About us

We are dedicated to bringing you the best and most creative minds the world has to offer spanning all genres. Please note that all prose, poetry and works of art submitted to The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology site must come with permission for possible future publication.  If you are interested in contributing your works or have any further questions please email Tina Ayres at TinaFayeAyres@gmail.com. Thank you!

Van Gogh’s Ear inspired by Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg

“The idea for starting an international anthology of prose, poetry and art from people of all walks of life, everywhere in the world, began with Allen Ginsberg. He said creativity is a great way to bring people together. We discussed giving a chance to never-before-known talents by publishing them alongside the famous. He said everyone’s a genius. It’s just a matter of how one’s genius is expressed. Since Allen was the inspiration for the anthology series, it seemed only right to read through all of the contents of Allen Ginsberg’s Collected Poems 1947-1980 for a title. When my eyes landed on his poem ‘Death to Van Gogh’s Ear,’ I immediately knew. The poem begins: ‘Poet is Priest / Money has reckoned the soul of America.’ Those first two lines pretty much sum up what the poem is about. And it was written in Paris, December 1957. I knew then that Van Gogh’s Ear would be the anthology’s title.”

~ Ian Ayres, creator of the original
Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology Series

Ian Ayres & Allen Ginsberg in Paris, March 1996. Photo by Eric Ellena.

 

VAN GOGH’S EAR: VOLUME 8 (Submission Guidelines)

Founded by Ian Ayres, Van Gogh’s Ear: Best World Poetry, Prose & Art is an annual anthology series devoted to publishing powerful works by major voices and innovative new talents from around the globe. The goal of Van Gogh’s Ear is to make each volume a real eye-opener that stirs people’s emotions and ignites their imaginations. Experimental work is warmly embraced. Taboos extremely encouraged. The more daring, the better. “INTENSITY” is the key. Without affiliation with specific movements or schools of poetry/prose/art, we seek only to publish the best work being created. We’re open to all styles. We never limit anyone in any way whatsoever. We believe that by limiting others, we’d be limiting ourselves. Therefore, we equally embrace work that shows mastery of versification alongside wild work inspired by Rimbaud’s “derangement of all the senses.” We not only encourage the exploration of every possible approach to poetry, creative writing and all forms of art (tattoos, graffiti, videos, etc), but going beyond anything yet imagined. And we are very open to poets, writers and artists of all kinds who haven’t been published before. Being published isn’t as important as the work itself. Submissions should be accompanied by permission to publish the work(s) in Van Gogh’s Ear, a brief bio of up to 120 words, and a photo would be cool. Submit up to 6 poems or 2 prose pieces or several works of art at a time. Poem length shouldn’t be more than 165 lines and prose length no more than 1,500 words. Previously published work is okay if awesome.
Same for simultaneous submissions. All selections will immediately appear on The Original Van Gogh’s Ear Anthology site. Actual publication is planned for Autumn, 2013. A friendly cover note of introduction is always appreciated. Please send submissions or any questions to Tina Ayres at TinaFayeAyres@gmail.com

To explore more: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

THANKS FOR KEEPING THE ORIGINAL VAN GOGH’S EAR ALIVE!

Ian Ayres at the grave of Vincent Van Gogh

MARILYN MONROE TO SALISBURY?

By MARK WINEKA
Salisbury Post

 Posted: Saturday, Dec. 01, 2012

RalphRoberts&MarilynMonroe&IanAyres

SALISBURY, N.C. Even 50 years after her death, the interest in Marilyn Monroe remains insatiable. For serious authors, filmmakers and fans, the obsession with the Hollywood icon inevitably leads them to Salisbury, a place she never visited yet knew everything about. Credit the late Ralph Roberts for that. For the last three-plus years of Monroe’s life, Salisbury native Roberts served as her personal masseur and, probably, closest friend.

By most accounts, Roberts was the last person Monroe tried to contact the night she died of a drug overdose in Los Angeles.

Only two weeks ago, documentary filmmakers from Paris were here, interviewing Ralph Roberts’ nephew, Hap, who saw his uncle almost every day for the last three years of his life in Salisbury.

French Connection Films also spoke to Chris “Steve” Jacobs, the man Hap Roberts has made archivist for his uncle’s papers and all things Marilyn.

Together, Roberts and Jacobs have developed a Ralph Roberts website. They keep a Greensboro attorney on call, just to make sure nothing false is attributed to Ralph Roberts.

Working from Hap Roberts’ company, Statewide Title, they store anything connected to Marilyn Monroe in lock boxes off site.

Long after Monroe had died and mainly as a way to correct and set straight things written about her, Ralph Roberts started several versions of a memoir, which he titled “Mimosa.”

“There’s constant interest in that manuscript,” Jacobs says.

