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Events
  • Otis Books is pleased to publish Tim Erickson’s debut collection of poetry, Egopolis, a textual journey through destruction, resistance, city, and the Ego, from ancient times to the present day. Erickson’s work has appeared in the Chicago Review, Western Humanities Review, and the Salt Anthology of New Writing. He lives in Salt Lake City.

  • Otis Graduate Writing students will read from their works-in-progress.

  • Exquisite Beauty is the first retrospective and publication to document the eye-dazzling ceramics created by Ralph Bacerra (1938–2008), a Los Angeles–based artist known for his innovative approach to surface embellishment. Curated by Jo Lauria, the exhibition features more than ninety of the artist’s finest pieces—dramatic, highly decorated vessels and sculptures that have never before been the focus of a major exhibition or publication.

  • Opening Reception for Ralph Bacerra: Exquisite Beauty

  • David Treuer is an Ojibwe Indian from Leech Lake Reservation in northern Minnesota and currently teaches at USC. He is the author of the novels Little, The Hiawatha, The Translation of Dr. Apelles, named a Best Book of the Year by the Washington Post, as well as a critical work, Native American Fiction: A User's Manual. In 2012, he published another nonfiction work, Rez Life.

  • Angela Flournoy’s first novel The Turner House was a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. Her fiction has appeared in The Paris Review, and she has written for The New Republic, The Los Angeles Review of Books and elsewhere. Flournoy has taught at the University of Iowa and Trinity Washington University. She lives in Los Angeles.

  • Susan Choi’s first novel, The Foreign Student, won the Asian-American Literary Award for fiction, and her second novel, American Woman, was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. Her most recent novel, A Person of Interest, was a finalist for the 2009 PEN/Faulkner Award. With David Remnick she co-edited the anthology Wonderful Town: New York Stories from The New Yorker. A recipient of fellowships from the NEA and the Guggenheim Foundation, and in 2010, the inaugural winner of the PEN/W.G. Sebald Award, Choi lives in Brooklyn.

O-Tube

Marlena Donohue: 2007-08 Faculty Development Grant Report


Report:

As critic and scholar particularly interested in the 60s as that crucible epoch that gives rise to counter culture and Feminism, I was invited to attend as a critic and correspondent to the Monitor in Boston, the major Beat retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1995 titled, "Beat Culture and the New America, 1950-1965."

I attended the Press opening and a variety of lectures and was drawn immediately to a brilliantly painted, very eccentric oil of a famous strip joint in North Beach executed by an artist named Michael Bowen; I had no knowledge of this artist and this shocked me.

Beat Culture and the New America 1950-1965

Cover of the exhibition catalog, Beat Culture and the New America, 1950-1965

I am widely familiar with almost all Beat work done in the early 50s in Los Angeles and then in the late 50s and 60s in San Francisco. I had not seen this very fine work before. Another of Bowen’s paintings was in fact used to illustrate the Time magazine review of the exhibition.

I was further intrigued after having been invited to a press lecture at the Whitney where this rather raving artist spoke with vivid and historically accurate anecdotal detail about his intense and long term contacts with seminal figures of the 60s both in Los Angeles and in San Francisco: Tim Leary; William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Edward Kienholz, John McCracken, Allan Cohen, the poet Ferlinghetti. The more interesting fact to me was that Michael Bowen’s name reoccurred in passing in ephemera of the era, like letters by and within the inner circle of Beat culture, but neither his work nor his art were in any official historical record of the Beat generation.