Wednesday, December 31, 2008


recent Email reports from the European Continent as the Alliance's enfant terribles Matt and Eric Broomfield and the rest of their performance arts troupe, Betty Bloomerz, the Penguin Boy, and Roc Rocket hit Amsterdam, Berlin, London, and Dublin, checking out rad independent bookstores emporiums and ex pat writers, the para- punk rock underground and squatters movement, without reservations...


eric broomfield

to me
show details Jan 5 (12 days ago)

Amsterdam was great fun, tell you all about it when we get back. we took the train to Berlin yesterday and are staying in an old squat in the ceter of town. Next week we are going to London. from there we dont know yet. How are things in philly
Jelly boy the clown

[staunching break: see and comment on ULA renaissance-man, TOM HENDRICKS' , anti- band musician and purveyor of MUSEA zeen, tongue lashing of NPR lit/crit elite nepotisimo...
the full monte concerning the above can be linked to from main page courtesy of Pat Simonelli who in fact has bombshell of an MR currently posted on site!]

eric broomfield

to me
show details Jan 6 (11 days ago)

the spot in amsterdam was called pacific

mean while for two weeks in mid December last year, 2008, continuing right after Christmas in Manhattan and Brooklyn (Ripley's Believe It Or Not, The House Of Yes),
They made all their connections and then some to blaze a trail in Oregon, California, and Nevada setting the stage for further exploits and public spectacle breaking into the consciousness of mobbed dive bars and rough neck underground club venues, performing sword swallowing, dangerous broken glass high jumps and punk pogo barefoot, playing with fire, blockheaded piercings, burlesque acrobatics, dark clowning, human chopping block acts and much more , while wrapped in the front talking and ballyhoo of ultra cool spiels that among other things represent the traditional yet reborn folk literature combined of the American circus sideshow phenomenon.
As for the best laid plans of the ULA regarding confronting the fortress of the Over Dawg apparatchiks in San Fransisco another important...

jelly boy and betty bloomerz parry in Las Vegas, NV, last port of call, in the late December 2008, of the West Coast tour after performing in Portland, Oakland, and San Fransisco with film-maker, human chopping-block, "glass-man", bro' Madders Squidling, photo@betty blomerz. myspace

... coincidentally another element of the Underground Literary Aligned Resistance was seeded with a significant independent specialty bookstore-emporium owner by Matt and Eric (stay tuned to the ULA "network" for updates!) during the annual Santa Clause pub and bar crawl in the heart of San Francisco...

But also no one will be able to say nor able to say more so at the Cabaret Babylon, Sinferno Cabaret, and Dante's Inferno venues there, that the Portland (where they braved three circus-stage performances with the help of local sideshow performer, Noah Micking) audiences aren't tough but appreciative when satisfied though by Matt's description near deadpan and dry humoured; interestingly parallel to the type of Vermont wry serious no frills civil facetiousness toward visitors even them from New Hampshire!

And again San Fran's Sandicon Commedians who swarmed the bill with gay abandon at the Club Deluxe dive bistro where the Squidling road show packed the house with local neo-beatniks and eccentric bohemians...
The same was to be said for Oakland and a couple House shows and culminating in a sold out gig at the Stork Club another colorful spacious dive but sporting punk and thrash bands the likes of "Japanese Baby", a Cure cover band, "Sisters of Mercy"...
... while after much tap- dancing, burlesque fan-fares, and accordion players, Jelly Boy and Betty Bloomerz headed up to Las Vegas just in time for a rare snow storm and connected with The Swing Shift Sideshow and entrepreneurs, Selso Zileh and Andrew S, for a knock down drag
out melee at the Double Down Saloon that besides what one might imagine we are told there's a couple of vintage pool tables, hard times punk house bands and an authentic mosh pit...



matthew broomfield

to me
show details Jan 7 (10 days ago)


thanks for the forward. keep us up to date on ireland. we are checking in with one burlesque club in dublin. we´ve three to possibly five gigs in berlin and 3 in london. also we´ll be returning to amsterdam for 1 to 3 more shows.

till the next time.


On Mon, Jan 5, 2009 at 9:54 AM, matthew broomfield <> wrote:

whats up walshie? i´m at an internet cafe in berlin staying at one of the last standing squats in central part of the city. about 90 people and 50 dogs. amazing old building still alive since world war II. the newer fancier berlin built up all around it. an anarchist paradise fortress collective. we were in amsterdam for a week the new years show was a big success. the dutch are polite but a bit

The invaders: Jelly-boy The Clown, Betty Bloomerz, "The Penguin Boy", Madders Squidling...
stuffy. berlin feels much more like home but it is very cold, like canada or upstate new york kind of cold. we will be performing about 4 or 5 different shows here and then moving on to london or spain, all depending on what we can set up. Is everything good at the house?

Andrew Lovatt

to me, matthew, eric
show details Jan 7 (10 days ago)

Hi Frank... and Matthew & Eric too...