Hap Roberts and Jacobs hope to publish the memoir some day, though putting the Marilyn years in chronological order and dealing with Ralph’s writing style have been difficult.

“He never took advantage of his relationship with Marilyn Monroe in any shape or form,” Hap Roberts says of his uncle. “We don’t want to profit from it, either. We just want to do what Ralph would want done.”

Hap Roberts’ life keeps bumping into his Uncle Ralph and Marilyn Monroe.

He’s not complaining. He loved and adored his uncle, and through him appreciated the actress.

In recent years, Roberts and Jacobs assisted University of Southern California professor and author Lois Banner on her recently released book, “Marilyn: The Passion and the Paradox.”

Banner’s index lists Ralph Roberts on 19 different pages, and the book devotes considerable space to his brother-sister relationship with Monroe.

Bill O’Reilly’s best-selling book, “Killing Kennedy,” mentions Roberts on a single page. It’s one of the more famous Roberts-related stories because it essentially confirms the affair Monroe had with President John F. Kennedy.

O’Reilly probably gets it wrong, however. He writes that when Kennedy, staying in Palm Springs with Monroe, complains of chronic back pain, Monroe calls Roberts and puts him on the telephone with the president. The passage says Roberts offered a quick diagnosis and hung up after a few minutes.

But while he was alive, Roberts told the Post at least twice – in 1985 and 1993 – that Marilyn called him that night after the president had asked her how she pulled off her signature walk.

Monroe knew it was a variation on an exercise using a muscle that connects the thighbone to the hipbone through the spine. But when Kennedy asked her the name of the muscle, she couldn’t remember.

So Monroe called Roberts, put Kennedy on the telephone, and Roberts told the president it was the psoas muscle. And that was pretty much their conversation.

Paris filmmakers Ian Ayres and Eric Ellena are still in the United States interviewing people for their documentary, “Marilyn: Birth of an Icon.”

They describe it as a movie “about a sensitive, caring person trapped in the role of the world’s greatest sex symbol.” Their treatment of the subject, Hap Roberts says, is something of which his Uncle Ralph would have approved.

Forever cognizant of his uncle’s wishes to protect the Monroe he knew, Hap Roberts says he has only granted two interviews about Ralph Roberts since his death in 1999. One was for Banner; the other, for Ayres and Ellena.

Ian Ayres & Hap Roberts (photo by Annette Roberts)

Ian Ayres & Hap Roberts (photo by Annette Roberts)

When they were in Salisbury, the men filmed Hap and his wife, Annette, walking in City Memorial Park toward Ralph’s grave. They also interviewed Hap for an hour at his home and Jacobs for a considerable time back at the Statewide Title office.

They took pictures of several of the Marilyn artifacts Ralph had kept after the actress’ death Aug. 5, 1962. Ralph was among only a small group of people, including former Monroe husband Joe DiMaggio, who attended Monroe’s funeral.

Hap Roberts still has his uncle’s program from the memorial service.

“I grew up reading every book about her,” Ayres said in an email to Hap Roberts. “Now I find myself in the position of making the documentary I’d always hoped someone would.

“And your uncle Ralph meant so much to Marilyn. I know she’d be pleased.”

This year, Hap Roberts was invited to attend Marilyn Remembered’s Aug. 5 memorial on the 50th anniversary of her death. Marilyn Remembered is a fan club of sorts established in Los Angeles in 1982.

More than 400 people from all parts of the world attended the memorial service, according to Greg Schreiner, president of the group.

Hap Roberts wrote some words of tribute for his uncle which were read at the Monroe memorial, but he did not attend.

The photographs that exist of Ralph Roberts with Marilyn Monroe inevitably show him standing behind her, giving a neck massage.

Descriptions always mention how tall and handsome he was. Hap Roberts says his uncle was about 6-2.

Authors also describe a man who was a good listener – a Southern gentleman who was tight-lipped and trusted by the famous people he massaged, especially Monroe.

“She was very comfortable with Ralph,” Annette Roberts says.

Hap Roberts adds that his uncle purposely kept in the background, not wanting to be considered part of Monroe’s entourage.gg

Ralph Roberts’ acting career should not be overlooked, nor his military record.

He graduated with honors from Salisbury’s Boyden High School and Catawba College. He was attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when he volunteered for the Army before Pearl Harbor and World War II.

After Officers Candidate School, he rose to the rank of major and served as Gen. Joseph Stilwell’s assistant in the China-Burma Theater. During the war, he also was one of the first liaison officers from the Pentagon to the White House. In that position, he met President Franklin D. Roosevelt twice.

When Roberts was called back to active duty during the Korean War, he held the reserve rank of lieutenant colonel.

His military obligations behind him, Roberts headed for New York to follow up a love for acting he developed in college and community theater productions in Salisbury.

