Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Book Fair and A Long Overdue Visit

Last week was the Buffalo Small Press Fair. If you saw the next day's Buffalo News you saw the article: Vendors at Fair Share Love of Books you know that it was quite a success. As I was quoted, it truly was an incredible event. The sheer volume of people was astounding and if you've never been inside the Karpeles Manuscript Library on Porter, you really should -its a gorgeous space.

The event itself was incredible and I had a great time talking to all the folks who came by to say hello. Even more exciting was the positive response to my new cards- which will soon be available at Rustbelt Books on Allen St! I'm busy making new ones since I nearly sold out last Saturday, I'll be sure to post as soon as they're on hand.

In the last week my father came up to visit me I showed him around town a little. We had lunch at Betty's and then to the Old Editions Book Shop on Huron. I had never been and we both had a really great time wandering around through the stacks. If you have not been you really truly must. I found a first edition of Memoirs by Pablo Neruda and have since been slowly making my way through it.

There were also a great deal of old movie posters and ads on hand that could easily be a treasure trove for anyone interested in appropriation. I saw several new prints/paints sitting in that box but I let them be for now. You can be sure I'll be back to visit very soon.

We also went by the Burchfield-Penney Art Center and finished with a beer at K Gallagher's on Allen Street. Getting my Dad to tell old stories is one of my favorite things. He's lived a hell of a life as far as I'm concerned and I love to get him going on about it. He doesn't like to get into it usually so its a process. And I write this knowing full well he's going to read this post!

The last 6 months or so have seen some serious losses in our family. I picked up a book the other day called All Over but the Shoutin'. Its an account of growing up poor in the south. The introduction got me thinking. He writes about his reasons for writing it, something he struggled with for a long time because it seemed vain. He changes his mind after meeting a woman who's son had been shot by a stray bullet when he was walking out the door to go to school. He had to interview her for an article he was writing and after the interview she thanked him. He asked why and her response was that people will remember if it's written down.

So one of my projects for 2009 will be to write it down. I already missed out on collecting a few voices that I want to remember and I'll be damned if I lose anymore.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Cats and New Cards...

MacKenzie enjoying the sun and open windows. While "mom" has been working her tail off. I spent some time doing some screen printing on fabric which will become new bags and pillows and I've also been making some new cards...

Hope to see everyone on Saturday!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Yellow Edenwald Field

At long last Yellow Edenwald Field (YEF) has launched a website/blog! Check it out here.

YEF is the brainchild of my dear friend Edric Mesmer. It is a biannual journal of works by poets and artists from or working in Buffalo, its border, and sibling cities—is the namesake of the Sally Hoskins Potenza’s painting which hangs in the Burchfield-Penney Art Gallery. It is published under the auspices of the Buffalo Ochre Papers.

The journal can be purchased at :
The Second Reader Bookshop, 1419 Hertel Avenue Buffalo, NY or at any YEF event.

Buffalo Small Press Book Fair :: March 21 12-6pm

It feels like ages since I've written in here. I've been busy laboring away for the upcoming Buffalo Small Press Book Fair this Saturday March 21. Images of what I've been preparing to come later tonight, when I find my patch cord...

The Fair is a regional one day event that brings booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) together in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and peddle their wares.

Doors open at 12:00pm-6:00pm and the event is FREE and open to the public. I'll be looking for you at the Karpeles Manuscript Museum, 453 Porter Ave, Buffalo NY.

See YOU there!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Paul R. Spiers: May 29, 1918 - March 4, 2009

This week brings goodbyes to yet another part of the family. My Step Grandfather Paul Spiers lost the fight to cancer yesterday morning. While we never became truly close, and I have no photos to remember his face by; he and my Grandmother always made my brother and I feel like a part of the family, not add-on's or plus-ones. I will always be grateful for that.

The funeral home posted a lovely obituary for him that I will repost here. May you rest in peace Grampa, we will all miss your kind smiles and laughter.

Passed away peacefully, on March 4th, 2009, age 90 at the Demay Living Center with his loving family at his side. Paul is survived by his wife of 62 years, Barbara Wood Spiers; children Susan (Thomas) Lennon of Macedon, Sally (John) Switzer of Ontario, Betsy (John) Portela of Brunswick, ME, and Ellen (Jim) Allen of Webster; grandchildren Chris, Matt (Tina) and Tim (Deb) Lennon, Doran (Tara) and Jason (Carrie) Nealon, Corey and Kate Golden, Tenley and Marshall Allen; step grandchildren Elizabeth and John K. Switzer, Matthew Allen and Melissa Allen Powell, Matt Portela; 11 great grandchildren; son-in-laws Perry Golden and Jon Jennerich. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Adelaide Shepard Spiers and his sister Esther Brown.

A graduate of Cornell University Class of 1941 and a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity. Paul joined the Army Air Corps, where First Lieutenant Spiers served as a B-17 pilot during World War II, assigned to the 384th Bomb Group. He flew 32 combat sorties in the European Theater of Operations. Paul retired in 1986 after having spent 21 years with Western New York Farm Credit Association. He was active in the United Third Methodist Church of Sodus, the Geriatrics Pilot Association, Rotary International (Paul Harris Fellow), Sodus Lodge #392 F&AM, and the Stamp Club of Sodus.

A Memorial Service for Paul will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, from the Sodus United Third Methodist Church. Military honors will be accorded following the service. There will be a reception immediately following for family and friends. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Paul’s memory should be directed to the United Third Methodist Church of Sodus, 56 West Main Street, Sodus, NY 14551. Arr: Norton Funeral Home.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

life is in the details..

...or life is what happens when you're busy making other plans... Something like that. I've been distracted. Busy dealing with the details, the stuff of being an adult, the minutia of day to day life.

I'm coming back though. I'll be selling at The Buffalo Small Press Book Fair on March 21. I've got all sorts of plans for new pieces. I'll post images (no really) as I set to work on them. For now, I want to share a well from which I still pull inspiration. It's from Dead Poets Society, a line from Robin Williams' character John Keating. It's in reference to poetry, but for me speaks to every creative field.

"We don't read and write poetry because it's cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman, "O me! O life!... of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless... of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?" Answer. That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse.

What will your verse be?"

And last a photo of something I etched. Its not a photo I took but one my dear friend JoAnn took of a vase she received as a gift via her sister Karen. She wrote a sweet entry about all the handmade things she got for christmas this year and mentioned my first and favorite vase I ever made. Here is the image she took: