Calls, News, & Reviews

Rebecca Brown offers free lectures through Photo Center Northwest

The inimitable Ms. Brown writes:

Howdy all – I am looking forward to talking with the wonderful Michelle Marsh Dunn at the Photo Center Northwest in the next few months in a series of public conversations about photography, images, words, art, et al. They are free and open to all – please come and participate!

Photo Center Northwest on 12th Ave in Seattle across from Seattle U Campus.

The Conversations open dialogues on subjects of interest; these are not formal presentations but group explorations. Please join us with questions, thoughts, and ideas to share.

All sessions are FREE. First on next Thursday, Jan 28, 6:30. Complete schedule below. Be there!

Picturing / Words          Tuesday January 28, 6:30pm

Appearance / Belief       Tuesday February 25, 6:30pm

Everyday / Art                Tuesday March 25, 6:30pm

Looking / Seeing            Tuesday April 22, 6:30pm

X-tra Credit: Soapbox and Such

Dylan’s Guitar

www.rirocks.netWhat would it be worth to you, the guitar played at what is widely considered to be the most written-about performance in the history of rock ‘n roll?

Bob Dylan’s set at The 1965 Newport Folk Festival was when and where The Artist Formerly Known as Bobby Zimmerman publicly plugged in. And on December 6th, 2013, a buyer identified only as “a private individual” (my money’s on Paul Allen) bought that sunburst-finish electric; $965,000 at Christie’s Auction House in New York City. (I’m writing about it now b/c I only just read about it. Doi.)

Christie’s expected the guitar, sold with its original black leather strap and hard-shell case, to go for a mere $300,000 to $500,000.

Previously, Eric Clapton’s Fender held the record for a guitar sold at auction. Nicknamed “Blackie,” Clapton’s sold for $959,500 in 2004.

Dylan’s Fender was in the possession of a New Jersey family for nearly 50 years. Apparently, Mary Jane left it on the private plane that shuttled Dylan around with the likes of Peter, Paul & Mary. You know, The Beautiful People. The pilot’s daughter said her father contacted Dylan’s management, but nobody got back to him … “Hello? Mary Jane?”

Whatever Dylan might have been on at Newport, his blistering set there sent into seismic his shift away from acoustic and toward amplified rock. The crowd mutinied.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Dylan said at the time, “but they certainly booed.”

I’m not seein’ a plug, City Boy.

According to myth, Pete Seeger was so furious that he tried a) to end Dylan’s performance—dude, it was only three songs—or b) threatened to cut the cable with an ax. Years later, Seeger said he had nothing against Dylan going electric — he was upset over the distortion-filled sound system.

For the kiddies: the reaction at Newport was analogous to Stephen Colbert’s moment of legend at the 2006 Foreign Correspondence’s Dinner. The performance wasn’t understood by the audience, but the long-term effect catapulted the performer beyond fame and into lore. And now, the conduit of all that music history can be yours for only a million bucks—while supplies last.

Calls, News, & Reviews The Glam

Elizabeth Austen will be Washington State’s next Poet Laureate.


Let's hear it for Elizabeth!
Let’s hear it for Elizabeth!

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Alle’s Big Mystery Pick for Hugo House’s Winter Classes: “Being Funny” with Michael Shilling.

Michael Shilling is an excellent teacher. He is committed, he is organized. He offers lots of engaging homework that if you don’t do, oh well. He just wants you to keep coming to class.

Shilling: Funny Guy

After taking his Screenwriting 101, here are my thoughts about his teaching:

  1. Michael has great taste in material; in this case, movies—except for Hot Tub Time Machine.
  2. Michael responds to feedback from his students. He did not make us watch Hot Tub Time Machine.
  3. Michael is outstanding at maintaining classroom balance. He is the best teacher I have ever had curbing the—how to say?—overenthusiastic participants such as (a-hem) while drawing out the more hesitant.
  4. Michael is funny. Funny funny funny. If anyone can teach you how to be funny, Michael can.

I am not laughing that, at this point in my life, I do not have the headspace for a multi-week class. I hope Hugo House will soon offer Michael teaching Writing Funny Screenplays.

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Alle’s Poetry Picks for Winter Classes at Richard Hugo House

call the poetI know nothing about poetry, so don’t ask me. Since you didn’t ask …

Ed Skoog is offering Intro to Poetry Writing. With poetically-appropriate complexity, his class description states, “Previous experience with poetry isn’t required, although all levels are welcome.”

Ooooooooo. I met with Ed (for a fiction piece) during his term as Hugo House Writer in Residence. Of the numerous gems he dropped my way, he said, “Fiction happens in the paragraph.” He encouraged me to reconsider how I approach line breaks. And he was right—my graphs began to happen. I bet he could happen-up your poetry.

Snow Falling on David Guterson is teaching something whose description has something to do with poetry. Poets out there, a little help?

  • Fiction picks here. Non-fiction here.
  • Check back tomorrow for the announcement of The Final Pick: The Mystery Category. And …
  • a poetry-oriented prize-ish thingy involving money. Gobs and gobs of it. A hint.