Category Archives: events and festivals

Millay Colony Ruby Anniversary Party

Jessamine Chan -- November 15th, 2013

When was the last time you had a Bennington College professor and award-winning poet read your tarot cards? At the Millay Colony’s Ruby Anniversary Benefit Party on October 28, held at the performance space Roulette, in downtown Brooklyn, Millay alums also provided hypnosis, graphology, fortune telling, silhouette drawing, and palm readings at “Encounter Booths” installed throughout the space. There was even a love artist. In addition to music from the Hungry Hollow Trio and special guests led by Ralph Denzer, the evening’s entertainment included Col. Quince Mountain leading an auction (pictured), with prizes including a sword-fighting lesson with Residency Director Calliope Nichols.

Millay Party Auction[1]Founded in 1973 by poet Edna St. Vincent Millay’s devoted sister Norma, The Millay Colony for the Arts has supported more than 2,500 writers, visual artists, and composers though residencies, artist-led workshops, and public events upstate and in New York City. The colony is located on a seven-acre campus bordered by Edna St. Vincent Millay’s former house and gardens in Austerlitz, New York.

For alum Nora Maynard, serving on the Board of Directors and working alongside Executive Director, Caroline Crumpacker, to plan and orchestrate the benefit party was just a small way of giving back. “It was a joy to see so much creative talent and community spirit packed together in one room—so many alums and friends of the colony coming out to celebrate, socialize, and show their support,” said Maynard. “It made me realize what a strong community The Millay Colony has built over the past 40 years. Community is the lifeblood of the arts.”

In re Books

James Grimmelmann -- December 10th, 2012

On October 26 and 27—yes, just before Hurricane Sandy—New York Law School hosted In re Books, a “conference on law and the future of books.” A loose spiritual sequel to our 2009 conference on the Google Books settlement, D is for Digitize, In re Books was designed to bring together authors, publishers, librarians, scholars, and readers to think deeply about the challenges facing books in a digital age, and how law can help face those challenges. I’m happy to report that, following some post-Sandy cleanup, full video of the conference is now available online. (We will have downloadable versions ready soon.)

In my opening remarks, I tried to set a tone of good will for the conference:

We here in this room are joined by a common love of books. We are authors, publishers, literary agents, librarians, archivists, scholars and especially all of us are readers. And we are gathered together in a law school, for of all the professions, it is the lawyers who are the most devoted to the written word. Our task is to consider the future of books and law in a digital age. We stand at the crossroads of legal code, computer code, and the codex.

The legal system for books we have today is essentially the same one developed three hundred years ago to make cultural and economic sense out of the rise of a transformative media technology: the printing press. Today, we are living through—we are creating—another, equally transformative media technology: the computer. We are, I submit, still in the in incunabulum age of the digital book; the basic technology is clearly established, but the social outlines of what digital books will become are not. Determining the most appropriate laws to go along with them—whether it be the next iteration of copyright, or the Worshipful Company of Kickstarters, or the Deposit Library of Babel, or the inalienable moral right to have your wiki revisions properly attributed—we will not today or tomorrow finish the task, but we can perhaps help to advance it. …

It is early in the morning of the next age of books. Let us welcome in the day and see what it will bring. Continue reading

Comics and Graphic Novels at the Brooklyn Book Festival

Calvin Reid -- September 19th, 2011

The Comics Writ Large and Small Panel at the Brooklyn Book Festival (l. to r.) Meg Lemke, moderator, Craig Thompson (Habibi), Anders Nilsen (Big Questions) and Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve).

Comics and graphic novels have always been a part of the Brooklyn Book Festival, held this past weekend on a beautiful fall Sunday September 18 at Borough Hall and surrounding sites. But this weekend the Brooklyn Book Festival 2011 seems to have really ramped up the involvement of comics artists at the one-day literary festival, incorporating cartoonists into a wide range of literary panels along with prose authors in addition to all-comics and youth comics panels.

The Quick Draw panel (l. to r.) Laura Lee Gulledge, Dave Roman and Raina Telgemier.

