October 19, 2007

Patrick Durgin, Dolores Dorantes, Jen Hofer, & Jesse Seldess

Please note that this reading takes place on a Friday rather than our usual Sunday slot.

Spare Room is especially pleased to present an evening with

Patrick Durgin
Dolores Dorantes
Jen Hofer
Jesse Seldess

who are criss-crossing the country to promote and celebrate recent books
from Kenning Editions:

Open House by Hannah Weiner, edited by Patrick Durgin
sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre by Dolores Dorantes, translated by Jen Hofer
Who Opens by Jesse Seldess

Friday October 19
7:30 pm

New American Art Union
922 SE Ankeny

$5.00 suggested donation

Patrick F. Durgin is the proprietor of Da Crouton, a poet, scholar, and educator now living in Chicago. He was born in St. Paul, MN, moved to Iowa City, Buffalo, Berkeley, and Ypsilanti (the birthplace of Iggy Pop). All this time and for the most part, he has sought a living wage. Most of his poetry has been published in small press and fine press zines and chapbooks -- most recently, a short collection entitled Imitation Poems. He will be reading from that book and conducting performances from Hannah Weiner's Open House, which he recently edited for Kenning Editions.

Dolores Dorantes was born in Córdoba, Veracruz in 1973, and has lived in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, for the past 20 years. Her published books include sexoPUROsexoVELOZ (2004), Lola (cartas cortas) (2002), Para Bernardo: un eco (2000) and Poemas para niños (1999). She is founding director of the border arts collective Compañía Frugal, which supports autonomous projects in the arts and counts among its activities publication of the bi-weekly poetry broadside series Hoja Frugal, printed in editions of 4000 and distributed free throughout Mexico. She is an auto-didactic journalist and poet who was thoroughly disillusioned with her studies of Hispanomexican Literature at the Autonomous University of Ciudad Juárez. Her op-ed pieces, criticism and investigative texts have been published in Mexican newspapers such as Política (Xalapa, Veracruz), La Crónica (Mexico City), La Jornada (Mexico City), Síntesis (Tlaxcala) and Diario de Juárez, where she worked as an editor. Dolores stopped working in the news media thanks to the total lack of freedom of expression and increasing manipulation of information, but she maintains a blog where her opinions about art, politics and society continue to be made public on a regular basis: www.dorantes.blogspot.com.

In 2002, Jen Hofer moved from the Centro Histórico in Mexico City to Cypress Park in Los Angeles, where she teaches poetics in the MFA Writing Program at CalArts and works as a Spanish-language interpreter with the Los Angeles County Superior Courts. Her recent publications include lip wolf, a translation of Laura Solórzano’s lobo de labio (Action Books, 2007), Sin puertas visibles: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by Mexican Women (University of Pittsburgh Press and Ediciones Sin Nombre, 2003), slide rule (subpress, 2002), and the chapbooks laws (Dusie Kollectiv, 2006) and lawless (Seeing Eye Books, 2003). Her forthcoming books are The Route, an epistolary and poetic collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos), Laws (Dusie Books), and a book-length series of anti-war-manifesto poems titled one (Palm Press). Jen is a member of the Little Fakers collective which creates and produces Sunset Chronicles, a neighborhood-based serial episodic drama populated entirely by hand-made marionettes inhabiting lost, abandoned, and ghost spaces in Los Angeles (www.sunsetchronicles.com). Jen and Patrick will read from The Route and Jen will read from her translations of and in tandem with Dolores Dorantes.

Jesse Seldess relocated from Chicago to Berlin and, more recently, to Karlsruhe. In Chicago, he co-curated The Discrete Reading and Performance Series with Kerri Sonnenberg. In Berlin, he organizes The Floating Series of exhibitions and events with Leonie Weber. In Karlsruhe, he continues to edit Antennae, a journal of experimental writing, music, and performance. Chapbooks of his poems have been published by Answer Tag Home Press, Bronze Skull Press, and the Chicago Poetry Project, and his book of poems, Who Opens, appeared from Kenning Editions early in 2006. He will be reading from that book and from recent texts.


My poverty, confected,
the brass draining from
the insinuation of a
dirge, the song was
"Bizarre Love Triangle" cloned.
Singing, her tongue shook to
say, Who is kissing me?
Singing, his teeth skid with
her tongue between them. Patience
and achievement are either both
virtues or ramifications,
but in every other way will
have nothing to do with each.
For him, each apposite
sonority was etiological.
For them, she was a morsel,
the occasion to their decorum.

—Patrick Durgin


the intruder must be loved in
where hatred a field fission flanked
thing status erased or gutted
things duet in cellular debt
then kind of an overlay to forge
talk such condition of forgetting is itself
being here cease is
to flee from being there
at as it were a place the past
this plaza this face
perhaps every shared body will order
fatal sobriety produces that shadow
for anybody is one and more

other notions would somehow bring
slim palm to streets for money
i.e. wheeling afterimages limit not war
others shot in service
some are namely signals
not not products but conditions
pry the view with its bank
of evidence has taken
production of children from good fabric
no weather as such
no factorial sutures repeatedly remembering
outside any account

the parable set
in typically gradual refrains
are of etc
is home
has what effect to it
other stops may begin and happening
dissipates how body is
land and space too
what next greatest central guise
would point the piece away

what war subtracts
condition can say term says
know really do know and is is social

—Patrick Durgin and Jen Hofer

DARKNESS where new
lights begin

and grow:
     fast swarms

     slice and trace the colors of the city

(May be

I had to forget how)

Pain inserts its hardest expression

The impact, extend it
toward clarity


our separated forests
will be places—hot—
abutting memories


—Dolores Dorantes, tr. Jen Hofer

the situation

migrated to in entire
a year

adorning either

to entire

or an hour

that intact disparate

in which

which attached
sleeping unassembled

and kept

—Jesse Seldess