Category Archives: 2016

WANNBERG BOOK LAUNCH

FEB. 18th @ 8 pm
BEYOND BAROQUE (681 VENICE BLVD)

M. C. RD ARMSTRONG
PUBLICATION SOIREE FOR

SCOTT WANNBERG – THE LUMMOX YEARS 
1996 – 2006

wannbergflyer

180 PAGES OF SCOTT IN JAW-DROPPING 4D MADNESS

See Scott battling Godzilla…
raw poetry brilliance versus raw monstrous insanity!

See Scott soothing the savage beast in all comers!
JOIN US FOR A ONCE IN A LIFETIME CELEBRATION OF THE ULTIMATE YES MAN!!! 

WARNING: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!!!

                                                          Flyer execution: Chris Yeseta                                                              Flyer Concept: Raindog

 

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Scott Wannberg – The Lummox Years 1996 to 2006

A poem from the book as read by its author, Hank Beukema.

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Scott Wannberg was born in Santa Monica in February of 1953. A big man with an even bigger presence, he attended Venice High School and then went on to receive his master’s degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University. He was a poet’s poet and a human’s human who spent his life working as a sales clerk and book buyer for independent bookstores, most notably Dutton’s Books in Brentwood, where he held court and worked the stacks for almost 25 years. His book  Nomads of Oblivion (Lummox Press) made the Los Angeles Times‘ bestseller list in 2000, and in the late 90s,  Los Angeles Magazine named him one of the “Top 100 Coolest People” in L.A. In 2008, he relocated to Florence, Oregon, where he died too soon at the age of 58 in August of 2011.

Special thanks to S.A. Griffin for Scott’s bio (above) and other permissions and info.

This book concern’s itself with Scott’s involvement with an obscure outpost located in the far reaches of his sphere of influence…namely the Lummox Press. It chronicles Scott’s involvement with all things Lummox: the Lummox Journal, including his interview; the two Little Red Books of his poetry (Equal Opportunity Sledgehammer and Nomads of Oblivion), and his contributions to Eyes Like Mingus (Little Red Book #9), Last Call (Anthology of poets influenced by Bukowski), and The Colorado River Song sequence (about Scott’s mother’s passing). Scott was named “Lummox of the Year” in 1999 and a drawing was commissioned to artist and long-time Lummox friend Michael Paul. This same drawing appears on the cover of the book.  He was actively a part of Lummox for 10 years. Also included are remembrances by several of his friends…Doug Knott, Lynn Bronstein, Steve Goldman, Dona Mary Dirlam, Hank Beukema and Victor Infante. 

Scott was the kind of guy who made a good impression on those receptive to that sort of thing. He delighted in playing with language, linking metaphors together that quite often seemed unlikely and impossible but, in the end, worked out as if by magic!  For a sampling of Scott’s work, go here. Or listen to Scott read a poem here.

For info on the book launch in Feb. 2017 go here.
To see other Scott related Merchandise, go here.

WORDS OF PRAISE

Scott was someone I saw every weekend during my childhood when Dad would take me to look at books there [Dutton’s Books]. Upon getting older and realizing I was “different” I found  solace in Scott’s company, as I had learned to communicate better with people by the time I was that age. One day in particular during my high school years I remember talking to Scott about Mystery Science Theater and a strange dream involving “Sesame Street”s Bert and Ernie in a noir film on Turner Classic Movies. He combined these ideas (and then some) into a spontaneously written poem and I still have it in my room at my dad’s house.