I've passed Matthew's email to Brendan Hickey ( - see and to Michael Lovatt ( - see or search Elektrodouche on MySpace). We're still trying to find contacts at WHELAN's, which is *the* old rock pub in central Dublin - will send your way soon as we find.

Matt, feel free to contact the aboves. We'll see what else who else we can dig. If you're still in Berlin give Rhea Boyden a call ------ or email --------- . She's been living there yonks and knows the scene.

Enjoyed watching your Carnivolution video on MySpace at Tiberino's old place. Capt Beefheart lives!

very best,


The versatile Penguin Boy promo-shot...

matthew broomfield

to me
.show details Jan 6 (11 days ago)

we will be returning on the 9th of Feb. so the 28th shouldn´t be a problem. thank you much for keeping care of wig wam. try not to give him to many treats, he´s kind of a crack head for that kind of stuff. it messes with his character you know. the squat here is a true fortress. great people from all over living there. a few months ago the cops tried to raid the building and failed on getting one foot in the door. it is one of last bastions for true anarchicts! there is a great german aranchict b
ook store close by that we went to. it is fucking cold here but it´s worth it. the name of the party in amsterdam is pacific parc. it is a restaurant and venue. you can find it online with pictures from the party and location info. i believe the area is called westerparc or something like that. it´s on the west side of central amsterdam. they turned this old oil refinery factory on one of the larger canals into a bunch of restaurants and shops. pacific parc is located in this building.

more later.


Aerialist/ s word-swallower/fire-breather, the beauteous Betty B

On Tue, Jan 6, 2009 at 8:18 AM, matthew broomfield <> wrote:

we will be returning on the 9th of Feb. so the 28th shouldn´t be a problem. thank you much for keeping care of wig wam. try not to give him to many treats, he´s kind of a crack head for that kind of stuff. it messes with his character you know. the squat here is a true fortress. great people from all over living there. a

few months ago the cops tried to raid the building and failed on getting one foot in the door. it is one of last bastions for true anarchicts! there is a great german aranchict book sto close by that we went to.
ROC ROCKET strong man promo-shot...

matthew broomfield

to me
show details Jan 14 (3 days ago)


thanks for all the links to folks out here. we´re working on dublin with andrew, nothing happening yet though.

we´ve performed two show out of four so far here in berlin. you would love it out here. so many anarchists and punks. Tons of grafiti all over the buildings. but not shitty tags, really good art work. the city is a mix of new and old, american and german. big ass, efficient shopping malls that are just as disgusting as they are in the states. food is cheaper here, but the produce is better in the states than in the northern european countries. we found one ULA recruit, Pete Missing. he´s from NYC, expatriot. lived on the streets and sqwats most of his life. really big in the punk and New York hard core scene in the ´70´s.

tonight we perform at the sqwat, the Koepi. we have to be as brutal but PC as possible. strange that punks are so closed minded even though they understand other things about the anarchist way of life. ah well it´s always been this way. we met some really great people who run a warehouse space here that we helped organize and put together. this is the place we performed at on saturday night. I believe they will be very helpful for our carnivolution crew in the future. they organize summer festivals in berlin and istanbul and were very grateful for all the work we did in helping them organize there space.

hope all is well in philthy and your staying as warm as you can. looking forward to our return and the story telling. we´ve still got another 4 weeks. we´ll be off to london on friday and be there for 2 weeks. after that we´ll be returning to amsterdam and then back to london for more shows. we´re trying to fit in dublin and a brief get away to Sharleen´s parents apartment in Oviedo (northern Spain). i´ll send word about the next couple of shows.

what´s the political, economic climate like right now? the inaugaration is soon eh?


********************** ************* *******
[ ]

Philly's premier Anarchist Bookstore sews up another great free public event, literally:

Sunday of the weekend of the Two ULA sponsored The Beards Anthology readings--- the first, Friday, November 21 st at the now defunkt Robins Bookstore formerly located at 13th and Sansom, the second held in a new gallery space in the Ellen Tiberino Memorial Museum, 3819 Hamilton Street, Saturday--- one of the few bright spots in the crazy underground lit weekend mix happened to be the Book Making/Binding workshop facilitated by the generous and talented Amy Opsasnick (who is also a member of the steering committee of the cooperatively managed, anarchist bookstore, on South 5th above South St.).

Philly's City Paper "PICK" of the week, November 19th, 2008.

