Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Speaking Of Jen...

Have you seen Ms. Aniston's new ad for Smart Water?

One word - Gorgeous!

- Erin Dustin

New Couples Alert!

Jen and John?
Had some fun in the sun together recently!

Mariah and Nick?
Reportedly engaged with a recycled ring!
Oh no he didn't...

- Erin Dustin

PEOPLE's Most Beautiful

PEOPLE has just named their 100 Most Beautiful people.

And who is the lovely lady topping the list and gracing the cover?

"I was a tomboy. I had three brothers. I was the girl with the dress on that always came back in the house filthy with scrapes and bruises. But I was always very girly. I had to be able to twirl so that my underwear showed." - Kate Hudson (Love her!)

A few others that made the mag's coveted cut:

Borat's leading lady Isla Fisher

Samantha Who's Christina Applegate

Country girl Carrie Underwood

High schooler Vanessa Hudgens

One of PEOPLE's Most Beautiful couples, Eva Longoria and Tony Parker. Tony says he likes his wife "best in jeans, a T-shirt and Hugs." Eva's translation, "He means Uggs." Ha, how cute!

The cast of Gossip Girl (duh)

- Erin Dustin

Monday, April 28, 2008

Baby Mama In Real Life

Amy Poehler's gonna be a baby mama!

Poehler and hubby Will Arnett announced that they are expecting!

The comedic couple are due in the fall.


- Erin Dustin

Annie's Side Of The Story

“I'm sorry that my portrait of Miley has been misinterpreted. Miley and I looked at fashion photographs together, and we discussed the picture in that context before we shot it. The photograph is a simple, classic portrait, shot with very little makeup, and I think it is very beautiful.” - Annie Leibovitz

- Erin Dustin

Miley Apologizes

Due to recent photos that have found its way across the web as well as her sudden embarrassment over her recent semi-topless photo shoot (Billy Ray and mom Tish were in attendance as well as other Miley family members/supporters) for famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, teen queen Miley Cyrus has issued this statement to PEOPLE:

"My goal in my music and my acting is always to make people happy. For Vanity Fair, I was so honored and thrilled to work with Annie [Leibovitz]. I took part in a photo shoot that was supposed to be 'artistic' and now, seeing the photographs and reading the story, I feel so embarrassed."

I don't know, but if she was going to feel this much remorse over the whole situation, maybe she shouldn't have done it in the first place, but that's just me...Becoming a star has its price.

- Erin Dustin

Introducing Georgina Sparks

Who's "G?"

I think our whos, whats, wheres, and whys will (hopefully) be answered soon enough!

Gossip Girl tonight!


- Erin Dustin

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Taiwan Beautiful Babe: Jiang Yu Chen 江语晨

Thanks for support, for more detail and photos about Jiang Yu Chen 江语晨. Please visit our new website. Please click here:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

China Beautiful Actress: Li Bing Bing

Li Bingbing is a Chinese actress from mainland China. Originally she had no intention of being an actress and enrolled specifically in a high school for prospective school teachers. However upon graduating she became dissatisfied with her career and eventually was persuaded by a friend to join the Shanghai Drama Institute. She has gone on to perform in a variety of film and television roles. Her film debut was in Zhang Yuan's 1999 film Seventeen Years. In August 26th 2007, Li was awarded the best actress Huabiao Award, for her role in the movie The Knot. She collaborated with such stars as Jet Li and Jackie Chan in The Forbidden Kingdom, which was released in April, 2008.


Name: Li Bing Bing 李冰冰
Also known as: Lee Bing Bing
Profession: Actress and singer
Birth date: 1976-Feb-27
Horoscope: Pisces
Birthplace: Harbin, Heilongjiang, China
Chinese zodiac:Dragon
Blood type: A
Family:Younger sister

The Forbidden Kingdom

Monday, April 21, 2008


Gossip Girl tonight!

Little J queen bee?
Part 2 of the Nate-Blair-Chuck triangle?
Dan and Serena's perfect love story continued?

Can't wait!

Oh and p.s...due to the perfect Spring NYC weather, I sat on the steps of The Met this past weekend Gossip Girl style, (while sporting a Blair Waldorf-inspired headband mind you) waiting to catch a glimpse of one of my fav. Upper East Siders, and nothing! So disappointed!

