Monday, April 8, 2013

ROOM: the book, the reading, the launch

The reason it has been months since my last post can be summed up in one word: Pisappointment. As we all know pisappointment is a hybrid emotion that combines frustration and misery in equal proportions. It primarily stems from the state of my manuscript Good For Nothing. My agents have now been showing the manuscript to editors and a couple of film studios for about 14 months with no takers. Though I have recieved many long, thoughtful, supportive, and even enthusiastic rejection letters, still not the one acceptance I'm waiting for.

However, my agency, has re-grouped and started submitting the manuscript to smaller, edgier presses. I do think this strategy makes more sense for my material.

And while I say I have been "waiting," the truth is I've been pretty busy.

The ROOM Release party was held this past weekend and was great fun and well attended. ROOM is an experimental artists' publication with photography, writing and sequential visual narratives thematically oriented around room number 7 of a low-rent, northside Chicago motel. It was the result of a creative collaboration between myself, artist Karol Shewmaker of FLAT publications and Brad Freeman, Editor of JAB (the Journal of Artists' Books) Productions.

The content in ROOM is revealed in several ways. On one level, it operates a lot like a tradtional literary journal, with contributers providing poetry and short stories all taking place within the prescribed setting. 
The wordless sequential graphic fiction adds another dimension. And the beautifully printed black and white images interact with the structure of the book itself in order to recreate a visceral sense of the actual room's presence and architecture. These images also knit with textuaral discriptions from the written narratives to create a unique and powerful reading experience. 

As guest currator for the ROOM event I was able to hire videographer Aaron Van Pelt to produce a projection of the book that ran during the reading. You can watch it here to get a greater sense of the book object. 

Gallery Director, Jessica Cochran, arranged for the tremendously talented band New Material to play at the event. Here you can see John Preus playing a bedpost bass. Thanks to collarborative efforts of many many people the event was a big success, well attended and memorable. 
ROOM is being distributed with JAB 33 and has already been placed widely. It is also being distributed at other retailers who handle artists' books. 

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