Aug 27, 2009

August/September Book Swap

We had the book swap with wine last night and La Muse made off with a load of music scores and cool books...

Eibhlís Farrell, the composer, went first, donating a plethora of her older and newer scores. Eibhlís is our An Foras Feasa Fellow for 2009.

The scores included: "Time Drops," a solo piano work she wrote for David Quigley and the Northern Ireland Arts Council, "Exandi Voces," which was commissioned by the International Cork Music Festival, Arioso, composed in 1994 for a young jazz saxophonist for the first International Saxophonist Festival in Japan, and "Time and Space Died Yesterday," a solo instrumental that was premiered in 2007 at the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Eibhlís also donated 4 music CDs: "Cór Na nÓg: Caislean Ruairi" composed by Siobhán ó Dúbháin, a local author and composer from Eibhlís' hometown, Rostrevor, as well as the same choir in "Cór Na nÓg in Madrid 2005," and two CDs "Contemporary Music from Ireland Volume 8" and "Volume 2" from the Contemporary Music Centre in Ireland.

Next came Johanne Clyne who is here working on a non-fiction book related to travel this retreat. Johanne donated Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel and the BBC's publication Coast which depicts the village Johanne grew up in, Warsash, a village in southern Hampshire, England.

David Georgi, who is here this retreat on a barter working on a translation of François Villon's poetry (you can read an essay David wrote about François Villon here for the Chicago Review on Stephen Rodefer's translation of Villon) brought a Buffalo book about where he's from in upstate New York. The book, The Last Fine Time, follows a Polish family living on the Polish east side between 40s and 50s Buffalo.

David also brought along a novella, The Following Story, about lost loves, where the narrator, a travel writer, wakes up in Portugal pretty sure that he went to bed in the Netherlands.

Aug 26, 2009

Interview with Dean Olsher on mediabistro from La Muse

Dean Olsher, who was here last retreat writing his new book, gave an interview from his room in La Muse to blogtalkradio and Mediabistro's "Morning Media Menu" show via Skype. Dean is a thirty-year veteran of radio reporting, being host of "The Next Big Thing" among other things.

For the interview Dean talked about radio, news, satellite radio, the internet, and his great book "From Square One," a meditation on crossword puzzles with cool digressions.

You can also check out other interviews with Dean here.

Aug 20, 2009

Lillie Jayne's show: "Poppy! An Enchanted Evening With Poppy Bulova."

Lillie Jayne, a singer and writer who came to La Muse a few years ago and bought a house here to boot, will be putting her show up at the New York International Fringe Festival.

It's a funny, mostly musical and a little weird and it's called "Poppy! An Enchanted Evening With Poppy Bulova." It's a character piece. Lillie wrote and directed it as well as wrote the songs. Michael O'Dell made the piano arrangements. Lilly plays Poppy and Michael plays Fagen Beauregard.

She is humbly accepting donations of a penny or five dollars or ten dollars or more to help her get the show up. If you want to donate a penny or a million dollars or anything in between, you can go to the POPPY BULOVA page, and then click on GREEN ROOM and then click on CONTRIBUTE. Then you can press a magic button that goes to Paypal.

Aug 11, 2009

August Book Swap

So, didn't post this until our most recent August attendee, Alexa Smith, got here with her two books.

Alexa, a fiction writer from San Francisco who lives in Manhattan, brought along Edward P. Jones' debut novel The Known World, as well as Baghdad Burning a blog that was turned into a book by an Iraqi who writes under the pseudonym Riverbend. Once a computer programmer who had lots of personal freedom after Baghdad's fall, Riverbend finds herself out of a job and largely restricted to the safety of her family's house.

Another New Yorker this month, Dean Olsher, donated his book From Square One, a book about what drives 50 million Americans to solve crossword puzzles every week. Dean also gave La Muse Mary Cantwell's collection of memoirs Manhattan Memoir, which includes American Girl, Manhattan, When I was Young and Speaking with Strangers about where he comes from.

Two attendees who were here last year, Toni Frietas and David Trujillo-Farley, also brought along books about where they live. David, who is here editing his novel, brought along The Local's Guide to Edinburgh, a word of mouth travels book, edited by Claudio Monteiro and Owen O'Leary, and Toni donated the tartan noir novel The Sacred Art of Stealing by Christopher Brookmyre.

David also donated Silverthorn by Raymond E. Feist as an example of something like what he's trying to achieve in his work. Toni is working on jewelry this retreat so she also brought along Jewels: A Secret History by Victoria Finlay. Toni also gave La Muse a great book on France and food: Traveling Naturally in France by Dorian Yates.

Another returning attendee, the novelist Robert Olmstead, brought along his great book of short stories River Dogs and his memoir Stay Here With Me. We also brought out Bob's books from last year for the other attendees to read, his novels Coal Black Horse and A Trail of Heart's Blood Wherever I Go and his book on writing Elements of the Writing Craft. Bob is here working on the third novel of the series he started with Coal Black Horse. The second novel of the series, Far Bright Star came out in May.

Eithne Nightingale, who is working on a memoir this retreat and works for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London,

brought along Sulaiman Addonia's first novel The Consequences of Love, a political romance set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 1989, and Scottsboro by Ellen Feldman, a fictional account of the Scottsboro case, in which nine black teenagers were accused of raping two white women told through the journalist character Alice Whittier.

Robin Chandler, an artist from Boston who teaches at Northeastern University in Boston, brought along The Papers of African Artists from the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian, as well as Impressos do Brasil, the catalogue of an exhibition of fine art Robin was featured in. Robin also donated Rainbow: Prints from Bob Blackburn’s (pictured above) Printmaking Workshop, a cultural presentation curated by Noah Jemisin.

Aug 10, 2009

La Muse GRADBritain article

Liza Filby, a writer from London and the Editor-in-Chief of GRADBritain, has written a lovely article, "Solitary Confinement," about her experience here at La Muse. You can check out the article by downloading the magazine here. Liza's article's on page 9.

Liza was here writing about Margaret Thatcher and God a few months ago. She is studying for a PhD on the relationship between Thatcher and the Church of England, at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. You can read an interview Liza gave to Caitlin Davies and The Independent newspaper here about her writing and Thatcher.

GRADBritain is a publication of Vitae, a researcher's portal for researchers, supervisors, research managers and employers.