Musical Guest: TBA
Featured Poet: Kevin Griffing
Kevin Griffing is what scientists refer to as a human. He writes poetry, fiction, as well as an occasional absurd philosophical treatise that would get laughed out of any academic philosophy publication. He attended Bellevue College when it was still just a community college, and then when he ran through all the fun writing/art/art history/philosophy classes they had to offer there, he transferred to Western Washington University to pursue a double major in English and Philosophy. For a short while in Bellingham, he performed at various open mics and produced a few issues of the adolescently titled, very short-lived literary magazine, “Diarrhea Digest,” that relied heavily on Satire and solely upon the work of himself and his co-creator, Hans Stroo. The notion of open submissions was rejected due to the fact that every issue was treated as if it were one continuous piece of writing and art, much like the three chapbooks Kevin has self-published since then.
Kevin believes that all art should have some sort of meaning or message behind it; that the artist should always have something to say, or something to teach their prospective audience. While he is a poet, and performs his work as much as his “real” job allows, Kevin has always considered himself an artist first and foremost. The poetry has brought him the most attention so far, but along with his writing, he occasionally creates pieces of visual art that usually end up on the front and back covers of his chapbooks as one singular piece of art. He has also experimented, with the help of Scott Rickey’s aptly named “Sweat Shop,” located in Bellingham, with silk screen printing. The covers of his chapbooks were printed into hand-made, one of a kind posters, and he would like to continue to utilize this process of mass production in the future with a screen printing shop of his own. As a side note, he also has aspirations for the creation of films, both shorts and feature-length, but it takes a lot more money, and reliance on the commitment of people, to create that form of art than the ones he is already engaged in.
Although it has brought him the least amount of attention and success, Griffing’s true passion is music. Initially a drummer, he soon discovered programs such as Fruity Loops and Ableton in his teen years, and soon began composing a sort of electronic music that still defies any real genre. This project became titled ‘wrechno,’ and has been co-creating and re-making songs for over ten years with his musical partner in crime, Adam Gerhard.
Kevin Griffing has been published in a couple literary journals (besides his own). Among his credits are Red Sky Literary Journal, and Poetry Quarterly. He’s also had a short story accepted for publication only to find the literary magazine crumble just before the issue he was to be featured in. He has been the featured poet at a few different venues, including Laura Wach’s “He/art” series at Cafe Racer, Garret Lee Rutledge’s short-running open mic at the Bookend Coffeehouse at the Everett Public Library, and will now be featured for the second time at Everett Poetry Night at Cafe Zippy’s.
Kevin’s approach to a Poetry Reading is, much like every one of his other artistic endeavors, not the conventional approach. He prefers the work to speak for itself, so rarely will you get an explanation of when, how and why he wrote this or that piece. Just like every chapbook he has released, as well as every album wrechno has put out since 2006, and even the few issues of Diarrhea Digest, he likes to take what he calls “the dark side of the moon” approach to his readings. From start to finish, the reading should be one continuous piece of art, much like the album by Pink Floyd. And more recently, his readings have begun to transform into a mixture of sound and spoken word. On Thursday, January 29th, the feature will not only be a poetry reading, but wrechno will be joining the stage to create a multi-media, multi-faceted experience for the audience, given there are no technical difficulties with the musical equipment…Come expecting a poetry reading that is neither poetry nor a concert, but a complete experience from beginning to end, using works from all three of his chapbooks.
At the end of the show, there will be books for sale. If you have attended any of his readings in the past and purchased one of his books, the chapbooks here have been edited to the point that it might be worth it for you to pick up the revised editions. After all, the three chapbooks together are also part of one, larger piece of work that has yet to be completed, and quite possibly might not ever be.
People like to over-use the phrase “everything is connected,” but in the case of Kevin Griffing’s body of work, this is just a brute fact. This fact will become clearer as time presses on and pieces are added to the project spanning forms of artistic expression.
To preview some of his visual art: https://www.facebook.com/kevin.griffing.3
To preview wrechno: https://soundcloud.com/wrechnology
Chapbooks will be $5 dollars, or whatever you can afford/feel comfortable paying for a cheaply printed booklet of poetry and, in some cases, short fiction. If you only have a quarter in your pocket, consider it yours. If you’re as broke as Kevin has been at many open mics himself, then a copy is still available to you.
Posters will be 2$ (we are running very low on posters so there might not be enough for everybody.)
Copies of the wrechno album, “stranger” will be for sale as well. Same price as the chapbooks