Monthly Archives: October 2012

JKS Presents What Where Series II

Please join us for the second installation of the Jack Kerouac School’s What Where Series on Tuesday, October 23rd. A reading featuring Lidia Yuknavitch, Eric Baus, and Joanna Ruocco will begin at 7:30 pm in the Arapahoe Campus’ Performing Arts Center. This event is free and open to the public.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the anti-memoir The Chronology of Water and the just released novel Dora: A Headcase: A Modern Farce, as well as three books of short stories and critical book on war and narrative. She is the recipient of an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Bookseller’s Award, and was a finalist for the Pen Center Award in nonfiction. She teaches writing, women’s studies, and literature in Oregon with her husband the filmmaker Andy Mingo and their renaissance man son Miles. She runs the independnt press chiasmus (key-az-muss). She is a very, very good swimmer.

Eric Baus is the author of Scared Text, winner of the Colorado Prize (Colorado State U. Press), Tuned Droves (Octopus Books), and The To Sound, winner of the Verse Prize (Verse Press/Wave Books), as well as several chapbooks. His commentaries about poetry audio recordings, Notes on PennSound, recently appeared on Jacket2. He lives in Denver where he co-edits Marcel Chapbooks with Andrea Rexilius.

Joanna Ruocco co-edits Birkensnake, a fiction journal. She is the author of The Mothering Coven (Ellipsis Press), Man’s Companions (Tarpaulin Sky Press), A Compendium of Domestic Incidents (Noemi Press), and Another Governess / The Least Blacksmith: A Diptych (FC2).

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Gin Editor’s Blog II: The Rhizome Lives

Rhizome, rhizome, rhizome!!! If you were at Naropa for the 2012 Summer Writing Program, you have a love-hate relationship with this word—you love that it means community but will excommunicate yourself from any community in which you hear it again. Once you say a word over and over again, like “rhizome” or “community” it loses its meaning. Ultimately, we can call our rhizome any number of things. What is important is that we participate in it. Below are a few ways you can participate in the ever-expanding writing community.

The book-making student-run publication, Semicolon, held a Fundraising Event on Saturday night, October 6, filled with connection. At one point during the night, I just paused to look around the room at our community—a four hour snapshot of connection and full engagement. Musicians plucked at our heartstrings and hamstrings on cello, guitar, keyboard, and the hammer dulcimer. Dulce means sweet in Spanish, and it was so sweet! DJs had us dancing, jumping, sliding, spinning, swinging, and hula hooping all night. Reiki healers helped us get in tune with ourselves and gave the night a centered and connected feeling. Local artists’ striking artwork lined the walls, while one live artist danced to the music in brushstrokes, hypnotizing the audience during music performance with live art. Open Mic poets inspired us to move words from our own bellies to our throats. We even had a joyous open mic Skype-in with a JKS alum all the way from Thailand! Semicolon’s bookmaking table motivated DIYers to create their own books with us (and to submit by October 21st!). We raised over $100 and donations are still coming in!

Much gratitude to:

Musicians ~ Sam, Asa Lott, Jesse Childe, Zoe, Matt Clifford, Joe Braun, Dan Halpern, Ben Martens

DJs Indigo Weller, Paul Montgomery (Snack Size)

Reiki Healer ~ Amanda Reavey

Visual Artists ~ Sara Chadwick, Ruth Peterson

Poets ~ Jorie, Eleanor, Anna Avery, Stuart Shannon

Semicolon Crew ~ Jason Burks, Tiara Lopez, Carl Danelski, Eric Fischman, April Joseph, Ashley Waterman, Morgan McGuire, Noah Christie, Geoff Bylina

Naropa Staff ~ Ariella Goldberg, Kyle Pivarnik, Steve Jewell, Matt Peterson, Nick Weiss

And of course all of you beautiful folks who created our community that night!

