Last Year at Marienbad & Poetry Notes

I found out last night that the Criterion Collection will finally release Alain Resnais' brilliant Last Year at Marienbad on DVD in 2009. Resnais is probably best known for Hiroshima, Mon Amour and Night and Fog, but Last Year at Marienbad is one of those French New Wave films that has inspired countless imitations. It's also one of those movies that you absolutely love or absolutely hate. The plot is "simple" in a way: A man meets a beautiful woman at a luxurious hotel in Marienbad, Czech Republic and falls in love with her. She is engaged to another, but agrees to meet him again a year later. The man returns and finds her, but she has no memory of ever having met him. The rest of the film plays out this premise from various viewpoints with sparse dialogue and voiceovers, discordant music and long camera shots of the labyrinthine hotel and its grounds. The famous scene from the film is a long shot from the hotel balcony overlooking the garden where all the trees have been cut into geometric topiary. People strolling on the lawn are frozen, casting long shadows in the late afternoon sun, but nothing else around them does. David Lynch, Stanley Kubrick and Peter Greenaway were all influenced by Marienbad, and you know how elliptical their films can be, so be prepared if you decide to buy or rent it. The New York Times did a great article on Marienbad earlier this year when it reopened at Film Forum.

I'm happy to be involved with setting up and hosting some fantastic poetry readings in early 2009 at Wordsmiths Books in conjunction with Poetry Atlanta. First up, the "infamous" Stacey Lynn Brown, Chad Prevost and Karen Head will all be reading together on Jan. 17. On Jan. 24, Cherryl Floyd-Miller returns to the ATL to sign her newly released collection from Salt Publishing, Exquisite Heats. And on March 21, I am thrilled to host Paul Guest and Megan Volpert. All the readings are on Saturday afternoons at 2 p.m. Mark your calendars, kids! 

KORA is the name of a new online and print literary magazine set to debut in early 2009. Here's what editor Zachary Bush is looking for: well-crafted non-rhyming/anti-formalist work that follows the traditions of prose poetry, well-controlled free verse, 1-2 lined poems, loose syllabic, magical realism, imagism, surrealism, futurism, confessional, etc. As far as Prose is concerned, KORA favors flash fiction, essays (personal/ authors/artists/lit. & art movements), book reviews, developed criticism, and literary hybrids. You can read more and find submission guidelines at

UPDATE: I erroneously had the date for Cherryl Floyd-Miller's reading as Jan.'s actually Saturday, Jan. 24. She will also be featuring at Java Monkey Speaks on Jan. 25.


Yesterday, almost exactly 24 hours ago, I was telling the limo-driver, Tyrone(who drove from Cleveland to the Akron/Canton airport, and assisted me with my wheelchair), all about Cherryl Floyd-Miller, after hearing him speak of his grandmother, and great-grandmother, and the quilting they did. They lived in West Virginia, and I recalled Cherryl discussing quilting, and the generations of Black-American women who still find empowerment through this craft.
I gave him her name("a hard 'ch', as in church", as she herself says), link to her blog, etc., so it is super-exciting to see you, Coll, mention her here, particularly when I have not seen her at all, in over two years! I'm SO happy she'll be back in town--and with a new book!!
I'm recovering well from surgery, but stil awfully tired, and sore.
Anonymous said…
Collin, a New Year's Resolution from me. I WILL attend more readings in 2009. I look forward to making sure I get my *** to Wordsmith's and support our poetry scene. Good intentions score a zero.
stacebro said…
Thanks so much for hosting me, Collin. It seems so appropriate that the first reading I'm giving from Cradle Song will be in the ATL!!
January said…
I wish we had a more organized lit scene in the Boston area like Poetry Atlanta.

Your reading series sounds like the place to be in '09.
Nancy Devine said…
last year at marienbad---wow. i saw that film over 20 years ago as part of the und writers' conference here in grand forks, nd, where i live. whoever was running the projector put the second reel on first and showed that before the first. no one seemed to care or know until the whole event was over. the film left me was a sense of angst.
and collin, you're inspiring me to get my butt in gear and try to rev up the literary scene here in grand forks.
Anonymous said…
I like the times you have scheduled for the readings, makes it doable for me. I will be there! Exciting.

Hiroshima mon amour is one of my favorite movies. Haven't seen Marianbad, though the title is well-known to me. This web site you link to is a real treasure trove.
Maggie May said…
i love the movie references that i am not familiar with....thanks
I'm afraid I'm one who absolutely hates Marienbad ('pretentious shit' is the least of my strident - and perhaps tasteless, lol - opinions) ... but I do absolutely love Hiroshima, Mon Amour.
Collin Kelley said…
It's okay, Rosemary. Resnais' films have always received that reaction, even Hiroshima, Mon Amour. I just think they're beautifully filmed and push the envelope. :)
Well yes, I'd have to agree with you on both those counts. It's just that Marienbad was SOOOO long-drawn-out and (to me) pointless and boring. I imagine some people could have had a similar reaction to Hiroshima!

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