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At our Columbus location on Thursday, January 15th, at 7pm, broadcast journalist Paula Rizzo will launch her latest book, Listful Thinking: Using Lists to be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed. Introducing Rizzo will be Patty Chang Anker, author of Some Nerve: Lessons Learned While Becoming Brave.
Finding enough hours in the day to get everything accomplished and allow for some downtime can be a struggle, and it has only gotten harder in the past five years. It’s no wonder so many of us are stressed, overextended and exhausted. The Institute of American Stress has discovered that 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago, and 54% of all American employees feel overwhelmed, according to a study by the nonprofit Family and Work Institute. Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful and Less Stressed is the book that will give you your life back. Author Paula Rizzo is a television and web producer from New York, and she has applied the tools and techniques that have made her successful at work to the art of list-making. Listful Thinking can be applied to anything in life and almost all situations.
How did you come to write Listful Thinking?
I’ve always wanted to write a book but I never thought it would be about lists! I’ve always been a list maker and a bit of a procrastinator. But my job as a news producer quickly taught me to be more efficient with my time. I wasn’t using the same time-saving tips at home that I used to get things done at work and I noticed a lot of things would fall through the cracks. So when I was looking for an apartment in NYC I created a checklist of all the things I needed to pay attention to. Much like I would at work when I go out on a shoot and need to interview someone. I will write out all the questions I need to ask and do a lot of preparation beforehand. When I did this, it was so much easier to find a great apartment! A friend wanted my list and suggested I start a blog because as she said not everyone thinks this way. So I did and ListProducer.com was born. That was the start of the Listful Thinking journey.
What are you currently reading?
Choose Yourself by James Altucher
Do you have a personal favorite book of all time? If so, can you share it and tell us why?
Oh this is such a hard question. For me this changes all the time. I’m always falling in love with new books. I have a list of course!
Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?
Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. I’m a big fan of hers and she always comes up with ideas that make you really look at your life and choose to make it better.
Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?
I’m still updating my blog ListProducer.com regularly. I’ve created an online PopExpert course based on the book that I’m really excited about. And I’ve been narrating some of my blog posts for the time-saving app Umano, which has really been fun. And I do hope another book or a series comes along at some point.
At 11am on May 31st, 2014 local Philadelphia artists, historians, and residents of West Philadelphia’s Mantua community gathered for a funeral commemorating the life and death of 3711 Melon Street. Cause of death: “prolonged and multiple causes.” The writer of 3711 Melon Street’s obituary states, “Living things die when the infrastructure of life declines or disappears. It is no different for a house that draws sustenance from the infrastructure of safe streets, economic viability, home repairs, a stable population and city services.” The funeral of 3711 Melon Street, one of Philadelphia’s row homes dating from 1872, was part of a public art project organized by Temple Contemporary that connects the decay and demolition of 3711 Melon with a much larger conversation around urban development and struggling urban communities. A Funeral For A Home is the beautifully designed accompanying book for the project.
Reading the text is nothing short of an interactive experience. The book includes full page photos chronicling the funeral and community engagement around the project, images of original historic documents, a folded up newspaper clipping of the obituary, and a manila folder in which the reader will find a copy of the home’s original deed. The book itself is carefully and intentionally designed; a wonderful extension of a project that points to the importance of public art as a vehicle for building awareness and community engagement.
Broken up into four chapters and a conclusion written by Patrick Grossi, the project’s manager, the book’s contributing authors write about the history of the Philadelphia row home, the obstacles and importance of historic preservation in the face of urban economic disparity, as well as a detailed documentation of the planning and day of the funeral itself. Without submerging the unique history of 3711 Melon St., Funeral for a Home further contextualizes the project “within a spectrum of contemporary public art projects that seek to memorialize, re-imagine or remediate housing in the era of the post-industrial late capitalist city” (71). As Sue Bell Yank writes in the chapter “This House is Every House,” the project “prompts us to observe and push the boundaries of how we perceive what is happening in our own communities, how we address the future and the past, and how we recognize ourselves in the other.”
