Friday, August 3, 2018

Yes, Karen Finley's back!

But then, she never left.

Brilliant, fearless, and deep, Karen Finley will forever be associated with a 1989 performance, We Keep Our Victims Ready, in which she applied chocolate to her bare torso, while speaking disturbing truths about sexual abuse and the claims of love that accompany it.

Outraged conservatives spearheaded the passage of a law mandating that NEA grants comply with "general standards of decency and respect for all the diverse beliefs and values of the American public," thereby leading the NEA to veto Finley's latest grant application, along with those of three other artists. The NEA Four, as they were called, sued the agency on the grounds that their First Amendment rights were being violated, won in the lower courts, but in 1998--after the Clinton administration elected to continue the appeal--lost in the Supreme Court.

Through the years since, Finley has continued speaking truth to power in performance and in print.
Her latest, Grabbing Pussy, is as timely and provocative as the title suggests.

You can catch her Sunday, August 5 and 12, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe, in New York City, an intimate space that's well-suited for her.

And on September 12, she'll be at the ISSUE Project Room, as part of the Brooklyn Book Festival.

She tours, too.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Still true, I think

The things that turn up in old notebooks . . .

In one of mine, dated August 9, 2004, something Clinton (Bill, I assume) said, more or less, on the Daily Show:

"If you're a Democrat, you win when people think."

Two Stories and a Poem

 Earlier this year, two short stories of mine were published by print journals--"Bandits" in the Humber Literary Review and "Alterations" in Saint Ann's Review.  The stories aren't currently available on line, but the issues as a whole are well worth reading.

And my poem "Prairie" appeared in the latest issue, entitled Hello & Goodbye, of Spillway.

Pyramid Schemes and Roast Corn

Two essays of mine have just been posted on literary websites.  At The Smart Set, a journal published by Drexel University that features a wide variety of excellent work, you can read "The Price of a Friendship."

And my essay "A Feast Day of Roast Corn Up in Michigan" (first published years ago by the New York Times)  was a finalist in the semiannual travel writing contest run by the literary travel journal Nowhere, and may be read  on their website (with copy restored that the Times had dropped):

Thursday, May 25, 2017


I was a bit disappointed to learn, some years ago, that the amazing play I was about to see was by not Edna (female) but Enda Walsh.  You have through May 28 to catch his latest in New York City--the  haunting and mysterious dystopian vision Arlington--at St. Ann's Warehouse. Powerful, innovatively designed, and beautifully performed, it's a play I'd see again if it were running longer.


Lucky for me, and perhaps for you, the Irish Arts Center has extended through June 4 its installation of Rooms, three shorter works by Walsh.  I just bought a ticket.

Political Poemette

In the latest group of poems posted in "Such an Ugly Time" on the Rat's Ass Review site, you'll find a tiny poem of mine--probably the smallest there.  Poets are listed in alphabetical order.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

The Moors

I sometimes oversell shows I love to friends, whose expectations are then a bit disappointed, so I should say upfront that The Moors may not be everyone's cup of tea.  But if you have any interest in the literature of past centuries and in writing by women of any century, you should catch this wild and brilliant satire of all things Bronte, by Jen Silverman, produced by the Playwrights Realm. You have through March 25.