Archive for John Thomas Menesini

3/23 Free Fucking Poems About Fucking @ Glitter Box Theater

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2019 by 6GPress

7:30 SATURDAY

Welcome, fuckers, to the latest installation in FREE POEMS – FREE FUCKING POEMS ABOUT FUCKING. This time it’s about fucking.

Headlining Fuckers:
David Graham/ Requiem
Cherri Baum
Noel Pabillo Mariano
Chelsea Margaret Bodnar
John Thomas
Sundae Service
Kelly Boyker
Bebe Beretta
Michael Todd Schneider
Nikki Palmer

With face painting by Hanna Wilford! Get a dick or a vagina or some boobies or a butt plug or whatever painted on your face!

Also with poems/performances by: Miss Macross, Art Ettinger, Ed Pinto, Jeff Boyle, Kelly Lorraine Andrews, Nathan Moore, Olivia Devorah, Philip Kunkle, Sarah B Boyle, Shawn Maddey and a very very very (very) special performance from Peter Zumpano

And featuring like 20 other assholes we’ll have a list of eventually like fuck man this is a lot of work.

We’re changing up venues this time and will be fucking off at The Glitter Box Theater on Saturday, March 23rd for all the fucking you can handle, and a lot you probably can’t.

FREE FUCKING POEMS is an arts anarchy event themed around….wait for it…FUCKING, and vaguely around poetry.

If you have been solicited for a poem in the FREE FUCKING POEMS ABOUT FUCKING anthology, congratulations, you’re a performer! Let us know (here, via email, or via PM) if you plan to come out and share your fuck on stage so we can schedule a time slot for you to alienate all of your friends!

As always, there will be open stage time for anyone who writes and wants to read a (one, singular) fuck poem of their very own! We’ll let you know how we’re gonna deal with that closer to the event itself. Probably a sign up sheet. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it

JUST A HEADS UP YOU WILL SEE AT LEAST 1 DICK. LIKE, A REAL ONE NOT A PICTURE OF ONE AND PROBABLY LOTS OF OTHER GENITALS. SOMEONE GETS WEIRD ABOUT THIS AT EVERY FREE POEMS SO HERE IT IS IN CAPS RIGHT NOW. DICK DICK DICK DICK 8==D

FAQs

Q. How can I help/add to the FREE FUCKING experience?
A. We are so glad you asked! Oh my! How kind of you! We need help with everything from live-streaming the event to bringing beer and liquor, to bringing extra toilet paper (I cannot imagine Glitterbox is prepared for the amount of tp this event seems to go through), to bringing snacks! Closer to the event we will post a wish list, but if there is something you super duper want to bring my goodness, but we shall be chuffed!

Q. Can I sell/buy something/give you money/participate in late stage capitalism in any capacity at FREE POEMS?
A. No.

Q. What the fuck is FREE POEMS?
A. We don’t fucking know. FREE POEMS has happened 3 times now. It was born of a desire to giggle but also shed as much pretense and opportunism and FUCKING FASCISM from the experience of creative communion as possible and put a bunch of our genius but often overlooked friends all in a room at once and watch them be amazed by each other. First time was SNAKES, next was MONSTERS, then came JESUS. Now we’re here. We put together a book, too. We don’t fucking know.

Q. Can I read/perform at FREE POEMS?
A. I guess. Idk. Do you fuck? In all seriousness, yes there is open mic time integrated into FREE POEMS every year. You don’t need to let us know ahead of time if you will want to sign up, just show up and find the list. There is a time limit of one poem/2 minutes per person, though, so do keep that in mind.

Q. What is considered a poem at FREE POEMS?
A. Your question should probably be “what isn’t considered a poem?” because pretty much anything you want to read/perform/do on stage is a poem at FREE POEMS, provided it is on theme (fucking)

Q. I know a poet/band/trapeze artist/sex doll that would be perfect for your event! Can they perform?
A. If they can squeeze it into 2 minutes! Our lineup and the poems we put in the FREE POEMS book are all solicited, but the best way to get a featured spot/solicitation at a subsequent event, is to show up at FREE POEMS and do a thing on stage during open mic time. It is not by giving us beer or press or bj’s. That said, definitely give us beer. Maybe press. We can get our own bj’s tho, thanks. We’re not players we just crush a lot.