The itinerary this Sunday was to check out the workshop and then hike down South across Broad to the Tritone Lounge to lend ear to jazz keyboarder Rashid's new Jazz Ensemble as Rashid has had a history of being willing and able to do accompaniment/ improv with underground poets, specifically ULA poets, in the recent past ( didn't stay long but got to touch base with the seasoned jazzman and get a decent feel for the sound and drift of the new band which turned out to be a big full bodied number the TEXTURE of which was unexpectedly "boss" ). However the book binding hands-on experience proved so much fun and informative and affected the disappointment that lingered regarding the overall experience of the two Beards readings--- the jury to my mind has just only come in on this sociopathic miasma, and will be addressed in the next few days-- that the whole workshop was embraced in its entirety ... ... The center open floor space of the Wooden Shoe proved sufficient to accommodate both the good number of the economically diverse public attending and the tables chairs and materials for the DYI, hands on experience. With the kind skillful instruction and excellent follow- through provided by comrade Opsasnick, we steadily gained in competency what we more or lacked in manual dexterity completing our hand-made "do-si- dos" wielding traditional bookmaking implements of the noble trade such as the bone-fold, embroidery thread and embroidery needles, as well as transferring xerox/ photocopies images and designs, for the most part, as explained by our workshop facilitator, generated from the archives of the Wm. Wagner Free Institute of Science, located near Temple U's main campus, on West Montgomery, where she had been interned as an artist and craftsperson, using "acetone"and linseed oil loaded dispensing pens of the Chartpark Blendeez P-O brand and of course scissors and #1 drawing pencils... ... of couse and especially while shooting the breeze with Amy
after the workshop about her familiarity and savvy enthusiasm for zines, particularly "mail art" the wheels of this ULAer were spinning as the "do-si- do" triptich reverse folded format wherewith our completed artefacts consisted of only three 8.5 X 11 20# bond and a sheet cover stock double- reverse "scored" by Amy prior to the workshop yet contained technically 2o pages by virtue of the format! What a great presentation of independent well crafted zeens and "chapbooks" the do-si- do suggests as it can be with its three-dimensional zig-zag switch back structure stood up on end on say a bookstore or coffee-shop counter-top to promote itself and the reading material therein. Jeff Potter especially but many other ULA members and then those who are currently engaged in the American zine phenomenon like say Jessica "Disobedience" Wilbur for sure would get hepped over this kind of thing... ... the Wooden Shoe is taking off the last year or so with holding frequent events in the store like the Bookmaking Workshop including live music, socially...
RIGHT:Attendee Zoe and her mom and dad happy doing their "Do-Si-Do"s

... contented film, and once and a while even poetry readings, which bring ever more people into the bookstore and prove good for the survival of this ultra-independent bookstore which heavily favors radical zines and DYI publications. After all a good sampling of the ULAPress line of books happen to be for sale at the Wooden Shoe, so if the
sabot fits wear it!

Friday, October 24, 2008

the Beards uncut, cut loose// Grover's report on KC Poetry Barbeque, June//ULA begins its "wiegh in" on Nobel Lit Prize Committee scolding of US ...

The Beards Anthology is finally done despite the death

of the original publishing company. Details at Dates:November 20th: New York City/The Bowery Poetry Club 6:00November 21st: Philadelphia/Robins Bookstore 6:00A second show is in the works for Philly on Saturday. Let you know the details

Here is a list of performers for this traveling circus act!
John Dorsey currently resides in Toledo, OH. He is the author of "harvey keitel, harvey keitel, harvey keitel" with S.A. Griffin and Scott Wannberg, Butcher Shop Press/Rose of Sharon Press/Temple of Man, 2005. In Hartford, CT he is well-known as the Ambassador of The Beards and can usually be found book whoring at
Michael D. Grover is a Florida born poet. As a drifter has lived all over the country.Michael's poetry has been published all over the literary underground. Michael is now living in Toledo, Ohio where he is a resident artist at The Collingwood Art Center. He co-hosts a reading there every Tuesday night. He also hosts the website www. covertpoetics. com, co-edits CP Journal, and runs Covert Press. He was elected President of The Beards in a disputed election in Connecticut. His newest chapbook is titled ". . .And Death Is All Around Us".
Dan Provost's sixth chapbook Fallen Empathy has been published by Covert Press. He lives in Worcester, Massachusetts.....
Kathryn Erlinger (aka Katie Kaboom) writes and reads and makes stuff. She has been published in Off Beat Pulp, Zygote In My Coffee, and has a chapbook entitled "Explosive Devices for Girls". In addition, she is a member of the poet's group the Beards and will be featured in an upcoming collaborative effort. She is also an activist and a literature student at University of Missouri Kansas City. She avidly self-publishes via myspace: Katie Kaboom.
Jacob Johanson has been published by all the usual suspects. he is the literary editor of the online zine Off Beat Pulp and was recently included in The Feedbag, a chapbook with john dorsey, s.a. griffin, jason neese and david smith, which he is ridiculously proud of. with any luck his forthcoming chapbook will be coming out soon enough (echoed mythology and other poems). in the meantime he will continue to write, draw and paint in an effort to make all the voices go silent for just a little while longer.
Lester Allen: Although he has been writing most of his life Lester Allen is a new comer to the underground poetry scene. In that time he has built an impressive resume being published in places like Red Fez. net, Gloom Cupboard, CPJournal, Offbeat Pulp, Kill Poet, and more. Lester lives in Harrisburg, Pa where he lives with his wife and their cats. He is a member of the loved and hated performance group The Beards.
blue lives as cb crane in San Francisco. She teaches art to 3rd graders. She rides a bike and a skateboard and often ponders the moon. She has been published in Offbeat Pulp and the CP Journal and soon the Toronto Quarterly. A chap book will soon appear via Covert Press. She's tall.

