Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now
For some reason, when it finally occurred to me to post about these exciting new developments in contemporary fiction on our now-down-to-three-visitors-a-day blog, Starship's "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," came into the field. It's not an entirely appropriate soundtrack the news that Sana and Sugi are making large literary splashes, but something about the tone is right. Incidentally, you can download the ringtone of the song here
. And here are links to our ladies' author pages: Sana
In Which the U. of Iowa Tries To Put Theses on the Internets for Free
Horrified that this has prompted my return to the blog, but guess what?
Iowa wants to put MFA theses on the Web.... for free.
Read more here
. Also pasting an e-mail from the awesome Kembrew McLeod
, who is spearheading efforts against.
Wednesday, March 12
Hello, and Greetings From Iowa City:
Over the past twenty-four hours I have dealt various University of
Iowa administrators, and I now have a (somewhat) better understanding
of how UI is handling the controversy over the possible online
publishing of MFA theses. Regardless, I am still somewhat confused
about what exactly is going on, and I feel like I have taken a hit of
From what I can tell, the UI Library doesn't seem to be at fault;
they have no plans to scan MFA theses now or in the future. I know
and trust our librarians, and the ones I have talked to -- including
Paul A. Soderdahl, Director, Library Information Technology -- fully
agree that it is a bad idea to put MFA theses online.
That's the good news -- no old theses are being scanned, and there
are no plans to do so. However, there is bad news, and it affects
current MFA students who want to graduate from UI this year.
The controversy stems from a piece of paperwork that students have to
sign in order to deposit their thesis, and therefore graduate. It's
called a "First Deposit" form (found here: http://www.grad.uiowa.edu/
st.pdf). It contains brand new language
that can be construed as a license that hands over student thesis
publishing rights to the University of Iowa -- unless an embargo form
is signed, and that embargo only lasts two years. I ran the First
Deposit form by a very good entertainment lawyer who confirmed this
reading. In short, it's a badly written, ill-conceived document.
The problem is that the Graduate College (which gives out degrees)
won't revise this contested language (which it wrote), and the
deadline to turn in the First Deposit form is approaching in two
weeks. Even after internal pressure from students, staff, and
faculty, the Graduate College has refused to revert to the old,
I said before that this doesn't appear to have anything to do with
Google Print, but that's not entirely true. The language of this new
Graduate College form would allow for MFA theses deposited this year
to eventually be posted on Google Print, which is a reminder that we
need good university policies regarding copyright protections and
exceptions. I highly recommend UVA Prof. Siva Vaidhyanathan's blog,
The Googlization of Everything: http://
www.googlizationofeverything.com/, for more info about the broader
implications of the Google Print project.
This Friday, March 14, my colleague Loren Glass will meet with a Dean
at the Graduate College, Dale Wurster. Loren is representing the
concerns of UI's Nonfiction Writing Program -- which has led this
fight -- and he will try to convince Dean Wurster to go back to the
old form. Sadly, it's not an open meeting, and I won't even be
attending (Wurster scheduled me for an individual meeting next week,
UI librarian Paul Soderdahl and others have been urging the Graduate
College to revert to the old First Deposit form until we have time to
write a sane publishing policy regarding MFA theses. But there seems
to be some kind of breakdown between the Graduate College and the
Library, some kind of bizarre communication-scrambling wormhole that
spits out contradictory information.
Meanwhile, the clock is ticking on an April 5 deposit date, like a
really boring bureaucratic version of the TV show 24 -- all while
this year's crop of MFA graduates could suffer negative consequences.
Based on my own experience, I feel that UI's Graduate College has a
really poor record with copyright issues, including fair use, and I
am not hopeful that things will turn around. However, the external
pressure might help.
P.S. Please spread the word in emails and blogs, and you have my
permission to reprint this email.
Labels: Google, Iowa, Kembrew, MFA, rights, theses, Thisbe, Web
In continuing my never-ending quest for world domination...
Tracy and I are proud to announce the birth of Colette. Full name is Colette Carman Jane Kistulentz, and she was born December 8 at 6:54 pm., and weighed in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces. Among the famous folk who were born on December 8, three stand out: Sammy Davis, jr., Ann Coulter, and Jim Morrison. Fill in your own jokes here.
