Monday, August 29, 2011

An Interview with Amin Khan Author of VISION OF THE RETURN, forthcoming from The Post-Apollo Press

Here at The Post-Apollo Press, we are eagerly anticipating the publication of our newest book and latest addition to our Small Series, which has featured such gems as Leslie Scalapino's It's Go/In Quiet Illumined Grassland, Lyn Hejinian's Happily, and most recently, Denise Newman's The New Make Believe.

Forthcoming in February of 2012 is Amin Khan's Vision of the Return
, translated from the French by Dawn Michelle Baude, author of Post-Apollo's Egypt.

Amin Khan is an Algerian born poet who now lives in France. He and our publisher, Simone Fattal have known each other for upwards of 20 years. Simone first read Vision in its original French many years ago and has wanted to publish it ever since. Vision of the Return will be Amin's first book published in English, and to help us get to know more about him and his life, Amin generously arranged an interview with a long-time friend, Ahmed Djebbar.

An Interview w/ Amin Khan

by Ahmed Djebbar

Paris, July 31 2011

AD: At what age did you start writing poetry and it what circumstances?

AK: I started writing at the age of 10, one afternoon in the fall of 1966. I wrote a poem from beginning to end, without hesitation, the only poem I still remember and can, to this day, recite from memory. It was titled The Desert. At that time, I was attracted by large spaces. That attraction has remained an essential dimension of my imagination. I have always been fascinated by the desert and by the sea, which incidentally, are major landscapes of my country.

AD: Your first published collection?

AK: My first collection is called Colporteur. It was published in Algiers in 1980. It brings together poems written in the 1970s, poems of a young man…

AD: What was then the place of poetry in Algiers?

AK: A mixture of several things. The end of an era, of a system, which strictly controlled citizen expression including in literature and poetry. At that time, most Algerian writers published in Paris or Beirut. The Sned, which was a public enterprise, played its part in the censorship exercised by the State. However, thanks to the competence of the people who managed it, and of their skills in the literary and editorial fields, the books published by the Sned were of quality. There was a demand for quality and a real professional rigor. I remember when Colporteur came out, I had had with the director of the publishing house a real discussion about my manuscript, which had already been read by people such as the Poet Djamal Amrani. The discussion was about the opportunity and the “right” to a neologism in my first collection. I insist on this particular point because unfortunately, this quality of people has since disappeared… We were at the junction of a time of controlled freedom but also of competence and respect for the written word. It was also a time marked by the brutal power of money, of alienation and the decline of the ethics of the managers, and all this, within the same political and cultural system.

AD: Apparently, your poetry wasn’t subversive enough to be censored.

AK: This may be true. On the one hand, the national cultural scene gave a very modest place to literature in general and to poetry in particular. At that time, important Algerian writers were altogether excluded from that scene. Mohamed Dib lived and published in France. Kateb Yacine wasn’t writing any more poetry or prose and had started to write for the theater in “popular” Arabic. The new generation of poets, in the wake of Jean Sénac, either published in a marginal manner. And this included Tahar Djaout’s generation, which is also mine. Literature and poetry were marginalized. It is in this that Kateb Yacine’s approach was revolutionary. He quickly understood that people who would read his poetry or prose written in French wouldn’t be very many, but that on the contrary, the people would be reached through the usage of “popular” Arabic and by the medium of the theater. The regime perceived a greater danger coming from him than from any other poets even if they could also have a critical or rebellious discourse, which was confined to the margins of an already marginal and controlled cultural scene. I believe that the decision to not censor me was primarily due to the marginal status of poetry.

AD: You mentioned Djamal Amrani. What was your relationship to him?

AK: My relationship with him was episodic. He was in Barberousse prison during the war of Independence at the same time as my mother who was arrested in February 1957 (four months after I was born), during the Battle of Algiers. They didn’t know each other. I met him while at the university of Algiers in the 1970s. I then didn’t know much about his militant past. He was one of the readers of my first manuscript.

AD: What is your conception of poetry?

AK: The poetry I aspire to is limpid, understandable by most, and a poetry that translates a human experience, whether it is a historical, personal and/or collective one. Poets I admire the most, like Nazim Hikmet, speak of a total, complete, concrete reality with a clear point of view and a strong sensibility. For me, true poetry is capable of producing and projecting thought, has an intellectual quality to it, and is carried by an emotion without frills, flourishing, and mannerisms. I don’t like “poetry for the sake of poetry”. I don’t like formalisms or poetry as a political and ideological discourse. Poetry is a link established between the self and others by a same movement of emotion and thought.

AD: Have you ever thought of placing your poetic discourse in an existing school? And have you told yourself: I am part of an “intimate” or a “nationalist” school of thought?

AK: I started to write when I was a child, for reasons that are personal and mysterious, but without a poetic culture or knowledge of the existence of styles, schools and so on. I continued to write that way. Later on, influences and admirations came about. I consider my poetry to be neither intimate, nor nationalist, or any other “ist” for that matter. There is this personal approach which is for the most part inspired by my country, its history, its landscapes, by my personal story which is very closely linked to my country’s history in so that on both my mother’s and my father’s side, I come from a tradition of people who fought for the freedom of our people. I was born and I grew up in Algeria. My poetic images formed there. My travels allowed me to develop a wider vision, but that was also through the prism of my first poetic experience, hence my affinity, my passion, my dreams, on the side of the weak, the oppressed, the ones who fight for justice and liberty throughout the world, for Africa, my kinship to the blues.