Michael Grover to me show details Jun 28 Reply
Here's the rest Frankie. Saturday night really was amazing. Saturday 6/21/08: We Beards were seen at a overpriced Kansas City barbeque this morning eating breakfast with Jensine (Lester Allen's wife),and Cleveland poets C. Allen Rearick and Steve Goldberg. After that we went to the Salvation Army Thrift Store where Dorsey scored a reallynice hat. After that they went to see Indiana Jones. Juice and I refused to go in so we called back to the house and Bucho came out and picked us up.(Much thanks to Bucho.) The show that night promised to be one of the greatest poetry shows ever, and it lived up to it. It was at the Metropolitan Ensemble Theaterin Kansas City. The night kicked off by Elly, a poet from New Mexico. She was good. Next was Calamity Jane (Justine Middleton), from Los Angeles.After her I was due up. During my first poem I tried to grab the mic and walk around. If you know me I do not stand still and read. The soundmantold me the feedback was from moving around. So I put the mic back on the stand. Looked at the theater, it was a big room, but the acoustics wereperfect and I can read pretty loud. For my second poem I stepped out from behind the podium and went micless. I finished the reading without themic and I think it went pretty well. Following me was Lester Allen. He was calm, cool, and collected as his style is. He still attacks poetry with a wide eyed enthusiasm. AfterLes was David Smith aka Handsome Duke Deal. He was all dressed up in his bartenders clothes, and gave a memorable performance. After David was John Dorsey in his new hat from the Salvation Army. John is a great writer and a great performer, and does it with a great energy. There are not a lot of poets out there that could top John Dorsey. If anyone could do it, it would be S.A. Griffin who was next. He came complete with theatrics, reading flaming poems, having women come on stage and kiss him. This was great stuff. At the end of his set he was joinedby his friend Michael Bruner. They sung a couple of songs together and Bruner performed. He actually made me part of his performance interactingwith me in the front row. Next up was Luc Simonic. The highlight of his reading was The Jesus Rap, as he performed my style and was all over the stage without the mic.He did it with a lot of energy and it was a great performance. Could anyone actually follow this show so far? Frank Reardon would have to try.He did very well and turned in a solid performance. Fellow Beard Juice was next and he is definitely an up and coming poet to watch. His poems and performance are solid and he does it all withgreat passion. Seth Elkins read after him and he was good. After that was an open mic which featured Katie Kaboom, Iris Applequist, and C. Allen Rearick. It does not get much better than this poetryshow. Watching it you got the sense you were watching poetry history, and it was an honor to be a part of it. We closed off the night in an after hours jazz joint. This was totally authentic and the perfect close to a perfect night. Sunday 6/22/08: The barbeque in the park was hard to find, but our host Mike was happy to show us the way there. We were deep back in the park.There was a huge lake there that we walked to where Katie and Ginsine took a swim. There was much drinking and socializing. We all ate too much,then it was time for the closing of the festival. The open mic at the barbeque. This was kicked off by our other host and fellow Beard JacobJohansen. He kicked the open mic off right. Next was Kill Poet editor J(Syn) Neece. Katie Kaboom gave a memorable performance. After that LApoet Amelie Florence performed. After her one of the most memorable performances of the festival Angel aka The Brown Recluse performed his Japanese death poem. It was brilliantbut I noticed it did not get everyone's attention. It should have. After Angel I read. I did something I had just written at the barbeque a couple of hours before. It's a good poem. I was followed by John Dorsey who gave another flawless performance. Next was Frank Reardon who didhis Madman poem, one of his best. Next we had a special treat as Jensine read for the first time. Her stuff was very good. She was followed by S.A. Griffin who rocked as healways does. After that Stacey Mangiaracina read two very emotional poems, and honestly I feel she was more relaxed and gave a much better performancethan she did Friday night. After that our host Mike read and he was good. I enjoyed his stuff. Up next was Lester Allen, and he was solid and consistant as he always is. Boxy was pretty good. I liked his reading Friday night better. After him was another of the best and most emotional readings of the whole festival as David Smith aka Handsome Duke Deal read his broadsideThe Genocide Sutra. This was amazing. The sun was going down and we were all tired. Juice finished off the whole festival kicking ass in trueJuice style. I liked the informality of the open mic and it was the perfect way to close the festival. Back at the house we said our goodbyes to Lester, hiswife Jensine, and John Dorsey. It was sad, we knew we would not see each other again for a while. Juice slept outside with the fireflies in a sleeping bag, I slept on the floor on a mattress. The next morning I was packing my suitcase. I was the only one in the house that was up. Frank Reardon barged in for breakfast telling us GeorgeCarlin was dead. This was sad news indeed. Juice and I went to the airport together driven by Jacob and had one last political discussion on theway. From there we sadly left Kansas City.

