ALL Review

The ALL Review features interviews with artists and writers appearing at Arts + Literature Laboratory. We also feature excerpts from featured titles in our smALL Press Library. 

Remember waiting for a care package? Or Charlie Brown, standing by the mailbox on Valentines Day, waiting for a valentine? Charlie Brown doesn’t get a valentine, but we imagine every other mailbox stuffed with messages, notes and love letters. I can’t tell you how to get love letters to fill your mailbox, but I can tell how it will be filled with poems.

This is about Octopus Books, one publisher I subscribe to. It’s also about supporting small publishers and the things they send you if you do.

Poet Jeanie Tomasko's response to the beautiful and thought-provoking book of poetry Her Animals by Emily Johnston from Madison's own Hummingbird Press.

A Karen & Michael Braziller Book/Persea Books, $15.95

On This Day in Poetry History, weaves together incidents from the lives of major figures from mid-century American poetry, including Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, Sylvia Plath, Delmore Schwarz, and Anne Sexton with a lyric intensity. Amy Newman is a well-known critic and award-wining poet who teaches at Northern Illinois University. She talks with us about her newest book, which the New York Times Book Review called “dazzling,” and about finding that moment that poetry, and the poet, begins.

We talk with first-time novelist and Chicago resident Martin Seay, about his award-winning book The Mirror Thief, which spans centuries and continents, on finding a publisher, not giving up, and balancing research with writing.

Michael Bazzett’s debut poetry collection, You Must Remember This, (Milkweed Editions, 2014) won the Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry. His verse translation of the Mayan creation epic, The Popol Vuh, is forthcoming from Milkweed, and his second collection of poems, Our Lands Are not so Different, will be published by Horsethief Books in early 2017. Bazzett lives with his family in Minnesota, where he teaches English at the Blake School. In anticipation of his upcoming reading, ALL talked him about his forthcoming books, connections between older and newer work, and the process of putting a collection of poems together.

Kathleen Rooney is a founding editor of Rose Metal Press, a publisher of literary work in hybrid genres, and a founding member of Poems While You Wait, a team of poets and their typewriters who compose commissioned poetry on demand. She teaches English and Creative Writing at DePaul University and is the author of eight books of poetry, nonfiction, and fiction, including the novel O, Democracy!, which was recently named one of the top 10 Chicago novels of the 21st century by the Chicago Review of Books. She is also the author of the novel in poems Robinson Alone (Gold Wake Press, 2012), based on the life of Weldon Kees. With Eric Plattner, she is the co-editor of René Magritte: Selected Writings (University of Minnesota Press, 2016 and Alma Books, 2016). A winner of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship from Poetry magazine, her reviews and criticism have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, The Chicago Tribune, The New York Times Magazine, The Rumpus, The Nation the Poetry Foundation website and elsewhere. She lives in Chicago with her spouse, the writer Martin Seay, and her second novel, Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk, will be published by St. Martin’s Press in January of 2017. Recently, ALL talked with her about Magritte, mystery, what keeps her writing, and what comes next.

Ready to Visit?

Arts + Literature Laboratory is located in Madison’s Schenk-Atwood neighborhood at 2021 Winnebago Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704.

Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday 11am-3pm during exhibitions or by appointment. Please check the exhibitions calendar before planning your visit, as the gallery is closed between exhibitions and other schedule changes are posted here.


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