Through much of his life, he seemed consistently drawn to famous or soon-to-be-famous people. Roberts attended the method acting school of Lee Strasberg with fellow students such as James Dean, Shelley Winters and Marlon Brando.

In 1954, he appeared on the cover of Time magazine behind actress Julie Harris, who was starring in the play, “The Executioner.” Roberts was the executioner.

Roberts actually met Marilyn Monroe for the first time at Strasberg’s New York apartment in 1955. He wrote in his memoir that she was “one of the most radiantly beautiful creatures” he had ever seen.

“And when I say ‘creature,’ that was it,” Roberts wrote. “An animal. The blue-whiteness one sees sometimes in the stars of a desert night. White-blond hair, clear-white complexion framing violet-blue eyes.”

Roberts had parts in long-run Broadway productions such as “Witness for the Prosecution,” “The Lark” and “The Groom Wore Spurs.”

His first movie was Stanley Kubrick’s “Killer’s Kiss.”

To supplement his acting income, Roberts trained at the Swedish Massage Institute in New York, and he quickly became known among Broadway actors, film and television stars as the man who could help them relax before or in between performances.

The clients he would have over three decades, mostly in New York, sound like a Who’s Who in acting. He massaged, for example, Lauren Bacall, Richard Burton, Natalie Wood, Judy Holliday, Imogene Coca, Milton Berle, Red Buttons and Ellen Burstyn.

And, of course, Marilyn Monroe.

Roberts became Monroe’s official masseur in 1959, and for long periods, during her various marriages and romantic entanglements, would give her massages daily.

Roberts and Monroe forged a bond. She called him “Rafe,” the British pronunciation for his name.

They connected on the Willa Cather books they read, their spirituality and, believe it or not, Salisbury.

As Roberts massaged her at night, he spoke to her about his hometown and all of its places and people – down to men such as Irvin Oestreicher and Julian Robertson Sr. to the roasted peanuts at the Lash store and the winged statue on West Innes Street.

Together, Roberts and Monroe ran errands, ate meals together, attended parties and took plane trips across the country between New York and California.

Roberts was with Monroe the night she practiced singing “Happy Birthday,” the version she would famously croon to Kennedy.

They watched the 1960 Democratic National Convention together when Kennedy won the nomination. They were on the set together every day of “The Misfits,” Clark Gable’s last movie.

In addition to massaging Monroe between scenes and being her chauffeur, Roberts played the part of an ambulance driver in “The Misfits.”

When he was 9, Hap Roberts says, he wrote his uncle in the spring of 1960 after hearing Ralph had the part in “The Misfits.” Hap asked whether Ralph could have Monroe autograph a picture to him and also one to his 9-year-old girlfriend, Kay Snider.

A month later, the pictures came in the mail. His said simply, “To Hap, Marilyn Monroe,” but she had signed the cover of a Life magazine with her and actor Ives Montand.

“I still have it,” Hap Roberts says.

As his nephew recalls, Ralph Roberts drove one of the first Corvettes – a black beauty with red interior. Monroe enjoyed riding with him.

Hap remembers that his grandfather had one of the first televisions in Salisbury, “and we would all gather around and watch Ralph in early Kinescope productions,” he said.

His uncle had an apartment in Greenwich Village. Roberts says one night Ralph and another aspiring actor, James Dean, returned to that apartment to listen to records.

When Ralph was acting in plays in New York, Hap and his mother would visit at times.

“I met Imogene Coca in her east-side apartment, Judy Holliday and Dean Martin back stage and years later with my wife, Lee Strasberg and Al Pacino at Lee’s apartment in the Dakota, a year before (John) Lennon was killed.”

Hap Roberts even received some hand-me-down clothes, such as sportcoats, from Ralph Roberts’ clients.

“I grew into Milton Berle’s stuff when I was 18,” he says.

In those Marilyn years, Hap says, Ralph Roberts would travel home to Salisbury with numerous small checks from the actress he had yet to cash. Once Hap’s father, Harold, asked his brother to have Monroe make out one of the checks to him.

The next trip home, Ralph Presented Harold with a $100 check made out to him from Monroe. Harold Roberts carried it around in his wallet for a year, showing everybody. Then one day he cashed it in.

Hap Roberts couldn’t believe it.

“He said, ‘Hell, it was $100.’ ”

Hap Roberts cherishes the last years of his uncle’s life after he left New York and lived on Parkview Circle close to Hap’s office. They would meet every afternoon around 4 p.m., and Ralph would look after Hap’s dogs on the weekends.

Every Sunday evening was “Martini Time.”

Ralph Roberts would appear at Hap’s house at 5 p.m., bringing the Sunday New York Times with him, so Annette and Hap could read it later.

Ralph Roberts had a art deco martini set Monroe had given him, and once he brought it out for their Sunday ritual.

Hap and Annette, who also became close to Ralph, knew not to probe him for his memories of Monroe.

