The first annual Algonquin West Hollywood Literary Award Soiree event will be held on Saturday, September 29 at the Pacific Design Center's Silver Screen Theatre (8687 Melrose Avenue) at 7:00pm. The event will honor the literary achievements of acclaimed author Mark Salzman and will be a benefit for PEN in the Classroom, a writing program that focuses on under-served high school students in Southern California. Tickets are $20.

The benefit will include a performance of Gertrude Stein's "Miss Furr and Miss Skeene"and a staged reading, "Celebrating Dorothy and Her Friends", created by local theatre artist Michael Kearns and featuring a host of celebrated actors (including Bruce Davison, Mary Jo Catlett, John Glover, Tonya Pinkins, Gordon Thomson, Tony Tripoli and Chloe Webb with Wayne Moore on Piano . Material will be culled largely from the writings of Dorothy Parker and other members of the legendary Algonquin Roundtable (a group of writers, critics, actors and wits who met for lunch every day at New York's Algonquin Hotel in the wake of World War I).

If you are interested in attending, please Corey Roskin at croskin@weho.org with your name, phone number and number of people in your party. Please also send your check made out to PEN USA to the following address. No actual tickets will be issued, but you will receive a receipt of payment after we receive your check -- and your name will be on a guest list at the door.

Send checks to:

City of West Hollywood
8300 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069
Attn: Corey Roskin
2 - How long have you lived in LA, and how does geography, if at all, impact on your writing? Does race or gender make any impact on your work?

Geography is less important than overall culture and society and landscape. Gender is more important than race to me, but that is because I'm white.

3 - Where does a poem or piece of fiction usually begin for you? Are you an author of short pieces that end up combining into a larger project, or are you working on a "book" from the very beginning?


4 - Are public readings part of or counter to your creative process?

They used to be essential to it. Was part of the transition to LA, letting that go.

5 - Do you find the process of working with an outside editor difficult or essential (or both)?

Diificult to find. I've never really worked with anyone who had a heavy editorial hand. Might be interesting.

6 - After having published more than a couple of titles over the years, do you find the process of book-making harder or easier?

Easier, but I am more afriad that people might think that it is all procedural or something, and not "written" the old fashioned way, which it is. So that is a new concern.

7 - When was the last time you ate a pear?

I'm allergic to pears. It has been over two years. I miss them with brie on bread.

8 - What is the best piece of advice you've heard (not necessarily given to you directly)?


9 - How easy has it been for you to move between genres (poetry to non-fiction to fiction)? What do you see as the appeal?

It is really hard for me to write ficiton and I write it so incredibly slowly that I don't have anything finished, really. I write some nonfiction short shorts almost as slowly.

10 - What kind of writing routine do you tend to keep, or do you even have one? How does a typical day (for you) begin?


11 - When your writing gets stalled, where do you turn or return for (for lack of a better word) inspiration?

My writing never gets stalled, but periodically I try to push push push in different direction to see what happens.

12 - How does your most recent book compare to your previous work? How does it feel different?

They are all in series, basically. Common streams are interest in sound, humor.

13 - David W. McFadden once said that books come from books, but are there any other forms that influence your work, whether nature, music, science or visual art?

All of those. Everything.

14 - What would you like to do that you haven't yet done?

I would like to teach creative writing on the graduate level. Just a course, even.

15 - If you could pick any other occupation to attempt, what would it be? Or, alternately, what do you think you would have ended up doing had you not been a writer?

I have a secondary specialty in design-related fields with technical and managerial aspects.

16 - What made you write, as opposed to doing something else?

It was needing some sort of creative outlet after it became clear that I wouldn't be able to pursue visual art as an undergrad. Wow, I just realized that.

17 - What was the last great book you read? What was the last great film?

I read The Glass Key the other night. I started reading A. I don't think Shaggy Dog last night counts; it was awful (partially filmed in our neighborhood).

18 - What are you currently working on?

Finding a house. Setting up Maryrose's book at Lightning Source. Proofing Ray's book. Should be laying out Therese's ms.

Should be working more on HEAVY ROTATION and getting the IDENTITY THEFT chaps out. Sent OOD to Omnidawn. Sent a query re: the Coloratura book to Greywolf, even though they misdirected the Dystopia rejection to another poet. Trying to think what to send Green Rose if anything and Tarpaulin Sky if anything. Or whoever else.


I just got DEED by Rod Smith in the mail. I don't think I know him too well to review.

I like Homage to Homage to Creeley. I started at the back of the book. It is an Homage to lyric distraction. Love.
I'm really appalled that the government would fund a program for
fee-based radio.

