The New Social Environment#303

A Tribute to John Giorno


1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific

Join us for a tribute to John Giorno hosted by Rail Publisher and Artistic Director Phong H. Bui and featuring conversations and readings from Penny Arcade, Kyle Dacuyan, Colin Dickerman, Christian Haye, Bob Holman, Chris Martin, and Michael Stipe.

In this talk

Penny Arcade

Penny Arcade, Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Photo by Ruth Fremson/The New York Times
Internationally respected performance artist, writer, poet and experimental theatre maker Penny Arcade is known for her magnetic stage presence, her take no prisoners wit and her content rich plays and one liners. She is the author of ten scripted performance plays and hundreds of performance art pieces. Her work has always focused on the other and the outsider, giving voice to those marginalized by society. Her willingness to speak truth to power at the expense of career concerns has made her an international icon of artistic resistance. Her decades-long focus on the creation of community and inclusion as the goals of performance and her efforts to use performance as a transformative act mark her as a true original in American theatre and performance.

Christian Haye

Christian Haye
Writer, poet, and critic Christian Haye lives in New York. In 1998 he opened a gallery in Harlem. In addition to presenting American audiences with artists such as Kimsooja, Elmgreen/Dragset, Minerva Cuevas, Romuald Hazoumè, Aernout Mik, Tracey Rose, Jose Damasceno, Monica Bonvincini, Elodie Pong and Yoshua Okon, the gallery also introduced (and re-introduced) American artists to the world including Barkley Hendricks, Coco Fusco, Paul Pfeiffer, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Julie Mehretu, Shu Lea Cheang, Kori Newkirk, William Pope.L and Camille Norment. Haye has published criticism in the journals May, Atlantica, and Art Against Art. He is currently working on a book about the tenets, exigencies, polemics and perils of internalised racism within Black art and cultural expression.

Colin Dickerman

Colin Dickerman
Colin Dickerman has edited and published many national bestselling and award-winning authors, including Vice President Joe Biden, Carly Simon, Paul Beatty, James Rebanks, Alan Hollinghurst, Joel Grey, Ethan Coen, Chelsea Handler, Marc Maron, Jordan Ellenberg, Mark Frost, Glenn Frankel, Ben Schott, Roz Chast, Alex Marzano-Lesnevich, Mac McClelland, Edmund White, and Chelsea Manning. Over his thirty years in publishing, he has held editorial and leadership positions at Alfred A. Knopf; Grove/Atlantic; Bloomsbury; The Penguin Press; Flatiron Books; and Farrar, Straus, and Giroux. His areas of expertise are memoir, pop culture, literary fiction, biography, big idea books, popular science, and narrative history. He grew up in Vermont and earned a B.A. in English from Amherst College.

Michael Stipe

Michael Stipe, Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty
Photo courtesy of Adam Berry/Getty
Artist, producer and singer/songwriter Michael Stipe (American, born 1960). He fronted the band R.E.M. for 31 years, selling over 100 million records and touring the world. As a film producer, he made over 25 feature films, including Spike Jonze’s Being John Malkovich and Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine. As a music producer, the album Sir by Fischerspooner releases in February 2018. For the past decade, his personal focus has been cross-medium work, incorporating video, soundscape, bronze, and photographic and digital imagery. His most recent book was published in February 2018. He lives in New York City.

Chris Martin

A drawing of Chris Martin by Phong Bui
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
Contemporary American abstract painter Chris Martin’s wide range of material and imagery is drawn from Buddhist mandalas, the landscapes of the Catskills, and the legacy of Abstract Expressionism. Martin’s works attempt to deal with the psychological internalizations of spirituality and memory, using formalism in a way similar to both Alfred Jensen and Thomas Nozkowski. The artist regularly incorporates unconventional materials into his work, such as textiles, glitter, and vinyl records, as evidenced in Sweet Dreams (2nd Pillow Painting) (2009), a canvas where six affixed pillows are covered in bright neon paint. Martin lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Bob Holman

This is a portrait of Bob Holman. It is a pencil drawing on off white paper by the Rail's publisher, Phong Bui.
Portrait by Phong H. Bui
An American poet and poetry activist, Bob Holman is equal parts spoken word performer, professor, impresario, activist, proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, filmmaker and host of Language Matters (2015 Documentary of the Year, Berkeley Film Festival), and beyond. From slam to hip-hop, from performance to spoken word, he’s been a central figure in redefining poetry as it exists on, off, and beyond the page. Author of 17 poetry collections, he was described by Henry Louis Gates Jr. in The New Yorker as “the postmodern promoter who has done more to bring poetry to cafes and bars than anyone since Ferlinghetti.” Bob is a contributor of the Brooklyn Rail. His two recent books, The UnSpoken and Life Poem (both YBK/Bowery Books, 2019), were written fifty years apart.

Phong H. Bui

Photo of Phong Bui taken by Nicola Delorme
Photo by Nicola Delorme
Artist, writer, and independent curator Phong H. Bui is Publisher and Artistic Director of the Brooklyn Rail, the River Rail, Rail Editions, and Rail Curatorial Projects. Among many other awards, Bui received The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Prize for Arts Writers in 2017, was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate from University of the Arts in 2020, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters’ Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts in 2021.

❤️ 🌈 We'd like to thank the The Terra Foundation for American Art for making these daily conversations possible, and for their support of our growing archive.