Indeed Meg Lemke, acquisitions editor at Teachers College Press and a member of the BBF youth committee, told PW that the festival worked to incorporate comics throughout the show’s programming. And Lemke was the moderator for one of the hottest tickets at the show, Comics Writ Large and Small, a public interview with three of the most acclaimed cartoonists of the moment about their newest works: Craig Thompson (Habibi, Pantheon); Anders Nilsen (Big Questions, Drawn & Quarterly) and Adrian Tomine (Optic Nerve, D&Q). The event was held at the St. Francis College Auditorium, a block away from Borough hall and one of several additional venues (which included projection capability in order to show off comics and visuals) added to the festival to accommodate the growth in attendence.

And the show is definitely growing. The plaza at Borough hall was jammed with visitors from the time this reporter arrived around 10am on Sunday to moderate—if that’s the word—a  panel on drawing for kids featuring three cartoonists. The panel, Comics Quick-Draw!, was more of a tongue-in-cheek sports event  than a conventional panel—it was a packed outdoor tent full of parents and young kids, who were asked to tell the cartoonists to draw any kind of crazy thing—like, say, aliens eating bagels on the moon!—and the intrepid cartoonists did their best to comply. Dave Roman (Astronaut Academy), Raina Telgemier (Smile) and Laura Lee Gulledge (Paige by Page) were great troopers and expert draughtspeople and the kids were screaming with delight by the end of the session (they also bum-rushed the stage at the end to claim the drawings). Comics aimed at kids were well represented with a combination of panels and workshops throughout the day featuring such cartoonists as Nick Bertozzi and Sarah Glidden.

Continue reading

The PW Morning Report: Friday, May 27, 2011

Calvin Reid -- May 27th, 2011

Today’s links! And please check out our new Facebook Page.

Teen YA Lit Monster Mashup. It’s all about mixing chills, thrills, adventure, and romance at BEA’s YA Buzz Panel.

Politics and Superheroes. What’s Superman’s position on the death penalty?

Robot Librarians! Robots take over the University of Chicago’s new $81 million Joe and Rika Mansueto Library, sort of.

Book City USA. Amazon Ranks the most literate cities in the U.S.

King Kindle. Despite Agency Model, the Kindle leads the pack in titles, readers and sales, while the iBookstore brings up the rear.

Google and the Future of Everything. Google Talks at BEA; people listen.

The PW Morning Report: Thursday, May 26, 2011

Calvin Reid -- May 26th, 2011

Today’s links!  And please check out our new Facebook Page!

BookExpo Book Bag. PW picks the big books of the show.

Talk of the Town. The New York Times says the buzz at BEA is about e-books.

Whither Publishing? The Financial Times takes a look at BEA and the transformation of book publishing in the digital era.

Publisher vs. Customer? Do publishers really care about their customers?

Yaoi Online.  Manga publisher DMP launches its line of yaoi manga on Google e-books.

Vampires Return. Yen Press is publishing volume 2 of Twilight: The Graphic Novel in October.

Apple to Exhibit at BEA

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 17th, 2011

Update: It turns out Apple won’t have a booth at BEA, but will instead be there to speak with publishers in private, according to TUAW.

According to TUAW, Apple is will have a booth at BEA next week, extremely surprising news given Apple’s general secrecy and its typical avoidance of trade shows in recent years.  According to TUAW, different sources speculate Apple will be there merely to promote iBooks, or, more interestingly, to announce some kind of promotion tied in with the 10th anniversary of its retail stores (which seems unlikely, given that iBooks is digital and the retail stores are brick-and-mortar.  Either way, look out for Apple’s booth (where surely there’ll be a couple of iPads to play with) somewhere near Random House, Disney and Macmillan.

By the way, PW has a new Facebook page.  We hope you’ll “like” us!

The PW Morning Report: Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 17th, 2011

Today’s links!

Coal Curriculum Pulled: As of Friday, Scholastic has pulled the controversial coal-curriculum from its site. From School Library Journal.

More Amazon Tablet Rumors: A few juicy details about the two tablets Amazon may offer soon. From TechConnect.

NYPL Has an App for That: The New York Public Library has developed an app to showcase its research holdings. From the NYT.

Back into the Frey: Salon looks at James Frey’s return to Oprah and why “he still doesn’t get it.”

Blue Rider Press: That’s the name David Rosenthal has at last given to his new imprint at Penguin. From the NYT.

Super Sad Gary: Gary Shteyngart gives the Boston Herald a funny pre-reading interview in which he laments the digital future of books.

Reinvent the Business Model: That’s what Oren Teicher told the UK Book Industry Conference. From the Bookseller.

