “Paperboy” Reed, and looks back on 30 years of Paul Simon’s “One Trick Pony“. Jonathan Evansremembers Bob Marley a full 19 years after the reggae legend’s death. And, in Politics, San Miguel Allende, Mexico-based writer Lou Christine recounts his impressions of a 2007 trip to Havana that ring true even today.

On the literary front, there’s the Poetry of Emily Vogel, Tony Gruenewald, J.P. Smelcer and Rob Mustard; the Creative Non Fiction (CNF) of Marissa Fielstein, Fiction from  Mira Martin Parker and Jessie Carty; a book review of  Ted Greenwald’s 2008 volume “3″ by Kayleigh Wanzer, and the wry commentary of our Casual Observer Mark Levy. Levy also weighs in this month withShaun Vavra, offering legal advice in “Feeding the Starving Artist” — “Wait, Wasn’t That My Substantially Similar Idea?”

Rounding things out is the new strip from editorial cartoonist Jeff Hardin, whose first appearance in ragazine.cc anchors the Casual Observer.

If all that’s not funky enough for you, we’ll just have to keep trying.

— MRF

 

 

Thanks for reading!

August 26, 2014   No Comments

Friends & Contributors

Featured & Contributors

Abetz & Drescher

Ali Abdolrezaei

Hassanal Abdullah

José Acosta

Maria Aguiar

Hawk Alfredson

Manolis Aligizakis

Jason Allen

Jonathan Alpeyrie

Nelson Álvarez

Amy Kollar Anderson

Elizabeth Anderson

Miya Ando

Edie Angelo

Chris Anthony

Lucia   Antonelli

David Aschkenas

Nadja Asghar

Ely Azure

Anne Babson

Willie Baez

Christine  Bahr

Tom Bair

Walter Barco Bajana

Megan Baker

Alexandra Bakonika

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Svea Barrett

Lynda Barreto

Michael Bashover

Ryan G. Beckman

John Bellinger

Rosebud Ben-Oni

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James Benton

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Michael Biach

Robert Bixby

Alberto Blanco

Chloe Marisa Blog

Ann Bogle

Phil Boiarski

Doug Bond

Dave Bonga

Tom Bovo

Julie Bowen

Joseph Bowman

Jeff  Boyer

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Alan Britt

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Nicole Broadhurst

Steve Bromberg

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Herm Card

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Sultan Catto

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Carlos Chavez

Lou Christine

Ann Clark

Gene Clark

Audrie Clifford

Josephine Close

Laura Close

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Elizabeth Cohen

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If over the years you have been a contributor to ragazine.cc and your name does not appear here, we apologize.  A lot of files have been lost as the site was updated, so let us know. We’ll add it to the list of those whose contributions have helped keep us up and running. We appreciate it!

September 1, 2013   No Comments

Music: Composition by David Gaita

vvv

Veterans’ Day Parade

for String Quartet

by David Gaita

We live in an age where information is superabundant; anything one has to say – any thoughts, any ideas – it seems can floating headbe found on Google, if you search properly and scan through enough pages.  The artist suffocates in this atmosphere of data, and is stunted by it, unless he does one of two things: become free from it, or learn to breathe in it.  It was the latter possibility that allowed this piece to emerge, not only in the spirit of eclecticism, but by collaboration between the composer of the music to Amazing Grace, whoever that may be, and the composer who finds his name on the first page of the score.  Just as a performer puts his musical intention into another composer’s work in bringing it to existence, so may a composer put his intention into another composer’s work.  The question of who is responsible for the final product is not important.  It is music, and it is there. 

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Excerpts from Veteran’s Day Parade

[jwplayer mediaid=”15299″]

The image and video is a series of excerpts from the score and a recording of Veteran’s Day Parade, by (for the sake of simplicity) David Gaita, performed by a student string quartet at the Eastman School of Music, which consists of Daniel Salinas (violin I), Carmen Johnson-Pájaro (violin II), Ben Pochily (viola), and Laura Andrade (cello).