AD: Now a question on the alchemy of the poetic discourse. My question came about after having seen images of you in China. I was interested in a remark that someone made in an account of your visit: “from time to time, Amine Khene stopped to attentively contemplate the gardens, the lotuses, and the medlar trees from Japan… Before he left he praised the exquisite Suzhou gardens...” How does the alchemy of your poems come about?

AK: I believe that when you are a poet, you have a certain way of looking at things. A personal view, that you never lose, that is always present and can manifest itself in many ways. Today, I can say that poetry is my real identity because it is through it that I see things and people… which has actually led me to make some mistakes… And of course, this doesn’t always translate in a poem. So, sometimes, you have a Chinese public servant, who probably is poet himself, who perceives that. I never thought however, that my emotion in front of the lotuses was so visible…

AD: You used the word freedom…

AK: I love freedom. However, more than freedom, I love justice. And so, I am not in an insoluble dilemma in how I live my poetry, my everyday life and my convictions. There is an interior harmony, perhaps a precarious equilibrium, which permits me to live these different dimensions – not without tensions, but without contradictions.

AD: What is the role of the deliberate lack of punctuation?

AK: Non-punctuation is a discipline. This discipline is a reflection of my conception of a poetic text, which should, in a spontaneous and natural way, have a rhythm and musicality without the need for punctuation.

AD: Your country is present through what constitutes a geography, but not a topography.

AK: Yes, this responds to a necessity of the poem. Most of my poems seem to not need the mention of any particular place.

AD: But they need references to impressions and general scenery?

AK: Yes because a historical and geographic context is present, though filtered by the junction of thought and emotion, which results in an abstraction level, more or less defined in the poem.

AD: Ok. What is your poetic “path “?

AK: I published Colporteur in 1980, poems of the 1970s. Les Mains de Fatma in 1982, poems of the 1980. Vision du retour de Khadija à l’Opium in 1989, poems written between 1980 and 1985, years in Algeria, as I perceived them anyway, which were a prelude to a catastrophe. The sudden irruption of money as a universal value was henceforth a dominant and was quickly destroying what had been built since the Liberation. Behind the so-called liberal discourse, there was a will to keep the worst of the regime, namely repression, authoritarianism, bureaucracy. And, the combination of the two materialized with corruption. This was on my mind when I wrote these poems. It was also a time when I was young, full of optimism, energy, love, and I had believed that Algeria was going to react and that my compatriots wouldn’t be led like that, to slaughter. I wrote within that contradiction: in a moment where I was in the upward curve in my life, while in front of my eyes, the future was collapsing.

AD: Here are a few statistics I made. I took the words you use. The words that come up the most pertain to the cosmos and the sidereal. When you have more human references, they are intimate and non-societal. Do you confirm this tendency?

AK: It is not conscious but at the same time, I take responsibility for it because, although not having a real culture in the domain, I am mystical. I think that’s what shows in some of my poems.

AD: You didn’t want to go there earlier.

AK: Because it’s not easy to talk about it. In my poetry, I am in, and I want a harmony, which is that realm, with elements of the cosmos, of the earth and the sky, and of humans, which are more or less abstract…

AD: This is confirmed in the 2nd category of statistics where what is linked to the human is tragic.

AK: It is in that sense that historic experience is filtered though personal expression. When I think blood, it is not necessarily mine. Maybe I’m thinking of the blood of certain martyrs. Or when I think sorrow, it is not necessarily mine, or mine only...

AD: Last question. Why this personalization with a name, Khadija, which is so historically marked?

AK: I chose the name Khadija because at the moment I wrote the poem, it was for me the face of Algeria. I wrote it in 1985 with an intuition that Algeria was going back to a very unfortunate and very sad past. It is the vision of the return of Algeria to a time of stagnation, of despair, a tragic regression in history. This poem is a one on one between two lovers. It is also a terrible disappointment, a time of mourning, a promise, a country…

* Amin Khan was born in Algiers during the Algerian War of Independence in1956. He grew up in a revolutionary family, writing poetry, and nurturing interests in philosophy and politics. Studies at the University of Algiers, the University of Oxford and the Insitut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris followed. As a diplomat and international civil servant, he held positions at the United Nations (New York), The World Bank (Washington, D.C.) and UNESCO in Paris, where he now lives with his family. His books include Les Mains de Fatma (Sned 1982) and Archipel Cobalt (MLD 2010), as well as the forthcoming Arabian blues (MLD 2012).

*Ahmed Djebbar is currently Professor Emeritus at the Sciences and Technology University of Lille (France). He is a renowned Historian of Mathematics, a former Algerian Minister of Education, and an avid reader of poetry. Amin and Ahmed have known each other for about 20 years.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Upcoming Events for Etel Adnan

* In contemporary world the political and financial conditions have not only diminished and deformed fundamental virtues of art, but have also rendered extremely difficult the substantial meeting and the flourishing dialogue between the artists of different cultures. Within the outside edges of contemporary political and financial reality, the 3rd International Meeting of Ancient Drama in Sikyon aspires to encourage the articulation of a free voice, to defend the significance of tradition, but also to support the demand of research and experimentation on theatre stage, within the framework of the contemporary dynamics. The 3rd International Meeting of Ancient Drama in Sikyon through the fundamental virtues of dynamism multi-centralism and theatrical polymorph looks at the future not nostalgically but decisively.