Spencer Lane Griffin

We talk the old stuff: SA’s mac & cheese/ Dutton’s deceased bookstore, the endless forever Carma Bums,/ How Dustin Hoffman leaped up when he heard/ Scott was waiting for him with books! “What? Scott’s waiting for me?”/ Yes, Dustin jumped for Scott – and Mr. Dylan, Jackson Browne/ And all those movie people with the flagship names/ Always sought out Scott/ Because he was already an angel,/ and lifted them up/ despite their weight of fame/…

An excerpt from Doug Knott’s poem, Scott Wannberg in Florence, Oregon, July, 2010

Bill Craychee (reader) review:

I just finished reading your book about Scott Wannberg. I was around and not writing poetry during the years 96-06. Now I wish I was. Made me feel more a part of the poetry/art community I’m looking at through the corner of my eye… The book did a good job of introducing one to SW, making one curious enough to read some more, after a rest, of course, because SW was so relentless. “White noise Wannberg”. Nice book RD. Wonderful gift for a friend. Inspired me. Got me all fired up to be a poet.

wannberg“I wanted to publish this collection of Scott’s work to bring it to a wider audience and be entered into the American canon of literature. Though his work was peppered with metaphor, the message always comes through. Whether he’s talking about a little girl raped and murdered in a casino bathroom, or a young man bludgeoned to death in Wyoming because he was gay, or the power of Ella Fitzgerald’s voice, his words were true and free from moralizing. I think this was the real power of his work. I hope that the reader enjoys this cross-section of Scott’s work as it appeared in my old Lummox Journal (not to be confused with the Lummox Poetry Anthology that I have been publishing annually since 2012). I wish he were alive today if for no other reason than to hear him read some of my favorite poems. I hope you will agree with me after you have read this book, that he was one helluva writer! Scott was special. I can’t emphasize that enough. He was magic.”

Excerpt from the Introduction to the book by Raindog.

Scott Wannberg – The Lummox Years 1996 – 2006
ISBN 9781929878543
180 pgs. $20 USA only (includes shipping)
Edited by RD Armstrong

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Inquiries can be addressed to RD Armstrong.

 

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COMMENTS

COMPLEMENTING COFFEE TABLES & ADDING TO CONVERSATIONS 
GLOBALLY SINCE 2012

COMMENTS:

I like the democratic approach to the appreciation of poetry that I get from Lummox. The last issue discussed the MFA culture and (as I remember) the Boston group which was consciously outside of that. This issue has the explicit motto “Game not Fame.” It is a celebration of thousands of poetry voices rather than a measurement of position on some kind of poetry pyramid. That celebration is what I want to experience.

Frank Kearns

I have long admired your dedication to the small press venue and the voice it gives to the poets in the shadows, alleyways and hot LZ’s of life. 

George Q. Johnson Jr.

Readers respond to poems that resonate not only with the wide continuum of human experience but also to the particulars of their own.

Amelia Raymond

Kudos to you for an excellent job done all round. You should be well and justly proud. #5 is an impressive work, especially its visual presentation. You are to be commended for your continuing work in making the contests and the anthologies happen. You are trying to keep art alive and bring it into people’s lives. Keep fighting the good fight.”

Richard Vidan

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L6 Readings

Lummox & Lummox 6 Readings 2017 – 2018

 

Out of State Readings are marked in red

Should you find yourself out and about looking for something to do, check the list below and see if one of these locations is near you. If so, avail yourself to some of the area’s best poets. Copies of Lummox 6 will be on sale at all events!

More readings to follow…

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RD makes his pitch; “Please buy this book!”

L  6 designates Lummox Poetry Anthology #6 readings

Oct. 28 – VENICE L 6 – 4pm

Beyond Baroque (681 Venice Blvd. Venice, CA)

Readers:
Lynne Bronstein, Calokie, Don Campbell, Micah Card, Mitch Cohen, Sharyl Collin, Bill Craychee, Mark Evans, Gil Hagen-Hill, Bill Gainer, William Scott Galasso, Marie Lecrivain, Mike Meloan, Linda Neal, Lorine Parks, Kevin Ridgeway, Linda Singer, Paul Suntup, Maja Trochimczyk, Vachine & Raindog, your host…

Nov. 6 – REDONDO BEACH L 6 – 6pm

Redondo Beach Public Library, main branch (303 N. Pacific Coast Highway, RB 90277) 2nd Floor

Readers: Linda Singer, Linda Reardon Neal, Gil Hagen Hill, Elaine Mintzer, Kit Courter and RD Armstrong (host)

 

 

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Viento y Agua Reading 2016

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Kevin Ridgeway and Linda Singer reading.