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ragazine - veteran's day parade - score

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About the composer:

David Gaita, a recent graduate of Binghamton University, studied piano with Michael Salmirs and composition with Christopher M. Loy.  Some of his recent achievements include the organization and performance of a flashmob-symphony, the performance of an original composition by a student string quartet at the Eastman School of Music, and a trip to Barcelona sponsored by Binghamton University for the performance of a composition in collaboration with poet Mario Moroni.  Currently residing in New York City, he plans to begin working on collaborative interdisciplinary projects with artists, poets, and dancers.

June 29, 2013   Comments Off on Music: Composition by David Gaita

Books: Native American Classics

native

 

Native American Classics:

Graphic Classics Series Volume 24

Review by Alan Britt

Editors Tom Pomplun, John E. Smelcer and Joseph Bruchac have produced a wonderful book in Native American Classics: Graphics Classics Volume 24, the latest in an illustrated classics series of books designed “to create books that are enjoyable for adults, yet accessible to children ages twelve and up.” The historical texts in this book are entertaining and educational. This newest production, like other books in the series, is beautifully adorned cover to cover with colorful illustrations serving as backdrops for texts by modern and contemporary Native American writers. The list of authors is an impressive mix of 19th-century through 21st-century Native American poets and storytellers that includes Zitkala-Sa, Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa), E. Pauline Johnson, Alex Posey, Simon Pokagon, Handsome Lake, Bertrand N.O. Walker, Buffalo Bird Woman, Carlos Montezuma (Wassaja), John Rollin Ridge (Cheesquatalawny), plus a host of other talented writers. The list of illustrators is equally impressive and includes Bahe Whitethorne, Jr., Jim McMunn, Andrea Grant, Marty Two Bulls Sr., Murv Jacob, Weshoyot Alvitre, Toby Cypress, John Findley, along with other talented illustrators.

The texts comprise a rich variety of storytelling. For example, there is on the one hand the serious tale “On Wolf Mountain” by Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa), adapted by Joseph Bruchac, and beautifully illustrated by Robby McMurtry, which tells the tale of how a wolf pack, known as the Mayala Clan of Gray Wolves, were “driven away from their den on account of their depredations upon the only paleface in the Big Horn Valley.” Fortunately, the wolves happen upon a Lakota village and are befriended by the “Red Hunters.” According to Ohiyesa’s story, the paleface lifestyle of sheepherding and cattle ranching is unnatural to the landscape and proves to be potentially ruinous to the lives of both wolves and Lakotas. As the narrative recounts the struggle between the native wolves and intruder palefaces, one cannot help but detect the parallel genocide that Native Americans endured after the European invasion of North America. On the lighter side, there’s “The Story of Itsikamahidish and the Wild Potato,” Buffalo Bird Woman’s story adapted by Tom Pomplun  and handsomely illustrated by Pat N. Lewis, which recounts the tale of Itsikamahidish, who, in the form of a gluttonous coyote, happens upon a serendipitous pile of wild potatoes. One potato warns Itsikamahidish that potatoes, while nutritious, also cause one to experience a copious amount of gas.   Unimpressed with the potato’s warning Itsikamahidish eats his fill and proceeds on his merry way to visit his sweetheart while emitting “poots” of gas along the way. Eventually, Itsikamahidish’s gas “poots” become so powerful they begin lifting Itsikamahidish off the ground, only to have him return to earth with a painful thud. The soft moral of the story is that gluttony can get you into trouble, so the next time a potato offers you advice, better pay attention!

All texts are presented in comics form designed to stimulate and delight both adult and adolescent imaginations. Series Publisher, Tom Pomplun, puts it this way: “The Graphic Classics series presents the works of great authors in comics adaptations and heavily-illustrated text . . . adaptations are written at an adult level, and utilize as much of the author’s original language as possible.” One of the most enjoyable books I’ve read in a long time, Native American Classics, due for release March 2013, is already on my gift list, along with several other books in the unique Graphics Classics series. Suffice it to say that the reproduction of texts and illustrations in this book are vibrant and colorful. This beautifully printed and bound book is highly recommended for personal pleasure as well as gifts for adults, plus sons, daughters, nephews and nieces who love to be educated and entertained at the same time.

