Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coming soon from Eight-Stone Press!

Smile, Hon, You're in Baltimore! No. 14...

S.S. John W. Brown, one of America's last Liberty ships

Should you find yourself near Baltimore's Inner Harbor any time between now and July 31, take a moment to check out the S.S. John W. Brown, one of the country's last two Liberty ships.

Built in a similar fashion to modular homes (with different yards each cranking out a different portion of the ship, which were then all assembled prior to launch), these WWII-era cargo ships could be built with amazing speed; at one point, an average of three were launched every day. Indeed, American shipyards eventually spit them out faster than Hitler's wolf packs could sink them. (Yes, there was a time the United States was capable of such things.)

Of the more than 2,700 Liberty ships built, only two survive - the Baltimore-built John Brown, and the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien (in San Francisco). For more information on the Brown, and Liberty ships in general, visit

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Attn: Baltimore-area poets!

Alright, Baltimore poets - listen up, because Christophe Casamassima (Furniture Press Books) is about to throw down...

From: Christophe Casamassima, Furniture Press Books

To: The People of Baltimore

400 Events in 340 Cities Representing 70 Countries Make “100 Thousand Poets for Change” Truly Historic

Poets around the world are currently organizing and planning nearly 400 individual events to take place simultaneously on September 24, 2011, in a demonstration/celebration of poetry and the spoken word to promote environmental, social and political change.

In Baltimore City, I am organizing a massive recording session of area poets, writers and readers, and then creating a free online anthology to which anyone in the world can listen. The purpose is to support the notion that “The City that Reads” reflects the manifest interests and poetics of its citizenry, and that creative literacy can be sustained in Charm City.

From now until September 24, I’ll be reaching out to individuals to read their favorite poems in front of a microphone. It can be one poem or a series of poems. The object is to show the world that poetry is thriving in our fair city and that it’s not just practicing or well-known poets and writers who are engaged in the craft.

Immediately following September 24, all documentation on the weblog will be preserved by Stanford University in California, which has recognized 100 Thousand Poets for Change as an historical event, the largest poetry reading in history. They will archive the complete contents of the weblog,, as part of their digital archiving program LOCKSS.

So, want your 15 minutes of fame? Let’s meet! You can find my contact info below. Please write or call me to set up a time where we can meet. All you have to do is pick your favorite poems and tell us a little about yourself.

Thank you,

Christophe Casamassima

(410) 718-6574

Earlier this year, Christophe did me the honor of recording some of my own work; listen here, if you're so inclined.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Bed Zeppelin

In order to provide greater "lift," the Nazis filled their sex dolls with hydrogen - and the results proved disastrous...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

O'Brien's AT SWIM-TWO-BIRDS bound for screen

Irish actor Brendan Gleeson has secured funding for a screen adaptation of Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds, according to the BBC. Novelist Graham Greene hailed O'Brien's (right) fantastical 1939 novel upon its publication, noting it provided "the kind of [comical] glee one experiences when people smash china on the stage." And Dylan Thomas called At Swim-Two-Birds "just the book to give your sister if she's a loud, dirty, boozy girl." (What further recommendation could one need?) Indeed, bringing At Swim-Two-Birds to the screen is a ballsy move, much in the vein of adapting such "un-filmable" books as William S. Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1991) and Laurence Sterne's The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (2005).

It's own reward...

[PEARL STREET. Baltimore, MD. Photo by WPT.]

Monday, July 11, 2011

KNOCKEMSTIFF author Donald Ray Pollock

Donald Ray Pollock's first book, Knockemstiff, a collection of interconnected short stories centering on a diminutive Ohio town of the same name, reads like Sherwood Anderson hopped up on pork rinds and methamphetamine. Indeed, Pollock's penchant for shining his tight, economical prose into the darker corners of the American hinterland serves as a suitable literary complement to, say, the music of James McMurtry.

Here, New York Times writer Charles McGrath highlights the author on the eve of publication of Pollock's second book, The Devil All the Time...