Michael Grover to me show details Jun 21 Reply
The show last night at the writers house started off strong. The house was packed for poetry which is always a good thing. Jacob Johanson kicked the whole damned festival off the way it should be started. With a bang and words of passion. By the end of the night this would be the best performance.Iris Applequist started off slow but really got into her rhythm after a couple of poems and kicked ass. Some great and good poets followed like Katie Kaboom, and Boxy. At this point the host ruined the reading by putting on a few local poets who were not planned and were not that good. The reading went downhill and the crowd began to thin. By the time poets like C. Allen Rearick made it up to the mic which was a shame. Oh well. It was a good show.

On 6/21/08, Michael Grover <> wrote:
The show last night at the writers house started off strong. The house was packed for poetry which is always a good thing. Jacob Johanson kicked the whole damned festival off the way it should be started. With a bang and words of passion. By the end of the night this would be the best performance.
Iris Applequist started off slow but really got into her rhythm after a couple of poems and kicked ass. Some great and good poets followed like Katie Kaboom, and Boxy. At this point the host ruined the reading by putting on a few local poets who were not planned and were not that good. The reading went downhill and the crowd began to thin. By the time poets like C. Allen Rearick made it up to the mic which was a shame. Oh well. It was a good show.


magico-social- suprarealism ?

STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) - Bad news for American writers hoping for a Nobel Prize next week: the top member of the award jury believes the United States is too insular and ignorant to compete with Europe when it comes to great writing.
Counters the head of the U.S. National Book Foundation: "Put him in touch with me, and I'll send him a reading list."
As the Swedish Academy enters final deliberations for this year's award, permanent secretary Horace Engdahl said it's no coincidence that most winners are European.
"Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the center of the literary world ... not the United States," he told The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Tuesday.
He said the 16-member award jury has not selected this year's winner, and dropped no hints about who was on the short list. Americans Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates usually figure in speculation, but Engdahl wouldn't comment on any names.
Speaking generally about American literature, however, he said U.S. writers are "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture," dragging down the quality of their work.
"The U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," Engdahl said. "That ignorance is restraining."
His comments were met with fierce reactions from literary officials across the Atlantic.
"You would think that the permanent secretary of an academy that pretends to wisdom but has historically overlooked Proust, Joyce, and Nabokov, to name just a few non-Nobelists, would spare us the categorical lectures," said David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker.
"And if he looked harder at the American scene that he dwells on, he would see the vitality in the generation of Roth, Updike, and DeLillo, as well as in many younger writers, some of them sons and daughters of immigrants writing in their adopted English. None of these poor souls, old or young, seem ravaged by the horrors of Coca-Cola."
Harold Augenbraum, executive director of the foundation which administers the National Book Awards, said he wanted to send Engdahl a reading list of U.S. literature.
"Such a comment makes me think that Mr. Engdahl has read little of American literature outside the mainstream and has a very narrow view of what constitutes literature in this age," he said.
"In the first place, one way the United States has embraced the concept of world culture is through immigration. Each generation, beginning in the late 19th century, has recreated the idea of American literature."
He added that this is something the English and French are discovering as immigrant groups begin to take their place in those traditions.
The most recent American to win the award was Toni Morrison in 1993. Other American winners include Saul Bellow, John Steinbeck and Ernest Hemingway.
"phlipant rot"

As permanent secretary, Engdahl is a voting member of and spokesman for the secretive panel that selects the winners of what many consider the most prestigious award in literature.
The academy often picks obscure writers and hardly ever selects best-selling authors. It regularly faces accusations of snobbery, political bias and even poor taste.
Since Japanese writer Kenzaburo Oe won the award in 1994, the selections have had a distinct European flavor. Nine of the subsequent laureates were Europeans, including last year's winner, Doris Lessing of Britain. Of the other four, one was from Turkey and the others from South Africa, China and Trinidad. All had strong ties to Europe.
Engdahl said Europe draws literary exiles because it "respects the independence of literature" and can serve as a safe haven.
"Very many authors who have their roots in other countries work in Europe, because it is only here where you can be left alone and write, without being beaten to death," he said. "It is dangerous to be an author in big parts of Asia and Africa."
The Nobel Prize announcements start next week with the medicine award on Monday, followed by physics, chemistry, peace and economics. Next Thursday is a possible date for the literature prize, but the Swedish Academy by tradition only gives the date two days before.
Engdahl suggested the announcement date could be a few weeks away, saying "it could take some time" before the academy settles on a name.
Each Nobel Prize includes a $1.3 million purse, a gold medal and a diploma. The awards are handed out Dec. 10, the anniversary of prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

