One thing is to kickstart the year, and another one is to let it kickstart you. I am not sure which of the two is happening yet. Little is certain these days, now that we’re approaching our one-year anniversary of being in the middle of a pandemic. I try to stay on my toes. To keep nostalgia and worry at bay, not because I’m in a competition of productivity (I find those e-newsletters and posts about staying productive in a pandemic quite dismissive of the trauma and confusion we all need to cope with, each in a different way) but more because the way my brain is wired, little else keeps me at ease than that world of creativity, where I am the ruler and shaman, and reality is not as strong nor aggressive…a place where by healing I can hope to heal, and where I slowly submerge myself until I know very little of the current reality.
I am sure I am not the only artist hiding away from the news flush through creative endeavours. Whereas a sort of paralysis first was the main subject of discussion in most of the (now fully virtual) circles I am a part of, now, slowly, as we adjust our eyes to the scenery, the documentation begins to flow naturally. Documentation, yes, because no matter how within ourselves we are, well, artists are just reflections of the world around them. Surreal, distorted versions, sure. How else would one attract the attention of an already busy brain?
What has not been happening, though, is the part of feedback and release that usually helps us feed our own machinery to make it a more democratic, reciprocal process. There’s no live shows and by default no audiences, which means no purchases of our products and no exposure to new audiences. There’s also a lack of support to independent artists and to projects that do not fill the mold of “how do you envision life after pandemic” or “art as a new covid-friendly possibility”, and for many of us who do not live off of grants and private sponsorship, the challenges have multiplied because our shops are closed during lockdown, and we’re not able to work and provide the funds for our art as we would.
All of this is to say, if you are encouraged by the work of the artists around you, please let them know this by sending words of support, or buying prints and art, or sharing / reposting their work. In my case, there are various ways in which you can show your support:
-The free alternative is, of course, share my website and the website of Red Door, so people can learn about the projects I manage.
-You can join me on Patreon from 3usd a month. From 6usd and up you will receive a thank you Red Door shirt, and depending on your interests, other tiers provide prints, magazines, and even freelance support to your project.
-You can visit the Red Door shop and acquire books, prints or original art from myself or other artists.
By doing so you can ensure that Red Door Magazine, the Poetic Phonotheque, the Red Transmissions podcast and all my other activities continue functioning seamlessly, providing free access to information and entertainment, as well as the documentation of the network all around us.
In spite of the stagnant vibe, I mentioned I’m staying busy, so let me give you an update:
The finishing touches are being added to my upcoming book “Would you like to come home?”, a bilingual poetry edition in English and German, translated by Klaudia Ruschowski, which will be released in Germany by Moloko Print this spring.
I am also working on an album! It is in connection to this book, and I have recruited the help of two amazing musicians, Brandon Davis and Jevgeneiy Turovskiy, because there ain’t no distance when it’s time for music. I will keep you updated on this process.
Red Door remains closed due to the lockdown, so I am using it as my very private atelier for the moment, until I am allowed to reopen. In the meantime, I have refilled the stock with a beautiful collection of miniature books, handmade notebooks with typewritten poems on the covers, signed prints, and original art.
The Poetic Phonotheque keeps growing and it is waiting for your poem. Add your voice by sending an MP3 to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the phonotheque here.
I have interviewed a wonderful character in the world of translation: Michael Favala Goldman, who spoke from Massachusetts about his poetry and his experience in the world of literary translation from the Danish language to English. There is a trilogy coming out in January of the work of Tove Ditlevsen in the United States, which includes his translations of “Gift” (Dependency) and I invite you to learn all about it on this episode of the Red Transmissions:
And if you’re in need of some warming up into the year, visit Red Door Magazine for this very steamy issue #25th, the DEVIANT issue, which features photography by Alejandra Guerrero aka Corporate Vampire, and the art of Ervin Van Muriel, along with poetry from various continents on the subject of Deviance. If you’d like to acquire a collectors copy, visit the Red Door shop or send me an email.
Issue #26 is still on the works, with the theme RESILIENCE, and the due date for content submission is January 25th, so send your poems, articles, art, or other media to email@example.com
Yeah, that should conclude this first communication. To sum it up, I am well, I would love it if you joined me in Patreon, the music and the poetry keep on guiding me, and I hope that you remain strong and hopeful, but not naive, through these current times.
The light always gets in, somehow.