 

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Some of the Canadian poets from 2016 (J. Deahl holding L5 on the right).

Some of the readers at the 2017 Beyond Baroque reading (below).

 

GO TO L 6 ORDERING PAGE

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To Be With A Woman

ToBeWithCover.inddI generally do not believe that books, especially poetry books, require an introduction. I make an exception here because there is a genuine break between the poetry I wrote from 1964 until 2007 and the poetry contained in this volume.

My wife, Gilda Mekler, died on February 7, 2007. Four months later (on June 5th of that year) I wrote the firs poem collected here. When Gilda died very shortly after her fifty-third birthday, I thought I would also die. Readers will note that this feeling informs several of the poems that follow. A few months later, my grief entered its second phase. When it appeared that I was not going to die, I passionately wanted to die, I longed for my days of sorrow to end. Eventually, this led to a third and quite shocking phase of what might be called the death experience: the realization that I had, in fact, died with Gilda on February 7th. Our lives ended together.

The Creator, however, had other plans for me, and the James Deahl who has written poetry and prose since that date, is a very different writer from the James Deahl who had written and published poetry for over four decades. I retain all the memories of that other poet, and I live in his body. And like him, I also labour in God’s vineyard, as Czesław Miłosz put it so well. Using the same name, I continue the work our Creator set out for us when that other writer was born following the close of World War II.

But I truly have been born anew. So this collection opens with twenty-three poems written between June 5 and November 14, 2007. These were published as a limited edition chapbook
by my friend and fellow poet, Allan Briesmaster, through his Aeolus House in 2008. This chapbook was my first writing since my death and rebirth.

The present volume closes with a handful of love poems written during the latter half of 2010 to an outstanding novelist and poet, Norma West Linder, who has, perhaps rashly, consented to join her life to mine. Between the Gilda poems of 2007 and the Norma poems of late 2010 lie several meditations on mortality. During this four-year period, a number of my friends died. This had, of course, been happening for quite some time, but their deaths had not been at the front of my mind. Many of these friends were younger than I was. After my wife died, I became keenly interested in the connection between love and death. And I questioned the passionate relationship between human joy and agony on the one hand and, on the other hand, Divine love.

I also took a deeper look at the theology of the Christian faith and the teachings of the Torah. I believe this activity is common, if not universal, among people who have already died once and know they will die again. Confronting death tends to clear the mind of all trivial concerns. Throughout this process, the writings of Father Thomas Merton were, and continue to be, my constant guide and companion. As this good priest has written, we should seek solace in God’s love.

No one knows my failings better than I do. I don’t propose to rehearse them here. Yet despite being a sinful and undeserving man, somehow — and I’m not sure how — I continue to live and enjoy all the beauty of this physical realm. I write, edit, translate, and do the work set out before me. I continue to love my three daughters and my granddaughter, and I love and honour my Norma and strive to be the man she deserves. All these and more are unexpected, and unearned, gifts. Clearly the bounty of our Creator’s grace and compassion passes all understanding.

From the Introduction by James Deahl, Sarnia, Ont. Canada, 2016

READ SAMPLES OF TO BE WITH A WOMAN HERE.

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152 pages
ISBN 978-1929878642

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Lummox 5

Lummox5CoverLummox 5 Poetry Anthology 2016

Available for purchase.
Theme: ISMS
Price: $20 + Shipping USA
ORDER YOUR COPY NOW!

Cover by Claudio Parentela

CONGRATULATIONS TO DOUG KNOTT – winner of the 2016 Lummox Poetry Prize
And to Georgia Santa-Maria – First Runner up
and Jane Lipman – Second Runner up!

LUMMOX 5 Reading Schedule

In this issue. . .