It was a night of incredible collaboration, and people came up to me all night thanking us for providing this space. They truly felt a part of the community and connected to each other, and this is what Naropa strives for! I was very thankful for it. It’s nice to do what we were all made to do again. I love playing for a Naropa audience, and I felt that everyone was really tuned in to what I was singing.” –Jesse Childe, musician

While community is often something that arises organically, it needs a container. For more containers near you, a number of events are happening in and around Boulder this Fall.  Check them out.

Community Poetry Events Fall 2012

  • The “What Where Series” is a JKS reading series happening on various Tuesday nights throughout the semester. Please join us for the upcoming WHAT WHERE SERIES with Lidia Yuknavitch, Eric Baus, and Joanna Ruocco on Tuesday, October 23, at 7:30pm. The reading takes place at the Naropa Performing Arts Center at 2130 Arapahoe Ave, Boulder. Bombay Gin will have a table selling our issues. Come by!
  • Bouldering Poets is a monthly multi-media performance series featuring three performers.  Elyse Brownell, a Naropa MFA candidate, curates and hosts the event, and  poetry, prose, music, and visual arts are showcased. Each night closes with an open mic. The most recent Bouldering Poets was held at Shine Restaurant & Gathering Place on September 27, 2012, and featured: Diana McLean, Lindsay Miller, and music by Helicopterbearshark. The next event is at Johnny’s Cigar Bar in Boulder at 1801 13th Street, on October 25th at 7:30pm. The event features: Gia Opris (a Naropa alum, poet), Eugene Igma (video mash-ups) and Shane Dooley (music). Check out Bouldering Poets on Facebook.
  • The Laughing Goat’s Open Poetry Reading “So, You’re a Poet” is in its 25th year of continuous Monday readings at 8pm!
  • Innisfree’s Weekly Open Poetry Reading every Tuesday night at 7pm welcomes all. Participants share equal time slots. Prose, lyrics, and instruments are also welcome. It is a true celebration of expression.
  • Roger Wolsey runs an Open Mic at CU’s Wesley Chapel on the first Tuesday night of every month from 8-10pm. Expand!
  • Jesse Childe has a regular weekend show at Folsom Coffee and a show at Innisfree on January 10th.
  • Amanda Reavey continues to practice reiki for writers! Check her out.
  • Every Full Moon, there is a midnight reading in an alleyway… ask around to find out which one!
  • DigiZome is an online writing group formed from SWP 2012 that gets a new post every day!

Until next time, Namaste and keep expanding our community, rhizome, globotzchka, whatever you wanna call it!


June Lucarotti is a poet, children’s writer, and Bombay Gin editor who grew up in San Francisco and is a current MFA candidate in Writing and Poetics in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She received her B.A. in Social Welfare and minor in Creative Writing from UC Berkeley, working with June Jordan’s Poetry for the People and Glide. June infuses her writing with social justice, Buddhism, special education, Spanglish, and laughter.

First Gin Editor’s Blog of the Fall: Sally Jane Smith

The Bombay Gin editorial staff is pumped.  We’re currently buried by the most glorious mountain of all: piles of submissions for issue 39.1: The Contemplative as Transgressive.  Thanks to everyone who wrote and submitted work for consideration in this issue.  It’s an honor to be an editor of Bombay Gin, and a beautiful opportunity to swim in the avalanche of your words.

So, Gin lovers, in honor of this issue’s theme, I’d like to make my blog debut by sharing my conception of contemplative poetics.

Contemplative poetics is a classroom in the Lincoln building with meditation cushions.  Contemplative poetics is Reed Bye ringing a quiet golden bell.  Graduate school in socks. It is Dharma Art, which is, according to Naropa University founder Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “appreciating the nature of things as they are and expressing it without any struggle of thoughts or fears.” Or, according to Naropa professor and life poet Reed Bye, “what it is.”

Contemplative poetics is clearing the mind and standing in a circle to recite spontaneous poetry.  Abandoning the ego and giving up on designing a poem: simply giving voice to the poetics that arises.  Admitting that my thoughts are not gems to collect with nets and pens.