When he did talk about their relationship, they tried not to interrupt, savoring every detail and recognizing how much he loved and respected Monroe.

Ralph Roberts felt great remorse that he wasn’t home the night of Monroe’s death to answer her call. He lived close to the actress and could have been to her house quickly.

“I do think he probably carried that to his grave,” Hap Roberts says.

Something else Monroe had given Ralph was a box full of the chandelier crystals she had collected. Monroe thought the crystals had healing properties.

Ralph Roberts would sometimes hand out the crystals as gifts to friends.

Hap Roberts tells a funny story, too, of another Monroe gift to his uncle. After Ralph’s death, Hap was gathering his uncle’s clothing together for a donation to Goodwill.

He noticed a woman’s Burberry trench coat in the closet, but he figured it was a friend’s coat, left at Ralph’s house in the past. He placed it with the other things for Goodwill.

“About a month later, I found a list of Marilyn Monroe items,” Roberts says. “Sure enough, on the list was ‘Burberry trench coat.’

“Well, Marilyn’s coat is now protecting some unsuspecting lady in Salisbury from inclement weather.”

When Ralph Roberts died April 30, 1999, at his home, he was 82. Hap Roberts said he sat alone in his uncle’s house and cried until he couldn’t cry any longer.

Roberts noticed the stacks of memoir papers spread out everywhere in the living room. In the den, he also saw the open Willa Cather book that his uncle had been reading.

Up to the end, Ralph Roberts was chasing his friend, Marilyn Monroe.

Information on past volumes of Van Gogh’s Ear in paperback:

Van Gogh's Ear: Volume 1 (cover)

VAN GOGH’S EAR: VOLUME ONE

ISBN: 978-2-914853-00-2

Volume one of Van Gogh’s Ear primarily focuses on poetry characterized by experimentation with form, a revitalized interest in the lyric, and journeys into daring realms of imagination. Among the book’s many highlights you’ll find Joyce Carol Oates’s intense prose poem of sex and murder “Erotic Fantasy in Fast Forward”; Victor Bockris’s haunting, prophetic poem “New York City Footsteps”-written just five days before 9/11; Susan Howe’s “The Chair”, which achieves a rare synthesis of linguistic rigor and humor; “Labor: A company job”, the last poem John Wieners ever wrote-includedis a letter by him (in his writing)about the poem; plus Rod Smith’s “Junkspace Canto”, a canto as tremblingly accurateas the jab of a needle, with perceptions wound into a jagged sweet music like a gypsy violin.

Contributors: Shane Allison, Beth Anderson, Bruce Andrews, Mary Angeline, Antler, Louis Armand, Ian Ayres, Amiri Baraka, Margo Berdeshevsky, Bill Berkson, Anselm Berrigan, Edmund Berrigan, Ted Berrigan, Victor Bockris, Mary Burger, David Caddy, Tom Clark, Andrei Codrescu, Ira Cohen, Robert Creeley, Quentin Crisp, Dave Cunliffe, Albert Flynn DeSilver, Diane di Prima, Edward Dorn, Jennifer Dunbar Dorn, Buck Downs, Kari Edwards, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Ethan Gilsdorf, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Glück, Marilyn Hacker, Linda Healey, Lynne Hjelmgaard, Anselm Hollo, Amy Holman, Paul Hoover, Susan Howe, Christopher Ide, Lisa Jarnot, David Lehman, Lyn Lifshin, Brendan Lorber, Bill Luoma, Gerard Malanga, Michael McClure, Wendy Mulford, Eileen Myles, Hoa Nguyen, Michelle Noteboom, Alice Notley, Joyce Carol Oates, Frank O’Hara, Douglas Oliver, Peter Orlovsky, Ron Padgett, Molly Peacock, Sarah Petlin, Simon Pettet, Bob Rosenthal, Jerome Rothenberg, Leslie Scalapino, Sozan Schellin, Andrew Schelling, Susan M. Schultz, Leonard Schwartz, Charley Shively, Eleni Sikelianos, Iain Sinclair, Dale Smith, Rod Smith, Edwin Torres, John Updike, Jean Valentine, Roberta Vellvé, Anne Waldman, Phillip Ward, Chocolate Waters, Philip Whalen, John Wieners…

Available at: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

VAN GOGH’S EAR: VOLUME TWO

ISBN-10: 2914853017

ISBN-13: 978-2914853019

Volume two of Van Gogh’s Ear, with its cover painting by Vincent van Gogh, offers a knock-out array of fresh, exciting poems—Beat, Slam, Nuyorican, Experimental, you name it-by such daring poets as Peter Orlovsky, Gayle Danley-Dooley, Pedro Pietri, and the list goes on. The result is a dynamic volume chock-full of the verve and artistry of a new millennium of poetry. You’ll experience Bob Perelman’s “Writing Time With Quotes“, showing he can keep more themes and images active simultaneously in a reader’s imagination than almost any other poet alive; Paul Auster’s “Notes From a Composition Book”, a poem that challenges our concepts of what is real and what is word; Dennis Cooper’s chilling “A Symphony of Confusion for the People I Killed” and “The Theorist has No Samba!”by Edwin Torres, selected from this volume for inclusion in Best American Poetry 2004.