Alison Flood,
Wednesday October 01 2008 13.08 BST
Article history
'Assiduous labour' ... Fredrik Persson/AP
The Nobel prospects of Philip Roth and Joyce Carol Oates may have been dashed after the prize's top jury member described American writing as insular and ignorant.
Permanent secretary of the Swedish Academy Horace Engdahl told the Associated Press that US writers were "too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture", which he said dragged down the quality of their work. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature," Engdahl said. "That ignorance is restraining."
"Of course there is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world ... not the United States," he said, later adding that "what I said expresses a conviction resulting from more than 10 years of assiduous labour".
Toni Morrison was the last American to win the prize, in 1993.
Contacted by this morning, Engdahl claimed a misunderstanding had occurred and that the Swedish Academy strictly adhered to Alfred Nobel's wish "that in awarding the prize no consideration whatsoever be given to the nationality of the candidates". He added: "It is of no importance, when we judge American candidates, how any of us views American literature as a whole in comparison with other literatures. The Nobel prize is not a contest between nations but an award to individual authors. It is essential to remember that when national feelings run high." He maintained that there was "no reason for any particular author to get upset by my observations.
This year's winner is expected to be announced in the next few weeks and has not yet been selected, according to Engdahl, who told AP that "it could take some time" before the academy settles on a name.
Engdahl, a professor of Scandinavian literature and a literary critic, has been permanent secretary since 1997 of the secretive committee of 18 Academy members who select the winner. Over the course of a year, the Academy will whittle down nominated authors from 200 to a shortlist of five, which is not made public. An author must receive more than half of votes cast to take the prize.
Ladbrokes' frontrunner is currently the Italian scholar Claudio Magris, who is 3/1 favourite to take the SEK10m prize, trailed by the Syrian poet Adonis at 4/1. Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth are the highest placed Americans, at 7/1, while Don DeLillo is at 10/1 and Thomas Pynchon at 20/1; Ladbrokes is also offering 40/1 odds on the generally reclusive Pynchon both winning and attending the prize-giving on December 10.
Last year's winner was the UK's Doris Lessing, a rare female choice. Over the last 10 years the Nobel laureates have had a distinct European flavour, with Turkey's Orhan Pamuk, the UK's Harold Pinter and VS Naipaul, Austria's Elfriede Jelinek, Portugal's José Saramago, Hungary's Imre Kertész, France's Gao Xingjian and Germany's Günter Grass all taking the prize. South Africa's JM Coetzee won in 2003.
In 2005, Knut Ahnlund, a member of the Nobel committee, resigned over the choice of Elfriede Jelinek as winner, describing her writing as "whining, unenjoyable public pornography". Engdahl gave no indication as to what he might do should an American author take the prize this year.

American writer Philip Roth. Nobel prize for literature judge Horace Engdahl has described American writing as 'too isolated, too insular'. Photograph: Orjan F Ellingvag/Dagbladet/Corbis
Sorry, John Updike. Don't get your hopes up, Joyce Carol Oates. And Philip Roth, what were you thinking? It's been 15 long years since an American author was honoured with a Nobel prize for literature. Judging by the low opinion the head of the award jury holds of American writing, it is not going to happen this year.
Yesterday, the literary world on this side of the Atlantic reacted with bemusement and anger to an extraordinary tirade against American writing by Horace Engdahl, the permanent secretary of the Nobel prize jury.
"There is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world ... not the United States," he told the Associated Press. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature ...That ignorance is restraining."
The black-and-white views guaranteed Engdahl a wide audience for his confident dismissal of an industry that published more than 50,000 works of fiction last year. Unsurprisingly, his remarks elicited a variety of strong responses from members of America's writing community. Few of them could be described as abject or crushed.
Harold Augenbraum, who oversees the National Book Awards, told AP he was thinking of sending Engdahl a reading list. "Such a comment makes me think that Engdahl has read little American literature outside the mainstream and has a narrow view of what constitutes literature in this age," he said.
Michael Dirda, the Pulitzer prize-winning critic at the Washington Post's Book World, conceded that Americans do overwhelmingly read works in English rather than translation. But he added: "My general reaction is that he is just betraying an insular attitude towards a very diverse country."
The New Yorker's David Remnick accused the Nobel committee of being eternally incapable of recognising good writing when it saw it. "You would think that the permanent secretary of an academy that pretends to wisdom but has historically overlooked Proust, Joyce and Nabokov, to name just a few non-Nobelists, would spare us the categorical lectures," he told AP.
Roger Kimball, editor of The New Criterion, registered Engdahl's comments with a degree of detachment. He noted that other Nobel committees are due to announce their prizes next week, in medicine, peace and economics, and that Engdahl may have been trying to generate some publicity.
"It reminds me a little bit of the Apollo space programme that Uganda instituted under the rule of Idi Amin, where they had rockets and so on, except that they were made out of balsa wood," he said. "It strikes me as a kind of publicity stunt for a prize that in recent years has demonstrated its fatuousness and political complexion with one political laureate after the next punctuated now and then by a VS Naipaul just to lend a patina of credibility."
The US literary community has long had an ambivalent attitude towards the Nobel prize - not helped by the long drought. The last American to win a prize for literature was Toni Morrison in 1993. In the years since then, Europeans have been recognised nine times, including Britain's Doris Lessing.
The Nobel committee has also had a patchy reputation for recognising genius. Although the reputations of such US winners as TS Eliot and Ernest Hemingway have survived, other laureates such as Sinclair Lewis and Pearl Buck have fallen in popular regard.
Oates and Roth have been mentioned for years as worthy candidates, without getting the nod. Updike presumably decided he never had a shot anyway when he created his character Bech and made fun of the prize.
It could be also that American writers, or anyone writing in English, may not need the recognition to achieve lasting fame, although the $1.3m (£650,000) award and gold medal would be nice.
"The Nobel has the great glamour. It also has the burden of being a kind of kiss of death. Many writers think it crowns your life effort and nothing that you do afterwards is as good," said Dirda. "It is a mixed blessing. But your name is in the history books."
· This article was amended on Thursday October 2 2008. The editor of The New Criterion is Roger, not Robert Kimball. This has been corrected.
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Prodded by Nobel Prize, the New Yorker Introduces Readers to Laureate's Work

