Monday Memo

News November 4, 2019



What we're talking about this week:

  • This year's finalists for the Alice Award, who were celebrated last week at The Strand. The Alice Award, which was established in 2013 by Joan K. Davidson in memory of her mother, Alice Manheim Kaplan, awards $25,000 yearly to a "richly illustrated book." This year's Alice recipient, Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South, edited by Mark Sloan and Mark Long, compiles fifty-six photographers’ impressions of the American South, and was published as a companion to an exhibition at the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston in South Carolina. The Southbound exhibition is currently on tour. It might be coming to a gallery near you!

    We are also excited for the other Alice finalists. On the shortlist: Artists and Their Books/Books and Their Artists by Marcia Reed and Glenn Phillips, and Caravans of Gold, Fragments in Time: Art, Culture, and Exchange across Medieval Saharan Africa, edited by Kathleen Bickford Berzock.

  • This story in last week’s Times about Duane Michals’s upcoming show at the Morgan Library, which pairs Michals’s photographic work with items from the Morgan’s permanent collection. Included in the show: Voltaire’s red leather briefcase, drawings by Saul Steinberg and James Jacques Joseph Tissot, and—how could we resist—a portrait of Giorgio de Chirico by Irving Penn. De Chirico is one of Michals’s artistic heroes. “Like a god controlling lightning bolts, he could throw ideas,” Michals says of the artist. “He presented a private vocabulary that I had to learn to speak... Now I can speak de Chiricoean with a New York accent.” We recently published Geometry of Shadows, a book of de Chirico’s poetry, translated from the Italian by Stefania Heim. Needless to say, we’ve been practicing our de Chirocoean around the Dean Street office—with a New York accent, of course! Illusions of the Photographer: Duane Michals at the Morgan, runs through February 2, 2020.

  • The North American premiere of Annie-B Parson’s Ballet Dance, a balletic pas de deux inspired in part by John Haskell’s novel The Complete Ballet, which was published by Graywolf and A Public Space in 2017. Ballet Dance is presented by Big Dance Theater and will run November 8 and 9 at NYU’s Skirball Center. Included in the evening’s lineup are two more of Parson’s works that are not to be missed: The Road Awaits Us, based loosely on a Ionesco play, and Cage Shuffle: Redux, in which Paul Lazar recites one-minute lectures by John Cage while performing intricate choreography. Tickets here.

  • One of our favorite archives, the James Joyce Collection at the University of Buffalo. Who would have imagined that the most comprehensive collection of Joyce’s letters, manuscripts, and personal effects would have found its way to Buffalo, New York? But it’s all there, making Buffalo the number-one destination for Joyce aficionados—besides Dublin, that is. Included in the archive are page proofs for Ulysses and Finnegans Wake; hundreds of letters between Joyce and Sylvia Beach, the proprietor of Shakespeare and Company and first publisher of Ulysses; and Joyce’s personal library, unchanged from the moment he put it in storage upon fleeing Nazi-occupied Paris. The archive also includes an abundance of photographs, free to browse online. APS Editor Brigid Hughes will visit the University of Buffalo this week for an event presented by the Poetry Collection. Perhaps she’ll take a gander at the archive and report back.

    APS Associate Editor Laura Preston adds: “And actually Sylvia Beach, one of the greatest booksellers of the 20th century, publisher to Joyce and Hemingway, is buried in a cemetery in my hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. I didn’t realize this until recently. I was taking a walk among the headstones—as one does, in the month of October—and suddenly, there she was!”

  • The 14th annual Liberation-Based Healing Conference, which will take place November 8 and 9 at CUNY’s Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn. The LBHC presents a program of panels, movement-building, and art that aim to “disrupt coloniality through the paradigm of intersectionality.” 2018 A Public Space Fellow Deborah Taffa will be among the speakers. Tickets here.

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A Public Space is an independent nonprofit publisher of an eponymous award-winning literary, arts, and culture magazine, and APS Books. Under the direction of founding editor Brigid Hughes since 2006, it has been our mission to seek out overlooked and unclassifiable work, and to publish writing from beyond established confines. Subscribe today, and join the conversation. More

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