Dogfish is thrilled to partner with New Orleans Poetry Festival! Kick off the weekend with a reading from MEGAN BURNS' new book, Basic Programming, and music by HELEN GILLET.
MEGAN BURNS is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press (tremblingpillowpress.com). She also hosts the Blood Jet Poetry Reading Series in New Orleans and is the co-founder of the New Orleans Poetry Festival (nolapoetry.com). She has been most recently published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Dream Pop, and Diagram. Her poetry and prose reviews have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Gently Read Lit, Big Bridge, and Rain Taxi. She has three books Memorial + Sight Lines (2008), Sound and Basin (2013) and Commitment (2015) published by Lavender Ink. She has three recent chapbooks: Dollbaby (Horseless Press, 2013), i always wanted to start over (Nous-Zot Press, 2014) and her Twin Peaks chap, Sleepwalk With Me (Horse Less Press, 2016). Her fourth collection, BASIC PROGRAMMING, will be released by Lavender Ink in 2018.
Basic Programming by Megan Burns is a book length experiment in creating a code to change the way we practice attachment from specialized love to an unconditional understanding of how love manifests within us in opposition to the ways conditional love has been handed down as a standard to achieve. In four sections, the book mirrors moving up the chakra system from sexual desire to spiritual communion beyond the manifested world. From intimacy to intellectual understanding, the middle of the book uses the template of Wuthering Heights as a text to deconstruct toxic forms of attachment handed down within families. Attaching each chapter of Wuthering Heights to a Bob Dylan song, the book creates a palimpsest of how romantic love is handed down to us in art, music and literature. The final section of the book explores channeling the dead and the means of how attachment moves beyond linear space and time as we grieve and process love once the body is no longer part of the equation. Dealing with suicide, addiction, family trauma, toxic attachment, heart break and loss of self, BASIC PROGRAMMING is a code written to push against notions of the limits of love and the limits of healing: “suffering is worthless” it teaches us.
Multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer and improviser HELEN GILLET grew up in Belgium, Singapore, Chicago and Wisconsin. Performing her own eclectic mix of French, Contemporary Jazz, North Indian, Blues and Classical styles, Gillet has forged a path for the cello in the New Orleans music scene since her arrival in 2002, winning Best Female Performer (2014 Gambit Big Easy Awards), Best Mixed Bag (2012 Gambit Big Easy Awards) and Best Contemporary Jazz (2011 Gambit Big Easy Awards).
Her study of the cello began at age nine and continued until receiving a Master’s Degree in western classical cello performance in 2004. (Beloit College ’00, Loyola University New Orleans ’04). Her ear training began in 1998 with North Indian Hindustani cellist teacher Nancy Lesh, igniting her interest in improvisation on the cello and further into the words of Jazz, funk, rock, punk and French chansons. Gillet has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Festival International (Lafayette, LA), Voodoo Festival, Copenhagen Jazz Festival and Hindsgavl Festival in Denmark, Mirano Oltre Festival in Italy, the Kennedy Center Center in Washington D.C. and MONA Mofo festival in Hobart, Tasmania and solo appearances in venues in the USA, Europe and India.