I am additionally chagrined that they include funding for audiobook
broadcasts of public domain novels read by "famous people",
essentially privatizing words that have passed into the commons and
glomming onto the culture of celebrity... I'm assuming that audible
inc. will then sell these recordings?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Paulette Beete
August 29, 2007 202-682-5601
More than 8 million XM subscribers can join the Big Read
Audible.com partners with NEA and XM to broadcast audiobook versions of
classic novels on Big Read list
August 29, 2007—Washington, DC—Today the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with XM Radio, announced the launch of The Big Read on XM, a radio series based on the NEA’s national reading program of the same name. The Big Read brings communities together to read and discuss a single book in order to restore reading to the center of American public culture. Building on the literature program’s success, the new series will introduce the Big Read to XM’s more than 8.2 million subscribers nationwide. The Big Read on XM premieres September 10 on Sonic Theater (XM Channel 163), the XM radio channel devoted to audio books and contemporary theater. Hosted by Sonic Theater Program Director Josephine Reed, the series’s first installment will feature Ray Bradbury’s seminal classic, Fahrenheit 451.
“The launch of the Big Read on XM Satellite Radio is a major literary event. Creating a daily, national, drive-time show devoted to presenting and discussing great American novels is just what we need to revitalize reading in America,” said NEA Chairman Dana Gioia. “This is the perfect marriage of art and technology. The NEA’s partnership with XM Satellite Radio has helped make the largest literary program in American history even bigger.”
The Big Read on XM will air audio versions of classic novels in 30-minute installments, courtesy of Audible, Inc., the leader in spoken audio information and entertainment on the internet. Other program highlights will include NEA-produced readings, interviews, and commentary about each novel by some of the nation’s most celebrated authors, actors, and public figures. Just a few of the notable names taking part in the Big Read are actors Robert Duvall, Cheech Marin, and Mary Louise Parker, writers Ray Bradbury, Alice Walker, and Tony Hillerman, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
“The Big Read initiative is making a profound difference in communities across the country, encouraging people to embrace the pleasure of books,” said Josephine Reed. “This new radio show fulfills a long-held goal of mine: to bring communities across the country together to listen
to, think about, and discuss literature. I’m thrilled to be working with NEA Chairman Dana Gioia, as well as our partners at Audible, to bring these great books to XM listeners nationwide.”
The Big Read on XM will be broadcast Monday through Friday, with each new installment airing three times a day at 2:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 4:30 p.m. ET. The Fahrenheit 451 programs will be followed by programs on Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, and Carson McCuller’s The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. For a complete program schedule for The Big Read on XM, please visit http://www.xmradio.com/ onxm/channelpage.xmc?ch=163.
The NEA presents the Big Read in partnership with the Institute of Museum and Library Services and in cooperation with Arts Midwest. Launched in 2006 as a pilot program of ten communities, in 2007, nearly 200 communities nationwide will host Big Read celebrations. For more information on the Big Read, including where to find a local Big Read, visit www.neabigread.org.
The National Endowment for the Arts is a public agency dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts—both new and established—bringing the arts to all Americans, and providing leadership in arts education. Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the Endowment is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases. For more information, please visit www.arts.gov.
XM is America's number one satellite radio company with more than 8.2 million subscribers. Broadcasting live daily from studios in Washington, DC, New York City, Chicago, the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville, Toronto and Montreal, XM's 2007 lineup includes more than 170 digital channels of choice from coast to coast: commercial-free music, premier sports, news, talk radio, comedy, children's and entertainment programming; and the most advanced traffic and weather information. For more information about XM, please visit http://www.xmradio.com.
Audible, Inc. (www.audible.com) is the leader in spoken audio information and entertainment on the Internet. Content from Audible is downloaded and played back on personal computers, CDs, or AudibleReady computer-based and wireless mobile devices. Audible has 140,000 hours of audio programs from more than 470 content partners that include leading audiobook publishers, broadcasters, entertainers, magazine and newspaper publishers, and business information providers. Audible is the preeminent provider of spoken-word audio products for Apple’s iTunes Store. Among Audible’s key business relationships are Apple, Inc., Amazon.com, Palm, Inc., Creative Labs Inc., SanDisk, and XM Satellite Radio. Audible has approximately 170 employees with headquarters in Newark, NJ, and an office in London, England. Audible, audible.com, AudibleListener, and AudibleReady are registered trademarks of Audible, Inc. and all are part of the family of Audible, Inc. trademarks. Other product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
Madeleine L’Engle, who in writing more than 60 books, including childhood fables, religious meditations and science fiction, weaved emotional tapestries transcending genre and generation, died Thursday in Connecticut. She was 88.

Her death, of natural causes, was announced today by her publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Ms. L’Engle (pronounced LENG-el) was best known for her children’s classic, “A Wrinkle in Time,” which won the John Newbery Award as the best children’s book of 1963. By 2004, it had sold more than 6 million copies, was in its 67th printing and was still selling 15,000 copies a year.

She was also librarian at St. John the Divine.


Villa Aurora and
New Mastodon Bookstore
cordially invite you and your guests to a

Reading by Florian Werner
Florian Werner will be reading two short stories, one from his book "Wir sprechen uns noch" and one from a forthcoming collection, "Nimmerwiedersehen". The reading will be in English. Translations by Zaia Alexander.

Born 1971 in Berlin, Florian Werner studied American and English and German Literature in Tuebingen and Berlin, as well as in Aberdeen, Scotland. He received a Masters Degree in 2000.In 2006, he completed his doctoral thesis Rapocalypse, which focuses on millenarian imagery in African American-HipHop lyrics. It was published by transcript Verlag in 2007.