 

Native American Classics: Graphic Classics Volume 24 (ISBN #978-0-9825630-6-9)
144 pages, 7” x 10”, paperback, full color ($17.95)
Distributed by Diamond Book Distributors
Eureka Productions
Tom Pomplun, Publisher
www.graphicclassics.com

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 Another view:

Native American Classics,

Graphic Classics Volume Twenty-Four, 2013

 

By Dale Seeds

 This soon to be released collection of Native American stories rendered in the graphic novel/comic book format features a synthesis of Native American traditional stories transcribed on or before the 20th century with the work of contemporary comic/graphic novel artists. The majority of the artists include in this collection are Native American. We tend to think of the graphic novel as a new creation, embedded in popular culture, cheaply produced for a mass audience no longer interested in wading through a conventional book. However, storytelling with words and pictures, something graphic novels certainly do, is not a new phenomenon. Cave art in Europe and indigenous petroglyphs in Australia, and North and South America all figure from 40,000 to 30,000 years old. In both the ancient and the modern, the narrative unfolds through a series of sequential visual images, much the way traditional stories develop through verbal imagery.

So why not a marriage between Native American storytelling and the graphic novel?  Sounds logical.  Didn’t Frank Miller take the stories of Herodotus and turn them into The 500?  The history of contact between Euro-American and Native peoples in addition to the complex relationship between oral traditions, culture and spiritual beliefs suggests caution.   How do we, some of us as outsiders to the culture, discuss these works?  What qualities do we look for? What responsibilities are inherent in the creation of an anthology such as this? A watershed moment in the development of indigenous comic art occurred with the 2009 exhibit, Comic Art Indigene exhibit at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Subsequently, the exhibit toured The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC, and The Rockwell Museum of Western Arts in Corning, NY.  This exhibit demonstrated a strong indigenous presence within the emerging and often marginalized literary form of the graphic novel.  Native artists are often attracted to the sequential format of the graphic novel, appropriating the western comic form to both tell traditional stories and create new culturally specific narratives. (Chavarria)

As marginalized literary formats, the comic book and graphic novel have a certain appeal to indigenous peoples, they can be mass produced and shared and present a visually exciting way to tell cultural stories through pictures. “exhibit curator Antonio Chavarria stated, adding, “Comics are just another way to tell stories, they are a narrative art form that reinforces the beliefs and symbols of a people and a place.

Native scholars suggest, however, that care must be taken. Stories in indigenous cultures are more than entertainment. They are the means by which the origin, cautionary, and hero stories, along with tribal history and values are maintained and transmitted.  They have often been described as “sacred texts” Many of them, particularly in the Northwest and Alaska are considered clan or tribal property. Unauthorized use or misuse can be offensive and in many ways perpetuates the colonial paradigm.

In discussing Native American Classics, we might first assume that Native stories expressed in comic format strive to subvert the Euro-American settler narrative to produce an alternate narrative that reflects the Native experience and worldview. For example, we might first ask, does the graphic format reclaim or deconstruct stereotypes such as those that harken back to dime novels and serial westerns?  Karl May’s Old Shatterhand stories provide us a vivid example. Do they reassemble the stereotypes to debunk the original stereotypical characters and tropes such as Marty Two Bull’s characters, Frybread Man and Mr. Diabetes, or his selection in this anthology, Wildcat Bill? Similarly, does the adaptation of graphic styles resurrect traditional heroes or create new ones like those in Tribal Force illustrated by Ryan Huna Smith.  This collection, with stories by Jon Proudstar, was the first Native American authored comic book featuring Native American superheroes. Finally, and perhaps most critical and difficult to discuss, is this hybridization of traditional stories in graphic form successful in the ways in which the text and the serial illustrations combine to tell the story in a dynamic, perhaps symbiotic way?  Conversely, does the traditional story and graphic illustration need to resemble each other, or can they exist in some sort of juxtaposition and still work? Finally, is it respectful, does it embody at least some of the functions of traditional story telling? Does it create a new voice or reach a new audience?

Native American Classics is based on the worthy notion to connect with the often marginalized and nascent Native American Literature of the mid and late 19th century. This literature, with virtually no models, was under the surveillance of white editors, who published only what was deemed as appropriate or compatible with Euro-American perceptions of Native peoples. These perceptions viewed Native peoples alternately as noble savages, bloodthirsty killers or tragic vanishing or vanished victims.  For many of the original texts included in Native American Classics, the cultural traditions and concerns of their native authors were carefully, and at times, discreetly expressed. With Native American Classics, the addition of the serial visual images accompanying the text has the potential to change our understanding of these stories.

