Friday, July 18, 2003

reminds me of the story of Colette, walking in New York, hearing a cat and saying "At last! Someone who speaks French!"
Tool-making crows
Contemporary Canadian Art Database
Jordan is "aching for piggyback rides"
Summer writing workshops in the parks! Co-sponsored by the Buffalo Olmsted
Parks Conservancy

Developed during the second half of the nineteenth century by the well known
landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the Olmsted
Park System in Buffalo is the oldest coordinated system of public parks and
parkways in the United States. It was a visionary attempt to create islands
of tranquility in the growing bustling city.

just buffalo, in collaboration with the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, is
offering a six-week writing workshop designed to explore outdoors writing in
the Olmsted park system. Classes will meet each Saturday beginning July 19,
in a different Olmsted Park: Front, Delaware, Martin Luther King, Cazenovia,
Riverside and South Park.


In this six-week writing workshop, we will explore the Olmsted Park System
as well as the "ecopoetic" possibilities and questions of outdoor writing,
visiting a different park each week. Emphasis will be on plein air writing
exercises, short readings from Olmsted's own writings on city landscapes, as
well as from poetry and nonfiction by a range of authors. Discussion themes
will include: nature writing techniques, ecology, urban design and politics,
experimental and investigative writing, border living, Buffalo's various
city cultures, as well as the pleasures and paradoxes of Olmsted's unique
park system.

Writing exercises will accommodate a variety of genre interests: poetry,
essays, nature journals, letters to the editor, prose fiction and other
mixed forms. Beginner as well as experienced writers welcome; each student
will be encouraged to work at his or her own level. Writings produced during
the workshop will be geared toward eventual publication and gathered into a
chapbook. All meetings will be held on Saturdays, at alternating times in
order to accommodate the different moods of the day (please pay close
attention to the schedule).

1) Front Park, Saturday 7/19, 4-7pm. Lake Erie and the Niagara River;
Olmsted's vision for Buffalo; 'descriptive' nature writing; Romantic vistas;
industrial contrasts; arboreal poems in the 'dialectical' landscape.
Readings: Baudelaire, Hopkins, Olmsted, Williams, Smithson.

2) Delaware Park, Saturday 7/26, 10am-1pm (class will end with free visit to
the Albright Knox art gallery) "The Park" : the picturesque; people
watching; Olmsted and the growth of American cities; 19th Century American
visions; landscape art. Readings: Whitman, Hughes, Olmsted, Smithson.

3) Martin Luther King Park, Saturday 8/2, 4-7pm. (class begins with optional
visit to Buffalo Museum of Science; price of museum admission not included
with fee). The politics of open space; science and creative writing;
investigative poetics; East Side views. Recommended viewing: "Claiming Open
Spaces," by Austin Allen (documentary film available at just Buffalo in the
week preceding the meeting). Readings: Ponge, Sanders, Dillard, Olmsted.

4) Cazenovia Park, Saturday 8/9, 10am-1pm. Urban wildlife; literary
environmentalism; South Town views. Readings: Dickinson, Leopold, Carson.

5) Riverside Park, Saturday 8/16, 4-7pm. Rivers and cities; the shoreline;
the indigenous perspective; border living. Readings: Johnson, Kenny, Silko.

6) South Park, Saturday 8/23, 10am-1pm (class includes a visit to the
botanical gardens) Natural history and avant-garde poetics/ experimental
writing. Readings: Ponge, Finlay, Mayer, _ecopoetics_.

(Note: three hours have been scheduled for each class, but this can be
shortened if students so desire. Meeting times can also be adjusted to
accomodate the group's needs.)

Students supply own writing materials; readings available online or as a
photocopy at just Buffalo. Classes will be held rain or shine: please bring
appropriate gear (rain jackets, sweaters, umbrellas, walking shoes). In the
event of a torrential downpour, however, we'll meet at just Buffalo instead
of the designated park. Readings include work from Walt Whitman, Emily
Dickinson, Charles Baudelaire, Gerard Manley Hopkins, E. Pauline Johnson,
Langston Hughes, William Carlos Williams, Aldo Leopold, Francis Ponge,
Robert Smithson, Bernadette Mayer, Ed Sanders, Annie Dillard, Ian Hamilton
Finlay, Rachel Carson, Maurice Kenny, Leslie Marmon Silko, and the journal

Jonathan Skinner, who hails from New Mexico, edits _ecopoetics_ in Buffalo,
NY where he misidentifies birds along the Niagara River and is currently
completing his dissertation on ecology and poetry for the SUNY English
Department. His chapbooks include Political Cactus Poems (Periplum Editions)
and Little Dictionary of Sounds (RedDLines).


1 class: $30, $25 for jblc and O.P.C. members
2-5 classes: $25 each, $20 for jblc and O.P.C. members
Six-week workshop: $120, $100 for jblc and O.P.C. members

For more info please email Mike Kelleher,
or Jonathan Skinner,
or call the just buffalo literary center at 832-5400
sure wish I could take it...
Rum babà--must get Savarin mould
Almanac Laurable reminds me of the birthday last Sunday of
John Clare: "While pismires from their castles come
In crowds to seek the litterd crumb"
judging books by the cover
Common-place: nice article on
David Rumsey Historical Map Collection
Common-place "Early Cities of the Americas" special
Classical Atlas Project
Moon Gardening Growing in Popularity
from Connecticut College's Wetmore Engraving collection...
Virgin in a Crescent Moon with Christ
The Origin of the Moon

Monday, July 14, 2003

Jean-Pierre Melville
jardin des plantes
Georges Cuvier
Jules Michelet's Cicindelidae (1859)
"On the fore parts, numerous meanders, diversely and softly shaded, are trailed over a dark ground. Abdomen and legs are glazed with such rich hues that no enamel can sustain a comparison to them; the eye can scarcely endure their vivacity"
the novel A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel contains a hair raising account of the storming of the Bastille, among many other things
Confit de canard
Isabelle Huppert
Hector Berlioz
tarte framboise
Francoise Hardy
Georges Perec
Simone Signoret
Charles Trenet
Bastille Day: "Allons enfants de la patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé.
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé. "

Sunday, July 13, 2003

The Seattle Stranger's Canada Supplement
wicked Flash Gotan Project site
San Francisco School of Holography: "Sandbox Holography
Holography typically requires manipulating the laser beam with lenses, mirrors, beamsplitters, pinholes, etc. All of these elements must be positioned in space and held steady to within about 1/100,000 inch for up to several minutes. To accomplish this task, most traditional optical laboratories use expensive micro-positioning mounts to hold the optics. To isolate the optics from room vibrations, they are mounted on a foot thick granite slab floated on compressed nitrogen pistons. These set-ups cost many thousands of dollars.

Jerry Pethick suggested a much simpler but equally effective system using sandboxes floating on automobile innertubes. A 4X6 foot or 4X8 foot slab of concrete was poured and a 2 foot deep box made of cinder blocks was built on top to hold the sand. The slab and box were then floated on innertubes for vibration isolation. Optics were mounted on the ends of 2 inch diameter PVC pipe sunk into the sand. With Pethick's method, adjusting the position of the beam was simply a matter of moving the pipes in the sand. Once released, the pipes held their position. After making all the adjustments, we tapped the pipes with a finger to give them a final 'set', then let the table 'settle' for 30 minutes before exposing a hologram. I saw several very high quality 8X10 holograms made with this system using small 1mW lasers with 5 minute or longer exposure times."