While reading Funeral for a Home, you begin to realize how the funeral is not meant to be an isolated event in time, but is a project that works to build new relationships and opens creative ways for using forgotten space. For anyone interested in public art, urban history, and community development, Funeral for a Home is a rich window into a project whose potential and lasting effects are still unfolding.
Be sure to also check out Funeral for a Home‘s online page to learn more about the project.
Can you tell us a bit about the history of King’s Review?
KR was founded about two years ago in Cambridge, UK, by a group of graduate students who shared the same frustration: the research we were doing on topics as diverse as climate change, modern political systems and the knowledge economy didn’t find its way out of the small academic circles in which they originated. The King’s Review was founded with the goal of using research and expert knowledge as a basis for exciting journalism. Since then the original idea of an online journal has developed further: besides our online presence, we are now publishing four print issues a year and sell them in shops in Berlin, London, Paris, and with you in New York.
In your mission statement, you say that KR “exists to promote accessible journalism underpinned by long-term, rigorous research.” Do you find that this goal is in response to a lack of journalism with these particular aims: to be both accessible and rigorously researched? Does today’s journalism too often meet only one criterion or the other?
The most recent trend in journalism, particularly online, has been about ‘accessibility’. Buzzfeed et al. are not doing more than filtering information to make it more accessible to readers. What happened to TNR last week shows how good that is for journalism. KR goes beyond this digestible, surface-level form of information à la ‘Here is the 5 most important things to know about Climate Change’. We understand ourselves as being part of the recent re-invention of long-form writing, which is now being published in places like n+1 and Medium, as well as in classic outlets such as the NYRB, LRB and TLS.
We were so pleased today when we opened a box full of hollyhocks, gladioli, carrots and beets, red roosters, crows, a few earnest foxes, and coffee cups, all printed on cards by Izabela Gabrielson. Based in Seattle, Gabrielson is a painter who depicts natural landscapes of the Pacific Northwest, still lifes, as well as adorable portraits of animals. Gabrielson works primarily in watercolor and ink, and all of the designs on her greeting cards are printed from original watercolor paintings.
Aside from her evocative and vibrant color palette, we love how Gabrielson leaves the sentiment of her cards up for interpretation. Placing each image against a plain white background, Gabrielson lets each creature speak for itself. On what occasion will you give someone a midnight blue crow? Or a bunch of winter beets?
For this Small Press Spotlight, we are featuring an interview with the three editors of Projective Industries, a small press that publishes beautifully designed, handmade letterpressed chapbooks. We would like to thank the editors for the interview and hope you will come visit our small press table, showcasing unique publications from Projective Industries as well as many other presses locally based in New York City.
Can you tell us a little bit about the history of Projective Industries? When did the press first get started?
Kate McIntyre: Stephanie, you founded it in 2008, right? I became part of it in 2011 because I wanted to learn more about bookmaking, and wanted to be more involved in the small-press poetry community. It was after that that we started letterpressing the covers. Stephanie and I took some classes in letterpress and other printmaking techniques (on the simpler end of the printmaking spectrum) at Spudnik Press Cooperative in Chicago—which is where I’m from, and where Stephanie lives now. I moved to New York a little over a year ago, so now we’re a sort of transcontinental press—last year, while Stephanie was living in Tokyo, we were international! And Karen joined this summer, which is so wonderful.
Stephanie Anderson: Yep, the poet Sam Amadon and I founded the press in the summer of 2008, as we were leaving New York. (I went to Chicago, Sam went to Houston.) I think it was partly founded from the desire to keep in touch with our literary community in New York, which was starting to disperse. But I was also in love with the handmade, with letterpress — I had taken the Center for Book Arts’ emerging writers letterpress seminar, and I was much inspired by Ryan Murphy, who showed me his tabletop Kelsey, on which he made his beautiful one-off chapbooks. Of course, I didn’t manage to acquire a letterpress until 2011 or so, when a brilliant stroke of luck (and the poet Adam Weg) brought me one.
