George Albon & Karl Gartung


George Albon’s most recent book is Momentary Songs (Krupskaya). Other books are Step (Post-Apollo), Brief Capital of Disturbances (Omnidawn), Thousands Count Out Loud (lyric&), and Empire Life (Littoral). (Text from Brief Capital of Disturbances has been used by American composer Mischa Salkind-Pearl in a piece called “American Temple,” which can be heard at the composer’s website). Work of his has appeared in Hambone, O Anthology 4, New American Writing, 26, The New Review of Literature, Poetry Salzburg Review, Crayon, and elsewhere; and in the anthologies The Gertrude Stein Awards in Innovative American Poetry, Blood and Tears: Poems for Matthew Shepard, and Bay Poetics. Pieces on Morton Feldman and Otis Redding have appeared in Shuffle Boil. His essay “The Paradise of Meaning” was the George Oppen Memorial Lecture for 2002. Presently, he’s working on a “big prose book” called Café Multiple: Life, Work, Love, and Poetry. He lives in San Francisco.

Karl Gartung is the author of Now That Memory Has Become So Important (2008, MWPH, Fairwater, Wisconsin). He has also collaborated with Elizabeth Robinson on a privately printed chapbook, Speak (2009, Boulder). Gartung was born in Liberal, Kansas in 1947. He received a B.A. from Hastings College, in Nebraska, in 1969. He married artist Anne Kingsbury in 1970. In 1976 he was hired to run a small press bookstore (Boox, Inc.) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Gartung says this was the beginning of his serious apprenticeship to contemporary literature. He is a co-founder, with Karl Young and Anne Kingsbury, of Woodland Pattern Book Center. At Woodland Pattern he has been involved in the planning and presentation of hundreds of poetry readings, music performances, art and book exhibits. He feels that these activities are as centrally artistic as writing or publishing could have been. This was (and is) really his education. He works as a truck driver at what has become UPS Cartage Services. After several layoffs, Gartung helped organize his workplace into the Teamsters Union in 1993, and has served as a union steward from the ratification of the first contract to the present.