Kudos, thanks, and admiration are due to Literary Supplement coeditors Nina Shengold and Mikhail Horowitz, who deftly steered our behemoth annual section once again between the Scylla of obscurantism and the Charybdis of mediocrity. This year's installment (page 81) is inarguably our finest since last year, and features over 20 pages of the best the local literary scene has to offer.
The profusion of entries to our short story contest—120, all told—almost overwhelmed our first reader, Bri Johnson. (Thanks, Bri. I promise to pick up your optometry bill!) Our winner, Jacob Ritari's "Futaride" (page 82), was chosen by novelist Valerie Martin, who also picked Mark Morgenstern's "Tomorrow's Special," as our runner-up, which we'll publish in a future issue. (Many of you may know Mark as the co-owner of the Rosendale Café.)
One of the highlights of this year's Literary Supplement, is the Joined at the Hip feature, wherein contestants were asked to combine two book titles into one, in the manner of the oft-penned Green Eggs and Hamlet
. In addition, the winning "Hipsters" have been illustrated by Diana Bryan, who returns to the literary arena with whimsical paper-cutouts illustrations akin to her work for the massive "Best Books of the Century" project for the New York Public Library in 1995.
There are also essays by T.C. Boyle Celia Bland, Marilyn Johnson, Allison Gaylin, and Sparrow; a frontispiece designed by Carol Zaloom; best-reviewed books of the year; poetry on the theme of art and artists; and a tour of little known—and highly dubious—literary landmarks in the region.
And there's also a party! Details below.
is known for its parties. Every year, our holiday party attracts approximately 500 people to gather in celebration of the magazine and the community that has coalesced in conjunction with it. (And to boogie down, chat with friends old and new, and listen to a pithy, brilliant speech by the editor of this magazine.) Based on the warm reception these parties have received, we've decided to up the ante and launch a series of events this fall that will further foster our mission of stimulating and supporting the creative and cultural life of the Hudson Valley.
The first event on the roster is our first annual Halloween party at Skytop Steakhouse and Brewery in Kingston. As we go to press at the end of October the party is just days away, and our events and promotions staff has been toiling industriously on the details for this costumed extravaganza which will feature live music by Blueberry and Richard McGraw, with spinning by DJs Goodwill and Stacy Fine. Don't forget the costume contest, plus lots of giveaways, including merch from local reissue mavens Sundazed Music. If you're reading this, you either loved or missed it, so look for party photos on the "Chronogram
Seen" page of the December issue.
To coincide with the publication of our annual Literary Supplement, we are hosting a little shindig we're calling "Eats, Reads, and Leaves" at the Blue Mountain Bistro on Friday, November 10. The event will feature readings by Chronogram
regulars like Sparrow, Phillip Levine, and Nina Shengold, and also some irregulars—local novelists Da Chen and Donald Westlake will take the mike, as will cultural czar in exile Mikhail Horowitz and his cohort in literary lunacy, Gilles Malkine. Music will be provided by the Stillhouse Rounders, and complimentary canapés will be served. For more information, see the info box on page 89.
In December, we're staking an even more ambitious cultural claim with the launch of Café Chronogram
, a monthly performance event we'll be hosting on the first Saturday of every month, to coincide with Kingston's First Saturday Art Walk, promoting the city's vibrant gallery scene. Our first event on December 2 at 8pm will feature singer/songwriter Marcellus Hall, illustrator, described by Chronogram
music know-it-all Peter Aaron as a "contemporary urban Woody Guthrie"; a spoken-word performance by our own Teal Hutton; and paintings by Kingston's master of the brooding palette, Joe Concra. The event will take place at Art on Wall (288 Wall Street), a recently renovated fur vault in uptown Kingston. Visit www.chronogram.com
For the past five years, we've been publishing a little-known e-mail newsletter every Thursday, the 8-Day Week
, highlighting the most noteworthy events from Thursday to Thursday. Like Chronogram
, it's free, but, unlike the magazine, the 8-Day Week
, because of its weekly format, contains up-to-the-minute events listings picked from the calendar on our website, which is updated daily. The 8-Day Week is a snapshot of what's to come culturally in the week ahead, and it fits snugly and unobtrusively in your inbox. (When we roll out our revamped site in January, look for a plethora of newsletter options, including RSS feeds.)