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» Links to this article Associated Press Monday, October 20, 2008; Page C05
NEW YORK, Oct. 19 -- Nobel laureate Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, little known to American audiences before being named the winner of the literature prize, is getting another introduction to U.S. readers: His work is appearing for the first time in the New Yorker.
"We thought lots of people would be very interested to see what his work was like," said New Yorker fiction editor Deborah Treisman, whose translation of the short story "The Boy Who Had Never Seen the Sea" will appear on newsstands Monday. "We also wanted to move fast and publish it while people still remember his name."
Le Clézio, 68, was praised by the Swedish Academy for his "poetic adventure and sensual ecstasy" in such works as "Terra Amata," "The Book of Flights" and "Desert." Although he is ranked among the greatest living French writers, even leading American critics -- including Treisman and New Yorker editor David Remnick -- acknowledged they had not read his work.
A week before the award was announced, Academy Permanent Secretary Horace Engdahl told the Associated Press that the United States was too insular and ignorant to challenge Europe as the center of the literary world; Remnick was among those who objected.
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Originally published in "Mondo et Autres Histoires" ("Mondo and Other Stories"), a 1978 collection, "The Boy" tells of a young loner and boarding school student named Daniel whose passion for the sea leads to his mysterious disappearance and raises him to mythical heights among those who knew him -- and among the many who didn't.
"We talked about the usual school things," Le Clézio writes, "our math problems, our Latin translations, but always we were thinking of him, as if he really were a kind of Sinbad, still making his way around the world."
Treisman said that after the Nobel was announced on Oct. 9, she contacted Le Clézio's publisher, Gallimard, which gave permission for the New Yorker to publish work from "Mondo." Treisman said she chose "The Boy" for its language and narrative and imaginative power.
Asked why she had never read Le Clézio, even though she is fluent in French, Treisman laughed and responded: "I do have an awful lot to read. I try to keep up with what's happening, and I'm aware of quite a few writers in France right now, but I had no particular reason to read his work before" the Nobel was awarded.
"So this was a big prod from the Nobel Prize committee."


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Wholly Toledo! AND UPO (underground-poet- outlawers )CITE CLEVELAND-ING! ! ! ! ! furthermore: GERM BOOKSTORE FEATURES CULTURE MAVEN THIS SATURDAY!

******** bonus breaking news from Jeff Potter
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@@@@@@@@@@ @@@@@ @@@@@@

This in from David Williams owner and proprietor of Germ Bookstore-- proud carrier of the ULAPress zeen-novels!-- on the 2000th block of Frankford Avenue of Philadelphia::