Q. Can I bring my kid?
A. LOL no not this time. We are legit going to show porn probably. Leave the kid at home for fuck’s sake. Even if they are 17. When they turn 18 take them to get their nipples pierced and bring them to FREE POEMS.

Q. Are there rules about content at FREE POEMS?
A. Your poem or performance must, in some way, be about/contain/depict FUCKING. Otherwise, we eschew censorship, so also keep that in mind as an audience member – people are probably going to say shit that makes you feel weird (good weird and bad weird). It’s ok to step outside if you get the vapors. And if you’re still mad at us after you get some air, it’s ok to go home and leave us the fuck alone, we’ll never get along.

DISCLAIMER: We shouldn’t have to say this, but alas. I don’t give a fuck what the content of someone’s performance is – don’t touch anyone without express consent to do so and don’t be a mean gross creeper. Also don’t fuck shame anyone for what they share. We have a bouncer named Rocco (seriously) and we are not afraid to use him.

DISCLAIMER #2: it occurred to Margaret when she was taking a shower yesterday that we should probably mention that this is not a play party or a swinger thing, it’s really honestly actually an art event. I mean, I hope someone goes home with someone else’s wife or something, and while you CAN spank someone at FREE POEMS (with consent, see disclaimer #1), we’re kind of here for art, too.

3/10 Scott Pyle’s Seeking Fire Book Launch & Poetry Reading Party @ Irma Freeman Center

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2018 by 6GPress

Don Wentworth says…

Saturday, March 10th, there will be a Book Launch/Reading Party for the release of Scott Pyle’s second book of haiku, Seeking Fire. The reading will take place at the Irma Freeman Center for Imagination on Penn Avenue in Garfield and will run from 7 to 9 pm. Seven Pittsburgh poets, including myself, will be helping Scott celebrate.
Many of you know Scott – he is an ex-librarian, formerly of the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, who is now a full-time Pittsburgh firefighter. His new career has greatly influenced his second full-length collection of work, both in theme and subject, and I’m excited to say it builds on the approach and success of his first book.
Books will be available for purchase and signing from Scott, as well as the other poets participating at the reading. Refreshments will be supplied – beer, wine, bottled water and a mix of covered dishes and finger foods. Admission is $5 at the door or a covered dish (which broadly includes bags of chips, sweets etc.)
If you are free that evening and interested, we hope to see you there.

1/25 After Happy Hour Review Belated Release Party @ Glitter Box

Posted in Events, Recent Publications with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 19, 2018 by 6GPress

7PM THURSDAY…

Join After Happy Hour Review and friends as we celebrate the release of our eighth issue with writers from the newly released journal, from our writing workshop, and from the greater Pittsburgh Writing Community, and you!

Beer has been generously donated by Alpine Beer Company. We’ll also bring some potluck style snacks.The event is free, though we suggest a donation of $5–this helps us to pay for our website domain, submittable, etc.

A bit more on our readers:

William Repass:

William Repass lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and works as a projectionist and film librarian. His work has appeared in, or is forthcoming from, Bennington Review, Denver Quarterly, Hobart, Small Po[r]tions, and elsewhere.

Emily Kiernan:

Emily Kiernan is the author of a novel, Great Divide (Unsolicited Press). Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction, Pank, The Collagist, Redivider, and other journals. She is a prose editor at Noemi Press and a fiction editor at Rivet: The Journal of Writing that Risks. More information can be found at emilykiernan.com.

Angele Ellis:

Angele Ellis’s latest book, Under the Kaufmann’s Clock: Fiction, Poems, and Photographs of Pittsburgh, with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery Press), is a hybrid bloody valentine to her adopted city. She also is author of Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook) and Arab on Radar (Six Gallery), whose poems won her a fellowship from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She is a contributing editor to Al Jadid Magazine.