-Theodoros Terzopoulos Director, Artistic Director of the 3nd International Meeting of Ancient Drama.

Thursday August 25th
Etel Adnan (France)
Poet, Painter, Playwright
T o l e r a n c e
First Presentation // Read by Savvas Stroumbos
13:05-13:20 Discussion with Etel Adnan
13:20-13:30 Spyros Stamatopoulos, Mayor of Sikyonion
The Municipality of Sikyonion honours Etel Adnan

Dionysus in Exile
The Theatre of Theodoros Terzopoulos
International Conference
organised by the Dept. of Theatre Studies, Freie Universität Berlin
23 - 24 September 2011
Griechische Kulturstiftung Berlin, Germany

For more than thirty years, Theodoros Terzopoulos has been producing a deeply political theatre, characterized by a persistent resistance against established norms and perceptions of body, space and meanings. In their performances, Terzopoulos and the Attis Theatre employ disconcerting tactics, seek to destabilize and create ambivalence. Terzopoulos stages the representational instability as an uprooting and aims at a theatre in wandering that deprives the objects from their trivial positions and settings and mobilizes feelings of inquietude. As the familiar is absent, significations become suspended allowing the development of multifocal and centrifugal arrangements. In this sense, Terzopoulos’ theatre is in exile. The symposium will explore the wandering of Terzopoulos and his theatre in space and time, in order to describe the way in which the director and his theatre destabilizes the given and displaces forms and significations, to think about the »aesthetics of the exile« as a political act of entrenchment of the unfamiliar.

Friday, April 29, 2011

dOCUMENTA 13 : Featuring Publications by Post-Apollo Authors: Etel Adnan & Jalal Toufic

“100 Notes – 100 Thoughts.” Now available: The first 17 notebooks in both printed and e-book editions

As a prelude to the 2012 exhibition, dOCUMENTA (13) and Hatje Cantz have initiated a series of publications driven by the logic of the mind-at-work, presenting, writing, and drawing scenarios that point outside the normative bounds of academic text production. In the form of facsimiles of existing notebooks, commissioned essays, collaborations between artists and writers, and conversations, they present models of connection-making between the private and the public, between the pre-stage of intuitions, the naming of ideas, and the key-chain of arguments that provide the reader with a singular insight into working methods. The series is formed through interconnections, so that the notebooks could be described as an “interregnum,” a temporary rupture in discursive intelligence; they do not direct us towards reason as such, but towards a different understanding of the role of consciousness. They appear in three different formats (A6, A5, B5) and they are between 16 to 48 pages long. The contributors come from various fields such as art, science, philosophy and psychology, anthropology, political theory, literature studies, and poetry.

They include Etel Adnan, Kenneth Goldsmith, Péter György, Emily Jacir, Susan Buck-Morss, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, William Kentridge, Peter L. Galison, Erkki Kurenniemi, Lars Bang Larsen, György Lukács, Christoph Menke, Paul Ryan, Ayreen Anastas, Rene Gabri, Vandana Shiva, G. M. Tamás, Michael Taussig, Jalal Toufic, Ian Wallace, and Lawrence Weiner. Commissioned by dOCUMENTA (13)’s Artistic Director Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev together with Agent, Member of Core Group, and Head of Department Chus Martínez, this series is edited by Head of Publications, Bettina Funcke. The “100 Notes – 100 Thoughts” series will be launched at various places and in various moments, each accompanied by a discussion on the nature and the aim of this publishing project.

006: Etel Adnan : The Cost for Love We Are not Willing to Pay

In her poetic reflection, artist, poet, and essayist Etel Adnan (*1925) describes various forms of love: the love for ideas, for God, for things, and for nature. However, today we have distanced ourselves from a higher form of love that drove Nietzsche into madness and the Islamic mystic al-Hallaj into martyrdom. The love for nature, which Adnan describes through her own experience, even seems to have given way to contempt—how else could the ecological catastrophe toward which we are steering be explained? The price to stop it would be too high, as it would involve a radical change in our way of life—similar to the experience of conventional love between two people, which involves such intensity only a few are ready to endure it.

20 pp., 1 ill.,
14,8 x 21 cm, paperback
€ 6,– [D], CHF 9,90
ISBN 978-3-7757-2855-3
c. € 4,99 [D]
ISBN 978-3-7757-3035-8

Etel was born in 1925 in Beirut and lives in Sausalito, Cal., and Paris. She studied literature at the Sorbonne, Paris, at Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., and Berkeley University. In 1984, she worked with Robert Wilson on his opera CIVILwarS and has exhibited internationally. Her recent publications include Master of the Eclipse (2009), Seasons (2008), In the Heart of the Heart of Another Country (2005), and In/somnia (2002). 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts No. 006: The Cost for Love We Are Not Willing to Pay photo: Franck Guérin, 2011

Jalal Toufic: Reading, Rewriting Poe’s “The Oval Portrait”—Angelically

In the second edition of his book (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (2003), Jalal Toufic notes: “I was for years concerned with schizophrenia and with schizophrenics, who appeared in my Credits Included: A Video in Red and Green, 1995; and I am now interested in ‘the little girl,’ whom I expect to appear in my coming vampire film. . . . At one level, the Thirteenth Series in Gilles Deleuze’s The Logic of Sense, 1969, ‘The Schizophrenic and the Little Girl,’ can thus be retrospectively viewed as a program for the work of a decade on my part.” In this new essay, he writes on the portrait of the pubescent girl, including in Poe’s “The Oval Portrait.” “The successful portrait of a pubescent girl is not a rite of passage but a rite of non-passage; what needs a rite is not passage, which is the natural state (at least for historical societies), but non-passage, the radical differentiation between the before, in this case a pubescent girl, and the after, a woman.” From the portrait of the pubescent girl, Toufic moves to the portrait in general and its paradigmatic relation to the angel; thus the title of this notebook: Reading, Rewriting Poe’s “The Oval Portrait”—Angelically. — Most of Jalal Toufic’s books are available for download as PDF files at his website: > .