The PW Morning Report: Monday, May 2, 2011

Craig Morgan Teicher -- May 2nd, 2011

New month, new week, new links!

LA Times Book Fest: Here’s a look at Jonathan Lethem at the LAT Festival of Books.

Osama Books: In the wake of last night’s news, the NYT rounds up books about Osama Bin Laden.

Weekend Winners: The Millions rounds up the weekend’s book award winners–prizes from The Believer and others. Plus, we’ve got a report on the winner of this year’s best translated book of poetry.

Writers Speak: A look at the interview archives from the Kelly Writer’s House, where famous writers like Susan Sontag and Adrienne Rich visited and left recordings of their events, which are now available online. From Brain Pickings.

On Mortenson: David Rakoff talks about the Greg Mortenson fallout in the NYT.

Playbook: According to AllThingsD, the Blackberry Playbook, RIM’s iPad competitor, is selling well at Best Buy.

Blurb: TUAW looks at a new app from Blurb, a company previously in the self-publishing biz, is expanding into mobile storytelling.

SXSW: Ogilvy & Mather Gives Back Cool Graphic Recordings

Calvin Reid -- March 13th, 2011

Jordan Berkowitz (l.) and artist Heather Willems in front of her drawing on "Health in Africa"

One of the first things I noted at certain SXSW panels was the presence of artists, set up with large boards and drawing tables, frantically drawing and sketching. Turns out they are part of Ogilvy Notes, an impressive visual project by the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather that is creating large-scale “visual notes” or vivid graphic documentation of a selection of panels and keynotes, improvised and executed on the spot by a team of artists.

Directed by Jordan Berkowitz, Ogilvy & Mather executive director Creative Technology & Innovation, Ogilvy Notes has brought together a team of artists that specialize in a process called variously, “viz notes,” or “graphic facilitation.” The artists set up at events, panels or business meetings and have the ability to sketch representations of the themes, topics and high points of the discussion on the spot, rendering a kind of graphic map of the event in a frenzy of typographic and representational design. Although the drawings have elements of comics, they really offer an overall field of clever, funny and pointed illustration that essentially visually recreates the event they feature.

“They’re a stream of consciousness creation,” said Berkowitz, who brought together a team of about 6 artists who specialize in this kind of on-the-spot graphic recreation. At a time when schools, businesses and the media have realized the importance of visual learning and visual storytelling, the project offers an inventive and memorable strategy to connect and communicate topical issues with the public.

“Its an amazing skill. How do you manage to spot and represent a point made in an ongoing discussion,” Berkowitz said. Ogilvy is using the artists as way to “give back”, Berkowitz said, to the SXSW community. He also emphasized that a team of editors went over the schedule to choose a broad range of panels—from “Public Transit Data and APIs” to “Black Women in Media”—“we didn’t want the content to be self-serving; there is bredth and depth in the subject matter,” said Berkowitz.

The project will document panels for three days over the weekend and producing a phenomenal 25-30 drawings at day! Once completed the project will have about 85-90 drawings and Ogilvy will turn them into original prints and make them available for free (you can pick them up today). In addition the public can download free high resolution versions of all the drawings at the Ogilvy Notes website.

“They’re constructed and created in the moment, people can find them through twitter and facebook,” Berkowitz said. Ogilvy has stacked the large drawings in a kind of “house of cards” sculptural installation on the top level of the Austin Convention Center. Berkowitz said the site is also encouraging artists interested in working in this manner to upload their sketchbooks and art and they may get a chance to work on future graphic documentations.

SXSWi Is So Cool, Even the Ice Cream is Free

Calvin Reid -- March 12th, 2011

At the risk of sounding pompous, once you actually arrive on the scene at SXSW Interactive, it’s difficult not to feel really special in a town that seems to have been taken over by computer programmers, digital entrepreneurs and a hipster cartel of awesomely creative T-shirt designers. From picking up press credentials to finding a place to eat, our first day at SXSW was more about getting the lay of the festival’s digital landscape and plotting a way to cover even a small part of SXSW’s dense maze of panels, programming and, well, parties.

Arriving a day before the show began turned out to be huge boon, especially when we saw the lines snaking into the press credentials and badge pickup room on Friday morning. We were in and out wandering through the Austin Convention Center in no time. SXSW seems to have left no good idea untouched; I was incredibly impressed by the badges, which not only have your photo, but repeat your name, organization and picture on both sides of the badge. If you’ve ever been at a convention and desperate to remember someone’s name only to find that their badge has flipped backwards, you’ll know exactly why this is step forward in the evolution of convention IDs.

