On Wednesday, May 9, there will be two celebrations of Joe Brainard’s work on the occasion of The Library of America’s publication of The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard, (edited by Ron Padgett with an introduction by Paul Auster). One event is in Los Angeles and the other in Berkeley. I asked participants in both cities for photographs of a shelf where they kept any of their Brainard books to see what other books, authors, and artists Brainard rubbed up against. Most of the photos were taken with phones so, alas, they are a little blurry. A few that I particularly love are: the alphabetical ordering of Brainard (by way of Joe by Ron Padgett) nosing up to Bertolt Brecht or following Fernand Braudel; Brainard squeezed between Collette and Ex Cranium, A Night by Carl Rakosi; Brainard querüber from W.G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn; and Nicholas Bouvier’s The Way of the World resting on the heft of The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard in an overnight bag with other books and sundry items (toothbrush and pink furry slippers in the vicinity). Another little illegible detail: (in photo above) there’s a paper Colter Jacobsen wrote (“I’m Not Really Writing an Essay on Joe Brainard, I’m thinking”) for Bill Berkson’s class awhile back (he got an A+), on top of Paydirt. If you squint, you can find more serendipitous juxtapositions within and between photos (as well as a roster of some of the greatest indie presses—see how many you can spot)!
Complete info about both events is at the end of the post. Hope we’ll see you at one or the other.
—Lisa Pearson, publisher, Siglio
CONNIE LEWALLEN & BILL BERKSON
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9
In BERKELEY at the Berkeley Art Museum Theater, 2625 Durant Avenue, at 5:30 p.m.
A Celebration: The Collected Writings of Joe Brainard, hosted by Bill Berkson, with featured readers Maxine Chernoff, Dick Gallup, Colter Jacobsen, Joanne Kyger, Constance Lewallen, Mac McGinnes, and Lawrence Rinder. At 6:30 p.m. there will be a special screening of Matt Wolf’s film I Remember: A Film About Joe Brainard. Admission to the evening’s event is $7. Free for BAM/PFA members, Cal students, faculty and staff, and with same-day theater or gallery ticket.
In LOS ANGELES at Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Avenue, at 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Celebrates Joe Brainard, hosted by Lisa Pearson, featuring readings and visual presentations of Brainard’s works by Bernard Cooper, Amy Gerstler, Lewis MacAdams, Aram Sarayon, Ara Shirinyan, Michael Silverblatt, and Benjamin Weissman. The event is free.