John Menesini:

John Thomas Menesini is the author of The Last Great Glass Meat Million (Six Gallery Press, 2003), e pit ap h (Convergence, 2007), endo: Poems & Sketches 2007 – 2011 (Six Gallery Press, 2011), and Gloom Hearts & Opioids (Six Gallery Press, 2015). His poems have appeared in numerous publications in Ireland, Scotland, England, and the US, thus garnering dozens of fans across the globe.

Tom Sweterlitsch:

Tom Sweterlitsch was born in Iowa and grew up in Ohio. His first novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow was published in 2014. He has co-written several short films with Director Neill Blomkamp for Oats Studios including Rakka, Firebase, and Zygote. Before becoming a writer, he worked for the Carnegie Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped for twelve years. His new novel, The Gone World, is due out in February from Putnam Books. Tom lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and daughter.

 

12/17 Viva Arletty! & Arkansas Ghoulash launch @ White Whale + Bah Humbug 4 @ Brillobox

Posted in Events, Interviews, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2017 by 6GPress

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17…

Two new books & two readings! The Ghost of Literature Present will pay a terrifying visit today!

6PM at White Whale in Bloomfield, welcome two writers from Arkansas to Pittsburgh (& welcome their books to your noodle by buying & reading them, too). Free readings & refreshments, possibly including actual goulash.

Scotty Lewis, a 2015 graduate of the Arkansas Writers MFA Program, is debuting his first book of poetry, Arkansas Ghoulash.

Here’s an interview w/ Scotty talking about the book, & here’s another one.

Mark Spitzer, novelist, poet, essayist and literary translator, grew up in Minneapolis where he earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Minnesota in 1990. He then moved to the Rockies, where he earned his Master’s in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado. After living on the road for some time, he found himself in Paris, as Writer in Residence for three years at the bohemian bookstore Shakespeare and Company, where he translated French criminals and misanthropes. In 1997 he moved to Louisiana, became Assistant Editor of the legendary lit journal Exquisite Corpse, and earned an MFA from Louisiana State University. He taught creative writing and lit for five years at Truman State University and is now an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Central Arkansas.

Alan Olifson is an award-winning humor columnist, public radio commentator, comedian and regular host of Pittsburgh’s monthly Moth StorySLAMs. He created the acclaimed storytelling series WordPlay in his hometown of Los Angeles which he now produces in Pittsburgh along with Bricolage Production Company as part of their regular season. He’s hosted storytelling events for conferences, schools and, believe it or not, bridal showers. His book, Manchild: My Life Without Adult Supervision, is now out on Six Gallery Press. Alan relocated to Pittsburgh with his wife and two children years ago but never tires of hearing people complain about “traffic.”

Angele Ellis is the author of Arab on Radar (Six Gallery), Spared (A Main Street Rag Editors’ Choice Chapbook), Under the Kaufmann’s Clock: Fiction, Poems, and Photographs of Pittsburgh with photos by Rebecca Clever (Six Gallery), and co-author of the diversity workbook Dealing With Differences (Corwin). A 2008 recipient of an Individual Creative Artist fellowship in poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, she was a prizewinner in the 2007 RAWI Competition for Creative Prose and first runner-up in the 2012 Grey Sparrow Flash Fiction Contest. Angele’s reviews, poetry, and fiction have appeared in nearly sixty publications and fourteen anthologies. She is a contributing editor to Al Jadid Magazine.

John Thomas Menesini is the author of The Last Great Glass Meat Million (Six Gallery Press, 2003), e pit ap h (Convergence, 2007), endo: Poems & Sketches 2007 – 2011 (Six Gallery Press, 2011), and Gloom Hearts & Opioids (Six Gallery Press, 2015). His poems have appeared in numerous publications in Ireland, Scotland, England, and the US, thus garnering dozens of fans across the globe.

Rick Claypool grew up in a small town in western Pennsylvania called Leechburg, but he currently lives in Pittsburgh. By day he works for Public Citizen, a nonprofit organization that fights corporate power. Leech Girl Lives (Spaceboy Books, 2017) is his first novel.