The original authors and their stories included in Native American Classics represent that early wave of writers, who struggled to survive creatively and break through in print. Many of them were of mixed blood, or had considerable contact with missionaries, and boarding schools, including the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. Others attended colleges and universities.  These experiences shaped and often confined their works. The written expressions of the prose, the predictable rhyme patterns of some of the poetry and the guarded ways in which the Native worldview is expressed might seem dated to us today. They do, however represent the realities of a people being forced through assimilation to shift from a rich, sustaining oral culture to a written culture in an unfamiliar language. For example, we might find ourselves uncomfortable with the apparent rejection of traditional spiritual practices as suggested by the text in Zitlala-Sa’s “The Soft-Hearted Sioux” particularly in the description of the Medicine Man, (“ His long strides I have never forgot . . . they seemed to me then as the uncanny gait of eternal death.”  Perhaps more problematic is the captive/abduction narrative of John Rollin Ridge’s “The Stolen White Girl,” with its noble savage Romantic stereotype, mildly erotic Victorian language and stilted rhyme scheme.  The choice of illustration style here is not quite clear, perhaps to defuse the narrative into an innocent love story? Carlos Montezuma’s 1916 poem “Changing is not Vanishing” is one exception however, which anticipates a later 20th century Native viewpoint.  The illustration by Arigon Starr reinforces this, suggesting strength and optimism through a progression of images from a woman in traditional dress to a young man with a digital music player.

Visually, Native American Classics represents a wide variety of narratives and graphic styles from various tribal groups and artists.  Randy Keedah’s cover art resonates as an almost lovingly appropriation of the color and realism of Charles M. Russell and Fredric Remington and seems like a consistent aesthetic with other covers in the Graphic Classic Series from Eureka Productions.  A more thematic cover choice might have been the image of Raven by Michael Nicoll Yahgulannas.  This image, from the author and creator of Haida Manga, presents a contemporary riff on Raven stealing daylight and spreading it to the world. In this image, we see Raven transformed, as a Picasso meets – traditional form-line art trickster holding a cell phone with a copy of Native American Classics firmly clenched in his beak.  For me, at least, this visual image embodies the cultural juxtapositions a collection such as this could aspire to. It also would be nice to see more of Tribal Force’s creator Ryan Huna Smith’s work. Other works pay homage to comic creators such as Marvel’s Stan Lee and Frank Miller (“The Soft-Hearted Sioux,” “The Thunders’ Nest,” “The Hunter and Medicine Legend,” and “The Cattle Thief.”   Similarly, Marty Two Bull’s short and pointedly hilarious “Wildcat Bill” recalls Robert Crumb’s Mr. Natural.

The illustrative style of Robby McMurtry’s “On Wolf Mountain,” is especially successful.  With its spare colors and loose, inked images, it looks as if it were created by a 19th century artist sitting on the high prairie with a sketch book and paint box.  The magical vibrant colors and ink of Afua Richardson in “Anoska Nimiwina” create dynamic visual characters that do not rely on stereotyped visual images of Native people. Her use of loose swirling colors and ink to animate the scenes is almost cinematic. The text boxes and dialogue bubbles effectively differentiate between narration and dramatic dialog. The story also includes the character of a native scholar (writer) transcribing the traditional story that is unfolding for the reader. This insertion makes us aware of the processes by which oral stories come into written form.  This self-reflexivity also reflects on the process of “transcribing” this very story into the graphic form contained in this anthology.

“The Middleman,” which is stylistically reminiscent of Chic Young’s Blondie comic series, juxtaposes innocent and playful images with the very devious and fraudulent practices in which unscrupulous land speculators took advantage of the Dawes or Allotment Act to bilk Native people out of their government assigned allotments.  Text boxes at the bottom help to clear this up for the reader. However, this might have been more effective as a Forward. Perhaps a minor quibble, other selections in Native American Classics might have benefited from some inserted information to help place the pieces in a cultural and historical context. Information on the author, date, tribal affiliation, and some background on the origin of the story and its importance could be very helpful to the reader here, particularly those new to Native American literature. Much of this information is, however, found at the end of the collection.

