In addition to our Brooklyn Buffet, we here at Oh, Bernice! also offer you a Sunnyside Smorgasbord: Stefanie Lipsey will host readers Willa Carroll, Leila Ortiz, Tyler Rivenbark, and Sweta Srivastava Vikram. So if you don’t see us in Brooklyn, see us in Queens at Cafe Marlene at 7:30pm tomorrow, May 18th. Bring a bib.
Willa Carroll, winner of Narrative Magazine’s Third Annual Poetry Contest, and a nominee for a Pushcart Prize, is a writer and performing artist. Her work has been published in Tin House, 5 AM, Narrative, Mary Magazine, Tuesday; An Art Project, Stone Canoe, and Readings for Writers (Edition 12) She’s a contributing poetry editor for Swink Magazine. While earning her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars, she was awarded a Liam Rector Scholarship. She’s performed in numerous multimedia works at NYC venues such as St. Mark’s Church, The Kitchen, P.S. 122, among others. She collaborates with her husband on projects that bridge filmmaking and literature. Video readings of her poems are online in Narrative.
Leila Ortiz is a poet and social worker from Park Slope, Brooklyn. Her poems have appeared in The Ledge and Stone Canoe, and she is currently an MFA candidate at the Queens College Creative Writing and Literary Translation program. Leila also likes to sing and dance.
Originally from North Carolina, Tyler Rivenbark is a graduate of the MFA program in Playwriting at Queens College where he is now a professor. His short plays, including Frogs; or How to Fail at Business, How They Played Games and Fell in Love, and Joe, have been produced with such theatre groups as Left Hip Productions, Abingdon Theatre and the Short Play Lab. His one-acts, (Silence) and Inside the Rain both premiered at Dixon Place experimental theatre. His full-length plays have had readings at The Actors Company Theatre, Playsmiths and First Foot Theatre. In 2009 he was a writer-in-residence at the Louis Armstrong Archive, a residency he now oversees. Recently he was commissioned by the Poetry Society of America to adapt the Pulitzer Prize-winning book of poems, Thomas and Beulah, for the stage. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild. When not working on plays he can be found playing music around the city: www.myspace.com/mygoodname.
Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an award-winning writer, two times Pushcart Prize nominated-poet, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, and educator whose musings have translated into four chapbooks of poetry, two collaborative collections of poetry, a book-length collection of poetry, a novel, and a nonfiction book of prose and poems. Her work has appeared in several anthologies, literary journals, and online publications across seven countries in three continents. A graduate of Columbia University, she reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband.
In honor of Oh, Bernice! taking the stage at Lit Crawl BK, I decided to compile some random, food-related facts about the readers. (Because, who wants to read about their credentials, am I right?) The one thing they have in common? They all have never heard of Supermarket Sweep.
Rajiv Mohabir has been hit in the face with such foodstuffs as cake, eggs, pepper sauce, and coffee. (Hopefully not all at the same time.) He still looks for restaurants that give crayons and color-in place mats.
John Reid Currie has been hit in the face by an alligator, and lived to tell the tale. He describes his typical holiday meal with his family as “argumentative, with a noticeable lack of fiber.”
Deborah Fried-Rubin is not a sandwich herself. Can she bake a cherry pie, Billy boy, Billy boy? Can she bake a cherry pie, darling Billy? You’ll have to come ask her yourself, Darling Billy, and you better ask nice. She isn’t a bakery, either.
Hoyt Jacobs is attempting to eat the world’s largest gummy bear. (You’re welcome, America.) He thinks sandwiches are gross and, therefore, is sub-human.
Peter Vanderberg is both a lover and a fighter—of breakfast-time barbarians. He has a sandwich named after him that is comprised entirely of beefcake and beefsteak.
This buffet of readers will be presented to you by Jolie Hale, who when eating children knows that “The only good child is a batter-fried child.” (Possible slogan for Soylent Green?) Catch your dinner companions this Saturday at Last Exit 136 Atlantic Avenue, at 7:15PM. Come, listen, educate these readers (after the reading) on the finer points of supermarket-related gameshows.
Get ready, Brooklyn.
Decomposerdoll aka Sara Dunn - A New Addition To The Family, 2012 Paintings: Acrylics on Red Paper
We show no mercy. Oh, Bernice! is polishing their silverware as they take their reading on the road to Brooklyn, as part of Lit Crawl BK.