Mike Adams, Jeff Alfier, Tobi Alfier, Sudeep ahikari, Ed Ahern, George Anderson, RD Armstrong, Christopher Barnes, Belinda Berry, Chris Bodor, Debbi Brody, Lynne Bronstein, Nadya Brown, Ronnie Browne, Christopher Buckley, Wayne Burke, Helmut Calabrese, Calokie, Don Kingfisher Campbell, Pris Campbell, R. S. Carlson, Alan Catlin, Grace Cavalieri, Neeli Cherkovski, Patricia Cherin, Jackie Chou, W. M. Clevenger, Ed Colleti, Sharyl Collin, Bill Craychee, Steve Dalachinsky, Cassandra Dallett, Sarah Daugherty, James Deahl, James Decay, Diane Dehler, Matt Dennison, Jen Dunford, Christian Elder, Gail Eisen, Michael Estabrook, Mark Evans, Hazem Fahmy, Alexis Rhone Fancher, Brian Fanelli, Josepf Farley, J. A. Farnia, Kate M.Flaherty, Mike Faran, Robert Foss, Dan Flore III, Alex Frankel, Jerry Garcia, J.W. Gardner, Jack Gebhardt, Loraine Gow, John Grey, Kenneth Gurney, Ryan Guth, Vijail Hamilton, David M. Harris, Clarinda Harriss, George Held, Lenore Hildebrandt, Debbie Okun Hill, G. Hagen Hill, Eryn Hiscock, Lawrence Hopperton, Susan Ioannou, Gary Jacobelly, Ed Jamieson, Jr., George Johnson, Jr., Ted Kane, Frank Kearns, Lalo Kikiriki, Diane Klammer, Doug Knott, Laurie Kolp, Ron Koertge, Donna Langevin, Kyle Laws, John B. Lee, Norma West Linder, Jane Lipman, Ellaraine Lockie, Alexander Long, Ron Lucas, Glenna Luschei, Sharon Mahany, John Macker, Ed Marcowski, Ellyn Maybe, Mary McGinnis, Michael D. Meloan, Basia Miller, Joseph Milosch, Richard Modiano, Tony Moffeit, Kyle Moreno, Deborah Morrison, Linda Neal, Robbi Nester, Ben Newell, normal, Norman J. Olson, Amanda Ortiz, Scott Thomas Outlar, Claudio Parentels, Lorine Parks, Tim Peeler, Richard King Perkins II, Dustin Pickering, Charles Plymell, Kennon B. Raines, Kevin Ridgeway, Denis Robillard, Judith Robinson, David Roskos, F. Albert Salinas, Georgia Santa-Maria, Eric Paul Shaffer, Nancy Shiffrin, Linda Singer, Jerry Smaldone, Graham Smith, Jared Smith, Rick Smith, Clifton Snider, Ken Stange, Winnie Lee Star, SB Stokes, Kevin and Patti Sullivan, John Sweet, Lynn Tait, Kelly Talbot, H. L. Thomas, Tim Tipton, Cynthia Toronto, Anna Totta, John Townsend, Grace Vermeer, Richard Vidan, Scott Wannberg, Eternity Wauls, Charles Webb, Scott Wozniak, Mark Wyatt, Chris Yeseta, Carrie Zhang, Kelsey Bryan-Zwick.

PLUS

INTERVIEWS with John Sweet (George Anderson) and Ryan Guth (Dustin Pickering); ESSAYS by RD Armstrong; Christopher Buckley; James Deahl; Alex Frankel; Bear Jack Gebhardt; Richard Norman J. Olsen; Lorine Parks and Charles Plymell.

REVIEWS of Body and Soul by Ryan Guth (Dustin Pickering) and The Laundress of Time by Donna Langevin (Katherine Flaherty).

COMMENTS

 

View a sampling of this issue by going here.