Native American Classics includes strong, heroic women characters in “Anoska Nimiwina” and “The Cattle Thief.” Equally important, the grandmother in “The Prehistoric Race” serves as the Ouendot (Wyandot) narrator and tradition bearer. For example, in the beginning of the narrative she introduces herself as a member of the Big Turtle Clan so as to connect herself and her grandson to a story from which their clan is named.  This would also seem culturally appropriate since women held important governing positions in traditional Wyandot culture. The use of the Grandmother’s written dialect contrasts with the standard English of the animal characters and the grandson. It works as a device to separate the characters, however, one could argue she comes off as less articulate, and the text is a bit slow to read due to its phonetic spelling. The story telling narrator function is also a strong visual presence as the character of Charles Eastman in “On Wolf Mountain” and is alluded to in the previously mentioned example of the Native transcriber in “Anoska Nimiwina.” Women authors are present in the contributions of Zitkala-Sa, Mary Bird Woman, and E. Pauline Johnson, and illustrators Weshoyot  Alvitre, Andrea Grant, Arigon Starr, Afua Richardson, and Tara Audbert.

The spiritual connection between animals and humans is represented again by “On Wolf Mountain,” “The Hunter and the Medicine Legend,” and “Two Wolves”; traditional heroes in “The Thunder’s Nest” and “Anoska Nimiwina.”

Humor is an important and necessary tradition in Native American stories and two examples in Native American Classics provide contrasting approaches. “The Story of Itsikamahidsh and the Wild Potatoes” by Buffalo Bird Woman is a Coyote style cautionary tale, broadly comic with a touch of flatulent humor, about the danger of eating wild potatoes.  It utilizes a visual style that reminds one of the early Walt Disney or Hanna Barbara cartoons. Marty Two Bulls’ illustrations for Alex Posey’s “Wildcat Bill” almost literally turn the stereotype of the cigar store Indian on its head with comic and appropriately just results. Combining these 19th and early 20th century narratives with colorful, at times bold, and perhaps brash visual expressions produces a dynamic hybridization. (Chavarria) The success of this synthesis is clearest in the stories where the written text of the narrative is accurately and respectfully presented within the comic/graphic novel format and that this reflects the Native values and worldview of the author.  Likewise, we need to be open to the possibility that a traditional story and its graphic visual expression might exist in tension with each other, and that this might also be a successful collaboration. “The Middleman,” for example, moves in this direction. Finally, the visual inclusion of a Native story teller within the frames of the story is an important reminder that these stories owe their origin to the traditional performance practices of storytelling, which have been responsible for the transmission of traditional knowledge and culture for thousands of years.

On a personal note, my favorites are “On Wolf Mountain,” “Wildcat Bill” and especially “Two Wolves.” This last story is particularly successful for its tight, sparse dialogue, and the illustration style of John Findley. He combines great attention to detail and technical mastery of the media with an uncanny ability to create visual characters that convey a sense of emotional depth as well as the spiritual connection between the man and wolf. Maybe I’m just sentimental, but there was something emotionally satisfying about the ending of the story. It also provides a strong conclusion to the collection.

The anthology may not be perfect, but it does accomplish a number of things. First, it provides an opportunity for Native artists to connect their work to traditional stories in ways that are culturally meaningful.  This connection to traditional stories also gives their work a visibility beyond the graphic novel/comic genre. In one way or another, all the stories in the collection provide readers with places to start a meaningful dialogue about Native American literature, particularly in an environment such as a classroom.   Finally, the coexistence of verbal, written, and visual expressions of traditional stories sheds light on an indigenous culture and the ways in which it evolves through time in search of its own voices. This is perhaps the greatest contribution of a collection such as Native American Classics.