24 pp., 1 ill.,
14,8 x 21 cm, paperback
€ 6,– [D], CHF 9,90
ISBN 978-3-7757-2860-7
c. € 4,99 [D]
ISBN 978-3-7757-3040-2

Jalal Toufic, writer, artist Born in 1962 in Beirut or Baghdad, Jalal Toufic is a thinker and a mortal to death. He is the author of, among other books, Graziella: The Corrected Edition (2009), The Withdrawal of Tradition Past a Surpassing Disaster
(2009), Undeserving Lebanon (2007), Two or Three Things I’m Dying to Tell
You (2005), Forthcoming (2000), (Vampires): An Uneasy Essay on the Undead in Film (1993; 2nd ed., 2003), and Distracted (1991; 2nd ed., 2003). Most of his books are available for download as PDF files at his website He is a guest of the 2011 Artists-in-Berlin Program of the DAAD. 100 Notes – 100 Thoughts No. 011: Reading, Rewriting Poe’s “The Oval Portrait”—Angelically Welcome to the info section of the dOCUMENTA (13) website. ...

For more information about dOCUMENTA 13 visit their website.

Monday, April 11, 2011


The Post-Apollo Press' very own MARIBOR won the 2011 Northern California Book Award (NCBA) for best Poetry Translation this Sunday!!!

The Northern California Book Awards were established by NCBR (formerly the Bay Area Book Reviewers Association, or BABRA) in 1981 to honor the work of northern California writers and recognize exceptional service in the field of literature here in northern California. They are co-sponsored by Poetry Flash, the Center for the Art of Translation, the San Francisco Public Library, the Friends of the SF Library, the Mechanics Institute, and PEN West. The awards recognize excellence in newly published fiction, non-fiction, poetry, translation, and children's literature. The Translation Awards are sponsored by the Center for the Art of Translation.

Heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS to Maribor's translators, John Sakkis & Angelos Sakkis. This award represents much deserved recognition of their refreshing and contemporary approach to their work with poet Demosthenes Agrafiotis.

You can read more about Maribor here at our website.

You can order your own copy of Maribor, directly from us by by:
email :
phone : (415) 332-1458
fax : (415) 332-8045
mail : 35 Marie St., Sausalito, CA 94965

Or online via our fantastic distributor, Small Press Distribution.

Friday, April 8, 2011

The Phenomena Pre-Publication Special Offer from Your Two Favorite Small Presses : Litmus Press and The Post-Apollo Press.

In 2010 both Litmus Press and The Post-Apollo Press had the honor of working with poet Leslie Scalapino on what were, sadly, to be her last two books. The first, an epic work of prose poetry, The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom, published in August, 2010 by The Post-Apollo Press and now, forthcoming May 2011 from Litmus Press, a new and expanded edition of How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (originally published by Potes & Poets in 1989). This new version includes twenty-three new essays (only three of which have been published in previous collections) and seven additional poetic pieces.

During the Month of April take advantage of this pre-release deal by ordering both titles How Phenomena Appear to Unfold (in advance of its publication in May) and The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom via Litmus Press for only $30*. Through this deal, you’ll be buying Dihedrons and getting Phenomena for $1. Such a deal!

Checks payable to Ether Sea Projects, Inc may be sent to:

Litmus Press
925 Bergen St. #405
Brooklyn, NY 11238

Please include a printout of the announcement, or write "Phenomena Pre-Pub Deal" on the memo line of check.

*Domestic orders add $3 shipping; international orders add $10 shipping.

You can also follow this deal on Facebook

How Phenomena Appear to Unfold
Leslie Scalapino
May 2011 • ISBN: 978-1-933959-12-2 • $24
Litmus Press

In “Eco-logic in Writing” one of many brilliant essay-talks in this volume, Leslie Scalapino asks, “Seeing at the moment of, or at the time of, writing, what difference does one’s living make?” What more crucial question for those concerned not only with writing but with poethics: composing words into a socially conscious wager … Scalapino’s Steinian strategy of recomposing the vision of one’s times, “altering oneself and altering negative social formation,” is her artfully problematized project of writing ourselves into a better future …
Joan Retallack

Praise for the 1989 edition:

“Where critics used to debate, as if it were a real thing, a difference between form and content, so now they would separate "“theory” from “practice,” and thus divide a poet from his or her own intentions and poetry from its motives. But in fact poetic language might be precisely a thinking about thinking, a form of introspection and inspection within the unarrested momentum of experience, that makes the polarization of theory and practice as irrelevant as that of form and content, mentality and physicality, art and reality.