- Erin Dustin

Garfield Plus Garfield Plus Nonnarrative

I'm thinking a lot about Barrett Watten's ideas of nonnarrative as not a negation of narrative (sorry for the reductive quality of that statement) and the lack of vocabulary for nonnarrative (my spell checker doesn't recognize the word, for instance) as a contributing factor to the sense that nonnarrative is an absence of narrative when it might instead be a positive aspect of a text. I'm thinking of Wattern's Progress and Hejinian's My Life as texts in which we might see this. Check out Watten's fabulous The Constructivist Moment for a better discussion of what I'm channeling here.

Anyway, an illustration to make you smile, courtesy of GB (thanks!) who, like many of my friends, and me, are hard at work in the library. This site stitches together random Garfield panels stitched with delightfully nonnarrative results. You can generate your own! Go here!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Aye-Aye? Eye, Ye? E-i-o?

I wasn't living in the States when George Plimpton selected Aram Saroyan's poem


for Paris Review , thus earning him (and it) $500 of National Endowment for the Arts funding and inviting the fury of Senator Jesse Helms and others (almost all Republicans, interestingly) at the use of government funding for something Helms didn't think was a poem and certainly thought was misspelled. (The reasons it's not misspelled I hope to post on another day. But I'm still writing that darn essay and can't stop long today.)

This post isn't really about that poem, but the fact that, in the context of Aram Saroyan's eponymous first book, the poem is in a sequence between




I never knew that until I was reading his Complete Minimal Poems today. I feel like more people should know that. Because while there's something so delicious and open about "lighght," I'm thrilled to think of it in sequence with these two other words, to construct such phrases as "eyeye lighght morni,ng" and hear "a light mourning" or "I like morning."

I'm looking forward to spending much more time with his book. Another favorite is crickets, which I can't reproduce here. Go out and find it!

PS: Ugly Duckling Presse do amazing year-long subscription deals. $80 for a year of amazing poetry in the most beautiful editions, books that make owning a book really worthwhile and essential. I had one last year and didn't get one this year. I regret that. I'm getting me one again for next season. I recommend it.

Japan Top Beauty: Yuri Ebihara

Thanks for support, for more detail and photos about Yuri Ebihara. Please visit our new website. Please click here:

Friday, April 18, 2008

Guess Who

Look at that bling!

Who's the lucky wearer of the oh so fabulous rock, hmmmm, I wonder...



Pete did good!

- Erin Dustin

Happy Birthday!

Happy Bday yesterday To Victoria Beckham!
She either turned 34 or 39...Some reports say the younger, some say the older, I wonder which one it is, interesting.

And a little bday shout out to cute little Suri Cruise who turns 2 today!
What sort of extravagant event will be held in her honor this year...

- Erin Dustin

Catch A Peek!

TV is back!

Grey's next week!

Finally, I'm in need of some Mer-Der drama pronto...

And even better, check out a sneak peek of next week's action-packed first episode back after FOREVERRRRRRRRRRR! (Seriously, I'm not exaggerating)

- Erin Dustin

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Are You Notable?

You may not have noticed this, but please take note: here.

To simplify, Wikipedia believes that the publication of two poetry books is not a notable act and therefore doesn't qualify for a bio.

Wikipdia has hardly a single bio for a living poet. I'd guess that there's not one for a poet born after 1960. [EDIT: I found one today for Jeff Clark. So there may be a few. But too few.] John Gallaher challenges us each to post one. Go do it now. He's claimed Martha Ronk. Click here and scroll down. [Clark's is a good model to follow.]

For an encyclopedia, especially one claiming to be a "free Encyclopedia which anyone can edit" and which has as its "primary role [...] to write articles that cover existing knowledge; this means that people of all ages and cultural and social backgrounds can write Wikipedia articles" this is stunning and depressing.

What makes it worse is that the commenters voting on whether a poet's bio stays or goes base their votes on whether the poet is published by a mainstream press, or whether he/she has won a mainstream award.

There are so many problems with this. Some of them are ours, as poets and readers of poetry, to deal with: to inform people better about our poetry, about the poetry we love, about the situations in which poetry comes to be published, whether as a chapbook, a webzine, an act of graffiti. Many of these problems relate to Wikipedia, however, indicating an elitism, a narrow-mindedness, and an ignorance that I believe don't reflect that views of the multitude of users and contributors to Wikipedia.

I'm writing this because I believe poetry is notable. I believe a book of poems is notable. I believe that part of being a poet is pointing out how poetry affects us today, and how we should take note. For Wikipedia to tell me poetry isn't notable is beyond belief. Please take a moment to post a bio for a contemporary poet.

