Both of our bellies full of watermelon, I sat down with Michael Harren to talk about The Animal Book, the book that archives The Animal Show, which in turn archives Michael’s multimedia artistic stylings, animal activism, and the culmination of the two: his vibrant, evoking artivism. I was eager to hear about the melding of such diverse methods, but also what lies behind them—the man, the emotion, the existential uncertainty. Michael shared his grief and joys with me in a humorous, self-effacing way.Read More
Twenty years ago this month, I published my first book, like an angel dead in your arms. It was a flawed collection. And really, what else could it be? I wrote much of it while I was still in high school. The book’s imperfection and immaturity are why I distanced myself from it over the years. But a few years back, when I realized the twentieth anniversary was coming up, I challenged myself to reconsider it. When I re-read it, I found, certain shortcomings aside, it was a pretty solid piece of work with strong conceptual underpinnings. I managed to pull together a pile of words that simultaneously shared my experiences as a young gay person rejected by his family and the ensuing struggles with identity, self-worth, romance, and religion, and combined it all with a poetic sense of imagination.Read More
I reached out to the artists and poets I’ve published to see how everybody is doing during the pandemic. Some of us are creating, some of us are crying, and some of us (most of us?) are somewhere in between, depending on the day. The state of the world is a lot to process. But we are here. We are well. We are wearing masks. We are hunkering down and taking the situation seriously. I thought it would be fun to share photos of us all masked-up, socially distanced, and going about our days. Here we are, the masked artists & poets of bd-studios.comRead More
Rodger Kingston and his wife Carolyn are sheltering in place. “We’re doing well here,” he told me. “We’ve got systems arranged for such things as grocery shopping, going to the pharmacy, post office, bank, etc.” The Kingstons, both in their late 70s, take social distancing very seriously whether running errands or taking walks around their neighborhood in Belmont, Massachusetts. “We feel as if we had targets on our backs and are being very careful,” he said.
Rodger has been a photographer for over four decades. Throughout those years, he’s worked on numerous documentary projects. Given the nature of the coronavirus pandemic—and his need to be extremely vigilant due to his age and health status—he is not able to document what’s happening on the front lines of this war the way he once might have. But those now-systematic errand runs and socially-distanced neighborhood walks allow him to focus his lens in a more personal way.
“In many ways this is a strange project,” he says, “What there is for me to document is the quiet, almost silent restructuring of our world.”Read More
When I messaged fellow poet Dudgrick Bevins the other day, I told him I’ve been finding it difficult to move forward creatively during the coronavirus pandemic. I’ve been at home in lockdown mode for over a month and can count on one hand the number of times I’ve gone outside. You’d think that means I’m holed up, head down, writing poetry, and doing all the creative things I usually do. I’ve been doing a bit of that, yes. But, mostly, I’ve been at a standstill.Read More