Still image from WIGS
Writer/performer/director/artist/professor, Lindsay Beamish thinks about rooms a lot. Some of her earliest art projects show a fascination with women in abandoned rooms. Ms. Beamish likes to make jokes while alone in her bedroom, and she once locked herself in a motel room in the middle of nowhere Wyoming to write her Master’s thesis, which garnered her the Iron Horse Discovered Voices Award in 2011.
Beamish describes her current project, Wigs as being about “two captured preteen girls locked in a room.” Wigs is a two-woman theatrical piece written, directed and starring Lindsay Beamish and Amanda Vitiello, and is currently showing at the New York International Fringe Festival. The origins of Wigs began with Beamish and Vitiello, in an empty room. According to the Wigs Artist’s Note, with “the impetus of challenging ourselves to work in ways that we hadn’t before; ways that were uncomfortably outside of our typical modes of creating original theater.” Rehearsal for Wigs began with Beamish shouting commands at Vitiello who only brought with her to that initial rehearsal space, The Flo Rida featuring Sia song, “Wild Ones” which is prominently featured in the final piece.
“Through the pink ribbon, corporate America has embraced cause-related marketing — reframing shopping as a way to fight disease…In terms of visibility, the campaign has been a colossal success. What it is doing for women’s health may be harder to quantify. For one thing, the pink ribbon is unlicensed and unregulated. Which means not only that any company can use the symbol to sell its products, but that those companies don’t actually have to commit a dime to breast cancer research.”–Read Jennifer Lunden’s PSA to women everywhere HERE.
One of the first lessons I learned in my writing classes was that writing about writing is not engaging to anyone except the author. Yet, when you find a piece about writing that’s not vain, pompous, masturbatory, but actually meaningful, actually open and honest and important, it’s hard not to be impressed.
In Sarah Manguso’s extended essay, Ongoingness:The End of a Diary, the author writes a meditation on the diary she has kept for 25 years, all without including a single quote. The result is a stunning look back on the writings she kept for years, the notes she took furiously in an attempt to mark down her days, to keep them real in some place beside her mind.
Kati Heng: With a diary that’s almost 1,000,000 words long, you seem like the person to go to for diary-keeping advice! Can you give us any tips?
Sarah Manguso: If the goal is to write a lot, I’m the wrong person to ask—a million words in 25 years isn’t much. It’s about a hundred words a day.
KH: Your book is called Ongoingness: The End of a Diary. Why did you decide to call it “The End?” Continue reading
When I first heard about artist and filmmaker Miranda July‘s Somebody app (an extremely buggy version for the iPhone debuted last fall) I was pretty skeptical. I was like, ” Okay, Miranda July invented an app that makes strangers talk to each other? Whoop-de-do, it’s like poop-back-and-forth 2.0, how quirky.”
But, like, who am I kidding, I love quirky. And I kind of love talking to strangers.
So when Becca, a Miranda July superfan, texted a bunch of our friends last week and told us to download the new, actually functional version of Somebody, I was like, “oh, too bad they don’t have an Android version. None of those hipster apps have an Android version.” And when Becca posted on Facebook in real time about her first “terrifying and thrilling” experience using Somebody, in which a strange man appeared on her block and started yelling her name, I was like, “that sounds insane, but I really wish they had an Android version.” And then I checked, and they did have an Android version, and I installed it. (Don’t worry, it worked out okay for Becca! Download episode 23 of Becca’s podcast The Real Housewives of Bohemia to hear the full story of her encounter with Somebody.)
Finally, a Google Chrome app that “changes the word ‘man’ to something more appropriate”! And it’s called, you guessed it, Not All Men.
As you probably heard, since for some reason this news story turned everyone on social media into a total snark, Harper Lee will be publishing a second novel. Go Set a Watchman is a sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird, although Lee wrote Watchman first. And okay, okay, some of those posts were pretty funny, like this one that riffs on that Kanye-and-Paul-McCartney joke from a few weeks ago:
With the new year comes a new crop of totally amazing reads. Here are some I can’t wait to get my hands on:
1) Where the Words End and My Body Begins by Amber Dawn
(Arsenal Pulp Press)
Amber Dawn’s known for her award-winning memoir How Poetry Saved My Life and her novel Sub Rosa, which reads like a feminist pulp novel/fairytale about sex workers. Where the Words End and My Body Begins, Dawn’s first book of poems, pays homage to legendary and emerging queer poets including Gertrude Stein, Christina Rossetti, and Adrienne Rich with a series of poems written in the 15th-century Spanish glosa form.
2) Houses by Nikki Wallschlaeger
I love how Nikki Wallschlaeger’s poems travel from building to building, room to room, from the exterior to the interior, from the often female-embodied everyday to the vast and looming social world that surrounds us, filled with problems and possibilities: “I have children that need lunches in the morning so I love them best. I also love lipstick and Europe, and the things that dead men say.”
Wallschlaeger’s first full-length book Houses is coming this May. Until then read some of her knockout poems here and here and here.