Leslie Scalapino is one of a certain number of contemporary poets who have engaged in the struggle, not against distinctions but against the reification of false oppositions … these essays (works) are an essential testament to poetry and to its embodiment and the book is an important contribution to the singularity and wholeness of her project.” Lyn Hejinian

The Dihedrons Gazelle-Dihedrals Zoom
Leslie Scalapino
August 2010 • ISBN: 978-0942996-72 • $29

Described by the author as referencing a cyber Alice in Wonderland … composed by process of alexia, (word blindness) : unknown words were chosen by leafing through Webster’s Dictionary at random; these generate characters and events that cohere as a sci-fi novel in which the characters are apparently divided from their senses . . . ; by virtue of this dysaphic quality they act to heal mind-body split visibly demonstrated by the dihedrons and the gazelle-dihedrals, humanlike creatures — who inhabit the emerald dark . . .

The Divine Comedy for our age, with, if one could say, more humanity and
more derision.
Etel Adnan

This is not a poem or a story but a mystical vision.
Fanny Howe

Scalapino’s jewel book that has come out of the spagyric hinterlands of
purest imagination. . . . it zooms with the elegance of a gazelle or a wolf . . .
Virginia Woolf.
Michael McClure

Friday, April 1, 2011

Cross Cultural Poetics : An Interview with Demosthenes Agrafiotis

Demosthenes Agrafiotis, author Maribor (Post-Apollo, 2010) and Chinese Notebook (Ugly Duckling, 2011) in conversation with host Leonard Schwartz on the Cross Cultural Poetics radio program.

Demosthenes reads two poems aloud from Maribor in the original Greek, followed by readings in English by Leonard Schwartz and discusses the process of translation through his work with translators Angelos Sakkis and John Sakkis.

A true delight!

Listen at Penn Sound :

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dunagan on Guston

Patrick Dunagan, author of There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn't Talk : A GUSTONBOOK, with a write up for The SF Bay Guardian on a special screening of the 1980 documentary "Philip Guston: A Life Lived and Discussed" that will happen tonight in San Francisco. Dunagan will also give a talk at this evening's screening along with poets Clark Coolidge and Bill Berkson, friends and colleagues of Philip Gustons. See article for details.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Post-Apollo : News & Upcoming Events

Exciting times for The Post-Apollo Press. See below for the newest-latest news and events.

N E W S :

Post-Apollo's most recent work of translation, Maribor, has been nominated for a Northern California Book Award in the category of poetry translation. Huzzah!

The award will be presented on behalf of On behalf of the Northern California Book Reviewers and the Center for the Art of Translation at The 30th Annual Northern California Book Awards. Here are the details:

When: Sunday, April 10, from 1:00–2:30 pm, with a book signing and reception immediately following in the Latino/Hispanic Community Room.

Where: in the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library, 100 Larkin Street at Grove. The Awards Ceremony is held from 1:00–2:30 pm. The ceremony and reception are free and open to the public, so come on by to support John and Angelos Sakkis!

Good luck to John and Angelos! We will be rooting for you.


E V E N T S :

MARCH 12th

John Sakkis, co-translator of Maribor will be reading as part of 'Lectric Collective'sthird installment of Ekphrastic! Here are details:

Join us big time for our third installment of Ekphrastic! a multimedia reading series.

Poets reading are:
Steven Lance
John Sakkis
C.S. Giscombe

Exhibiting Artists:
Shannon May
Jae Lauren Payne
Jon Stich
Ben Belknap
Peter Schulte
Misako Inaoka
Sarah Ratchye

These artists have been asked to create original pieces in conversation with these poets. This night will act as a culmination of our project, joining the art with the writing that inspired it.

Additional hours for viewing artwork will be held Sunday afternoon, March 13.

Reading material will be for sale, there will be wine.

The 'Lectric Collective is:
Jillian Roberts
Sarah Rothberg
Kelsa Trom


MARCH 14th

Patrick James Dunagan, author of Post-Apollo’s “There Are People Who Say That Painters Shouldn’t Talk : A GUSTONBOOK” will introduce a special screening of a documentary honoring the life and work of painter Philip Guston:

Clark Coolidge + Bill Berkson, in dialogue

Monday March 14th, 7:00 pm
Balboa Theatre, 3630 Balboa Street, San Francisco

Poets Clark Coolidge and Bill Berkson will discuss the life, work and influence of one of the most intellectually adventurous and poetically gifted of modern painters, in light of the newly published Collected Writings, Lectures and Conversations of Philip Guston (UC Press). Over the course of his life, Guston’s wide reading in literature and philosophy ever deepened his commitment to his art — from his early Abstract Expressionist paintings to his later gritty, intense figurative works.

This event is presented by Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization housed at Bird & Beckett Books and Records in San Francisco.

$10 admission.

For more information, please call 415-586-3733, email, or check .

MARCH 23rd

Patrick James Dunagan reads at Moe’s Books in Berkeley:

Patrick Dunagan and Julien Poirer, Wednesday, March 23rd
Moe's Books
2476 Telegraph Ave.
Berkeley CA 94704



Patrick James Dunagan reads at Bird & Beckett Books and Records in San Francisco:

POETS Patrick James Dunagan & Jason Morris, plus an open mic. Jerry Ferraz, MC

Date:Monday April 4, 2011
Time:7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Bird & Beckett Books and Records | 653 Chenery St. San Francisco, CA 94131 | (415) 586-3733 | | Design and logo by Jack

Monday, February 21, 2011

Simone Fattal : Sculpture Show in Beirut


Opening : March 2nd 2011
From 6 to 9 pm
The exhibition will be on view until April 20th 2011

Opening hours : Mon to Fri from 1 to 7pm
Sat 12pm-5pm

Espace Kettaneh Kunigk (Tanit)
Clemenceau - Hamara area
Gefinor Center - Bloc E - GF
Phone : 961 1 738706
Email :

website : <>

Post-Apollo Mailing List

Hello friends,

We are in the process of revamping our mailing list, both email and snail mail. We use these lists to send announcements about new titles, events and special offers. If you would like to be added to our list or if you are already on our list and would like to update your information, please send us an email with your email and/or mailing address to: Please include the subject line: Mailing List.

