Tuesday, May 26, 2009


My Review of Disaster Suites here:

Disaster Suites Disaster Suites by Rob Halpern

My review

rating: 5 of 5 stars
If, as in Halpern's (and Brady's) Snow Sensitive Skin, to hear is, in deliberate and painstaking (and painful) ways, to listen to what one's ear hears and does not hear, Disaster Suites is the broken music box of worlds of distances that feel our suppositions of the most intimate proximity to catastrophes that are, in fact, unFELT miles away. The distance between "I" and its supposed referents; the distance between disaster felt and disaster thought, then said; the distance between a lyric of simplistic lament or needy wonderment and the radio-dialer's war-ruptured provisioning of what, limply, the singer has just heard (or witnessed) from afar. Disaster Suites ruptures and eviscerates, then acknowledges its comparative inertness as typography on a page in a book in your hands. It does so unrelentingly, and this is the ugly and beautiful ways air shapes time. Hence, this is a music unearthed, then dismantled.

View all my reviews.

Rob Halpern at Evergreen May 27th (spread ---> word)
An Evening of Reading & Urgent Discussion With


Poet & Founder of Nonsite Collective

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

8pm @ The Evergreen State College Library (Underground)

Dear Friends,

Please join students & faculty of Experiments in Text, Prolegomena to a Future Poetics, and Book Arts: The Organism that Literature Demands in welcoming poets Rob Halpern and Sarah Mangold. To kick off this year's PRESS Literary Arts & Politics series, Halpern will read from his poetry, including his newly released Disaster Suites, and Mangold, editor of Bird Dog Magazine, will introduce Rob and the evening's events by reading from her work. The reading and discussion will continue the PRESS series focus on the intersections between contemporary art and the larger socipolitical frames. The event is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome. Proceeds from book sales will go to the UFE Student Solidarity Fund, a fund set up by the faculty union to help defray student tuition costs.

WHEN? Wednesday, May 27 @ 8pm

WHERE? The Evergreen State College Library Underground (refreshments provided)

We're very pleased that Rob Halpern has come to Evergreen from San Francisco – a kind of “coming back” as Halpern is an alumnus of Evergreen. And we're happy to have Sarah return to Evergreen for a second reading. If you missed her during the first PRESS Literary conference, don't miss her work this year!

This reading is dedicated to Ernestine Kimbro. Without her, like many things important in this life, the reading would not have happened. Thank you, Ernestine, for helping us to "follow our fears."

In Solidarity
David Wolach & Elizabeth Williamson


Poet Tyrone Williams writes of Rob Halpern's Snow Sensitive Skin: “Snow Sensitive Skin is a remarkable collaboration between Taylor Brady and Rob Halpern. Beautifully designed by Michael Cross for Atticus Finch, this black-on-black chapbook, as dense intellectually, as culturally 'thick' as many, much longer, books of poetry, is really a collaboration between Brady, Halpern, Cross and the inspiration for this meditation on the 2006 Israeli bombing of Lebanon, the music of Lebanese musician and artist Mazen Kerbaj. Brady’s and Halpern’s alternately terse and lapidary lyrics acknowledge the distance between them and Kerbaj, their sense of culpability and impotence, even as it rages against these 'individual' reactions and conditions in order to situate the war within and as a function of global economies. And always, always, they return (as did the bombs, the commands, etc.) to the body .”

Rob Halpern is the author of several books of poetry, including Rumored Place (Krupskaya Books, 2004), Snow Sensitive Skin (a collaboration with Taylor Brady, Atticus/Finch Chapbooks, 2007), and most recently Disaster Suites (Palm Press, 2009). He’s currently co-editing the poems of the late Frances Jaffer together with Kathleen Fraser, and translating the early essays of Georges Perec, the first which, “For a Realist Literature,” appeared in Chicago Review. An active participant in the Nonsite Collective, he lives in San Francisco.


Sarah Mangold is founder and editor of Bird Dog, a journal of innovative writing and art. Currently working as a Program Coordinator at the University of Washington Extension Program—after seven years in a private library. BA University of Oklahoma; MFA San Francisco State, 1999. Recipient of an Individual Artist Award form the Seattle Arts Commission and residencies at MacDowell and Djerassi. Her books include Household Mechanics, Parlor, Picture of the Basket, and Boxer Rebellion.

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