Contributors:

Sam Abrams, Dannie Abse, Guillaume IX d’Acquitaine, Louis Armand, John Ashbery, Paul Auster, Ian Ayres, Charles Baudelaire, Bill Berkson, Charles Bernstein, Anselm Berrigan, Robin Blaser, Lee Ann Brown, Dennis Cooper, David Cope, Quentin Crisp, Gayle Danley-Dooley, Michael Dennison, Albert Flynn DeSilver, Jennifer K. Dick, Linh Dinh, Gordon Downie, Kari Edwards, Mark Ewert, Ruth Fainlight, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Susan Fox, Allen Ginsberg, Sara Goodman, Thich Nhat Hanh, Alamgir Hashmi, Linda Healey, Lyn Hejinian, Amy Hollowell, Amy Holman, Bob Holman, D. J. Huppatz, Michael Huxley, Fred Johnston, Nikki d. Katherine, Eliot Katz, John Kinsella, Lisa Lubasch, Gerard Malanga, Robert Marx, Pansy Maurer-Alvarez, Michael McClure, Tracey McTague, Sylvia Miles, Drew Milne, Marilyn Monroe, Eileen Myles, Alice Notley, Joyce Carol Oates, Ulick O’Connor, Joe Okonkwo, Peter Orlovsky, Jena Osman, Bob Perelman, Felice Picano, Pedro Pietri, Diane di Prima, Tom Raworth, Bob Rosenthal, Michael Rothenberg, Sapphire, Sozan Schellin, Leonard Schwartz, Sudeep Sen, Ron Silliman, W. D. Snodgrass, Gary Snyder, Onna Solomon, Sparrow, William Strangmeyer, Todd Swift, Eileen Tabios, Judith Taylor, Thomas R. Thorpe, Nicole Tomlinson, Edwin Torres, John Updike, Phillip Ward, Philip Whalen, George Whitman, Zhang Er…

Available at: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

VAN GOGH’S EAR: VOLUME THREE

ISBN: 978-2-914853-02-6

Volume three of Van Gogh’s Ear is a groundbreaking collection of poems from five continents celebrating the erotic spirit in all of its forms. From the passion of sexual desire to the intense longing for spiritual union, this extraordinary bon voyage turns each page ofVan Gogh’s Ear 3 into an exciting discovery. Among the many memorable works included are “And Have You Been Forgotten“, a far-reaching poem by one of the most challenging and engaging radical female poets at work today, Alice Notley; “Holy Drag“, by John Rechy, dares peek into the sacristy during changing time for a high Mass presided over by the Cardinal in Rome; Carolyn Cassady’s controversial letter on poetry; ”If This is Love” and “Hako” are imaginative, piercing poems by Yoko Ono that appear with two of her intimate Franklin Summer drawings. Other impressive drawings, one by Allen Ginsberg, are also included in this landmark anthology.

Contributors:

Dannie Abse, David Amram, Bruce Andrews, Antler, Louis Armand, Rae Armantrout, Ian Ayres, Amiri Baraka, Elizabeth Bartlett, Dawn-Michelle Baude, Barbara Beck, Bruce Benderson, Eric Bentley, Margo Berd, Jim Carrol, Carolyn Cassady, Emily Claman, Lynette Cloutier, Susan Cody, Holly Crawford, Quentin Crisp, Michel Delville, Linh Dinh, Kari Edwards, James A. Emanuel, Betsy Fagin, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Marilyn Yvonne Ford, Susan Fox, John Gilmore, Allen Ginsberg, Stephen Gray, Barbara Guest, Sandra Guy, Keith Haring, Herbert Huncke, Michael Huxley, Guy Kettelhack, Thomas Kinsella, James Kirkup, Le Comte de Lautréamont, Denise Levertov, Lyn Lifshin, Brendan Lorber, Raymond Luczak, Norman Mailer, Susan Maurer, Tana McCarthy, Janet McDonald, Sharon Mesmer, Sylvia Miles, Yaroslav Slava ”Mogutin, Marilyn Monroe, Thom Nickels, Alice Notley, Joyce Carol Oates, Ulick O’Connor, Edgar Oliver, Yoko Ono, Sarah Petlin, Felice Picano, Jeff Poniewaz, Diane di Prima, John Rechy, Bob Rosenthal, Michael Rothenberg, Sapphire, Lawrence Schimel, Moe Seager, Chris Stroffolino, Eileen Tabios, Thomas R. Thorpe, John Updike, Roberta Vellvé, Anne Waldman, Phillip Ward, Karen Weiser,  Evan Calder Williams, A. D. Winans, Florencio Yllana, Fay Zwicky…