256 pages; 8 X 10 inch format
ISBN 978-1-929878-65-9
$25 Retail; Soft back

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Tracking the Rabbit

rabbitsThomas K. Armstrong, my father, died in early January 2015, in his sleep of a heart attack. He had suffered, over the past six years, from Vascular Dementia (the lesser-known half of senility, Alzheimer’s being the more widely known form). A month before, in Dec. of 2014, I had been to see him. This chapbook contains poems and blogs about that visit and his subsequent death.

People deal with the death of a parent in many ways: denial, anger, guilt, bargaining, transference…it goes on and on. Grief has no timetable either so it may take years for that loss to resolve itself (or it may never happen). In my case, I turned to a projection of my dad as a black rabbit. Some might call this transference or an animal fetish; I dunno.

I had a dream after his death and in the dream…”Suddenly, something was thrust into my arms: a medium sized furry thing as black as this night, unidentifiable except for its two white, buck teeth. Then I knew it was a black rabbit. I could feel its heart racing in fear (but also alive!) and pulled it closer. But just as suddenly as it had appeared it now leaped out of my arms and bolted into the dark! I was devastated, thinking that it had been a gift from my father, that I had not understood what it was until it was too late and now it was gone for good (like the old man)…but then, out of the darkness, the rabbit came bounding and leapt into my arms again!

I awoke from this dream wondering what in the world did this mean? I knew enough about Native-American lore to realize that the black rabbit was my father’s spirit animal and that it would guide him through the death process; and this little black bunny would serve as a talisman for me, as well…” (from the Introduction to the chapbook).

RD Armstrong uses the power of poetry for his elegiac mythology of grief. Everyone who has ever been on earth has died, and we never get used to this. Poets especially have to  speak/define/make sense of it. Armstrong’s natural strength as a writer uses an archetypal Rabbit as the central focus. This metaphor extends the glandular process of a body lost and born again. Armstrong commands the structure of prose narrative—as well as the economy of the poem— to memorialize his love for his father. In doing this, he brings everything to life again.

— Grace Cavalieri, “The Poet and the Poem from the Library of Congress”

A black rabbit jumps into a bereaved dreamer’s arms, bounds out, comes back, leaves. RD Armstrong tracks it through dream, poem, memoir, waking life, waking dream, blues, and rain. This mixed genre   tale of the poet’s loss of his real father and dreamed-of father, and coming to terms with it, is a stunner–– image-rich, narratively and descriptively tight and moving, emotionally powerful. The images and emotional honesty make the reader feel all the transformations of the dad and to the son in his journey of awakening.

— Jane Lipman, author of On the Back Porch of the Moon, winner of the 2013 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award for Poetry Book and a NM Press Women’s Award

You can read selections from this book, here.

ISBN 9781929878789
40 pages; $12

If you’d like to buy a copy of this chapbook via check, you can send your payment, made out to Lummox Productions, in the amount of $15 (USA) or if you are outside the USA (WORLD orders), make your check out to Lummox Productions in the amount of $25 and mail your check to PO Box 5301 San Pedro, CA 90733.

If you’d like to pay with a credit/debit card, you can use either the USA or WORLD buttons below to make your payment via Pay Pal (all shipping is included in the prices). For USA orders, the price will be $15; for WORLD orders, the price will be $25.

Please allow 4 – 6 weeks to receive your order.

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Knitting the Warhol Bridge

WarholBridgeCover.inddThe poems in Ann Curran’s Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge flash with a quiet brilliance. An adroit wordsmith, Curran turns clever on its head; her poems can become deadly at the least provocation, not to mention funny, dark, illuminating, and often, heartbreakingly sad. Her poems celebrate life in all its sullied glory. No subject escapes her critical gaze:

weddings, sports stadiums, parolees sharing a moment, adoption, racism, war, rumors, love, death. Even the penis is fair game for her wit. These poems sparkle with specifics; they dig deep, nudge the reader toward tolerance. “The New Pastor” “urges the faithful/ to open their hearts to different people: the food co-op kid with rings in his nose,/ lips and eyebrows, the Latino next door,/ college students with raucous beer parties,/ even the half-black U.S. president./ Put down the iPod, the Wi-Fi-fed notebook. / See the live people. …Deal with the real.” This timely, remarkable collection deals with the real in a profound and brand new way. It is a considerable achievement and a terrific read.

