I've always had fantastic food here, and find the service timely, friendly, in fact, extraordinary. And the prices are not at all expensive. The people who run this place are the best! The food is glorious. Noisy . . . ok, but not beyond a lot of restaurants. It's one of Tucson truly unique treasures. We take our local friends and our out-of-town guests here with pleasure.
Great article. I should say that Chax Press began as a publisher of handmade books of poetry, printing them on a letterpress Vandercook Press. And we still do that, in addition to publishing more commercially produced books. Never really a publisher of novels, though, except once or twice among our 150-plus books.
It's perhaps niggling to pick on this mostly positive review, but I feel that in at least one way the reviewer doesn't "get" Brecht, and that leads her to say the Rogue's is a "very respectable production," instead of the truly rich and revealing production I think it is. Her primary complaint is the lack of storytelling momentum, but in fact it is Brecht who breaks up his play as he does, specifically so that the audience does not become engrossed in it. Brecht likes the audience to never lose themselves in the play, but to always be aware of themselves, alienated, consumers. By problematizing every aspect of the play, including Mother Courage's love for her children, the Rogue accentuates the audience's role as independent thinkers, critical of the play and its characters, and of the ideas presented. The audience could not possibly be that if they were too caught up in the story. So, while I applaud the Rogue for the lack of "storytelling momentum," the person I really applaud for this is Brecht himself, and I am surprised the reviewer does not understand this basic tenet of Brechtian theater.
Despite such aversion to the audience giving itself up to the story or to the characters, Brecht is an entertainer, through music, and through social situations that reach us where we live. The Rogue's presentation is terrifically entertaining, from their lively acting, to the terrific original music, to the presentation of each scene's beginning as ensemble choral performance.
This is quite possibly the best theater I have ever seen in Tucson.
I'm the director of Chax Press, the publisher of the book, just to clear the air. I think this review of Carter's book is really stupid. First of all, it fails to recognize that many poems are persona poems, a voice speaking that is not the author's. But what bothers me more is that the reviewer wants poetry to perk people up from the darkness, not to figure out what's really going on. He wants Carter to be more like Billy Collins. If he were, Chax wouldn't publish the work at all.
If this guy thinks Carter's work is too dark, he must think Samuel Beckett is abysmal, and he must wish Linh Dinh would go crawl back into a hole somewhere. That's just to name two of my favorite writers.
Everything he says which posited as a kind of negative, I would take as a positive. And the things he would like Carter to do, i.e. "care to please an NPR-listening audience," are things I am so glad he does not try to do.
The reviewer's vision of poetry seems to be a little coffee circle sharing its pleasantries, keeping the darkness at bay by laughing gaily or ignoring it altogether. I'd rather enter, as the masterful poet Gwendolyn Brooks names it, "the noise and the whip of the whirlwind."
Really, Danehy, you have NOT heard about the "creative class," and Richard Florida's work on that subject in a couple of much-ballyhooed books (The Rise of the Creative Class being one of them). The "creative class" is not just artists, but is found in a variety of fields, including engineering, the sciences, the arts, biotech, education, etc. But it is a group that has certain expectations about what kind of culture makes them want to live and grow in a community -- and "the arts" is an important part of that. You should read Florida's books. I am not so surprised that Regina Romero may be more educated about this issue than you.
As for the condition of the Steinfeld, your joke falls pretty flat. I agree, though, the building looks pretty bad, particularly from the outside -- inside, at least when it was occupied a bit over two years ago, much of the building was quite beautiful. But a couple of structural studies have agreed that the condition is really not all that bad, and there are some fairly simple things that can be done to make the building last and be a great home for Tucson culture for another 100-plus years, or more. Really, I'm not kidding.
As to art paying for itself "10 times over," sure, I've heard that, and probably passed it on. I don't know that I believe it. But I am convinced enough, by a lot of very hard evidence, that art and culture is a good civic investment. Maybe "5 or 6 times over" is closer to the truth, and I'm sure it varies from place to place. Certainly when we look back at history, one of the most-remembered things about a city or nation, at least throughout recorded history, is its artists, its cultural flowerings. More remembered, celebrated, and influential than its politics and economics, and more than just about all of its news columnists.
As for the "clout" artists have, where in the world do you live, Mr. Danehy? Certainly not in my world, where the arts have been given no increased budget (at least through the local arts council) for over a decade, where civic leaders have been vocally supportive but, in actions, rather handicapped by the economy, and where artists are fairly vocal, yes, but powerful? Please, take another look. It just isn't so.
As for the prior poster''s desire for beer to be the saviour of downtown development, I had a nice ale yesterday, at Tucson's birthday party, on one side of the newly opened 4th Ave underpass, and another nice ale on the other side. There seems to be plenty of beer around. Oh, and I always talk about art after vacations and nights out. I travel for art, and I know people who come to Tucson for art. I don't know if I know anyone who has ever come to Tucson specifically for beer. Hamburg, yes. And to Tucson for great Mexican food, which will always have a place amidst my downtown art world.
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