(me&my 7-month old sleeping over my shoulder as I read at KGB Bar)
  • Ping Pong: some pieces in the fab-as-usual Ping Pong Literary Magazine published out of Big Sur & the Henry Miller Library (includes must-read interview of Anne Waldman by Editor-in-Cheif Maria Garcia Teutsch)
  • Boog featured me in their annual festival guide and Joe Pan wrote this embarrassingly sweet introduction about me (& i will take it!)

J. Hope Stein is funny, first and foremost. Yet seen sitting at her publisher’s table from a distance, she appears enigmatic, aloof, daydreaming as she hovers over hand-assembled chapbooks with covers constructed half from paper, half-plastic, with tiny bits of cloth sewn into them, while selling crudely comical T-shirts where fish proclaim their amorous intentions to their beloved breakfast worms—all developed in collaboration with other artists for Poetry Crush, the small press she founded. (T-shirts were designed by Todd Colby; books made by Sara Lefsyk.)
But after a few words with Jen you realize that she’s quite excitable, chatty, alive, present, involved, someone who might live a double life, not a spy exactly but a twinned personality, someone you’re suddenly having coffee with at Grey Dog in the West Village without knowing exactly why and asking to read her new manuscript because if it’s anything like her personality, it’s going to be a delight, someone who can crack jokes on a variety of cultural levels, someone everyone seems to know, who seems to have talented friends occupying every room she enters, some of them quite famous, and you’re wondering who is going to be the lucky publisher who snaps up her first collection, and if that collection will be handsewn, motley ornamented, or perhaps edible. So far she has published three chapbooks, all handmade, all delightful in their own wandering, curious ways: Talking Doll (Dancing Girl Press), Mary (Hyacinth Girl Press), and Corner Office (H_ngm_n Books), the last of which is described in this wonderfully maudlin fashion:“Sexual tensions arise when a man named Alexander and a woman named Cleo share an office cubicle in a not-so-distant future where there are so many people dead there is no more land to bury them and there is a city-wide mandate to bury people in their offices.”
No reasonably sane person could resist riding a wild boar bareback through multiple buildings afire to obtain a copy of this book after reading copy like that. But no need for the boar, it’s free for download at h-ngm-n.com/chaps! I would strongly suggest anyone attempting to familiarize themselves with J Hope Stein’s work on this planet not only read her poetry books but visit the PoetryCrush.com website, which I’ve described in an interview with Jen in the online edition of this issue of Boog City as “a kind of essay-music-poetry blog, a literary magazine, and a place to feature the writings of those participating in National Poetry Writing Month’s ‘Thirty Days of Poems,’” mainly because Jen finds poetry to be more inclusive than most, locating examples in a multiplicity of texts and genres, in music, film, fiction—basically whatever strikes her as poetry, which can be hugely rewarding for those who find listening a lifelong obsession. Poetry is her crush, how she crushes, how she is crushed. What a lovely thing, to be alive and desirous. —Joe Pan

(Buy Joe Pan’s new critically acclaimed & selling-like-hot-cake book HICCUPS)

I co-hosted my favorite music podcast: KEXP Music That Matters Podcast & got to blab about a lot of my favorite new songs & i’ve been a consulting producer on this film which was shot over the summer and is in intense post-production

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