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Workshops and readings at the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair

In just six years it's grown from a local curiosity to one of the most significant regional small press gatherings in North America.

The 2012 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair-- which runs from noon to 6 p.m. today at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, 453 Porter Avenue in Buffalo--is a  a regional, one day event that brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) together in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and sell their wares.  Over 110 vendors from throughout the Great Lakes Region, as well as Boston, Baltimore, Detroit, NYC, Pittsburgh, and beyond have signed up to appear at the fair, which drew over 2600 attendees last year.

In addition to the exhibits, the fair will also present publishing artist workshops and presentations from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and 10 minute showcase readings by nearly thirty poets from 12:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.  Listed below is the most recently available schedule of those events.

Workshops and Presentations

1:00pm – Workshop: Letterpress: The Platen Press
Discover the unique world of letterpress – learn about the process, implements, and product an use centuries old technology to produce your own hand-printed keepsake. This workshop will focus primarily on the platen or “clamshell” letterpress, which is used primarily for small scale work.  All skill levels welcome and no experience necessary. Overview and instruction by Western New York Book Arts Center Volunteer Staff Member Christine Gallisdorfer.

2:00pm – Presentation: Visual Poetry: Mike Basinski
Mike Basinski, curator of The Poetry Collection, SUNY at Buffalo  describes the elusive sub-genre that comingles art and verse: visual poetry. Sometimes easier to show than to tell, the presentation will involve exploring sample visual poems; Basinski will draw from his own work as well as notable predecessors. 

2:30pm – Mini Workshop: Thaumotropes
Squeaky Wheel Media Resources brings you this mini-workshop for all ages on thaumotropes, a kind of toy that was popular in Victorian times. A disk or card with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to combine into a single image due to persistence of vision.

3:30pm – Workshop: Screenprinting for Newbies.  Overview and instruction by Silkscreen Artist Anne Muntges

Open Readings will take place upstairs at the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum from 12:30 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.  All times listed here are approximate, and subject to change.

12:30 Jeannie Hoag

12:40 Christophe Casamassima

12:50 Magus Magnus

1:00 Lauren Gay

1:10 Chris Fritton

1:20 Robin Brox

1:30 Miriam Atkin

1:40 Lori Anderson Moseman

1:50 Pat Kewley

2:00 Matt Klane

2:10 Jen Tynes

2:20 Mike Sikkema

2:30 Frederick Glaysher

2:40 Edric Mesmer (Yellow Field)

3:00 Nava Fader

3:20 Mike Kelleher

3:40 Eric Gelsinger (House Press)

3:50 Jaye Bartell (House Press)

4:00 Camille Martin

4:10 Kevin Cain

4:20 Jessica Smith

4:30 Eva Falkenstein

4:40 Matt Baker Thompson

4:50 Chris Sylvester

5:00 Anita Schmaltz

5:10 Geoffrey Gatza (BlazeVOX)

5:20 David Hadbawnik (BlazeVOX)

5:30 Jared Schickling (BlazeVOX)

--R.D. Pohl

Press time: The Small Press Book Fair opens in the Karpeles Manuscript Library

The Small Press Book Fair returns to the Karpeles Manuscript Museum.  Charles Lewis/News file photo

The presses themselves are small, sure, but the book fair that local artist and print shop manager Christopher Fritton founded to showcase them is anything but. Every year, as the small press movement grows and vendors seek spots for Fritton’s annual Small Press Book Fair, he is surprised at the speed with which the space runs out. And this year, to no one’s surprise, the record has been shattered again for the sixth annual event.

The fair runs from noon to 6 p.m. today (March 24) in the Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum (453 Porter Ave.) and features tables from well over 100 individual artists and presses from across the region. Participants include local outfits like BlazeVOX, the University at Buffalo’s Poetry Collection and Sugar City and farther-flung organizations and artists, including Houston-based Night Owls Poster Shop, Toronto-based Broken Pencil magazine and Philadelphia’s Little Beast Press, among scads of others.

As in past years, the schedule includes a series of workshops on letterpress, screen-printing and other topics today. It’s also complemented by a post-fair party featuring music by Jack Toft, Energy Club, Damian, UVB-76 and others at the Vault (702 Main St.) at 9 tonight.

Admission to the fair is free; find more info at

-- Colin Dabkowski

Fun with the New York Philharmonic

StacksThe New York Philharmonic's already amazing online archives has just become more amazing. They now have a zillion pictures you can sift through digitally.

They have added all kinds of other material too. You may start weeding through it by going to the site -- and where it says "All Formats," you may pull down to, say, "Images," which is what I did.

The site boasts that they have over 2,000 pictures of Leonard Bernstein, which begs the question of how many photos of Leonard Bernstein a human being needs to see in one lifetime. But I have to say, I do enjoy looking at pictures of Bernstein. It can be very entertaining.

It is even more fun to look for your favorite great musician and see what comes up. In my case that is the pianist, and Buffalo native, Leonard Pennario. I punched in his name and found this dandy set of pictures of him with conductor Andre Kostelanetz. I was hoping for pictures of him with Artur Rodzinski but still, very cool. Looking good, Leonard!

I also found a list of programs of the concerts he gave with the New York Phil. You can click on the programs and virtually turn the pages. So much fun! Just looking at the vintage ads is a kick in itself.

While you are at it you can check out the orchestra's podcasts, see what interests you.

So there you go, hours of entertainment, perfect for that occasional rainy day.

Have fun!