Thanks very much!

Monday, February 7, 2011


So, as many of you know, Patrick James Dunagan's "There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn't Talk : A GUSTONBOOK" is now officially out in the world, and officially released as of last Friday's book release party at Lake Gallery in San Francisco. Simone Fattal our dear publisher wasn't able to join us this time as she is currently preparing for an exhibition of her sculptures in Beirut (more about that as the exhibition approaches), but she was there in spirit and in the intriguing figure of her line drawing featured on the cover of A GUSTONBOOK, and in the book's design. Many fine folks were in attendance. I especially appreciated the explicit and implicit interactions between literature and visual art made manifest in the event itself, truly in the spirit of Philip Guston himself. So, in this spirit and in the celebratory spirit of the book and of last Friday's event, I would like to use this blog to say, "Let's do this more often!"

The handsome fruits of our labors.

The handsome book and co.

The postcard for the Lake Gallery show we piggy-backed upon.
Big THANK YOU's to Dan Johnson, the curator of Lake Gallery, and to Corey French & Ryan Coffey for welcoming Post-Apollo and sharing their opening night reception with our book release party.

Sneaky photo of Patrick James Dunagan (fellow in glasses).

Sneaky photo of P.J.D. and Ava with party go-ers in foreground.

The gallery featuring artworks by Corey French & Ryan Coffey. Ryan was quoted by Patrick in A GUSTONBOOK saying, "Guston is a god". He commented that the book's cover design (by our dear publisher, Simone Fattal) reminded him of old Grey Wolf Press books--a nice compliment from an artist/bibliophile. Gobs of paint were still WET on Corey's paintings, looking good enough to EAT. And that's David Highsmith (with friends), writer and proprietor of Books & Bookshelves one of the best poetry bookstores in San Francisco with an exceptional collection of chapbooks. B&B carries Post-Apollo books, including A GUSTONBOOK.

Gorgeous Lake Gallery interior with PLANTS and evidence of a great turnout. Lake Gallery occupies the space above PlantIt Earth. There were flats of basil and other plants growing all around us under white and even purple grow lights. Super attractive.

Drew Cushing, writer and publisher of Bent Boy Books, perusing the merchandise.

John Sakkis, poet and translator of Post-Apollo's Maribor represents.

CODEX Book Fair: Etel Adnan's "Seasons", "The Spring Flowers Own" and "The Linden Trees Cycle"

This week artist books featuring the work of Etel Adnan will be showing at The CODEX Book Fair on the UC Berkeley Campus. February 6-9. (see below for details)

From Despalles Editions: Seasons with wood block prints by Johannes Strugalla. Click here to view pages from the book.

From Editions Al Manar: Printemps que les fleurs possèdent / Linden Trees, français / anglais, de Etel Adnan, rehaussé d'une aquarelle de l'auteur/peintre. (The Spring Flowers Own, and The linden Trees Cycle) with watercolors by the author.

The CODEX Book Fair, February 6-9

The third biennial CODEX International Book Fair will take place February 6-9, 2011 on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley.

The bookfair will be held in the Pauley Ballroom located in the Martin Luther King Student Union, at the top of Telegraph Avenue.

The price of admission to the fair for the general public for Four days is $20. A single-day ticket is $10. A FOUR-day ticket for students (with I.D.) is $5.

The public hours are:
Feb. 6: 12:00 – 4:00
Feb. 7: 12:30 – 6:30
Feb. 8: 12:30 – 6:30
Feb. 9: 12:30 – 4:30

For further information, please visit:

Monday, January 24, 2011

Now Available from The Post Apollo Press

There Are People
Who Think That
Painters Shouldn't Talk


by Patrick James Dunagan

Poetry $15 96pgs 978-0942996-73-9

GUSTONBOOK is a workman’s notebook of sorts sketched out in response to years spent contemplating the work and life of painter Philip Guston in relation to the ongoing world, i.e. exhibitions, books on/about Guston, other books/art works amid daily walks, drinks, and talks. More explorations than explanations, the entries contained situate the eye of memory as witness to the immediate surrounds of now: day to day, hour by hour, the concern never (always) changing. As Guston once said, gesturing out the window, “Who wants that? And you can’t have it anyway.”

