Homage to Nicole Rudick
On July 3, 2018 | 0 Comments

Today is Nicole Rudick’s last day as managing editor of The Paris Review, a job she’s held for eight years. She’s moving on to her own writing including finishing a book.  Her new era is exciting, but it gives me pause to look back.  I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if it hadn’t […]

Read more
Sink Event in Bologna, Italy
On June 7, 2018 | 1 Comments

Today I met the experimental musician Giovanni Succi for lunch at a restaurant in the countryside outside Bologna. Imagine your favorite eastern North Carolina barbecue house if it was homemade Italian food, or in Durham imagine Saltbox Seafood Joint with Italian food. No menu, you just discuss what they have for the day and what you […]

Read more
Excursion by Bill Morrison
On May 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

The summer 2006 issue of Virginia Quarterly Review arrived at my house in Chatham County, North Carolina and I was knocked down by four paintings by film artist Bill Morrison reproduced in that issue along with an introduction by Lawrence Weschler.  I was later coming to Morrison’s seminal film work than some people and these paintings […]

Read more
Two Quotes of the Day from Susan Howe
On May 4, 2018 | 0 Comments

From “Sorting Facts; or, Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker” by Susan Howe. “The will to produce poetic film, and particularly poetic documentary, still runs up against a wall of perplexity and indifference.” – Dziga Vertov. 1926. Not much has changed in 92 years. “I am an American poet writing in the English language. I […]

Read more
Gene Smith’s Sink coming in Paperback
On April 16, 2018 | 0 Comments
Sink Event at Big Ears 2018
On March 19, 2018 | 0 Comments

I’m excited and grateful for a Gene Smith’s Sink event at Big Ears Festival this Friday March 23, featuring brief readings by me special performances by Big Ears musicians Rachel Grimes, Jason Moran, and Aine O’Dwyer, plus Jem Cohen’s short film, Chuck-will’s-widow, based on a chapter in Sink. This event means more than most to me. While documenting […]

Read more
Sink Event at The Durham Hotel Feb. 28
On February 2, 2018 | 0 Comments

THIS UPCOMING EVENT means a lot to me.  I’ll be back in town to speak to the MFA students at the Center for Documentary Studies, where I was based for fifteen years and where I did much of my Smith and Jazz Loft work.  The event also features writer Allan Gurganus, to whom Gene Smith’s Sink […]

Read more
Interview on Outspoken Podcast from Cal. St. Fullerton
On January 11, 2018 | 0 Comments

Usually I’m on the interviewing side of oral history work.  HERE I’m receiving questions from Ben Cawthra of Cal. St. Fullerton’s Center for Oral and Public History, where I gave the annual Hansen Lecture in Fall 2017.  In a good oral history interview, not intended for broadcast but for posterity, the questions are deeper than […]

Read more
My Best of 2017
On December 15, 2017 | 0 Comments

2017 was epochal and challenging for most, including me.  It was the first time I’ve had an automobile license plate not issued in North Carolina.  Our toddler started bilingual day care, which he (and we) loved for five months before it almost disappeared overnight, saved by my wife and her colleagues on an urgent parent […]

Read more
Jem Cohen’s film “Chuck-will’s-widow”
On December 14, 2017 | 0 Comments

There’s not much that could make me feel better about Gene Smith’s Sink than Jem Cohen’s short film based on it, “Chuck-will’s-widow,” and his words to introduce the film’s online premiere last week at The Paris Review Daily.  The film premiered on screen at National Sawdust in Brooklyn in October.  Jem’s work has influenced me for almost as […]

Read more