Alexis Rhone Fancher, poetry editor of Cultural Weekly, is author of State of Grace: The Joshua Elegies, and How I Lost My Virginity to Michael Cohen and other Heart Stab Poems

A poet’s muse can take many forms. Ann Curran finds inspiration in the personal stories and incidents of daily life. A journalism background informs her craft, but her stories would be hard to tell in a newspaper. It is her poetry that offers her the way to make sense of her world and ours. A native Pittsburgher, she finds much material locally, but, whatever the locale, her poetry is infused with humanity, wisdom, wit and grace.

Reg Henry is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

See a sample version of this book, here.

SUMMARY

In Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge, poet Ann Curran takes you into Downtown Pittsburgh, looks at life—raging, whimpering, chuckling— at the bus stop, at the PNC/Y, along the three rivers where local knitters and crocheters decorated the bridge that commemorates Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol. That bridge leads to the North Side of town where the nation’s largest museum dedicated to a single artist attracts international visitors to ooh and aah, tap and punch at a roomful of inflated silver balloons and see shows that depict the brutal end of a routine southern picnic in the olden days —families, children to ancient grandmas, gather to watch a black man lynched. She’ll take you up the incline to Mount Washington, where her Irish immigrant grandparents landed in what they thought was luxury, where she’s lived for a couple of decades, blocks away from “the best urban view in the world.” Five minutes from Downtown, you’ll find deer and turkeys meandering through her yard. She’ll recall the G-20 visit to town, the steps to becoming a white racist or not. Music and religion seep into how she’s come to love her hometown and all the children and grandchildren of immigrants who, like her, still wave their other flag—in voice, in music, in food, in their very souls. You don’t have to be from Pittsburgh to enjoy the sounds and insights of this book. You just have to belong to the human race, diverse as the knitwork that dressed the Andy Warhol Bridge for a brief month one summer.

BIO

Ann Curran, president and CEO of Curran Ink, is author of Placement Test (Editor’s Choice, Main Street Rag) and Me First (Lummox Press). She has worked as a backroom bakery slave washing dirty pans and snitching icing, and as a conscientious journalist at the Pittsburgh Catholic and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. A film reviewer of the love-to-hate school, she reported on new films and Pittsburgh Public Theater plays for the Market Square tabloid and covered the International Poetry Forum for the Pittsburgh Press, providing advance features and reviews of performances. She wrote features for half a dozen Pittsburgh Magazine editors. She also taught English at Duquesne University, her alma, as a graduate assistant, which placed her well below an adjunct professor. She learned grammar teaching remedial English at the Community College of Allegheny County, where she found her favorite, obscene example of passive voice written on a wall on her way to class to teach that chicken way of talking. For a couple of decades, she edited the prize-winning quarterly Carnegie Mellon Magazine at Carnegie Mellon University, while her boss, Don Hale, argued with assorted presidents about why they should not fire her. Otherwise, she plays tennis in four seasons, Shanghai Rum and 500 with cocoa bean fanatics, works out at the Y, does the laundry, sort of cooks, cleans the toilets and performs other poetic chores. Some how she managed to marry a kind, loving man—Ed Wintermantel. They raised the most thoughtful, sweetest daughter imaginable—Cristin Francis Curran Wintermantel. Ann sings at St. Mary of the Mount Church when the choir is in active voice and serves on the Parish Pastoral Council.

See a sample of Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge here.

ORDERING A COPY OF THIS BOOK:
To order a copy of Knitting the Andy Warhol Bridge by check if you are in the USA please address your check to Lummox Productions in the amount of $18 and send to Lummox Press c/o PO Box 5301, San Pedro, CA 90733

To order a copy from outside of the USA (World), address your check to Lummox Press in the amount of $35 and send to the address above.

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