Jesse Helms and Jane’s Addiction
On November 7, 2018 | 0 Comments

One reason why I’m currently researching Jane’s Addiction is because their show I attended on November 13, 1990 in Chapel Hill, N.C. was a week after the first Senate race of Jesse Helms v. Harvey Gantt, who was an African-American architect that led the race the whole time before barely losing at the end, after […]

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“This is Why” by Tracy K. Smith
On September 26, 2018 | 0 Comments

Here’s the first paragraph of Tracy K. Smith‘s introduction to American Journal, an extraordinary new collection of 50 poems by 50 living poets selected by her.  I think hers is the best explanation for this kind of work that I’ve ever read.  And I believe it applies to all sorts of documentary poetry, not just writing. […]

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Paperback of Gene Smith’s Sink with New (Original) Cover
On August 30, 2018 | 0 Comments

The paperback edition of Gene Smith’s Sink came out last week.  The cover, I just learned today when I opened a box of them, is the one we (me, my editor, the designer) strongly preferred for the hardback, with no images.  It’s a literary book, we argued, not a photography book.  But the higher-ups overrode […]

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Sink at Big Ears 2018
On August 9, 2018 | 0 Comments

This photograph just in from longtime collaborator Kate Joyce in Santa Fe.  She made it just after the Gene Smith’s Sink event at Big Ears.  Jason Moran and Rachel Grimes played piano tunes intermixed with my readings and Jem Cohen’s short film based on a chapter in my book.  I’m lucky to be able to work with […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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