Questions for Joshua Beckman, poet
What was your last non-poetry job? Working on a farm in western Massachusetts; I worked from sunrise to dusk. I didn’t get a lot of writing done, but otherwise it was a fantastic job.
How will you celebrate National Poetry Month? My new book, Take It, is coming out, so I’m on tour and reading almost every night in April.
When was the last time you surprised yourself? I woke up laughing once; I actually woke myself up laughing and now I can’t remember what the joke was!
Who is your favorite artist? There’s not just one. But the Garden and Cosmos show at SAM is my favorite recent artistic experience. I went the day it opened and I’ve gone every weekend and Thursday night since.
What’s one word no one would ever use to describe you? Short.
New Wave Cinema
Screening over seventy films April 24 – 26, the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) is for filmmakers ages twenty-two and under only. Founder Jesse Harris wants to encourage other budding auteurs. So there’s no minimum age requirement; even an elementary-school student can submit work to win the Grand Prize: a trip to Los Angeles to meet with creative executives and agents. This year launches NFFTY Earth to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint and tie in films with ecological and social-justice themes. Tickets are available online at nffty.org and at screening venues (Cinerama, EMP, SFM, the Vera Project and SIFF Cinema).
One Fine Day
On April 18, you should log out of iTunes and go to a participating music store where you can celebrate Record Store Day. Adam Tutty, of Easy Street Records, notes that they’ll give away “lots ’n’ lots of free stuff” to “show our gratitude and love for everyone who supports us.” Founded in 2007, Record Store Day festivities span the world (with seven hundred record stores participating in the U.S. alone) and include performances, DJs spinning records, meet-and-greets with artists, body painting and more.
Nice Racks: Attitude cropped up on Slog when the City commissioned artists to design public bike racks. User Ries responds: “I feel it’s my duty to waste as much public money as possible — after all, artists have a long way to go to catch up with the defense department.”
Is Seattle Ghetto? The West Seattle Blog introduces us to Jonathan VeraKat, editor of a new zine, XVIII, focused on gentrification. He says, “If you want to talk about ‘gentrification,’ you should talk about the ‘ghetto’ first.”
Back to the Stone Age: Regina Hackett (now at ArtsJournal) is not sold on Twitter: “I can see why the illiterate are enthralled, but writers of substance and merit are climbing all over each other to muffle themselves in these primitive excuses for an exchange.” p.s. Follow us on Twitter.