Sometime in the late 1960s, the mode of thought and talking known as Pondering with Guston became a frequent option for poets, most of them far younger than Guston himself. Aside from his prodigious genius as a painter, Philip Guston was an adept reader of modern poetry and prose, philosophy and art history; an ardent conversationalist and a sharp writer on his own and others’ works. His multifarious Romance of Doubt was an ongoing and fructifying virtuoso performance of irony and dialectic, conscience and devilish enjoyment, sublimity and near-sublime despair. In this provocative sequence, Patrick Dunagan—who never met the artist but knows his work cold, so to speak—has caught the fever. Unlike others so inclined, he engages Guston’s thought very much on his home turf: Poetry, subsuming all matters of “art” (as well as other parts of daily life), is where they join. As Dunagan says, “Person is assemblage…so many comprise a whole.” The book is a form of open conversation; the reader is welcome. —Bill Berkson

Dunagan writes, “A form is that which beckons.” Not only did this poem beckon, it put me in a state of reverberation with my own haunts. Guston’s legacy is paid homage to though the creation of a speculative (or in Guston’s term, baffling) environment. Steps forward in the world of the poem can provide “a longed for /sense of fucked up” because it’s whatever the opposite of numb is—it's the gong an artist rings to make us know that our bodies are surrounded by infinite “companion volumes.” —Stacy Szymaszek

Patrick James Dunagan lives in San Francisco and works at Gleeson Library Geschke Center for the University of San Francisco. A graduate of the Poetics Program New College of California, his writings have appeared in: Amerarcana, Art-voice, Big Bell, Chain, Critical Flame, Fulcrum, Jacket, ON, Polis, Rain Taxi, SF Bay Guardian, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Try!, and Vanitas. Recent chapbooks include: from Chansonniers (Blue Press, 2008), Spirit Guest & Others (Lew Gallery Editions, 2009), Easy Eden w/ Micah Ballard (PUSH, 2009) and her friends down at the french cafe had no english words for me (PUSH, 2010).

Monday, January 17, 2011

Art as Place Holder for the Mind

A Conversation Between painter Will Yakulic and Patrick James Dunagan, author of the forthcoming book from The Post-Apollo Press,"There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn't Talk" : A GUSTONBOOK.

Will Yackulic: Hey Patrick some thoughts: "There are people who think painters shouldn't talk". I was one of those people, AND I am a painter. But I may have changed my mind, or at least I'm open to it. A friend, and fellow painter, Tommy Burke said the other day "Sometimes you gotta lead people around a bit" because people have a hard enough time with their own every day to have to try and understand where you're coming from. Life is contingency and negotiations between always-moving parts. We expect that it's a balancing act between the known and the unknown, but we forget that what we know is always in flux.

This is hard for people to come to grips with. The rug gets pulled out over and over from beneath us, and the stumble that follows is a source for art. "Need to organize / occupy and hold / the space is there / ever to escape", a human impulse, knowledge; but it's the second half that's a more cogent argument for leading the artist to the blank canvas, the writer to the blank page, etc. To this space I send "outposts". It’s research, asking questions, perhaps questions with no answers. To paraphrase Picasso "Answers are for computers". Thankfully, there is always the unknown. A world which would be absolutely quantifiable would be, besides impossible, horrifying.

Patrick James Dunagan: Hey Will, your “outposts” are the small chapbooks I’ve seen?

Yackulic: Anything I send out in the world is an "outpost".

Dunagan: . . . which appear to be the mixing of your original writing and drawing with found text and image— often from out of “official” sorts of publications like ‘how-to’ manuals or dictionaries or travel guides.

I’ve always thought of the “outposts” as a sort of one shot quickie takes of whatever’s round in your thoughts and/or work and living space, in the moment. Thought through, but not fully deliberate. An element of the come upon by way of, if not chance, perhaps a virtue of the quick glance, or succession of...& it is this kind of off the cuff “what if” which draws me to Guston, over and over…a sorta serial approach to getting at the problems of living, what to do, where to go, who to talk to, what to say, day after day…through the activity of Art…not that one doesn’t know or wouldn’t if not busy with the creating of the thing, but that the concern already present finds itself formed by way of the making. That nothing is without an interest already formed about it.

Yackulic: Well those things are whims, they require whittling and stacking, but we are ultimately driven by whims that we choose to take seriously. If "a form is that which beckons" then it's true; ideas are forms. But I don't want my words in stone, I want to change them rearrange them, make up new meanings: this is closer to what life is like anyway, not much stays the same. Oscar Wilde said something like: The more inconsistent we are the truer we are to ourselves. However, the forms help us as placeholders for the contingency of life, the chaos, to my mind, in the German phrase "Es schwimmt mir vor den Augen" (literally: it swims before my eyes). This tack is subverted in the phrase "Environment is inherent fact" objectively perhaps, until Robert Moses bulldozes your apartment to make a highway to the suburbs. But I'd like to suggest that that's one thing that makes art interesting; the way in which we experience it is, like feelings, subjective, thus personal, and ultimately unknowable.

Dunagan: And that kind of line, when and how any such a thing turns to stone, is one possible enticement bout art, along with the odd paralleling and sometime apparent co-propelling relationship of the image to the text, poet to painter: erasing boundaries while exploiting the experiential phenomenon…attempting an understanding that ultimately leads nowhere save back into the self.

Yackulic: A considerable amount of energy has been spent in the last 30-40 years making "knowable" art, didactic stuff that is illustrative in terms of its relation to theory. It's academic and of a particular style, but "Just because you have a style, doesn't mean you have Style". To bring it back to Guston: what we remember him for is the work he did in the last decade of his life. Before that he had a style (abstract expressionism), but then he ditched that and painted and he had Style. De Kooning was one of the only people at first to recognize the importance of the late work; of course he had a figurative streak, too, that ran counter to his abstract tendencies.

Dunagan: But Guston also said something like, “there is no progress in painting.” That the painter is always painting the same painting…which is like, yeah, when in that last decade he’s headed off into this terrific territory, but all the same he was always already there.