A Reading: Thursday April 24th, 440 Gallery

(I'm a big fan of readings that involve multiple art forms and therefore interest audiences from many backgrounds. I'm delighted to be reading next week at an art gallery with two of my very favourite fiction writers and one of my very favourite poets...hope to see/meet you there!)

WHEN: Thursday, April 24th from 7-9 pm
WHERE: 440 Gallery, 440 Sixth Avenue (at 9th St., F to 7th Ave.)
CONTACT: Brooke Shaffner at
Admission Free

Carey McHugh’s chapbook, Original Instructions for the Perfect Preservation of Birds &c., was selected by Rae Armantrout for the Poetry Society of America’s New York Chapbook Fellowship. Her poems have appeared in Smartish Pace, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly and elsewhere. She currently lives in Manhattan and teaches writing in the Bronx.

Karen Russell's first collection of short stories, St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, was named a Best Book of 2006 by the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Los Angeles Times; in 2007 she was featured in Granta's Best of the Young American Novelists and in The Best American Short Stories. She lives in New York City where she is working on another story collection and a novel about a family of alligator wrestlers, Swamplandia!.

Lytton Smith grew up in Galleywood, England and now lives in New York City, where he studies Anglo-Saxon, travel, and poetics. A chapbook, Monster Theory, was selected by Kevin Young for a New York Chapbook Fellowship and was published this month by the Poetry Society of America. His book, The All-Purpose Magical Tent, won the Nighboat Poetry Prize, judged by Terrance Hayes, and is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in March 2009.

Scott Snyder's collection of stories, Voodoo Heart, was published in 2007 by the Dial Press. He teaches at Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College and lives on Long Island with his wife, Jeanie, and their son, Jack Presley. He's currently at work on a novel to be published by Dial in 2009.

Todd Erickson, April’s featured artist, will present a talk on his current show, Light, which focuses on his Park Slope backyard. As an environmental artist, his previous installations have documented ecosystems fromFire Island to the Gowanus Canal. Born and raised on Long Island, he received a BFA from Parsons School of Design in 1999, a Certificate in Horticulture from the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens in 2007, and has participated in two artist residencies in Hokkaido, Japan. Todd is currently weaving his artistic practice, garden design sensibilities and knowledge in horticulture into a small business called L.O.G., Leaves of Green.

(Todd Erickson image via 440 Gallery's website.)
About 440 Gallery: Park Slope’s only artist-run gallery, a jewel box space offering an alternative venue for Brooklyn artists. 440 Gallery seeks to present surprising, unexpected art to the community through exhibitions, talks, readings and events centered around direct contact with the artist. Open Thursdays and Fridays from 4-7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays from 12-6 pm, or by appointment.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Benji's In!

"He's the perfect example of 'don't judge a book by its cover.' He's polite, well-mannered - even calls me sir! We love him like family already. Benji doesn't drink, doesn't smoke and is a healthy vegan!" - Rick Hilton

"He's changed her life - and I really think she's genuinely in love for the first time. He's so good to her and for her. We couldn't be happier for them. This has honestly become the real thing." - Kathy Hilton

- Erin Dustin

John's New Ink

Have you seen John Mayer's new tattoo, or should I say tattoos?

Well if not, let me paint the picture for you. It's a whole sleeve!

Left Arm = Covered In Ink


I'm not quite sure about it. He just doesn't seem like the same "My Body is a Wonderland" crooner anymore. He's so edgy now.

Although the sweatshirt is hiding his new arm art, you can kinda sorta catch a sneak preview near his wrist.

- Erin Dustin

Heartened (finally!)

Ron Silliman is judging the William Carlos Williams Award, awarded to the best book published by "a small press, non-profit, or university press" in the preceding calendar year (2007). He's been posting on it since Thursday, and I'm planning a considered post at some point soon.

Something Silliman had to say today, however, made me need to post. He'd expected to find many books that simply weren't competent among the 150 books he's been sent. In reality, he found 5. Setting aside those books that might prove amazing on re-reading but that he didn't "get" first time, and those that lack ambition (a good number), and those where he can't judge impartially (hurrah for making this decision), he writes that he has 70 left.