Ever feel down? Maybe Jim Hynes will make you happy. He's started a nice new blog called Cultwriter
, which I discovered after discovering his recipe for spaghetti sauce
I don't know what happened, but I decided to post on the blog today. And it's going to be about the possibility that Tess Gallagher, the widow of Raymond Carver, will publish Carver's stories as they stood prior to Gordon Lish's involvement. The would-be book would be called Beginnings
and stand as the "true" book behind What We Talk About When We Talk About Love
, which would then stand (according to Gallagher) as "a part of the history." Read about it in the NY Times
Remember when Dey House had all of those grey and broken filing cabinets in the basement? You could slip down there and read any story that had every appeared in workshop. People said there were Carver stories down there that looked vastly different than anything they'd ever seen, but these people were also drunked up and perhaps feeling a bit "expansive" themselves.
Where Are They Now?
So, my dear ropers, where are you? What are you doing? This back to school time of year has me nostalgic for noon beers with Mullins and Bognanni at George's, dollar Tuesdays at Martini's with Team Barrelhouse, Maker's Mark at the Foxhead, $1 PBR at Deadwood, eating that last nasty slice from Pizza on Dubuque, and then falling asleep during Julie Englander's question-and-answer portion of Live From Prairie Lights.
In the meantime, I'm finishing up my course work for my PhD here at Florida State. Taking my preliminary exams in March, hope to graduate in December 2008. I've got a few stories coming out, including one that is online now at http://narrativemagazine.com/sq (free registration is required to read the whole thing). Perhaps the most important thing is that Tracy and I are expecting our first child, a girl, in December.
So why don't we all pony up with the where and whens of our life. Or you could just email me (that hint is directed solely at Strickley).
A certain Stansel makes his fancy magazine debut in the summer issue of the Antioch Review
. His story "All We Have" will break your heart if you have one.
I'd also like to announce at this time that a certain Stansel will be making his way to Houston in a month, where he will drink beer in ice-houses, wear boots made of reptile skin, and work towards a PhD in literary fancypantsiness.
A certain Solomon is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for her story
Lotto, which was workshopped a lot at Iowa. She'll be making her way to McDowell sometime in the nearish future.
A certain Krasikov will be publishing a story collection and a novel with Speigel & Grau
in 2008, which is almost too long to wait for it.
Also, a certain Klein has published a story with the new online version of AGNI
and it's pretty awesome to see it there. Visit eyeshot
if you haven't lately too.
From what I've heard, a certain Le
is tearing it up. But maybe I'll leave it to that other blog
to bring us up to date with that.
And I've also noticed that a certain Liening
is all over the damn place with his fine poetry
A certain Strickley has failed to congratulate people accordingly and this is the first step in her journey toward redemption.
At a film festival in Athens, Ohio, I saw a short competition film on graphic artist Jeffrey Brown
, which prompted me to buy one of his books a couple of days later. At this point, certain pages in the book have become shorthand for certain feelings in our household and among our friends. My sister, for example, wanted to show her date a particular page in lieu of attempting to explain to him what she was thinking. She didn't. The point is that Brown's images have entered our little collection lexicon as though they were metaphors, which speaks to their density and potency. In short, he's a great poet.
Today I learned that The Poetry Foundation has paired Jeffrey Brown with Russell Edson in a match that strikes me as particularly astute. How often do good things like this happen? Here's what the foundation says about the project of letting graphic novelists loose in their archives: As a way to help readers discover (or rediscover) our archive, poetryfoundation.org has invited some of today’s most vital graphic novelists to interpret a poem of their choice from the more than 4,500 poems in our archive, reaching from Beowulf to the present.
I'd like to post the image here, but I think it's too big, so I'll send you here
to download your own copy of Jeffrey Brown's interpretation of Russel Edson's "Of Memory and Distance."
Time and Truckers
So I was on my way back to Denver from a fishing trip near Casper, WY, yesterday. We stopped in at a gas station somewhere between Nowhere and Hell and Gone when the ghost of Frank Conroy made contact with me.
On the rotating wire rack next to the cash register, amidst 18 other audio books with titles such as "Archimedes 14: Rise of the Droids", "The Lonely Homesteaderwoman and the Lonely Cowboy" and "Desecration: Antichrist Takes the Throne (Left Behind Series #9)
" I spied a copy of Frank Conroy's "Time and Tide: A Walk Through Nantucket". I rubbed my eyes and looked again. It was still there.
The only reasons I could come up with for Frank's presence there among the homemade beef jerky (delicious) and fluorescent orange hunting caps were of the supernatural/quantum variety (e.g. by observing that particular audio book I changed its behavior into Time and Tide, whereas if Mullins observed the same audio book it would have appeared as a biography of Jeff Lynn
or "Letters to Penthouse XVI: Hot and Uncensored
It was good to see the old man, thought I would share with you all.
There is a big picture
--a two-page spread--of the Hamburg Inn in the latest New Yorker. It is not labeled as such, but that is what it is. (It is actually a picture of Barack Obama campaigning there.)