Yackulic: When I speak of Style (capital "S") I'm thinking it's something like having no illusions about your limitations and playing to your strengths and weaknesses. Or even the classic "let your weaknesses be your strengths". He wanted to tell a story. He has said that his pictures all come from anxiety (which would make him the Woody Allen of Painting, I guess) and I take it he's speaking of the later work and while it may be where they come from we shouldn't get that confused, as some have, for what they give to us.

Dunagan: Which is simply far more than Woody Allen ever gets up to. Certainly, you walk away from gazing at a Guston with a certain shock of recognition that lasts longer than a chuckle and a shrug. Perhaps that’s a form of an anxiety inducing experience, but for one thing it’s far and above merely a personal anxiety. It’s like talking bricks over pigeon-shit.

Yackulic: He has been criticized for not being a "generous" painter, which is hogwash. Honesty is a sort of generosity regarding truth, and this late work is nothing if not honest, remember that his figurative work was almost universally hated when he presented it at first. He must have known that it would be (I'm headed for what I think will be a similar reaction.) Furthermore, after giving up on abstraction he spoke of how miserly it was (is)

Dunagan: Yeah, again: The making of the thing. That’s like what allows for anything to be possible. What is is because of. Things like Charles Olson’s using that “FIRST FACT” as an opening launch of sorts in his book on Herman Melville, Call Me Ishmael. Laying it down in broad strokes, even the smallness of shapes takes on huge scope. That which matters is…

Yackulic: However, when we experience spaces that appear (remember however, appearances can be deceiving) to have stood as rocks within the swirling eddy of time we become MORE aware of the contingent nature of reality. As in "history is something / ideally we'd touch" said Gustaf Sobin (I'm using his phrase to my own ends here, but what else can one do? after all, so do you quoting him in the book), who was a teacher of mine when I studied in Lacoste, France and lived in a building over a thousand years old.

Dunagan: Man, did you really study with SOBIN? Is that what you’re saying? That’s crazy...I just dissed his Collected Poems in a review but I do adore his books about the landscape of Provencal … from which I took that quote. It is the idea of getting to touch a thing that is so compelling about artists, like living with a painter or sculptor seems like it’d be such an incredibly jealous fueling experience, particularly if the relationship was of a romantic nature. O’Hara is fabulous in capturing this in writing I think. How cool it is to have a thing which you is produced from things, the materials used, etc

Yackulic: He introduced me to Patchen and I think I really rankled him in my, at the time, serious persistence of non-seriousness (he showed me Patchen, so what gives?) and probably, more-so, for standing up to him but he remembered me years later for it. But in Lacoste I came to FEEL, for the first time, truly my sense of passing through history. You don't feel this growing up in NYC because the city changes as fast as you do, which strangely undoes your sense of change. You need this slippage, this friction is the measure of things we need if we wish to hold on to our mind, that is, in terms of having perspective.

Dunagan: Haha… yeah, Sobin strikes me as lacking in an appreciation of the anything this side of the non-seriousness… and when serious being non-serious is sometimes the only way to get things done which will matter. It all adds up and that weighs something heavy once you take a look long enough to feel it—which sometimes doesn’t take any longer than a second. That sorta drag of awareness which accompanies any kinda knowledge. The idea of getting through the day: “Time is a bitch” like the t-shirts used to say. All of life being this accumulation of experiences, the numerous encounters with this and that, a vast piling which you end up hanging out in.

Yackulic: And then we put it to the page.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year! Updates!

Greetings from The Post-Apollo Press, ready to get crackin' in 2011. First, we would like to let you know that we area currently in production on Patrick Dunagan's There Are People Who Think That Painters Shouldn't Talk : A GUSTONBOOK . The book will feature a cover drawing by our dear publisher, Simone Fattal, inspired by Philip Guston's "Untitled" (1971)

Here is what Bill Berkson and Stacy Szymaszek have to say about it:

Sometime in the late 1960s, the mode of thought and talking known as Pondering with Guston became a frequent option for poets, most of them far younger than Guston himself. Aside from his prodigious genius as a painter, Philip Guston was an adept reader of modern poetry and prose, philosophy and art history; an ardent conversationalist and a sharp writer on his own and others’ works. His multifarious Romance of Doubt was an ongoing and fructifying virtuoso performance of irony and dialectic, conscience and devilish enjoyment, sublimity and near-sublime despair. In this provocative sequence, Patrick Dunagan -- who never met the artist but knows his work cold, so to speak -- has caught the fever. Unlike others so inclined, he engages Guston’s thought very much on his home turf: Poetry, subsuming all matters of “art” (as well as other parts of daily life), is where they join. As Dunagan says, “Person is assemblage….so many comprise a whole.” The book is a form of open conversation; the reader is welcome. -- Bill Berkson

Dunagan writes, “A form is that which beckons.” Not only did this poem beckon, it put me in a state of reverberation with my own haunts. Guston’s legacy is paid homage to though the creation of a speculative (or in Guston’s term, baffling) environment. Steps forward in the world of the poem can provide “a longed for /sense of fucked up” because it’s whatever the opposite of numb is – it's the gong an artist rings to make us know that our bodies are surrounded by infinite “companion volumes.”- Stacy Szymaszek

Look out for this one! More to come!

Secondly, we have some Maribor related updates including a new review by Amy Henry on Gently Read Literature.

Plus, Demosthenes's visual/concrete work will be posted all week at TextOfTheDay

and a new artist book has been published by Red Fox Press/ C'est Mon Dada