We've also begun offering giveaways exclusively to 8-Day Week
subscribers. Recent giveaways have included tickets to Celebration of Celts's Riverfire and CDs by Richard McGraw.
To sign up, visit www.chronogram.com
and click on the Subscribe button.
—Brian K. Mahoney
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
In the October 13 edition of his nationally syndicated conservative radio program, "The Savage Nation," commentator Michael Savage claimed that a victory by Democrats in the November elections "could lead to the breakup of the United States of America, the way the Soviet Union broke up." Savage warned of the threat of Democrats regaining control of Congress while discussing the threat of immigration to the makeup of the US, asserting that there is only "a melting-pot possibility" for immigrants from Europe and that "[w]hen you start bringing in masses of immigrants from everywhere on Earth, you don't have a melting pot; they cannot be melted into an American, and that's what's going on in the country today." Savage added, "Democrats want people to vote that aren't even citizens, because they're not counting on an America that speaks English in the near future."
Later in the broadcast, while discussing California Democratic senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Savage stated: "California, unfortunately, is in the hands of the far-left homosexual mafia."
Source: Media Matters for America
In early October, Sen. Trent Lott inserted a provision into legislation signed by President Bush directing the Department of Homeland Security to investigate potential fraud by the insurance industry in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. "I am outraged," said Sen. Lott. "I'm concerned there are lots of abuses in the aftermath of the hurricane." In particular, Sen. Lott has taken exception to the obfuscatory wording of home insurance policies, which contain "a bunch of subterfuges" difficult to comprehend, according to Sen. Lott. "Don't tell me they don't do it on purpose," he said.
Senator Trent Lott, like thousands of people on the Gulf Coast, not only lost his home in Pascagoula, Mississippi, to Katrina, but had his homeowner's claim of $400,000 rejected by his insurance company, State Farm.
Source: New York Times
A report released in September by Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting found that PBS's flagship news program, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," fails to provide either balance or diversity of perspective in its choice of guests. According to FAIR, who studied the program's guest list from October 2005 through March 2006, male sources outnumbered female sources more than four to one; people of color made up only 15 percent of US sources; among partisan sources, Republicans outnumbered Democrats two to one; public interest groups accounted for just four percent of total sources; during a time of increasing calls for withdrawal from Iraq, "stay the course" sources outnumbered pro-withdrawal sources more than five to one.
Source: Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, AP
Money Not Spent Department: For the fiscal year 2006, Congress earmarked $20 million to pay for a celebration in Washington, DC, for "commemoration of success" in Afghanistan and Iraq and empowering the president to "issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies and activities." The money was not spent—no surprise—and the money has been rolled over into the budget for 2007.
Source: New York Times
Thirty years after masterminding a Cubana Airlines bombing killing 73 people, Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles is being held on an immigration violation in an El Paso, Texas detention center. Posada, a former CIA operative and US Army officer who worked for decades toward the overthrow of Fidel Castro, was arrested last year in Miami after sneaking into the US. The US government is reluctant, however, to press terrorism charges against Posada, even as the Justice Department described him in papers filed in late September as "an unrepentant criminal and admitted mastermind of terrorist plots and attacks on tourist sites."
Roseanne Nenninger Persaud, whose 19-year-old brother Raymond was one of the passengers who perished on the Cubana Airlines flight, has urged the US to brand Posada a terrorist. "It feels like a double standard," said Persaud. "He should be treated like bin Laden. If this were a plane full of Ameircans, it would have been a different story."
Posada's lawyer, Felipe D.J. Millan, disagrees with the terrorist designation. "How can you call someone a terrorist who allegedly committed acts on your behalf? This would be the equivalent of calling Patrick Henry or Paul Revere or Benjamin Franklin a terrorist."
The Bush administration has tried to deport Posada, but only two countr,ies want him: Venezuela, where he is wanted for blowing up the plane, and Cuba, where he is viewed as an enemy of the state. An immigration judge ruled that Posada might be subject to torture in those countries, however, so he cannot be deported to either Cuba or Venezuela. "Luis Posada Carriles is a terrorist, but he is our terrorist," said Peter Kornbluh of the National Security Archive at George Washington University.
Source: New York Times, AP