T-Shirts, Shuttle Buses and Software

Of course the immediate reaction to both Austin, a liberal, youth oriented laid-back city full of more bars and music dives than even the Lower East Side, and to SXSW, the epitome of Young Technology Nation, is that of uber college town with the convention center as the epicenter of the campus. Everybody’s really friendly, everybody seems really cool, yes, the t-shirts (I bought a t-shirt before I attended a panel) are lively and cool and the shuttle bus system—we’re stuck at a very nice but sort of far-out hotel down I-35–seems to work fabulously well, running frequently from early morning to 2:00 am—yes, the late night schedule is going to come in handy.

But we’re here at the premier venue for emerging technology and the entreprenuers looking to exploit it for the next big tech thing. First, my colleague Rachel Deahl is right—be on time, the panels are packed and you might not get in. I wasn’t on time, but managed to finagle my way into a jam-packed panel, No Child Left Inside: Mobile Tech Meets Education, a look at the movement to use mobile devices, from iPhones to iPads, with young and older students. A panel of activist educators and academics discussed “Citizen Science,” essentially arming students with devices and collecting data, using crowd sourcing techniques to create teaching environments outside of the classroom, and outside of the typically published educational content. More on that panel to come in future reports.

Friday offered a mix of Meet the Entrepreneur—Rachel and I got to talk tech with Pawan Deshpande and Richard Turcott of HiveFire, an online marketing and content curation venture. I think I may have heard the first relatively clear definition of “curation’’, a relentless buzzword these days that seems on the surface to have replaced the word “publishing.” HiveFire offers its clients a software platform called Curata, which seems to function like a meta-publishing platform within a company—HiveFire seems to specialize in niche industries like health information—serving up a automated platter of content that, we’re told, is much quicker to collect, much easier to find and much better at showing off what your business does.

A packed house at PubCamp

Panels, PubCamp and Parties

We managed to get a glimpse of other cool stuff at other cool panels (yes, I use cool to much) thanks to help of the help of photographer/intrepid panel reporter Jody Culkin. Programmer Jon Dahl’s presentation, “Programming and Minimalism,” surveyed the importance of style and simplicity in writing code, comparing programming to both rock music and principals of writing set forth in George Orwell’s essay “Politics and the English Language.”  A panel on, “The Potential of Augmented Reality For Education,” looked at AR—the ability to overlay or embed visual info over the real world images seen through a cameras or mobile device—and how it can be used for both teaching as well as “putting people at the center of their data.” And at a panel called, “Interactive Comics: Techniques to Enhance Math Education,” educator John Baird outlined his Create a Comic Project, an educational project where he uses templates with comics with blank balloons, and has the students write the dialog.

Friday’s programming ended with an appearance by me and Rachel at PubCamp, a mini-conference organized by an impressive group of long-time SXSW attendees (BookSquare blogger Kassia Krozser and BookTour.com’s Kevin Smoker among them).  Romance book blogger Sarah Wendell (Smart Bitches Trashy Books) opened the event with a typically wry survey of recent book events, including the HarperCollins new library e-book lending policy that forces librarians to repurchase e-book licenses after 26 loans. “library budgets are this big,” said Wendell, scrunching her two fingers close together and invoking the romance genre she loves so much in defense of libraries,  “and nothing that small can be any good.” And joined by Ed Nawotka, former PW colleague and now editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives, on the small stage, Rachel and I fielded questions from a room packed with new media and old media veterans, published and hoping to be published authors and, of course, readers.

So our first days in Austin/SXSW were a combination of—excuse the college metaphor—student orientation and class in session. And yes, the parties are good too. In fact, leaving the last party event of the night—a wild and rocking multimedia rooftop affair at a place called Mohawk—and heading back to the hotel, our group passed the Ice Cream Man truck (we also passed Taco Trucks, BBQ Trucks and so on), a group or business or social movement (whatever) whose mission is to giveaway ice cream—for free. Apparently they’ve given away over “300,000 frozen treats,” so we lined up and got ours, happily licking and scooping free ice cream as we headed to the shuttle bus. Cool digital programming and free ice cream? How cool is that?