Available at: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

VAN GOGH’S EAR: VOLUME FOUR

 ISBN: 978-2-914853-03-3

Volume four of Van Gogh’s Ear: Best World Poetry and Prose is now to be experienced! A powerful poem for peace by one of the great voices of contemporary literature, Maya Angelou, seizes the soul; Margaret Atwood’s insightful, often amusing essay on poetics inspires; Beat legend Carolyn Cassady’s intriguing new prose piece explores the energies that create and sustain all life; a high-speed letter from Beat icon Neal Cassady sweeps one away with his thoughts on Intellect and the arts; acclaimed renaissance man Leonard Cohen’s poem excites both the imagination and emotions; James Dean’s hardhitting poem gives a brutal glimpse into the acidic mixture of love and hate the legendary actor had for his father (a scan of Dean’s actual poem appears with photos from a private collection); John Gilmore’s snuff poem for Elizabeth Short“The Kiss of the Black Dahlia” churns the blood; Norman Mailer’s tasty “If Poetry Is The Food” will not only have you salivating for more, but on an inward journey beyond flesh and bone; Bangladesh poet Taslima Nasrin, who had to flee her country following death threats by Islamic fanatics, contributed a poem which reveals much through the rape of two young sisters who are ordered by a judge to be whipped in public for speaking out against the man who raped them; Yoko Ono’s piercing “Maybe I Was Too Young” and lovely “A Rose is A Rose is A Rose” appear with one of her intimate Franklin Summer drawings; Sue Russell shatters the Hollywood portrayal of serial killer Aileen Wuornos in the movie Monster with her probing essay. There’s also Sonia Sanchez’s startling poem about a mother torn between love for her 7-year-old daughter and addiction to crack; Irish poet Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin’s intense journey into the minds of the main people involved in executing a criminal at the time of execution; and even more powerful work by Tony Curtis, Joyce Carol Oates, C. K. Williams, Diane di Prima, John Updike, Daisy Zamora, Michael Rothenberg, Joanne Kyger, Tess Gallagher, Richard Kostelanetz, Marc Smith, Alice Notley, J. T. LeRoy, Aram Saroyan, Billy Collins, in total 91 great talents. After reading this landmark anthology, you’ll feel as if you’d lived intensely in the skins of many different people in different parts of the world. Highly recommended as a rich resource for teachers and a library basic.

 Contributors:

Maya Angelou, Shamsul Arefin, Colin Askey, Margaret Atwood, Michelle Auerbach, Elizabeth Ayres, Ian Ayres, Joe Bacal, Amanda Bay, Itzhak Ben-Arieh, David Bergman, Bill Berkson, J. J. Blickstein, Pat Brien, Mary Burger, Carolyn Cassady, Neal Cassady, Andrei Codrescu, Leonard Cohen, Billy Collins, Caitlin Condell, Holly Crawford, Victor Hernández Cruz, Dave Cunliffe, Tony Curtis, Jen Dalton, Andrew Darlington, James Dean, Albert Flynn DeSilver, Peter James Drew, Jordan Essoe, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Marilyn Yvonne Ford, Gloria Frym, Tess Gallagher, Marcene Gandolfo, John Gilmore, John Giorno, David Helwig, Jill Hill, Marie Houzelle, Scott Hutchison, Michael Huxley, Brendan Kennelly, Galway Kinnell, Richard Kostelanetz, Richard Krech, Joanne Kyger, J. T. LeRoy, Lyn Lifshin, Mark Lipman, Ken Mackenzie, Jayanta Mahapatra, Norman Mailer, Randall Mann, Sylvia Miles, Laure Millet, Taslima Nasreen, Thom Nickels, Alice Notley, Joyce Carol Oates, Tommy Frank O’Connor, Nessa O’Mahony, Yoko Ono, Lisa Pasold, Barbara Philipp, Kristin Prevallet, Diane di Prima, Terry Rentzepis, Bob Rosenthal, Barney Rosset, Michael Rothenberg, Carol Rumens, Sue Russell, Sonia Sanchez, Aram Saroyan, Larry Sawyer, Eabhan Ní Shuileabháin, Donny Smith, Marc Smith, Carolyn Stoloff, Nelson Sullivan, Mark Terrill, John Updike, Gerard Van der Leun, François Villon, Lina ramona Vitkauskas, Phillip Ward, Karen Weiser, C. K. Williams, Daisy Zamora, Harriet Zinnes…

Available at: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

VAN GOGH’S EAR: THE CELEBRITY EDITION (Volume Five)

