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Tag: Brooklyn

#3WTotal update #4: Great news! TOTAL DROPPING!


It’s been a while since the last update but GREAT news: the #3WTotal list is finally DROPPING.

Since the last update (November 2014):
•Unfortunately, a couple of new names have still been added to the list. But!
•Some people are removing their name from the list.

Here is an excerpt from an email I received this morning, from the Department of Labor:

“A conference was held at this office last week in regards to claims filed….a preliminary resolution was reached between all parties. We are currently unable to share the specifics of the pending resolution with you due to privacy concerns.”

Great, right?

Now what?
If you are a 3rd Ward instructor and you are still owed money from your 3rd Ward days, email me for the above-quoted contact from the Department of Labor.

The new total: I hope that lots of settlements are occurring with EVERYONE, members, students, and instructors, on any and all fronts. This is what you deserve!

I began tracking this total because I wanted to give visibility to every person who felt that 3rd Ward walked out on them financially. Not every person sought to collect or get their money back, and adding your number to this list was never meant to suggest anyone on it would be actively pursuing a claim. But.

Did you get paid?
I hope the now-lower total means that this visibility is making a difference, and now the project and the number must evolve. Unfortunately, settlements are often private, and I don’t want to get it wrong. So for today I will say the total is going down and will update the number once I hear back from you on this:

To anyone–members, students, instructors—who made some effort to collect—if you do not believe your name should be in the total anymore, just let me know to remove your name, no questions asked about why.

I am considering hosting an informal gathering for anyone who wants to talk about this project. Is that you? If you have any interest, let me know.

In the meantime, please keep sharing this project with people you know who might have a story or experience to share. I am continuing to research and follow interrelated stories and will keep you updated.

Stuff I’m writing lately

Thank you,

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Two Guns: New essay up now at Vol. 1 Brooklyn

I’m thankful to Vol. 1 Brooklyn for publishing my latest essay, here. We don’t need to share a single point of view, but you’re welcome to walk a mile in my shoes.  Here’s the first paragraph…

Two Guns

On July 10, 2013, around 5:30 PM, an old friend of mine, Teddy Days, was sitting or maybe laying down inside an old hearse he owned that was parked on the side of his small house in Yucca Valley, California. It was about 100 degrees. That kind of heat was probably bearable to Teddy, who had lived in the desert for about nine years. But sitting or laying in this white hearse with the doors closed and the windows rolled up like he was doing—well, anyone might have been heat-crazy. That is probably why he kept opening and closing the hearse’s back doors in those hours he spent trying to decide whether or not to shoot himself like he’d planned to do before his friend called the police, who were now present.

Read the rest at Vol. 1 Brooklyn.


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The Highwaymen NYC this Thursday, April 25

I’m reading with many, many New York poets this Thursday at The Highwaymen NYC’s anniversary celebration. Full moon, lots of poetry, and a reunion with a few  of the notorious 1441 alumni. I had a chance to talk with the series host, Elizabeth, recently. Since she started The Highwaymen series last year, I think her entire life has changed (mine too!). She puts a tremendous effort into each event, and I’m very happy to be part of a celebration marking the one-year milestone. I’m looking forward to reading a few short (but not very sweet) new poems. One is called “How To Stop War,” it came from nowhere one day on the subway and scared me, and I hope this one finds its way into print somewhere soon.

The reading takes place at Molasses Books in Bushwick, a still new-to-me spot where I have not yet spent nearly enough time or money. There is a FB invite which you can find online here, I think.

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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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January workshops and events

Happy New Year!

I hope your new year is starting out strong! Here’s some news on classes I’m teaching and events where I’m reading this month:

RÉSUMÉ WRITING WORKSHOP: Tighten, rewrite, edit, and update your résumé. Take advantage of the small-group setting to exchange job-search strategies and get feedback on your résumé from others. Three-hour workshop.   Sunday, January 20, 1:30-4:30 PM.

WHO ARE YOU? is a one-night, three-hour workshop designed to help students learn to write strong, compelling mission statements, bios, and “About Me” website content. Inspired by the longer “Learn to Love Your Artist Statement” workshop, this shorter session helps freelancers, entrepreneurs, bloggers and others who don’t know how to tell the story that will interest their audience. (*Note: this workshop is almost sold out). Tuesday, January 15, 7-10 PM.

From a recent student of the LEARN TO LOVE YOUR ARTIST STATEMENT workshop: “I have never ever been happy with an artist statement before so it is a really big deal for me, and I am very excited.” This three-week, 9-hour workshop was created for artists who struggle with the challenge of writing original, effective artist statements. Mondays, January 14, 21 and 28, 7-10 PM.
You can sign up or learn more at 3rd

Sycamore Stories: A Night of Literary Madness, 1/16/13.
This event kicks off a brand-new monthly series held every third Wednesday. Hosted by Kelley Brannon (founder of Bodega Wine Bar’s monthly storytelling series).
Sycamore Bar
1118 Cortelyou Road
Brooklyn, NY 11218
Wednesday, January 16, 7 PM.

Words With Beer, 1/30/13.
This relatively new lit series is held in Bed-Stuy at a cool neighborhood café with a great vibe.
Bedford Hill Coffee Bar
343 Franklin Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11238
Wednesday, January 30, 7 PM.

I came across the photo above while doing research for a project I’m writing about my grandmother. This was how her ground-floor condo in Macungie, PA, looked after the blizzard of ’96.

Thank you for your support, best wishes for a great 2013.


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