At 8PM, head over to Brillobox for Bah Humbug 4: Writers (Still) Wrestle the Holiday Spirit…

Tastier than a fruitcake, easier to assemble than a Fisher Price playhouse, for the FOURTH year in a row, we are bringing some of Pittsburgh’s finest writers together to entertain you with tales of their holiday work experiences.

$5 suggested donation, proceeds benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

The readers will channel their inner-Sedaris, and offer up tales from their time as food service employees, retail workers, and other assorted time-card punchers during the bleak months of November and December. They will attempt to locate their hoilday spirit. Or THE holiday spirits (aka, Jim, Jack and maybe even Johnny).

Just like signing the group birthday card or buying overpriced crap from your co-worker’s kid’s school fundraiser, UGLY HOLIDAY SWEATERS STRONGLY ENCOURAGED.

Hosted by Jason Baldinger (who was once run over by a Black Friday crowd on a rampage for office supplies), and Stephanie Brea (who probably stole that art book she gave you for Christmas in 2001).

The Lineup:

Becky Corrigan
Angele Ellis
Rich Gegick
Lori Jakiela
Andrea Laurion
Deesha Philyaw
Meghan Tutolo
Matt Ussia
Bob Walicki

When The Wizard of Oz Breaks Out into a Gun Battle: An Interview with Scotty Lewis, Author of Arkansas Ghoulash

Posted in Events, Interviews, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2017 by 6GPress

Mark Spitzer says,

Hey, my grad students in poetry just did a kick-ass interview with Scotty on his book.

& here it is. Mark & Scotty will read from their new books Sunday, December 17th at White Whale Bookstore in Bloomfield, along with locals Alan Olifson, Angele Ellis, John Menesini, & Rick Claypool.

When The Wizard of Oz Breaks Out into a Gun Battle:

An Interview with Scotty Lewis, Author of Arkansas Ghoulash

By Drew Cook, Énbarr Coleman, Callie Smith, Briget Laskowski, JJ McNiece, and Mikayla Davis

 

Scotty Lewis, a lecturer in Writing at the University of Central Arkansas, was recently featured at the Faulkner County Library in Conway for a “Debut-Break-Out-Book-Readin-Book-Signin Bonanza.” Hot off the press from Six Gallery Press in Pittsburgh, Arkansas Ghoulash is his first book, and it wasn’t an easy story to tell. On one hand, the narrative revolves around a tragic act of domestic violence; but on the other, it is a daring and complex epic poem in the postmodern tradition that relies on lyrical flashes from a highly unnatural “natural state.” After a dramatic reading that blew his audience away, Lewis responded to questions—an opportunity that graduate students in Creative Writing from the Arkansas Writers MFA Workshop conveniently exploited:

Drew Cook: One of things you do in Arkansas Ghoulash is you take established forms and then you kind of collage them together so they’re not visually recognizable and all that’s left is the music. It’s really a high Modernist approach. I’m interested in how you arrived at that strategy, and if there were any difficulties and advantages in doing so.

Scotty Lewis: There are a lot of things that make poetry good or bad but one of the key things is music. Do I like improvisation? Of course. We like jazz but we also like form. The best improvisation realizes that there’s form, and it breaks it. The best improvisation realizes form. In a way this caused major difficulties because I might have preferred a straight narrative, but I don’t know if it would have worked that way. Emotionally, it was hard for me to do even as abstract as it is. If I turned this into a very straightforward story, I don’t know that I could have done it. Playing with the music of it, playing with the feeling of it, being able to be lyrical in different ways… it helped me capture the feel of it.

Énbarr Coleman: What stuck out most to me was the mention of the Berlin Wall because I noticed that you had a lot of these violent images, a lot of nature, and also soft and gentle stuff. Then suddenly you’ve got the Berlin Wall and things of that nature thrown in. In my opinion, it went from this very local poem to much grander, much more international. I was curious to hear your thoughts on that.