Jolie Hale hosts team of hungry all-stars, ready to gobble up Cobble Hill:
Part two of the Oh, Bernice! double feature happens Saturday May 18th at Last Exit. (136 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY.) Mashed potatoes beware!
May is here and maybe you’ll spend it with the likes of Oh, Bernice! on Saturday May 18th, when we’ll be hosting not one, but two readings. (It’s a bi-borough double feature!) First up, is Sunnyside:
Stefanie Lipsey hosts an evening worthy of Tom Selleck’s moustache:
The action starts at 7:30 PM in the usual place—the Cafe Marlene. (41-11 49th Street, Sunnyside, NY.) Be there!
Right now, as you read this text.
Tonight is the memorial service for one of the last true bohemians, poet and actor Taylor Mead, who died recently. I’m stuck at work, kicking myself. But, if you’re free, you should head down to this event, which celebrates his legacy.
The address is the same. 308 Bowery
The look is not
Come one and all
To Taylor’s boiteFor the Love of Taylor Mead (1924-2013)Taylor Mead, a poet, actor and exuberant bohemian who collaborated with Andy Warhol in the 1960s to nurture a new approach to making movies — sometimes spontaneously, always inexpensively (hand-held 16-millimeter cameras sufficed) and brashly experimental (one film consisted of an hourlong shot of Mr. Mead’s bare posterior) — died on Wednesday in Colorado. He was 88.”
Come celebrate the oft-storied life and “brilliant downtown zen” poetry of this quintessential New York figure.6 - 9 pm, May 13
April is certainly over. (Goodbye, cruelty. Hello, Love.) And so is my month as the official Oh, Bernice! blogger. (I’ll give you a moment… Let it all out.) I want to thank everyone who came out to Cafe Marlene in April and made that night so special. I’m handing the reins back over to the very capable Brian Kim, seen here with a smoking baby:
(This is how we will combat Bloomberg’s second hand smoke laws.) You’ll still catch posts from me, now and then, but 2013 is, and always will be, The Year of Kim. And, together, we’ll take you through The Oh, Bernice! Double Feature, coming up in May, and on to the end of June.
Brian has a very fun blog called Criterion Collection As Haiku, where he chronicles his journey through some of the most respected films in world cinema. You should check it out.
- John Rice
Not sure what to read at the beach this summer? We’re pretty sure you would like one of these:
The Collected Poems
Bringing together thirty years of poetry across eight books, this first complete edition of Ai’s work reveals her mastery of the dramatic monologue.
by John Ashbery
Despite his nerves and his remembrances, Ashbery’s rollicks show that he’s still one of our youngest poets at heart.
red doc >
by Anne Carson
This book finds Carson once again blurring the lines of prose and poetry, and challenging both genres within a single poem.
by Clark Coolidge
This welcoming embrace of the mind’s ghosts and dalliances amounts to a remarkable intimacy in Coolidge’s latest collection.
by Juan Felipe Herrera
Herrera takes on Sudanese injustice in this latest collection of monologues, transcripts, and prose poems, telling the story of three children as they try to escape a ravaged village.
by Lorine Niedecker
Written in the spare style that typifies her work, Niedecker’s poem was the distilled product of a road trip she took with her husband Al Millen in 1966.
by Martha Ronk
Throughout her ninth collection, Ronk calls upon language to reconcile the space in which the body ends and nature begins.
Sorry Was in the Woods
by Michelle Taransky
Unlike Frost, who stopped himself from entering the woods out of fear, Taransky’s latest sends her headlong into darkness and deepness.
by Susan Wheeler
Much like memes themselves, which operate by means of refrain and repetition, each of these poems begins with a stock phrase that will ring familiar to most who grew up in America in the last fifty years.
by Dean Young
Like Whitman, Young is a wandering poet whose tongue refuses nothing in its desire to taste the multitudes.
Summer reading (already?!) from the Academy of American Poets. What’s on your list?
John: Tell me about the last time you were cruel.
Jenna: I try to be kind.
And she is. So don’t forget to come to Oh, Bernice this Saturday to tell her so.
Jenna Telesca is a reporter and a short story writer. Podcasts and blood oranges are her current obsessions. She is founder of the Oh, Bernice Writers Collective.