ISBN-10: 2914853076

ISBN-13: 978-2914853071

“Congratulations on one wild issue!” — Billy Collins

Van Gogh’s Ear: The Celebrity Edition, which is volume 5, celebrates art, poetry, and the ultimate sex goddess of the 20th century, Marilyn Monroe. There’s a one-act play by Joyce Carol Oates that brings to life Marilyn’s posing for the nude calendar shot, new insights from Marilyn biographer Sarah Churchwell, plus never-before-revealed Marilyn memories by her personal masseur, Ralph Roberts, friend John Gilmore, and others who actually knew her. More exciting highlights are memoirs by movie stars and celebrities such as Tony Curtis, Mamie Van Doren, Sylvia Miles, and Xaviera Hollander. Not to mention the many renowned poets, novelists, cultural icons and political activists also included in this truly international collection with contributors from Australia, India, Dubai, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Canada, the USA, Ireland, England, France, Holland, Germany, Finland, Serbia, etc. Volume 5 of Van Gogh’s Ear addresses taboo, politics and the human condition from every walk of life. Plus there’s a compelling letter from Patricia Nell Warren, author of best-selling novel The Front Runner, in which she warns about the negation of free speech and the rise of fascism in the USA. And a scan of a recent prison letter from Charles Manson, in which he expresses concern about what’s happening to the planet, tells of how he’s treated in prison, as well as how he feels about his fame and the exploitation of him in the music scene. Volume 5 is an odyssey through cultural landscapes, revealing more about our times than any internet news-source or guru ever has. Exhibiting paintings that honor the life and times of Marilyn Monroe by such artists as Demetrie Kabbaz, Werner Horvath, and Tony Curtis, this collection is a must for Marilyn fans everywhere. Due to nudes, however, along with explicit works by the world’s most daring writers, i.e., the Marquis de Sade, a “Parental Advisory” warning appears on the cover.

Featured Contributors:

Franklin Abbott, Shane Allison, Antler, Jorge Artajo, Ian Ayres, Joe Bacal, Dawn-Michelle Baude, Barbara Beck, Guy R. Beining, Kimberly Biggers, Gojko Bozovic, J. R. Brady, Rolf Dieter Brinkman, Pam Brown, Michael Brownstein, Peter Cherney, Sarah Churchwell, Billy Collins, Dennis Cooper, Barbara Costa, Holly Crawford, Quentin Crisp, Tony Curtis, William Curtis, Jen Dalton, Albert Flynn DeSilver, DML, Eduard Escoffet, Landis Everson, Marcus Ewert, Marilyn Yvonne Ford, Serge Gainsbourg, Maureen Gallagher, Johnny Gevalia, John Gilmore, John Giorno, Daphne Gottlieb, Stephen Gray, J. Kenneth Grider, Andreas Gripp, Jane Hathaway, Michael Hathaway, Trebor Healey, Thomas M. Herndon, Lynette S’phiwe Hlongwane, Xaviera Hollander, Paul Hoover, Werner Horvath, Justice Howard, Gary Indiana, Fred Johnston, Demetrie Kabbaz, Kit Kennedy, Romella D’Ore Kitchens, John Kliphan, Aki Lehtinen, Linda Lerner, J. T. LeRoy, Lyn Lifshin, Jason Lynn, Jayanta Mahapatra, Norman Mailer, Charles Manson, Lori A. May, Ben Mazer, Gabrielle McIntire, Sharon Mesmer, Robin Metz, Sylvia Miles, Peter Minter, Pete Mullineaux, Eileen Myles, Thom Nickels, Joyce Carol Oates, Ulick O’Connor, Molly Peacock, Daniel Pendergrass, Robert Peters, Felice Picano, Jane Piirto, Jennifer Pinard, Wayne Ray, Dee Rimbaud, Ralph Roberts, Bob Rosenthal, Lauren Russell, Albert Russo, Marquis de Sade, Aram Saroyan, Richard Siken, Mark Terrill, Paul Trachtenberg, John Updike, Mamie Van Doren, Phillip Ward, Patricia Nell Warren, Lewis Warsh, Regina Weinreich, Janean Williams, A. D. Winans, Saint James Harris Wood, Jeffrey Cyphers Wright, Gerald Zipper…

Available at: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

VAN GOGH’S EAR: THE LOVE EDITION (Volume Six)

ISBN: 978-2-914853-09-5

From the earliest records in the Western tradition of poetry, throughout the classical period and during the Middle Ages, spanning the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and beyond, romantic love has been the obsessive object of poetic attentions. However, modern and postmodern poets tend to avoid writing about love, focusing instead on political, social and theoretical terrains.

When Dawn-Michelle Baude took on the job of guest-editing the sixth edition of the internationally acclaimed poetry anthology Van Gogh’s Ear, she deliberately chose love as her theme in order to challenge this modern poetic system in which the vocabularies for alienation and violence have outstripped those of attachment and affection.