Lewis: There were several markers. The Berlin Wall is in there. Tiananmen Square is in there. There are a few big events of the time that were in there. If you go through the book, there are about seven or eight of those in there. Part of those are to mark time. This is the era that we’re talking about. This is the time we’re talking about. This poem jumps around a lot. Even tonight—and I didn’t want to stop and indicate necessarily because it would have broken up the rhythm of it—but there are places in the part I read tonight that weren’t necessarily sticking to one timeline. Those markers were put in there to anchor the reader in a certain time. They were also in there not only to give a sense of the violence that was taking place and erupting in my household, but also that was erupting around the world. The two things may not be related really, but they seem related. I mean, I grew up in the 1980s, so I certainly didn’t grow up with a cell phone, but I did grow up with a television. I did grow up with a Commodore 64. I grew up with enough technology to always be in touch with what was going on in the world. So I don’t think there is such a thing as living a completely local life anymore.

Callie Smith: The epic form of Arkansas Ghoulash is unusual in contemporary poetry—you don’t see that much. How did you decide on writing in this epic form? What were the challenges and what did it buy you?

Lewis: That’s such an interesting question. While it is the length of an epic, I think I really fell short on a lot of the other elements, but I did sort of want to include some aspects of the epic while writing it. I do think, in a sense, there is a journey to the underworld and an attempt, at least, to come back. So what inspired me to do that? I don’t know, but my favorite epic poem is The Odyssey, which I refer to in the poem. And I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it in short form. I didn’t want to do it as necessarily sixty poems about the same event. I thought it needed space to grow . . . But I was also keeping a lot of different forms in mind. Within the text, there are places where sonnets, blank verse, where American haiku is hidden—where a lot of smaller forms are actually talking back and forth to each other.

JJ McNiece: I felt a hyperpolarization with your imagery as you read. On one end: brutal, severe violence. On the other: soft, sweet calm. It seemed that the beginning displayed more of the brutal imagery, while the images during the violent event itself were often softer, though interspersed with the brutal. At the end, I felt the imagery gravitated almost exclusively toward that sweet, softer side. I’m curious what your conscious decisions are with imagery and language as you’re going through this? What are you trying to accomplish?

Lewis: I was trying to accomplish a balance. If this is going to be genuine, I don’t think I can gloss over the violence. This was a very violent incident. So, even the things surrounding it, even the consciousness of the narrator while he looks into other things—simple things—notices violence more, even in the landscape. I hope, too, that there are softer parts. I don’t know that I made a conscious decision to polarize those things, but both exist. Do I decide to make softer images? I do, but I don’t know that I think about it that much. I try to make a pretty image now and then. I like to make images. I think it’s a stronger suit of my poetry.

Briget Laskowski: My question deals with images, particularly the images you have on page 63 and 64 where you use the Tin Man image. In fact you even take his words, “Just because I’m presumin’ / That I could be a human / If I only had a heart,” and then on page 64 you have Mickey Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck. What were you attempting to communicate using these images?

Lewis: Those were domestic images. I wanted to make sure people understood what those images were about. It was very close, very in the home. It was The Wizard of Oz breaking out into a gunfight. It was Loony Tunes in a certain sense. I was fifteen years old. I was really just crawling into adolescence . . . I felt like a child. So I wanted to make sure that things we associated with children like Mickey Mouse and The Wizard of Oz were there. Another reason for The Wizard of Oz specifically, was the year this happened my brother was extremely talented, very handsome, and he was beginning his acting career, and his acting career launched off partially from his acting in plays at our school. Probably his biggest role was as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Actually, in the yearbook for the next year there was a full page spread of my brother as the Tin Man.

Mikayla Davis: Many of your poems use natural imagery juxtaposed with very human, sometimes even mechanical imagery, so I was wondering what purpose you see that relationship playing in your poems? And what is humanity’s position in relationship with nature, for you?

Lewis: I think we’re way past being romantics about it. I think that would be disingenuous. I think that would be a lie. I love nature. I love going out. I love to fish, I love to hike. Those of you who know me know I love to be outside, but I always see it diminishing. I don’t really see our efforts to fight it as being very good or even very genuine. I mean, we’re part of nature, right? And so anything we see, if there are mechanical images mixed in with the natural—what we make is as much a part of nature as an ant making an anthill or beaver making a beaver dam. It might be more complicated in the way we do it, but we’re part of nature. We’re just one of those things in nature that really knows how to screw things up. We’re like termites. We’re going to keep eating at the tree until we kill it.