How did you arrive at the name, “Projective Industries”? Does the work you publish reflect what Projective Industries means to you?
KM: Well, Stephanie came up with the name, so her answer is the originary one. But I can tell you my own associations with it. I like the idea that we are an industry; that one thing chapbook-making does is make labor visible. And I like that it’s plural; we’re not doing just one kind of thing, either aesthetically or materially. And, while “projective” recalls Olson’s “projective verse” for me, I like to think that we’re projecting a little farther than that. The work we publish tends to be quite experimental, and the idea that the press is itself about launching (projects or projectiles, take your pick) and about futurity, rather than stasis, is important to me.
SA: I love Kate’s associations, and agree with them. Sam is to be credited with the name itself, I think; he and I made several lists — one column of which was the generic words we could have in the name, like “Books” and “Press,” and I was rather smitten with “Industries” because it emphasized the making of the objects and potentially gave us the freedom to make or do or create things that weren’t books, per se. But the “Projective” was purely Sam, and he was thinking of Olson. I also like the “project” embedded in there — and we do tend to publish chapbooks that are projects, in one way or another. The industry of the poet AND that of the bookmakers.
Karen Lepri: I’ll simply add that for me, the newcomer, “projective” includes the flashing up against a white background, a cinematic element that depends on the reader to organically take the work in and see-feel-hear it. Also, industries–plural! I imagine this multiplicity of makings, of processes that begin in other texts, conceits, forests, fields, threads, needles and so forth.
Above: Obvious Metals
By Leora Fridman
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We conducted an interview with Benjamin Moe, Editor-in-Chief of the new interdisciplinary magazine, Table Talk.
Where does the inspiration to start an interdisciplinary magazine come from? Can you tell us a little more about the inception of Table Talk?
The idea came a summer ago while I was spending a sort of monastic two months helping to clean up the land around our family’s new home. Early nights and early mornings lended time to reading and writing and allowed for the idea to incubate without me really knowing it. One day while shoveling a compost hole the name Table Talk just appeared in my head. It’s funny how things start like that, out of nowhere and usually while we’re doing the must mundane tasks. From there the idea traveled to Istanbul, where my co-founder Maya Frodeman and I began to lay down the mission. Then in the fall, with her in Paris and me in India, we skyped every day over a crackly internet connection getting the project off the ground. From the get-go we felt we wanted to facilitate a new kind of discussion, one that tried to confront hard to describe experiences and concepts without getting bogged down by the language of academia. The most intuitive way to do this, we felt, was to bring people together from different disciplines, fields, and professions to talk about a concept in one place. It was also equally important from the start that this discussion would include both established thinkers and up and coming ones. Now when we call Table Talk an interdisciplinary magazine we don’t just mean promoting dialogue across academic disciplines but also creeds, cultures, ages, and professions. It’s an opportunity to redefine the kind of content that gets published side-by-side and hopefully, out of that, create an engaging conversation.
As readers will find out, the subject of Issue I is duende. Each contributor takes on this hard to translate idea, sometimes experienced as the chills one gets from exceptional music or art. You start with a piece on Federico García Lorca’s depiction, move through a series of essays, poems, and photographs, and end with a critical rumination by Michael Taussig. How did you select these contributors, and why are they organized in the way that they are?
