Helen Adam & Kristin Prevallet
Small Press Traffic's Talk Series continues with this special event featuring
poet Kristin Prevallet, who will discuss her research on the life and
work of Helen Adam, one of the brightest lights of the San Francisco Renaissance.
Scottish-born Helen Adam (1909-1992) was a mystic balladeer, who wrote
and thought in the language of Dunbar and Ingoldsby while maintaining
intimate friendships with Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer, Madeline Gleason,
James Broughton, and countless others in the poetry-mad world of the Bay
Area of the 1950s and 60s. A gifted storyteller, collagist and photographer,
she is best remembered for her tragicomic operetta San Francisco's Burning!
Kristin Prevallet's Perturbation, My Sister: A study of Max Ernst's
Hundred Headless Woman, is forthcoming this spring from First Intensity
Press. She is an editor of apex of the M, and is working on a video
based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. For the past three years she
has been cataloguing the archive of Helen Adam at the Poetry/Rare Books
Collection at SUNY Buffalo.
At this event, Prevallet will give a slide presentation of Adam's life
and times, and will introduce the restored version of Daydream of Darkness,
the film made by Helen Adam and the painter William McNeill in 1962-3.
Daydream of Darkness, a poetic film fantasia, was shown only once, at
Robin Blaser's Peacock Gallery on the eve of JFK's assassination, and
then abandoned. In the course of her research, Prevallet discovered the
film, its celluloid near rotting, and has arranged its restoration for
this grand re-premiere!
April 25, 1997
Kristin Prevallet returns from Brooklyn to Small Press Traffic, where
she last presented findings of her biographical inquiry into the uncanny
life of the poet Helen Adam. (Her edition of Adam's selected poems, Fire
Brackled Bones, is forthcoming.) Now she will read from her own poetry,
a remarkable re-invention of the cut-up/collage form, political and social
readings of ordinary life, torn to shreds by the tender furies of perception
and display. Everything's grist for Prevallet's mill, the daily news,
the shoes on your feet, the way you look tonight. Hers is the mysterious
Life that lives under things. Her books include Perturbation, My Sister(First
Intensity Press, 1997), Lead, Glass and Poppy (Primitive Publications,
1997) and Selections from: The Parasite Poems(Barque Press, 1999).
December 3, 1999