Tag Archives: FEASTS

Sunday, August 20th Update: $23,000 Raised on Behalf of Holly and Harry

Sunday morning, August 20, 2017

A week and a half ago, a half-dozen Los Angeles poets (Amelie Frank, Laurel Ann Bogen, Steve Goldman, Lynne Bronstein, Luis Campos, and Phoebe MacAdams Ozuna) launched a GoFundMe campaign on behalf of Holly Prado and Harry Northup, who recently lost their possessions in a nocturnal electrical fire in their apartment that nearly took their lives. Two hundred and twenty-five people have responded to the appeal, and slightly over $23,000 has been raised. The original goal was $20,000, and it speaks to the stature that Holly and Harry have within Southern California poetry that writers, readers, and artists have responded with such generosity to their need. If 75 more people contributed $25 each, the campaign would then have 300 total contributors to a $25,000 fund.

I do want to reiterate that once they are settled back in their residence, it would help them immensely to have a working library again. I would like to suggest that Beyond Baroque hold a book party to which the poets and readers of poetry of Los Angeles contribute as many books as possible. One possibility would be to have a “library committee” of poets go through the piles of books, pick out volumes they believe would most interest Holly and Harry, and then invite them to make their choices, after which we could haul their new library to East Hollywood.

Tuesday evening update:

The GoFundMe campaign to assist Holly Prado and Harry Northup has almost reached the $16,000 level of donations. The project is at the 80 percent mark. Over 170 people have contributed so far. If another forty or fifty people would make a small donation, we would all be able to savor the generosity of our community in helping two of our own recover from a devastating loss.

Once again, my thanks to all of you who have helped these old friends.

Tuesday morning, August 15, 2017

OVER HALFWAY TO THE GOAL OF HELPING HOLLY AND HARRY

Almost 150 people have responded to the GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to help Holly Prado and Harry Northup recover from the fire that devastated their apartment recently. After only four days, almost $13,000 has been pledged to their support. We are only $7,000 away from completing this project. I realize that many of the people who have given have already asked their friends and artistic colleagues to contribute, too, so this final third of the fundraising will not be as easy as the initial push. Nevertheless, I believe there are still many people who would be willing to contribute if they knew about Holly’s and Harry’s plight. Both of them are poets who have responded with absolute imaginative integrity to Cary Nelson’s question at the end of Repression and Recovery: “What is the social value of a life devoted to poetry?”

Harry and Holly met in the mid-1970s, shortly after I had published Feasts, Holly’s novella of “autobiographical fiction.” According to Harry, he felt inspired to meet Holly after reading Feasts. They have been inseparable since then.

Should any of you need quick and easy links to send to people who may not be familiar with Harry’s and Holly’s writing, please avail yourself of the following:

(for Holly Prado)

https://www.culturalweekly.com/holly-prado-three-poems/

http://www.oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt3199q9f8/
http://www.worldcat.org/title/feasts/oclc/610178149&referer=brief_results

(for Harry Northup)

http://articles.latimes.com/1993-05-21/news/va-37959_1_harry-northup

http://timestimes3.blogspot.com/2014/03/for-my-love-sleeping-by-harry-e-northup.html?view=sidebar

http://www.worldcat.org/title/enough-the-great-running-chapel/oclc/8506024&referer=brief_results

FEASTS by Holly Prado (1976)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

“to turn our gold into ordinary ground / the best possible solution”

Feasts_BookCover

One of the most tantalizing books I published when I was the literary editor, production manager, and distribution agent for Momentum Press back in the 1970s and 1980s was Holly Prado’s Feasts, which I published in 1976. It’s hard to believe that Feasts is forty years old. Even after all this time, however, it still remains a difficult book to classify. A prose poem novella? Autobiographical fiction? A feminist text that serves as an early example of the use of journal writing as a source of creative self-definition?

I believe that the book is one of the classic pieces of writing in American literature. Although the book is not in print, I have taught it in several graduate seminars at CSU Long Beach; one student summed up many reactions: “Where has this book been all my life?” One answer I give to that question is, “Looking for another publisher.”

FEASTS sold well in the two years after it was published, even though it did not receive many reviews. One of them, however, was in the Los Angeles Times, and I excerpt from it to give you some sense of the book’s impact at the time:

“An experimental novel about a twice-divorced, 36-year-old writer named Clare and her lovers and friends. What’s interesting here is that Prado is truly experimenting…. She splices together a life from fragments of scenes, sentences, dreams, memories … a vivid sense of Clare’s life…. Stylistically the book is worth examining because Prado breathes energy into the flat, half-truth of fiction by writing poetry. (She ) arranges words in breath patterns rather than in sentences … Prado uses the period, the comma, the strophe and antistrophe with a musical exactitude we’ve not heard for a long time.”

I suppose it is a bit of a fantasy to expect a book that has not been in print for over 30 years to appear in an annotated edition, and yet that is what this book needs and deserves. Without at least some commentary accompanying a reprint, a new generation of readers would probably not realize how important it is to go on-line and look up the Woman’s Building, the cultural center in Los Angeles that plays a major role in Feasts. Those who read this book without any awareness of the roman a clef quality of its social context will miss much of the ambience that it has to offer.

I would like to go on record as having made efforts to get Feasts reprinted. Specifically, I have twice approached the Feminist Press in New York City, and each time have failed to receive even the courtesy of a form rejection. The first time they claimed that they never received the copy of the book I sent for their consideration, but the second time I handed a photocopy of the book to the editor along with a return envelope. No response.

Perhaps there is some new feminist press out there that would be willing to undertake this project and include a long introduction and afterword. It is with this hope that I light a cake with 40 candles to celebrate my good fortune in having been its first publisher. I refuse to believe that such a marvelously intimate, tender and lyric piece of feminist affirmation will not be for sale again at Skylight Books.

The AWP will have a major bookfair as part of its annual convention, which opens at the Convention Center in Los Angeles starting tomorrow. In general, the book publishers that are part of the AWP trade show are far more conservative than they imagine themselves to be. The sad truth is that I am not expecting any publisher at that bookfair actually leaving town in anticipation of reading FEASTS and seriously considering taking it on as a reprint project. Nevertheless, I post this notice in the hope that someone still cares about keeping avant-garde feminist writing available to the generation that might well elect the first female president or the first openly Socialist president of the United States.