Harold Abramowitz & Andrea Quaid

A Primer

Sumarr Reading Series & ENTER>text: A conversation

ENTER>text at Human Resources
ENTER>text at Human Resources

Diana Arterian: Maybe we should begin with why we started our respective reading series. Sumarr's humble beginnings are actually due to one of the cardinal sins: envy. You remember watching all the graduating students of CalArts' MFA program reading from their manuscripts to all of us during our first year.

Mindmade Books

Mindmade Books
Mindmade Books

Founded in 1997, Mindmade Books (formerly Seeing Eye Books) is a small press publishing chapbooks of modern and contemporary poetry. Among the more than sixty titles that have appeared to date are works by internationally renowned poets, several “first collections,” and occasional reprints of little-known or long-out-of-print texts. 

A word about holes

PALABRA, Image and Design by Randy Nakamura
PALABRA, Image and Design by Randy Nakamura

Language is a tricky business.  A lot of people can’t speak it. - Wilma Ponce

It was timed seven years ago and there was made to exist somewhere on white space a WordHole that got smaller&larger depending on the weather, but it didn’t fully close. Located near to the revolved Universe of Putative Dissimilarity but not overly close, it eschewed xas the normative case and instead offered w, e and pas a locus for the business of its business – UPPER CASE palabra. 

RighteousPeople with “things on their mind” and animals in their souls reached out, took the opportunity to throw words — big and small, common and esoteric — into it.

'Séance', 'n/Oulipo', 'Impunities', 'Feminaissance', & 'Untitled'

Vincent Dachy & Julie Patton at Untitled
Vincent Dachy & Julie Patton at Untitled

In the early 2000s there were already many innovative writers, writing programs and bookstores in LA. However, the main performance venue for experimental writers, Beyond Baroque, lay on the west side of town, once the artistic center of bohemian LA, but now so wildly expensive no young or fringe writers could possibly live there. These now lived on the east side, where readings were held on an ad hoc basis in nightclubs, bookstores and galleries. We decided to intervene in this state of affairs by creating an annual conference for experimental writing at REDCAT, CalArts downtown arts space. Supported by the CalArts MFA in Writing and a generous grant from The Annenberg Foundation, between 2004 and 2010 we hosted 5 conferences in LA and 1 in NY, composed of daytime panels, evening readings, and workshops. In total, over 100 writers participated from the US, Canada, Mexico, the UK and France, helping to coalesce the nascent LA community. Three of the conferences yielded anthologies, Séance (Make Now Press), The Noulipean Analects (Les Figues Press), and Feminaissance (Les Figues Press).

Box of Books

Box of Books at LA Art Book Fair
Box of Books at LA Art Book Fair

Box of Books is an annual project from Darin Klein & Friends. Each volume comprises a box filled with handmade publications created specifically for the occasion by 20 or so different artists and writers.

Box of Books, Vol. VI, 2013, edition of 150
Harold Abramowitz, Elijah Burgher, Jaqueline Cedar, Bernard Cooper, Garry Davis, Adam DeGraff, Jenna & Cali Thornhill deWitt, Hedi El Kholti, Johnnie JungleGuts, Jeremy Lucido, Scott McPherson, Mission Mini Comix, John Parot, Marina Pinsky, Andrew Printer, Peter Sebeckis, Lily Simonson, Vivian Sming, Jesse Spears, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, and Trevor Wayne