-- Mary Kunz Goldman



Three leading poet/publishers featured in "All Poetry is Small Press Poetry"

Three leading poet/small press publishers--Karen Randall, mIEKAL aND, and Kyle Schlesinger--will read from their work in "All Poetry is Small Press Poetry," the kick-off event of the 2012 Buffalo Small Press Book Fair tonight (Friday) at 8 p.m. at the Western New York Book Arts Center, 468 Washington St. (at Mohawk St.) in Buffalo.

Karen Pava Randall is a Springfield, Massachusetts based artist, poet and publisher of Propolis Press and Least Weasel Chapbooks.  She has collaborated with Rosmarie Waldrop, Elizabeth Willis, Nancy Kuhl, and Lee Ann Brown on various books and artist's books, and taught letterpress printing at the Naropa Summer Writing Program and the Centers for Book Arts in Minneapolis, New York, and San Francisco.

mIEKAL aND, who lives in West Lima, Wisconsin, is a self described “do-it-yourself cultural anarchist and creator of verbo-visual literature, audio art, and hypermedia,” (including books) distributed by his Xexoxial Editions.  After many years working in the realms of digital poetry and video, he has recently focused on the collaborative projects, including books with Maria Damon, Sheila Murphy and Geof Huth.

Kyle Schlesinger, a UB Poetics Program Ph.D, is a poet who writes and lectures on typography and artists’ books. His recent books of poetry include: “Commonplace” (Cuneiform, 2011), “Bad Words to the Radio and Other Poems” (Least Weasel, 2011), “Picture Day” (Electio Editions, 2011), “What You Will” (New Lights Press, 2012) and “Seeing Things” (Chax Press, 2012).  He is proprietor of Cuneiform Press and co-director of the Graduate Program in Publishing at University of Houston-Victoria.

--R.D. Pohl

'Hide/Seek' wins critics association award

Last week, in a move that should surprise no one who saw the exhibition, the U.S. Art Critics Association named Jonathan Katz and David Ward's important and controversial "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" its best thematic museum show. Katz, a professor in the University at Buffalo's visual studies department, had campaigned for years to get a show like "Hide/Seek," which explored the coding of homosexual desire in the work of major American artists, into a major museum. The Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery agreed, right-wing critics attacked and the rest is history. The show recently opened to rave reviews in the Tacoma Art Museum.

--Colin Dabkowski

Video: Plan your weekend with GustoTV

Get a sneak peek at tomorrow's edition of Gusto. Our critics highlight some options in the Western New York music, dance and movies scene in the newest episode of GustoTV:

Medaille College reading features contributors to "30 Under 30" anthology

Medaille College's The Write Thing Reading Series presents brief readings by fiction writers Danielle Adair, Beth Couture, and Brian Oliu at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) in the Academic Commons located on the 4th floor of the college's Main Hall.

All three writers are contributors to the new Starcherone Books anthology “30 Under 30: Innovative Fiction by Younger Writers” edited by Blake Butler and Lily Hoang.

Danielle Adair is an artist and writer born in northern Michigan and currently based in Los Angeles. She is the author of From JBAD: Lessons Learned (Les Figues Press, 2009) a "field guide" based on her time as a media embed with US Forces in Afghanistan.  and her video-performance work has screened internationally. She is the recipient of the 2010 California Community Foundation Fellowship, and video performance work has screened internationally.  More about her work can be found at and

Beth Couture has work published or forthcoming in Gargoyle, The Southeast Review, Drunken Boat, and the Dirty Fabulous Anthology from Jaded Ibis, among other publications. She teaches composition at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA.

Brian Oliu is originally from New Jersey and currently lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. His work has been published in Hotel Amerika, New Ohio Review, Brevity, DIAGRAM, Sonora Review, Ninth Letter, and others.

Medaille College is located at 18 Agassiz Circle in Buffalo.

--R.D. Pohl

Mozart and Buffalo's spring

I am going to post a bundle of songs for our early spring and this is the first one.

"Bouquet" of songs, I should say. "Bundle" sounds too wintry. Like firewood.

When it gets to be winter we can post a bundle of songs about winter!

But anyway. Our "bouquet" of spring songs begins with this song by Mozart I found myself thinking about today when I took a walk and soaked up the sunlight, and the 80-degree temps.

The song is a kids' song and is called, formally, "Sehnsucht Nach Der Fruehling," or "Longing For Spring." We are not exactly longing for spring right now -- we have it -- but you hear a lot of people hoping that this warm weather will just stay.

What I get a kick out of about this song is that you realize that what Mozart experienced is a lot like what we experience. He knew the feeling we get in Buffalo when it seems as if it has been winter forever. When you have done all the enjoying of winter you are going to do -- the skiing, the indoor games -- the song mentions these things, even mentions building houses out of cards -- and finally you have just had it, you are ready for spring. You want it, you need it.

All this longing plays out in a sing-songy melody, circling back again and again. Mozart wrote this sweet little song kind of late in his life. It has become a kind of German folk song now. If you go to Germany or Austria people will know this song and can sing it.

There is something kind of haunting about the simple, circling melody and Mozart most have felt that because he starts out with it in the last movement of his last piano concerto -- the great No. 27, K. 595.

-- Mary Kunz Goldman


Critics' Corner chat with Simon, Miers

News Arts Editor Jeff Simon and Pop Music Critic Jeff Miers answer questions about books, movies, television, music and more

We're Ready for One and All

At least we think we are. In any case, Jeff Miers and I will be doing our weekly chat at 1pm today so we'll try to deal with any question or comment you want to send our way. Lot to talk about--in music, TV, movies, books you name it. We'll be back in about a half hour.
--Jeff Simon

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