Big Night: Eileen Myles
by Ann Marie Awad
Poetry's last rock star headlines Just Buffalo's latest arts extravaganza
The second installment in the Big Night series is slated for this Saturday, sponsored by Just Buffalo Literary Center, Talking Leaves, and Western New York Book Arts Collaborative. In an effort to jam-pack more than enough art into one night, this second Big Night promises to be just as big (if not bigger) than the first.
Headlining the event is celebrated poet and fiction writer Eileen Myles, professor emeritus of writing at the University of California at San Diego. Myles, author of such books as Cool for You, Sorry, Tree, and Not Me, and writer for The Believer, Vice, and The Stranger, will read from The Importance of Being Iceland a collection of essays about art and travel and queer identity for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capitol Grant. The book will be out in July. The Buffalo Poet’s Theater will also present excerpts from Myles’ libretto, Hell.
As an artist, Myles is a product of New York’s East Village (she gave her first reading at CBGB’s in 1974), and she is one of poetry’s true (and few) remaining rock stars: She ran for president in 1992; she’s toured with the female punk outfit Sister Spit; she performs extensively and tirelessly, ever on the move.
Local filmmaker Ekrem Serdar will screen a few of his short films. Originally Turkish, Serdar was born in Abu Dhabi in 1983 and completed high school in Ankara. He earned a bachelor’s degree in UB’s Media Study program and is working on his MFA. A member of House Press, his films have been shown at Rust Belt Books here in Buffalo, as well as at the second Electric City Spectacular in 2007, the !f Istanbul Film Festival in 2008, and at the Pera museum in Istanbul in 2009.
As at the last Big Night, Blazevox publisher and chef Geoffrey Gatza will once again provide good eats.
Once again, Just Buffalo Literary Center launches a merciless effort to overload your senses with poetry, film, and fine food; be sure to come with an empty stomach and open ears. Oh, and five bucks.
—ann marie awad
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