In the beginning we sent out letters to artists and thinkers we respected and thought would approach the concept of duende from interesting perspectives. We found that some resonated with the idea more than others, and it was this enthusiasm that we based the first issue around. The pieces themselves are organized into a narrative, as if each one is a new voice in a conversation that grows as the reader progresses through the issue. The first two pieces focus on duende as a mischievous spirit, the folk definition that the word originally had. Then with the third piece, a poetic evocation of duende, the issue begins to look at the word as an emotion and sensation. The word itself went through this transformation of meaning when the flamenco players of Andalusia began to use it to describe the feeling they would get when they were moved by their song and dance. Each of the subsequent pieces feeds into the next, introducing new elements to the concept, while bringing up and adding to ideas that were brought up by the pieces before. By the end we reach Michael Taussig’s essay which critiques the idea of duende, while tying it back to Federico García Lorca, where the issue begins. Through creating a visual backdrop with pictures that were all taken in a sculpture garden in Varanasi, India, and organizing the pieces in this way, we hoped to make the volume feel like an extended conversation that the reader becomes a part of.
What factored in to the decision to launch both digital and print editions?
It was important that the magazine be a real, felt object and not only pinged up and down to earth through satellites to our screens. We don’t think that existing in the digital age means there has to be the death of print, we just need to find better ways for these two mediums to co-exist. For us we acknowledge that our print readership may stay on the margins but we feel it gives a backbone to the whole project. One of ways we think we can sustain publishing through both mediums, is by creating a digital model which can help support print. As of now the whole first issue is available for free on our website, www.tabletalk.io, but with the launch of the second issue next fall we will be releasing a redesign of the site and start charging a small amount for certain content. I have been working closely with a programmer in Portland developing an online platform for collaborative text annotation that will allow readers to highlight and comment on specific lines of an article. Other readers will be able to see their comments and respond to them, developing a conversation that comes directly out of the text. This really came from our frustration with online commenting systems today, where all responses are piled in a disorganized bunch at very bottom of the page. Through this new way of interacting with digital content, we hope that readers will be driven subscribe online and make digital publishing a sustainable outlet.
Above: Editor-in-Chief, Benjamin Moe
What has been the most rewarding part of putting this project together? I imagine building a magazine on a subject as soulful as duende affected you.
I’ve found that there is a sort of rhythm to long-terms projects like this. One goes from feeling excitement, a sense that everything connects and works together, to utter confusion, where all the pieces seem to come undone and you are at a loss to move forward. Although I think that’s very much the pattern of creativity in general, it’s really come into relief through making this first issue. Through this whole process there were two points that really felt the most rewarding. The first was when we finally figured out the order of the pieces. Seeing all the connections and realizing that they all were dialogue with each other was truly a joyful moment. The second was the day after our launch when I realized that after 11 months the magazine was finally out there in the world. Hearing from our first readers that they too were seeing the connections we had spent all this time trying to create was worth every hill and valley of this process.
What can we expect from the next issue? And where would you like to see the magazine go in the future?
Moving forward we want our contributors to be from even more disparate backgrounds. We are not only going to search for submissions on the well worn paths of academic mailing lists but also go on foot and put up flyers in hospitals, lumberyards, and factories. We believe that there are immensely wise people embedded within all trades and professions and we want to invite them to our table. We are also committed to having a range of voices from around the world, and have team members who will be on the ground searching for submissions, from our Managing Editor Angel Shin, who will be Morocco, to our Publishing Editor Ourania Yancopoulos, who will be in Greece, as well as others in Germany, Lebanon, and India. We are releasing the call for submissions for the second issue this summer and encourage people to sign up for our mailing list so they can hear word of that. As I mentioned before, the second issue will release on a redesigned website which will allow readers to have conversations directly coming out of the text. In the fall we will also be releasing a video series called “Table Talks” that will bring thinkers from diverse backgrounds, from chefs to composers, from carpenters to philosophers, to discuss the theme of the current issue around a table. These will be filmed in locations that are off the beaten path, like abandoned shipping yards and old barber shops, and then turned into short films that will be released on our website.
Where can people find out more about Table Talk?
Visit our website, www.tabletalk.io, to read the magazine, find distribution locations, order a copy online, and sign up for our mailing list. Also this past weekend The Guardian wrote a feature on Table Talk which can be found here. We hope you can get a chance to read the first issue and if you have any responses, questions, or thoughts please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Above: The New York-based team at the magazine’s launch event in Brooklyn