7/28 A Hellbender Reading w/ Mark Spitzer, Lea Graham, & Co. @ EEBX

Posted in Events, Video with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2016 by 6GPress

THURSDAY, JULY 28th…

Mark Spitzer has a new book out from Anaphora Literary Press about the wonderful hellbender, North America’s largest salamander!

Hear Mark read from his epic poem along with poet Lea Graham & local Six Gallery stalwarts Che Elias, Karen Lillis, John Thomas Menesini, & Don Wentworth… or risk the wrath of the hellbender!

Hellbender reading

UPDATE:

As animal names go, “hellbender” is a pretty good one. So if Mark Spitzer’s book-length poem about North America’s largest salamander (which can grow to more than 2 feet long) is titled Glurk! (Anaphora Literary Press) instead, it’s for reasons you’ll have to learn for yourself when the Arkansas-based author reads at East End Book Exchange. Tonight’s reading, backed by music made on the custom-made stringed instrument called The Electric Hellbender, also includes words from New York-based poet Lea Graham and local luminaries Che Elias, Karen Lillis, John Thomas Menesini and Don Wentworth. Bill O’Driscoll 7 p.m. 4754 Liberty Ave., Bloomfield. Free. 412-224-2847

Pittsburgh City Paper

5/26 To My Divine Spark/Gloom Hearts & Opioids launch @ Classic Lines

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2016 by 6GPress

TOMORROW…

To My Divine Launch

5/12 Gloom Hearts & Opioids launch @ East End Book Exchange

Posted in Events, New Releases with tags , , , , , , , on May 8, 2016 by 6GPress

THIS THURSDAY…

Join herbivorous scribbler John Thomas Menesini & friends Megan Bell, Meghan Tutolo, & Angele Ellis at EEBX for one of the last events under the Lesley Rains admin. Pocket-sized for your convenience & pleasure, Gloom Hearts & Opioids is a collection of frivolous goth excess w/ a little bit not like that at all. Here’s a taste, from “Sexting w/ Yr Mom”:

everything comes to an end
our sun is no exception
sure, our sun has millions of good years
left but its eventual doom is certain

i imagine me & yr mom in space
(what’s it like to come in space?)
i imagine space is too cold for yr mom
but i bet she’d remember to bring a sweater

Happy Mom’s Day & enjoy the spring weather!

4/17 An Evening of Rock Solid Poetry @ Jozart Center for the Arts

Posted in Events with tags , , , , on April 17, 2015 by 6GPress

TONIGHT…

“Four Poets, One Cup” or “How to Keep Poetry Relevant in the Modern Age”

Four distinct, diverse and dynamic authors [Jason Baldinger, Margaret Bashaar, Michael Begnal, & John Thomas Menesini] come together for one night of literary neck-punches and anarchistic chicanery. Their intent is to prove that poetry is neither an exclusive pretentious hipster clubhouse nor a dry inaccessible academic snoozefest. Join them at Jozart Center for the Arts, 333 2nd Street, California on Friday, April 17 from 7-10 p.m. Admission is free. The authors will have merchandise to sell. Books will be available. Carousing is expected.

http://pabridges.com/arts/an-evening-of-rock-solid-poetry/

4/16 John Menesini & Aubrey Hirsch @ Barnes & Noble Cafe

Posted in Events with tags , , , on April 16, 2015 by 6GPress

TONIGHT at 7PM…

Aubrey Hirsch & John Thomas Menesini share their words at the Barnes & Noble by Duquesne.

http://www.duq.edu/academics/schools/liberal-arts/academic-departments-of-liberal-arts/english/news-and-events

4/15 Sausage Party @ Cyberpunk Apocalypse

Posted in Events with tags , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2015 by 6GPress

THIS WEDNESDAY…

sausage party small