April 2011


As National Poetry Month comes to a close, it’s been great to see all the events around town.  This does bring to mind a less than satisfying literary experience that took place long ago and far away, though I did get this little poem out of it:

Famous Poet Workshop, Saturday 1-4 pm, $150

Caged sentiments, re-engineered memories,
and most of all, a way with words—
Let’s make a poem, shall we?
A poignant, patchwork little ditty,
a driven moment of self-examination
or typing, though some can’t write
without just the right pen or sedative.
Don’t let that slow you down. The lines
will find a way through the sediment
of your precious lives, and words will come
like something something you can’t—
or at least don’t care—to explain.
Never hang around to explain, and
eat the rest of those donuts or else
I’ll have to take them home.

The Richmond Noir crew, myself included, will make an appearance at the James River Film Festival.  This should be great fun.  From their website:

Monday, April 11, 7:30 p.m., Gallery 5, Admission $7/5 JRFS Members

A Richmond Noir Detour featuring Edgar Ulmer’s Detour (dir: Edgar Ulmer, 1945, 68 mins., b&w)

Plus readings from Richmond Noir with Dennis Danvers and Tom De Haven

This baroque noir protoype from B-director Edgar Ulmer was often overshadowed by bigger productions from MGM (Postman Always Rings Twice) and Paramount (Double Indemnity) released about the same time. But Detour accelerates the noir cycle to its bitter end and resembles (in structuring and characterizations) latter day noirs like Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (’58) and Robert Aldrich’s Kiss Me Deadly (’55), with an over-the-top Ann Savage as the femmes noire from Hell, and Tom Neal as the romantic, ill-fated pianist who picks her up hitchhiking. All the noir conventions are intact: Fate, confessional voice-over, a love triangle, flashback and a Los Angeles end-game setting.  Ann Savage makes Barbara Stanwyck’s Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity look like a school marm! Editors Andrew Blossom and Brian Castleberry, writer Dennis Danvers, and writer/editor Tom De Haven will be on hand to read from and sign copies of Richmond Noir, on sale before and after Detour, courtesy of Chop Suey Books.