 

Native American Classics: Graphic Classics Volume 24 (ISBN #978-0-9825630-6-9)

Edited by Tom Pomplun with associate editors John E. Smelcer and Joseph Bruchac

144 pages, 7” x 10”, paperback, full color ($17.95)

Distributed by Diamond Book Distributors

Eureka Productions

Tom Pomplun, Publisher

www.graphicclassics.com

Works Cited

Chavarria, Antonio. 2012. Exhibit curator notes. Rockwell Museum of Western Art. 28 Jan. 2013.

http://www.rockwellmuseum.org/Comic-Art-Indigene.html

 

About the author:

Dale E. Seeds is Professor of Theatre  in the Department  of Theater and Dance at the College of Wooster,Wooster, Ohio,  teaching courses in design , Native American Performance and  Indigenous film.  His work has been published in Theatre Crafts, Drama Review, and  MELUS. In addition to his work at Wooster, his design  credits include work for The Abbey theatre of Dublin Ireland, The University of Alaska , Fairbanks and the Dead White Zombies performance group of Dallas, Texas.

 

 

 

 

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Poets’ Guide to America

Review by Alan Britt

John F. Buckley and Martin Ott recently published Poets’ Guide to America, a poetry book “on the states, cities, Poets Guide web coverand the strange places of the United States (and even some of its overseas possessions).” Here’s the thing – they wrote these poems together. That is, each poem was written in part by Buckley and in part by Ott. In Buckley’s words, “Beginning in May 2009, Martin and I began playing what we call ‘poetic volleyball,’ a form of exquisite corpse in which we took turns writing a couple of lines of verse, back and forth, until we had a poem. And then two poems. And then, finally, fifty.”

Is this co-op approach to poetry becoming a trend? We recently reviewed The New Arcana written by John Amen and Daniel Y. Harris, a mostly poetry but sometimes multi-genre, neo-Dadaist book that pushes the boundaries of what most folks expect to see from a volume of poetry. A couple years back Andrei Codrescu and Ruxandra Cesereanu released their remarkable Forgiven Submarine, their “story of a difficult love, from the first signs of tenderness through a life-and-death battle, to a reconciliation made necessary by wisdom,” poetry collaboration. It’s well known Dada poets and artists collaborated often, sometimes on the same stage at the Cabaret Voltaire.

So, this collaboration thing isn’t altogether new, but in this case it does, in the words of Tony Barnstone, “create a great conflagration of vignettes and voyages, characters and crisis, traversing or dissecting America in all its nutty hubris, with miracles at the Dairy Queen, Navy SEALS diving for Godzilla’s eggs, an igloo constructed of Schlitz Malt Liquor cartons, a patchwork country inhabited by vegetable princes and chupacabra kings.” Poets’ Guide to America is comprised of fifty poems, 95% of which are neatly laid out in two, three, four, five or six line stanzas, thus, satisfying the MFA code of quasi-structure. The book often exudes a tongue-in-cheek glimpse into the diverse landscape of America and often in a tone that mimics playful narrators offering up historic tidbits of Delaware, Pittsburgh, Georgia, Boston, St. Louis, Manhattan, Omaha, etc. One jocular poem, “A Tale of Two Portlands,” opens with an allusion to Dickens:

It was the best of lines, it was the worst
of lines. Or so she said the next morning

when our search for her missing underwear
led us to grind to halts and hollers on a beige

antique rug, our newest arena. Where we
whiled away another damp hour, another

stray occasion. We shared the wetness:
toothbrushes, plumbing, childhood tales . . .

Structured as poetry but written in whimsical prosaic style, this book isn’t Howard Zinn’s “true history of America.” What it is, however, is a romp with Buckley and Ott creating their own band of Merry Pranksters combing all corners of the United States. Their poems offer a witty and well sculpted peek into the details that separate Motown from Miami, Daytona Beach from Indianapolis, Los Angeles from Roanoke. Occasionally poignant but mostly improvisational, Poet’s Guide to America provides an enjoyable jaunt throughout the great experiment known as the United States. This mostly lighthearted book is witty and enjoyable. The next time you hop Amtrak or Greyhound to visit your aunt in Atlanta, your mother in West Palm Beach, or your poet buddies in Ann Arbor, take this book along. By the time you arrive at your destination, it’ll feel like you’re returning home.

It takes a steady hand to operate a Cadillac without
power steering and a heart like a crusted nut, he said
without letting the smoke in his craw twitch one bit.

A man should never own a car worth more than
his house, his wife said before following her rusted
catalytic converter of a boyfriend to Appalachia.

