On October 9, 2010, I convened a symposium at the William Andrews Clark Jr. Library, accompanied by a small book fair, that was designed to put a number of different communities together, even if only for a day: scholars, poets, publishers, artists, librarians, and graduate students in the MLIS program at UCLA. A part of the UCLA system, the Clark Library was established in the 1920s as a private collection that focused on 17th and 18th century literary and scientific works, late 19th and early 20th century fine press, British Arts and Crafts printing, and the work of Oscar Wilde.
A beacon beaming rays through the mists of an inclement realia not unlike a lighted mount above a sequestered alabaster grove. This being Beyond Baroque, a refuge for imaginal practitioners. Not a mirage mind you, but a living amplification of language, operative since the latter '60's, prior to all the poetic bureaus and seminal presses of the present era. It pioneered, took chances, paved the way as an alchemic hive, as a living poetic habitat.
Not a mirage, but a three-dimensional facility, housed in the old Venice City Hall, constructed circa 1908. As stated, it remains a poetic refuge, but more than a refuge, it is a zone where poetic combustion transpires.
Yes, we were at a party for Amy Schroeder, in her parents’ backyard in Hancock Park. We were talking to other women, Susan McCabe and Kate Chandler, definitely, and maybe Elena Karina Byrne. We said we wanted to start a literary art salon for women. Give us your address and we will make an invitation. We decided on mandatory participation. From the beginning, we had rules.
Yes, rules. It was 2004 and the rules went like this: 1) if you attend the salon, you must bring something to share; 2) each attendee will have 5 minutes to present her work, though she may use less; 3) the order will be determined randomly, through bingo chips.