My writing process: never carry pens in pockets.  Meditate with open eyes every day.  Carry a backpack full of rocks and keep notebooks filled with fall leaves instead of paper.  Dip self in ink and then shower, and only record the ink that is left pooled around eyes.  Forget poetry when breathing, never look for words in the stream.  Be in the stream. Dream of the time before the vowel shift and practice saying those vowels. Read everyone else’s poems out loud.  Only then, write poems and edit them out loud in empty rooms.

icy juniper

tonic marginalia—

breathe between covers.

Thanks for reading.

And, finally, some New News:

In addition to working hard on our upcoming issue, our beloved editor-in-chief J’Lyn Chapman has taken us to an important milestone in archiving: every book review from past Gins is available now on the Naropa website:  Check out this incredible resource.

-Sally Jane

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First Micro-Review of the Season: Continuous Frieze Bordering Red

In our continuing attempt to bring you a glimpse of some of the great content that will appear in our next issue, I’m delighted to present our first micro-review of the Fall blogging season:  an excerpt from Ashely Waterford’s review of Michelle Naka Pierce’s latest work, Continuous Frieze Bordering Red.  You can catch Ashley’s review in its entirety in our upcoming issue.  Enjoy, dear reader, and stay tuned for other exciting content.


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Michelle Naka Pierce

Continuous Frieze Bordering Red

Fordham, 2012

Reviewed by Ashley Waterman

Continuous Frieze Bordering Red by Michelle Naka Pierce first catches the reader’s eye with its cover art. Mark Rothko’s Black on Maroon, 1959 sets the tone for the book, representing a feeling of dislocation between Naka Pierce, her surroundings, her heritage, and being “boxed in” by all of these factors. She also uses Rothko to demonstrate her experiences in a painterly way.  The form requires the text to be read line by line, across each page, creating a flow similar to painting a picture.

Naka Pierce’s knowledge of Rothko is evident from the start.  The phrase “frieze bordering” in the title comments on the framing of Rothko’s Seagram Murals. Naka Pierce says, “The frame turns and paint drips in multiple directions.  This is how one navigates new geographical locations.”  An image of people dripping through the London Tube in different directions adds a layer to her experience as “Other.”  It also describes how Rothko painted the Seagram mural. Naka Pierce’s metaphors (such as this one) describe both Rothko’s art and her sense of “[dis]location” providing a strong connection to the inspiration for this book.

As a tourist, Naka Pierce applies Rothko-esque analogies to her situation.  “…The wall of red, the lack of breathing room when you stand inside searching for exits, which are painted over [they do not open]” is a comparison Naka Pierce makes to the crowding and alienation felt when in a foreign country.

Despite the art references, one does not need to be familiar with Rothko to enjoy Continuous.  The reader is presented with the knowledge they need to read the text the way it was intended through the title as well as the synopsis.

Clearly influenced by art, the words and structure become paintings themselves.  Naka Pierce’s identity as an Asian American is embodied with the use of brackets throughout the text, creating its own [dis]location to the surrounding text.

Naka Pierce also comments on lack of hyphens: “Fucking hyphen. Can you translate authority?  You do not identify as combined words, lined grammar, division of recognized sloth.”  Naka Pierce chooses not to use hyphens to recognize that she has and embraces multiple identities.  She challenges the reader to classify her in one category.

If you are looking for a text that is an innovative project in collaboration with artwork, challenges the confines of the page, and questions identity, Continuous is the book for you.  With this work, Naka Pierce has created a text that borders the reader as much as Rothko borders a canvas.


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Laird Hunt Book Release at Innisfree October 5th

Please join Naropa alum Laird Hunt at Innisfree for the release of his newest work, Kind One.  Check out the particulars below.  See you there!

Kind One Release Event

Innisfree Poetry Bookstore and Cafe

1203 13th Street Suite A, Boulder, CO

Friday, October 5th, 7 p.m.

With special guest extraordinaire, Duncan Barlow, playing music.
Light refreshments.
Please come.