Florian Werner writes lyrics and performs in the German band Foen. This literature music-ensemble published a novel Mein Leben als Foen (My Life as a Hairdryer) in 2004 together with a CD Wir haben Zeit (We have time). The band has performed throughout Europe.

Florian Werner writes radio pieces for the WDR (West German Radio, Cologne). In 2001 he was awarded first prize in the Allegra short story competition. A collection of short stories Wir sprechen uns noch was published in 2005 by dtv. His karaoke-opera Rachengold was performed at the Hildesheim Theater, Germany

Saturday, September 8, 2007, 4:30 pm

RSVP at tel. 323-525-1948


New Mastodon
5820 Wilshire Bl #101, LA 90036
between Fairfax and La Brea
proust qnairre

Your most marked characteristic?

The quality you most like in a man?

The quality you most like in a woman?

What do you most value in your friends?

What is your principle defect?

What is your favorite occupation?

What is your dream of happiness?

What to your mind would be the greatest of misfortunes?

What would you like to be?

In what country would you like to live?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite flower?

What is your favorite bird?

Who are your favorite prose writers?

Who are your favorite poets?

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?

Who are your favorite composers?

Who are your favorite painters?

Who are your heroes in real life?

What is it you most dislike?

What natural gift would you most like to possess?

How would you like to die?

What is your present state of mind?

To what faults do you feel most indulgent?

What is your motto?


Available now, and in a couple of cases (*) before the end of the month, are the following titles:

Fernando Pessoa: The Collected Poems of Alberto Caeiro
translated by Chris Daniels.

The first complete edition of one of Pessoa's heteronyms in English.


Fernando Pessoa: Message
translated by Jonathan Griffin.

Second edition of the mid-90s Menard publication. Bilingual, and the only complete edition of Message available in English.


Fernando Pessoa: Selected English Poems
edited by Tony Frazer

Pessoa wrote a large number of poems in English, some of them in the guise of early heteronyms (such as Alexander Search and C R Anon) which prove to be fascinating precursors of the later, modernist work in Portuguese. While not the equal of the masterly Caeiro, Campos, Reis or Pessoa-himself, these poems deserve to be better known and at least available in the English-speaking world.


Toby Olson: Darklight

Author of nine novels (among others The Life of Jesus, Seaview and Utah) and over 20 collections of poetry (including We Are the Fire — Selected Poems, and Human Nature, both from New Directions), Toby Olson demonstrates in this new collection that the passage of time has only sharpened his narrative voice.


Colin Simms: Gyrfalcon Poems (*)

A collection that gathers most of Simms' poems about these falcons, and his third such gathering for Shearsman. Part of a long project to bring most of his work into print.


Rosalía de Castro: Selected Poems
translated by Michael Smith

The largest selection available in English of Rosalía's poetry, this bilingual (or trilingual, as Galician poems are also featured) is essential anyone interested in Spanish poetry.


Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer: Collected Poems – Rimas
translated by Michael Smith; edited by Luis Ingelmo & Michael Smith.

The only complete edition of Bécquer in English, and as thorough as any Spanish edition. Bécquer was a revolutionary figure in Spanish poetry, as the godfather of romanticism in Spanish.


There are another 10 or so books before the end of the year, just in case there's not enough to read here....


another list of la (open mike) poets:



friend starting to teach!

The Writer's Workshop presents
Intro to Story
(a new workshop focusing on the fundamentals of creating great stories drawn from the imagination)

"Perhaps the best writing workshop in town!"
- Mark Travis, author of The Director's Journey

"Quite honestly the best writing class I've ever taken and I've taken quite a few, including many at the USC film school."
- Zena Leigh Logan, screenwriter/actress

Start date: September 8, 2007
Workshop: Saturdays 9am - 12pm
Cost: $250/month
For more info or to register, call 310-712-1290 or visit www.alanwatt.com

The Writer's Workshop is proud to introduce a brilliant writer and teacher, Allen Zadoff, who will be teaching a new INTRO TO STORY WORKSHOP which will explore the fundamentals of story structure beginning with short-form writing and continuing toward the completion of a full length work. Enrollment is limited to 10 students.

About The Workshop
The Writer's Workshop is a community of artists who share the goal of having a consistent creative life and building a body of work. The workshop exists to facilitate the writer in developing a writing process that works through accessing the power of the unconscious in getting one's story from their imagination onto the page. Working in this way, we create stories that are surprising, compelling, transformative tales.

Allen Zadoff (writing instructor) is a graduate of Cornell University and the Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University .. A former stage director, Mr. Zadoff has worked as a television writer and filmmaker and was a participant in the Warner Bros. Comedy Writers Workshop. His column, Hollywood Letters, has been a regular magazine feature in Tokyo, Japan since 2003. His memoir, Hungry, will be published by Da Capo Press in October 2007. You can learn more about his work at www.allenzadoff.com.
anne carson -- a fan of Devo?