That there are at least seventy books worthy of such attention in any one year’s crop – not to mention those other volumes I held out on the basis of my relationship with their authors and those volumes that never got submitted – probably is the best assessment of the quality of writing that is taking place at this very moment. It’s really a stunning realization. At least it stunned me.
Ever since I got to the U.S. four and a bit years ago, I've had many people, usually poets, tell me how terrible contemporary poetry is. That simply isn't true: there's a wealth of great poetry out there, with huge ambition, and if we devoted our time to finding it and then telling other people about it, more people would be reading poetry. The tired reiteration that modern poetry isn't any good not only indicates a lack of engagement with what's out there (and yes, there is a distribution issue to address, but the blogs do such a great job talking up a range of books that it is no longer that hard to find something) but also does massive damage to the chances of occasional readers of poetry picking up a book.

I'm going to try to recommend at least one book of poetry a week on this blog, and to mention as many poets and poems as I can. In the meantime, one book Silliman must be considering and that I dearly loved is Paige Ackerson-Kiely's In No One's Land which I reviewed here. There's a lot of great books out there, many of which I didn't read, but among the many I read, this is a strong contender, methinks.

1000 balloons = 7000 rockets

Today on campus 1000 red balloons mingle with the lingering blue-and-white balloons inflated to welcome accepted prospective undergraduates to their campus visits.

(Photo from, not of campus.)

Signs around campus starkly read "1000 balloons = 7000 rockets."

My first thoughts turned to the war in Iraq, though sadly there are so many conflicts using what I feel it's accurate to call weapons of mass destruction (not only the military/government/mainstream media gets to define that term) that the statistic could refer to many places in the world. It does in fact refer to the Gaza strip: on April 9th the Candanian Chronicle-Herald reported, deep in a story on the visit of a Canadian-Israel Committee to the Gaza Strip, that "Since the Israelis pulled out of Gaza, there have been over 7,000 rockets sent from Gaza landing around and in Sderot" (according to committee member Michael Zatzman).

Here's not the place to debate why it takes a local story - visitors from Canada, or x untouched place, under fire in a zone where residents are regularly under fire - for the media to pay attention; after all, that the story is news is worth focussing on.

So too are the 1,000 red balloons on campus, and the equation accompanying them. The equals sign reads to me as a question mark and then as a not-equals sign, the gap in number of balloons and number of rockets an implication that, quite aside from partisan affiliations involved with the issue, nothing can stand in for the current of rockets on the Gaza Strip.

The balloons do act as a stand-in though, bringing some version of the idea of rockets to a community which has many strong ties to the area and many members who, like me, have never been to the area and whose only affiliation with it relates to friends, academic study, and media reports. A bright and visual presence on campus, the balloons are also fragile and temporary objects, bound to deflate, fly loose, or burst.

Mapping these three possibilities back onto the rockets brings home one point of the presence of the balloons on campus. The deflated balloons are perhaps no longer a pleasant sight, but they are in a sense disarmed, dead. Those that fly away leave their intended target (the campus community) but their lack of trajectory diverges from the directed flight of rockets. It is only the bursting balloon that echoes the rocket, leading passers-by to stop and look before they continue to pass-by. The continuing to pass-by is, of course, not possible for those who are the advertent or inadvertent targets of rockets.

The balloons then, lead to pause, which sets up the possibility of our acting differently, of not-passing-by, of changing direction. They also attempt to convert, symbolically, the rockets into something safer, something no more dangerous than a loud noise and fragmented rubber. Air escaping.

I'm left wondering what effect they have. It is not enough to write this, and it is not enough because too often it seems enough to write something, to draw attention to it. Is the failure of the media as a fourth estate the continuing direction of attention to events that should be reacted to, rather than the directing of their and our own (written) efforts towards some form of action?

(I'm reminded of a lingering image from Simon Armitage's book-poem Killing Time which reimagines the Columbine shootings as the gifting of unexpected flowers to various students. The effect is haunting, in part because the flowers do not lessen the devastation of the event. The substitution makes what happens seem at once arbitrary and causal, which is pretty much how Aristotle defined tragedy. I'll post an excerpt when I get my copy of the Armitage back from the friend who I've loaned it to.)

Sexy Babe: Leah Dizon

Leah Dizon (リア・ディゾン) is a model, gravure idol, race queen and singer from Las Vegas. She is a famous import model, who sold over 200,000 copies of her first photobook, Petite Amie. In 2006 she debuted under Victor with a digital download cover of Kylie Minogue's song FEVER, and later in 2007 debuted with her first single. Her most successful single is currently Koi Shiyou♪, which she performed at Kouhaku in 2007. Leah Dizon was the fourth-born of seven children. Her father was a Chinese-Filipino pastor and her mother was a French-American casino director. She has four brothers and one sister, and is extremely close to her brother Brad.