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Category: 100 Days

Full Moon, Poetry, & An Apple A Day!

The Highwaymen NYC has curated inspiring poetry readings around Brooklyn for almost a year, always on a full moon. I offered series host Elizabeth the use of my studio for the upcoming Highwaymen NYC #10, which takes place February 25 at 7 PM.

And, since people are coming by anyway, and since I have five empty walls, once the reading was confirmed, I contacted artist Cameron Blaylock and invited him to exhibit An Apple A Day–an art-making-on-consecutive-days project he happened to be pursuing last year at the same time I was working on my consecutive-days writing project, 100 Days. Cameron’s project, in his own words:

“Every day for five weeks in 2012 I went to my studio (or, when traveling, opened my journal) and painted an apple. Each apple was photographed and published on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #anappleaday. The idea for the project was inspired by my desire to document the learning process and to have a daily painting practice.”

Come view the results of Cameron’s daily practice and hear some poetry under the next full moon. All of the event info is posted on Facebook, and below. Images courtesy of Cameron Blaylock.

The Highwaymen NYC  and The Imaginary Space present an evening of poetry and art:
The Highwaymen NYC #10, featuring poetry by Emmalea Russo, Matt Nelson, Elizabeth Clark Wessel and Kurt Opprecht
An Apple A Day, paintings by Cameron Blaylock
February 25, 2013
7 PM, Free admission

The Imaginary Space
174 Bogart St.
buzzer #210
Brooklyn, NY 11206

The Highwaymen NYC #10 will feature readings by:

Emmalea Russo is a poet and visual artist. She received
her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Recent work has appeared in Ambush Review, ILK, Wicked Alice, and Yew Journal. Two chapbooks, clearing (dancing girl press) and book of southern and water (Poor Claudia) are forthcoming in 2013. She lives in Brooklyn.

Matt Nelson is a co-founder of Mellow Pages Library and Reading Room in Bushwick. He is an MFA candidate at CUNY Queens College. He is currently writing about Jesus and reading small press books.

Elizabeth Clark Wessel is a founding editor of Argos Books & recently became co-editor of Circumference: Poetry in Translation. Her poems and translations have appeared in DIAGRAM, A Public Space, Guernica, Sixth Finch, Lana Turner Journal, Jacket2, The Laurel Review, and elsewhere. She is the winner of the Bennett Poetry Prize at Columbia University, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets. Dana Levin chose her manuscript Whither Weather for the Midwest Chapbook Series, sponsored by The Laurel Review. She was born and raised in western Nebraska, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY, where she works as a translator.

Kurt Opprecht is the son of a rocket scientist and a financial planner. He was born and raised in Brigham City, Utah, a very small town from which he fled in the early eighties. He currently lives on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, where he writes tiny poems and crafts devices from which he claims to obtain supernatural powers. He is a certified charlatan and teaches writing at NYU-SCPS and Gotham Writer Workshop. [] Twitter: @opprecht. Tumblr: tinypinkfrog.




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Fall news

Here’s a little news for the early Fall.

1-Learn to Love Your Artist Statement has affectionately been called “artist therapy” by one of my students. My goal with this workshop has been to help artists who are traditionally hostile or uncomfortable with writing about their work to discover the original viewpoint or ambition present in what they create, and to learn to articulate what is unique about what they are trying to accomplish with all those hours they spend in their studios.

Here’s how one student took the time to describe his experience of the workshop:

“I’d…like thank you for teaching a skill that…at first glance appears both confusing and dubious. Without resources like your class to make them understandable and accessible, the mechanisms of art (beyond its initial creation) often appear opaque and impenetrable to those who have not chosen to make it their profession but would like to participate in it.”

2-In Write a Press Release, Publicize Your Event, we cover the basics of press-release writing, students write a release for their own project/event, and we spend the remaining time talking about how to build press lists and find opportunities for media coverage of independent events. By the end of the 3-hour workshop, students will have a press release and a list of local contacts.

3-In Your Own Words is more like a consulting session than a class. This small, unstructured workshop allows students to bring in whatever professional-writing project needs extra help–such as polishing a résumé, finalizing a business proposal or editing a business plan. Students work one-on-one or get feedback from others; each workshop is customized to meet students’ individual writing goals.

  • WRITING: I’m working on interviews with two authors that you’ll see online in the next few weeks at two publications I respect, read and admire. And that’s all I’m going to say.
  • 100 DAYS AND…: YES, I am still working on the 100 Days project! I am learning so much more and less than I expected to learn about myself as a writer. On Day 100, October 8, 2012, I will have written 100 first-draft essays of least 1,000 words each, on 100 consecutive days. But I’ve never written just 1,000 words, so that’s well over 100,000 words for the summer. I’ll definitely write something about the whole experience…but not until after I take a much-needed quick escape from New York. After that, I, um, may or may not start curating a new series of events. You’re welcome to prod me or pitch me about that, if you read this far…
  • THE BOOK: I have an outline for my book. Finally. So expect my hermit ways to continue throughout the fall, though I’m hoping to do a few readings to balance out my newfound introversion.

That’s all I have for now, please spread the word about my workshops (see for details and to sign up), and thank you for your support!

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100 Days, 100 Essays

I’ve been working on a new project this summer, 100 Days (or sporadically on Twitter, #100days). I am writing one 1,000-word essay every day for 100 consecutive days.  I don’t have any plans to post these anywhere while the project is in-progress, although once I pass day 30 I’m going to start editing a few of my favorites.

I’m not alone in “100 days,” which I learned the first week. Through the #100days hashtag I discovered a painter on a similar mission who is releasing prints of her 100 days of paintings. Coincidentally, we started on the same day. Then I found out that a friend of mine, local artist Cameron Blaylock, has also started a paint-on-consecutive-days project, An Apple a Day. He’s painting an apple every day (and then he eats it). He also started on the same day, July 1, but as far as I know he’s going to stop after 30 days. Lots of coincidences lately. In fact, on two separate days, while I was writing the day’s essay, a butterfly joined me–landing on my hand and then on my keyboard on both occasions.  I can’t think of better writing coaches.

I’ve overwritten the word count on most days, and I’ve also written two essays a couple of times–once as a false start, and then yesterday a new idea came up as soon as I finished the first essay, so I wrote two. I don’t have a total word count, and I didn’t plan to count, but I can safely say that I’ve written 25,000 words in the last 22 days, in 23 separate first drafts. As every other writer says at some point, but my friend Audi  said to me most recently: writing is a verb.

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