EXCLUSIVE EAST COAST BOOKSIGNING SATURDAY, OCTOBER 18, 7PM BOYD RICESTANDING IN TWO CIRCLES: THE COLLECTED WORKS OF BOYD RICE(edited by Brian M. Clark) Who is Boyd Rice? (actual quotes) "Boyd Rice is a black pimp."–Charles Manson "Boyd was my mentor."–Marilyn Manson "Boyd is an iconoclast!"–Anton LaVey, Church of Satan "Boyd Rice has crossed over into the realm of being a pop icon, not unlike Andy Warhol, Tiny Tim, or Charles Manson. His face is like a corporate logo synonymous with a specific type of worldview. When you see Boyd it's as though you're gazing upon the Golden Arches or the Swastika. Or both."–Shaun Partridge, The Partridge Family Temple STANDING IN TWO CIRCLES is the first definitive and comprehensive compendium of the works of BOYD RICE, one of the most provocative and controversial underground figures of the post-punk era. A pioneering noise musician and countercultural maven, from the late 1970s to the present Rice has worked in an array of capacities, playing the roles of: musician, performer, artist, photographer, essayist, interviewer, editor, occult researcher, filmmaker, actor, orator, deejay, gallery curator and tiki bar designer, among others. First coming to prominence as an avant-garde audio experimentalist (recording under the moniker NON), Rice was a seminal founder of the first wave of industrial music in the late 1970s. In the 1980s, through collaborations with Re/Search Publications, Rice further established his position in the underground with recountings of his uproarious pranks and the promotion of “incredibly strange” cult films and “industrial” culture. Rice’s influence on subculture was further exerted through his vanguard exhibition of found photographs and readymade thrift store art, as well as his adamant endorsements of outsider music, tiki culture and bygone pop culture in general. Rice is also notorious for his public associations with nefarious figures both infamous and obscure, including friendships and ideological collusions with the likes of cult leader Charles Manson and Church Of Satan founder Anton LaVey, among others. His work continues to profoundly affect the countercultural underground at large, inspiring and enraging in equal measure. STANDING IN TWO CIRCLES includes over 30 provocative essays on subjects ranging from Mondo Films to Charles Manson, Savitri Devi to the Hellfire Club, Cocktail Culture to African Atrocities, and from Abraxas to Rape. Of the 33 essays contained herein, 11 appear here for the first time ever. Of the remaining 22 previously published texts contained in this volume, most are revised, updated and expanded from their original versions. ALSO INCLUDES THE COMPLETE LYRICS and ART & PHOTOGRAPHY (38 original plates)! HEY… are you too far to visit, or “going to a wedding” or something lame like that? Send GERM $27 (a bit extra to cover postage) via Paypal (at ) and we’ll MAIL you an autographed copy. If you wish, we’ll even ask Mr. Rice to personalize it for you. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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Breaking Underground News ***** From Jeff Potter, publisher, ULAPress:

On Fri, Oct 17, 2008 at 5:59 PM, Jeff Potter wrote:
Hi all...

I look forward to a new phase, starting now. I plan to keep in regular contact with the nation's indy bookstores.

I envision sending them brochure mailings every now and then as newsletters. I'll number them, etc. I can include news items that we dig up.

In one way of looking at it, if we can excite the bookstores then we can excite the readers. They are our major interface.

Karl used to talk about setting up our own distro network, to cut out the middleman.

_________ ______ ____

I've personally often gotten along just fine with store owners. They really want something fresh, that will sell, that deals with the reasons why they became bookstore people---the love of books. Clerks on the other hand have often been sullen, resentful. But with the ULA all boats rise. : ) No one is left behind.

For instance, how many publishers say that a big part of their mission is the uplift of ALL indy biz and art?!

I'm not just trying to sell books with this ULA PRESS campaign---I'm trying to save US indy culture---and indy shops are a big part of that. I think other ULAers and ULA allies are on that page as well.
_________________ ________

That might be nice, but it would take replacing it all with our own network of middlemen---our own zeenshops. That would take a huge amount of work, talent, capital. It's an impossibility, in short. The bookstores are already there. Why not try to make them our friends and allies? More than anyone, they'd love to spark up an interest in reading again!

Now, their clerks are another story, but even they are not without hope. They like to be fashionable. Maybe we'll catch on as a hot new fashion.

I think --- moreover --- that our BOOKS and ART show this. It's not just a biz policy coming from me. It's in our content. I dunno about the rest of the small press scene, but our work stands up for the little guy. I personally see a lot of minor (indy) literary action as being part of the hyper-personal MFA vibe which is in turn part of the elite vibe which will include mostly novels about fantasy scenarios and exotic travel and quirky trysts. Hopefully that's not always the case. But our populist vibe is directly in favor of indy shop uplift. Maybe we are stand-outs in that way. I hope so. If we are, then that's another reason for indy shops to be our pals.

I'll also be sending these folks a regular email newsletter.

So we can see ULA outreach as going to readers...and to writers...and to artists of all kinds...and now to indy biz owners as well.

Basically, I'm starting a magazine that's going to indy shop owners. Let's see if they're receptive as an audience!

I've personally had quite a few indy shop owners get excited and into the OYB message. I think the ULA message should work as well. It's basically the same message.

New Pages sells a list for all this for $90. I'm a bit short, so I cobbled together the list for this past first mailing. It's missing all the NEW shops. About 25% of them are new as of 4 years ago, say. (Amazing, really.) I'm now going to dig back into my list and try to glean out email addresses and see what I have. If anyone wanted to spring for the real deal list, lemme know! I'd put it to good use.

Jeff Potter
Underground Literary Alliance
bringing excitement, authenticity,
relevance, independence and activism
to literature in America.
Zeensters rock! Folk writing lives! Outsiders are in!
*U*plift *L*iterary *A*merica now!
New Century -> New Reading -> New Writing!