Greg Dohler is that rarest humanoid: a nice guy who can hold down a full-time job, show up socially on time, and cook dinner, but also a guy gifted with superbly special creative vision he knows how to bring to life. You might also know him as the lanky blond drummer from Baltimore bands Helikopter (early ’90s) and, until recently, Small Apartments. Greg and his wife, Cindy France, are good friends of my husband–now they’re also mine–so I’ve had some patient time to sit on their black vintage couch, drink the classic cocktails Greg researches and mixes up, and listen to him think out loud. When Greg showed me his new photo montage work last year, I remember I was sitting on a step in his house in Ham Roll (where Hampden meets Roland Park). I wanted to convey how much I liked the work–because I did–but first I just wanted to fall into it, to belong to its luxuriously weird world. A child in a kerchief, from another age, rode a donkey; an old woman haunted a marshy landscape; a Baltimore rowhouse’s second story perched precariously at an eerie coastline. (See above the same photo I recall, “Home.”) “Wow,” I whispered dully. Every element worked together so organically–if surreally–I felt like I was inside the frame finding my legs on a new planet. I’ve seen surreal photo montage now and again, and it has never really been my cup of (bloody) tea, but Greg’s digitally blended work feels wholly other. There’s a destructive/redemptive quality to Dohler’s vision, a longing, a mourning, and yet a hopeful magic at play here. A comparison? Not easy. Kiki Smith’s gentle rendering of girl and beast in “Lying with the Wolf” pops to mind. But mostly I’m reminded how well Greg sees with his mind’s eye. (A bio side note that makes more sense to me than ever: Greg’s dad was the beloved low-budget sci-fi and horror film director Don Dohler. )
I talked to my friend about the genesis of his photo project and what he’s working on now. You can catch his latest work starting tomorrow and running through September 20th at 13.5% Wine Bar in Hampden–1117 W. 36th Street. To see more of Greg’s art visit his website.
Betsy Boyd – Baltimore Fishbowl senior ed. – discovers that fertility shots really make you want…your mommy. This essay was originally published at Medium.com. It is part of an ongoing series.
“You can’t reap your harvest without first planting seeds, right?”
My Chilean fertility doctor thinks farming metaphors can help someone woefully unscientific like me understand the intricacies of ART—assisted reproductive technology, for the uninitiated. Read More →
Part 1: In which Baltimore Fishbowl Senior Editor Betsy Boyd and her husband select their sperm donor.
In the last year, over the course of four IUIs (intrauterine inseminations) and one IVF (in-vitro fertilization) procedure, I have purchased millions of sperm “donated” by men whose names, ages, and places of birth remain unknown to me. Read More →
North Carolina painter Hal Boyd stages his second painting exhibition at the Minás Gallery in Hampden starting tomorrow night at 7. The show runs through late November. Boyd, an abstract expressionist with a keen interest in psychoanalysis, philosophy, and literature, studied art and English in college, then worked for several decades as an advertising copywriter and ad agency head. I met him many years ago when I was living in San Antonio, Texas. Read More →
Four Llamas, 30 Cats, 16 Alpacas, and a Peacock: Ellicott City Farm Family Lives Happily off Their Land
“I may smell like pig!” Alison Martini Meyer tells me, laughing, when I’m moved to hug her goodbye after a visit to her vet clinic in Silver Spring. At her generous invitation, I’ve transported a sick and dizzy and can’t-walk rescue kitten from a shelter in Baltimore. “We’ll keep him here and run tests,” she says calmly, walking quickly through the clinic in jeans and flats. The pretty brunette 40-something works here half the week and spends other weekdays at home on the nearby range of western Howard County tending land and animal and little child. Her loaded life’s super inspiring to an animal lover like me, who wants to help critters in need but does so only in small doses. Read More →
Tonight: Ivy Book Party for Blau/Winik’s Riotous Releases, “Wonder Bread Summer” and “Highs in the Low Fifties”
Think Laverne and Shirley, Lucy and Ethel, Lena Dunham and Zosia Mamet are double funny female duos? Well, okay…but you haven’t seen novelist — and goddess of the comic sex scene — Jessica Blau go head to head with the mother of all memoirists — and beloved Baltimore Fishbowl/”Bohemian Rhapsody” columnist — Marion Winik. Don’t despair. Now you can! This Friday night at 7 at the Ivy Bookshop you can see and hear these two witty (and visually pleasing) women writers extraordinaire read excerpts from their latest laughers and ask them to sign your copy. I’m sure they will. Probably they will write something extremely amusing just for you. You might develop a literary crush on one or both. That’s well and good, but don’t reach out and touch them without permission. It’s not that kind of book party. Here’s what will happen. Read More →
Looking for a cultural bargain? Catch the sure-to-amuse staged reading of University of Baltimore prof, playwright, and fiction writer Jonathan Shorr’s short play “Good God!” tomorrow night, June 13, in the Wright Theater in the Student Center at UB as final chapter of the Emerging Voices performance series. Steve Satta directs. The event is free, open to the public, and starts at 7 p.m. Shorr serves as the interim division chair of Applied Behavioral Sciences at UB – he’s also very funny, as you’ll see below.
I talked to the writer about his play and his passion for the craft. Read More →
If you’re a poetry fan, don’t miss a very special Passager reading tonight at 6:30 in the Poe Room at the Central Branch of the Enoch Pratt. It’s free and open to the public and promises to be packed with more than a dozen talented writers aged 50 and above, hailing from Baltimore and well beyond, including Shirley Brewer, Joe Hann, Ellen Hartley, Wendy Hoffman, Jennifer Keith Ciattei, Steve Matanle…
Sure, the Internet’s slow-folding, death-of-print side effect saddens many of us who still cherish the tactile experience of holding a book or a magazine and hearing the pages turn as our brains take in the literature at hand. Book heartbreak aside, it’s heartening to remind ourselves that digital publishing itself doesn’t minimize our lit-reading options—it actually increases them. Although everything’s permutating in the world of fiction and poetry publishing, and I’m the first to complain about it, that doesn’t mean great writing’s not being born digitally all the time—same goes for on-the-rise online publishing imprints like Dzanc that raise funds to print books the old-fashioned way.
As long-established literary journals like Shenandoah bid farewell to print and take up residence online, so are numerous startup journals staking their claim on the web and in some cases even producing actual tangible books with artistic covers–the kind you can touch. And they’re using yet another fast-growing digital playing field to find their funds: Kickstarter.
Case in point: Cobalt, an online quarterly lit journal featuring fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and interviews edited by University of Baltimore alums, wants you to visit their Kickstarter page and consider pledging part of the $2000+ they’ll need to produce their first book through Cobalt Press. Why should you consider this project among the other dozen your music-video-making friends are hounding you to help with? Read More →
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