Now the strikers’ wives stockpile Kroger’s in the back
of his double-wide, preparing for the possibility, one
more half-willing spasm of labor as contracts turn brown

As the tar on his walls darkening from pure American
tobacco. Sometimes he drives to Windsor to take
a piss, and gives strays rides to see Joe Louis pump

his fist, explaining how Detroit smacked the Nazis
where it hurt and the supreme temptations of
hometown soul got all his girls talking about grit.

(from “Slowdown in Motown”)

 

Poets’ Guide to America (ISBN #978-1-936767-16-8)
110 pages, 7” x 8½”, paperback, ($14.95)
Brooklyn Arts Press
www.BrooklynArtsPress.com

 

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Sky Sandwiches

Review by Alan Britt

 

Lots of praise for John F. Buckley’s Sky Sandwiches. Those familiar with Buckley’s sardonic, quasi-autobiographical poetry are SkySandwiches_covernot surprised by the following accolades: “I love when his youth comes off the page, and I get to relive a Michigan childhood.” (John Brantingham); “Buckley is a well-traveled Bukowski. . . .He explores diners in Michigan, final yard sales and crushed Californian dreams.” (T. Anders Carson); “Here, McMansions, disappointed family members, Walmarts, malt liquor, Blondie, convents, shit tonsils, classrooms, ex-porn stars, mean fertility specialists, and hot sauce melt into an addictive and irresistible Kool-Aid that leaves us panting for more.” (Alexandra Mattraw). An imaginative travelogue heavily punctuated with autobiographical details characterizes this lively book. The poems are packed with seductive details that, as several of the book’s blurbs indicate, invite the reader inside the poems without hesitation. One easily relates to Buckley’s almost stream of conscious journeys to his geographic and psychic haunts that are littered with an amazing variety of details:

 

He told them garum tasted most like Filipino patis, more so

             than   nuoc mam or Chinese fish paste. He liked ice cream,

             MMA matches, posters with kittens, and American Idol.

 

He once became enraged and defensive when they laughed

             at him for rubbing vanilla Haagen-Dazs on his toe wound―

             “Is that Roman folk medicine, ‘Roam-oo-leh’?” Bastards!

 

              Fine! You get dragged to twenty-first-century Livermore!

              It’s confusing! The ice-cream helps, all aches subsiding.

              They wouldn’t give him a concubine, so he had made do.

     *           *            *

              Watch him fret in his Boy Scout sleeping bag, dreaming

              of Italy and cyclotrons, restless, feeling like an unlucky coin

              flipped in the air between someone else’s finger and thumb.

 

Buckley’s language moves at the speed of imagination, that is, it’s delightfully unpredictable. Once Buckley’s launches into his frenetic voice, he could end up anywhere, at a family reunion in “At the Reunion,” revisiting late adolescence in Windsor, Ontario, in “A Promise,” or entering the psychic zone in “Anybody Can live on the Moon.” I say get a good grip on whatever hat you happen to be wearing; otherwise, the verbal tailwind produced in these poems could leave you breathless and straining for balance. But how delightful to be rocking in a verbal tornado that plucks you right out of mundane existence and deposits you somewhere light-years from Kansas.

 

Let’s make believe we’re elsewhere.

              Let’s keep an even keel in the waters of our mind―

              a smooth gliding in a taut canvas canoe

              on a lake of placid equanimity―

              not caught in the crosshairs of status and mishap,

              an escape artist locked in an opulent corner office

              after swallowing the key.

              Let’s not listen to Ram Dass. Let’s not be here now

              in the man’s office for the anticipated meeting,

              the avuncular pomp due to recent circumstances,

              the canning of the human pickle.

              Let’s not discuss the events leading up to this moment:

              a divorce, a stubborn repetition of nightcvaps,

              a morning kiking-in of windows,

              a request to deposit one’s stink away from

              the chaperoned students, first temporarily, then permanently.

(“Avoidance”)

 

Sky Sandwiches (ISBN #978-1-937536-32-9)

97 pages, 6” x 9”, paperback, ($15.00)

 

Anaphora Literary Press

www.anaphoraliterary.com

 

 

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March 2, 2013   Comments Off on Books: Native American Classics