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Making Mythology draft cover

The cover design for Making Mythology has arrived:

Download (PDF, Unknown)

Contents

Professor Medusa
Epilogues for Caliban
Apparations
Making Mythology
Moscow’s Rejected Margaritas
Four Songs for Lady Macbeth:
–Shout Dirge
–The Song of the House Martin
–Lady, Maid, Invocation
–Cradle Carol
My Golem
How to Use a Labyrinth
March to June
From Wild Sleeping Waters:
–Frost Ascending
–My Antlers
–Talisman
–Falls and Finds
–Selenic Lore
–Stock
–Kupala Night
–Change of Season
Coyote Sits
The Swimmer
All of the Leaves:
–My Mother is a Poem by Yeats
–Concerning Hobbits
–Presentiment
Varnished
Invasive Species
A Haiku Year
Texas Suite:
–Blackjack Agitato
–Pumpjack Andante
–Highway Drone
At the Cinema, 1927
East Wind to Paradise
Supplications to the Water Gods:
–Chevy in the Hole
–Bayou St. John
–Brumadinho
–Another Thing about Flint
–The Texas Water Code
Unseen Stars
The Departure of Welcome
A Forest that is a Desert:
–In the Stony Mountains
–Shadow Reel to Last Breath
–Hospice
Stheno in Suburbia

Book blogging: new project

My new book project is currently titled Hearing the Elizabethan World: Music for the English Early Modern on Screen.

It’s not an entirely new project, though. I’ve been working on this topic since about 2014, and have published articles and given papers on it–see the bibliography below. But now I’m committed to writing it all up as a book. Like Music for the Kingdom of Shadows, it’s a project that would really benefit from being online, full of links and video and music. But I’d also like it to be widely available in print, so part of the work I need to do on it is think about publishers who would either want to publish it as an ebook or would be amenable to having an online companion site where all of the links and media could reside. Other work I’ve done has had companion sites–my Richard III chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Music and Disability Studies (companion site here), for instance–but I don’t know how widely those sites are used. Do readers go from reading on a Kindle or in print to the site?

It’s also important to me that the book, in whatever its final form, be affordable (ahem, Oxford, $200 for that above-mentioned Handbook is not acceptable). I’d like it to be completely Open Access, but right now I’m not sure what presses would allow that. University College London Press looks like a good choice, but I don’t have an institution to fund the fee (£5000-7000) that their OA platform requires.

I’ll be blogging the book-writing process here. Here’s my working TOC:

Introduction: Media and Music for the English Early Modern
This will establish the framework of the book, in which I will discuss the function of the cinematic or televisual soundtrack as an essential part of a screen work in its role in providing additional information to the viewer beyond the dialogue and visual elements about the setting, characters, and action. I will also discuss the role of music in creating the fictional world of the screen work, using Umberto Eco’s and Jaako Hintikka’s theories of doxastic worlds (fictional worlds with small deviations, created in the screen work, from our own real world) in literature and screen media. Although I expect the audience of this book to be primarily musicologists and film studies scholars, it is likely that it will be useful for those engaged in history and interdisciplinary studies as well. I will discuss several large-scale aspects of life—and our modern interpretations thereof—in the Elizabethan period: gender, religion, nationality, race, disability, and social status. In using these three aspects to frame the book, I will be creating analytical constructions that are useful for not only hearing this particular historical period as depicted in screen works, but which is also applicable to other historical periods used as the setting of other screen works.

Chapter 1: Music for Mute Elizabeths and Silent Shakespeares
An examination of the music published for and used to accompany silent films set in the Elizabethan period, dealing with Elizabeth, Shakespeare, and other figures of the period. Based on work I’ve presented at REMOSS and other conferences.

Chapter 2: Establishing England and Englishness
Using research on music in heritage film, propaganda film, and other screen media, I tease out the ways in which Englishness is musically signified from early sound film to the present, using case studies of select films and television series.

Chapter 3: Musicking Gender in Elizabethan Screen Media
Does what the label says, including film, television, and online media.

Chapter 4: Bad Chanting: Evil Monks, Treacherous Priests, and the Religious Other
How the music in sound films informs perception of religious discord and violence in screen media depicting the period.

Chapter 5: The Elizabethan Other
Race and disability. Possibly two separate chapters. Possible combined with Chapter 4 for a chapter on all kinds of Otherness. Suggestions welcome.

Chapter 6: The Sounds of Social Status and Legacy
How does music tell perceivers who’s in power? How do we understand hierarchy as communicated through music? What are composers trying to say about the legacies of important Elizabethan figures with their scoring choices?

Conclusion: Avenues for Further Research
To quote Buffy, where do we go from here? (Ludomusicology, for one place.)

More poetry news

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve just signed a contract with Unsolicited Press for my novella in verse, Protectress.

When Medusa, a priestess of Athena, is raped by Poseidon, Athena betrays Medusa, cursing her and later sending Perseus to kill her rather than punishing her rapist. Medusa and her sisters find diverse ways to survive and make it to the modern world, but Medusa’s lingering trauma and Athena’s unending scorn eventually force the gorgons to confront the goddess. The confrontation and resolution of the issue, however, take entirely unexpected turns.

This is a work that has developed out of the #MeToo movement, questions of feminist identity and values, and the power of compassion. It will resonate with readers interested in modern-day—and particularly feminist—updates of myths and legends, readers who liked Emily Wilson’s translation of The Odyssey, Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, Madeleine Miller’s Circe, Emily St. John’s Station Eleven, Seamus Haney’s translation of Beowulf, and Toby Barlow’s Sharp Teeth, readers looking for queer representation, and readers of fantasy.

More details as they emerge.

Making Mythology

I am delighted to announce that my first collection of poetry, titled *Making Mythology,* will be published later this year by Louisiana Literature Press. More details to come.

Table of Contents:

Professor Medusa
Making Mythology
My Golem
March to June
From Wild Sleeping Waters:
I Frost Ascending
II My Antlers
III Talisman
IV Falls and Finds
V Selenic Lore
IV Stock
VII Kupala Night
VIII Change of Season
Coyote Sits
The Swimmer
All of the Leaves:
I My Mother is a Poem by Yeats
II Concerning Hobbits
III Presentiment
Varnished
Invasive Species
A Haiku Year
Texas Suite:
I Blackjack Agitato
II Pumpjack Andante
III Highway Drone
At the Cinema, 1927
East Wind to Paradise
Unseen Stars
Scars from the Reading

Notes

Houston Poetry Fest

I’ll be reading two of my poems at the 2019 Houston Poetry Fest on Friday, 11 October. The reading will be held at 7:30 pm as part of the Opening Session at the University of Houston-Downtown in the third floor Welcome Center in the Girard St. Building, located at 201 Girard St., Houston.

I’ll be reading “The Texas Water Code” and “Unseen Stars.” My poem “Hurricane Season” will appear in the 2019 Houston Poetry Fest anthology, which will be available from Brazos Bookstore and online after the event.