More than seventy cutting edge poets from around the globe have answered Dawn-Michelle Baude’s call for poems about love. Van Goghs Ear 6: The Love Edition takes the throbbing pulse of love now, in 2009, in countries around the world. Sexual, romantic, altruistic, fetishistic, Platonic, political, happenstance and all the rest – the poems and prose in this edition are vital, and, in abrupt contrast to the foundational irony of postmodernism, even sincere. The writers engagement with the topics ranges from the subtle to the overt, the off-hand to the engaged, just like in life.

Contributors:

Etel Adnan, Greg Bachar, Aaron Belz, Guy Bennett, Pierre Bismuth, Jean-Luc Blanc, Charles Borkhuis, Kate Braverman, Lee Ann Brown, Robert Chrysler, Julia Connor, Andrei Codrescu, Joel Craig, Carl Miller Daniels, Jean Day, Patrick Dillon, Trisha Donnelly, Yan Duyvendak, Amanda Earl, Daniela Elza, Mia Enell, Michael Farrell, Alex L. Ferguson, Bonny Finberg, Kathleen Fraser, Gloria Frym, Vidya Gastaldon, Robert Glûck, Susy Gómez, E. Tracy Grinnell, Fabrice Gygi, Brenda Hillman, Anselm Hollo, Alexander Jorgensen, Ken Kagami, Aryan Kaganof, Amin Khan, Artus de Lavilléon, Joseph Lease, Shannon Lucy, Bernhard Martin, Clay McCann, Rob McLennan, David Meltzer, Michelle Miller, Laura Moriarty, Mryzk & Moriceau, Jennifer Moxley, Laura Mullen, Mel Nichols, Michelle Noteboom, Amy O’Neil, Ethan Paquin, Simon Pettet, Raymond Pettibon, Kristin Prevallet, Stephen Ratcliffe, Tom Raworth, Sarah Riggs, Didier Rittener, Eléna Rivera, Elizabeth Robinson, Steve Rodefer, Anna-Laure Sacriste, Hiroe Saeki, Leonard Schwartz, Alain Séchas, Jim Shaw, Rod Smith, Laura Solomon, Cole Swenson, Mark Tardi, John Tranter, Serdar Turkeli, Pierre Vadi, Jean-Luc Verna, Rosmarie Waldrop, Andrew Zawacki…

Available at: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

VAN GOGH’S EAR: THE SUPERNATURAL EDITION (Volume Seven)

ISBN: 978-2-914853-118

The seventh and final edition of the Van Gogh’s Ear anthology, “The Supernatural Edition,” focuses on works featuring the weird, wonderful, imaginary, and thoroughly supernatural. Full of stories, poems, artwork, and various creative essays, the culmination of the Van Gogh’s Ear anthology is anything but a smooth, predictable ride; rather, the range of styles and themes sweeps the reader away, promising an unforgettable experience. The ‘supernatural’ theme appears both overtly and subtly, in spirituality and imagination, in experiences both real and ethereal. Edited by Felice Picano, this volume features works by an international contingent of authors, including Jorge Artajo, Camille Feinberg, Fern C.Z. Carr, Samuel Ace, Saint James Harris Wood, Edmund White, Imani Tolliver, McArthur Gunther, Steven Reigns, Reginald T. Jackson, and Jayanta Mahapatra. Particular treats include a social commentary by Plutarch, a short story by Turkish writer Serdar Türkeli, and a nonfiction piece about riding on Juan Peron’s coffin by travel journalist Michael Luongo.

Featured Contributors:

Franklin Abbott, Samuel Ace, Dominic Ambrose, Apollonious of Rhodes, Rob Arnold, Ian Ayres, Margo Berdechevsky, Perry Brass, Jason Cant, Fern G.Z.Carr, M. Christian, Robert Cole, David Gerrold, Corey Green, Richard Halperin, Trebor Healey, Walter Hollander, Andrew Holleran, Reginald T. Jackson, Daniel M. Jaffe, Michael Luongo, Jayanta Mahapatra, Jeff Mann, Austin McCarron, Gunther McArthur, Carlos T. Mock, Felice Picano, Jerry Pyle, Plutarch, Steven Reigns, Charles Silverstein, Matthew Silverstein, D.N. Simmers, T.M. Spirit, Imani Tolliver, Paul Trachtenberg, Serdar Turkeli, Edmund White, Terry Wolverton, Saint James Harris Wood…

To purchase any of the complete collection
please visit: http://www.frenchcx.com/press/

3 thoughts on “About us

  1. Ian Ayres says:

    Tina Hall is amazing. Allen Ginsberg would love her!

  2. […] Allen Ginsberg Lives! […]

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