Archive for the ‘Orlando’ Category

Tuesday, September 21st

Issue Seven Preview: Zora Neale Hurston.

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Before we started work on this upcoming issue, Annalemma sponsored a photo show in Orlando featuring all Floridian photographers, where I was introduced to Ted Hollins, a photographer who’s been documenting the Zora Neale Hurston Festival of the Arts and Humanities for 21 years. The ZORA festival takes place every January in Eatonville, a town six miles north of Orlando, where Zora Neale Hurston grew up. I hadn’t actually read any Zora when I grew up in Florida. Eatonville is a predominantly black community and I grew up deeply entrenched in an affluent white community. I remember seeing banners and signs with the word ZORA! scattered along the outskirts of Eatonville around that time of year but I had no idea what the word meant or what it was advertising. It wasn’t until college that I read Their Eyes Were Watching God and a number of her short stories, effectively falling in love with the writing. It was an intense shift in my perception to see mention of the outlying cities and places where I grew up, but through the lens of young black woman in a poor community.

When it came time to choose the featured artist for Issue Seven: Endurance, Jen O’Malley (our graphic designer and curator of the previously mentioned photo show) and I started talking about Ted. It seemed like a perfect fit: Ted’s been documenting the endurance of Eatonville, a community that’s successfully battled with Orange County officials against encroaching development and gentrification, a community that inspired a titan of literature who went on to inspire a generation of writers. I also thought it would be a cool idea to reprint one of her stories in order to give a more full portrait to those ignorant of her work and influence like I once was. So I called up HarperCollins and asked for the rights to reprint “Sweat”, a story about a woman enduring the torments of an abusive husband, and what that abuse ultimately leads her to do.

And in an effort to express our gratitude to the memory and work of Zora Neale Hurston, a portion of the proceeds of Annalemma Issue Seven: Endurance will go directly to The Hurston Museum in Eatonville, an organization dedicated to showcasing works of artists of African descent.

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Image: Ted Hollins

Monday, July 19th

The Blueprint for a Good Reading.


Last week I went to probably the best reading I’ve ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, the graduation reading of Page 15’s Young Writer’s Camp 2010. In the reader’s chair here is Izabelle. She had a whip-smart piece about a couple of students competing for a marine biology scholarship. She dropped some serious wildlife science on a crowd.


This here’s Vincent. He wrote a story hot on the heels of the the biggest sporting event of the decade. It was about a fútbol player named Xavier who worked his way up from the bottom to win the World Cup. A dude literally gets kicked in the face in his story. Sports are rough.


Melik here unfolded an epic super hero tale about a dog named Dookie and his quest to defeat the evil Black I Peas. Have you ever written a story with sentient onions with the teeth of alligators? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Melik beat you to it.


The writing was phenominal, but here’s where most readings pale in comparison to this one: Pizza was served afterward. I’ll bet people would be a lot more interested in readings if ‘roni ‘za were involved.


Keep an eye out for these writers. Their imaginations are going to be making waves very soon. Thanks to Julia Young, Ryan Rivas, Jana Waring and all the volunteers for letting Annalemma be a part of Page 15’s 2010 Young Writers Camp.


And thanks for the card!

Friday, July 9th

Grain & Gram.

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Issue Five contributors Danny Jones and Jonpaul Douglass have started a new monthly online publication dedicated to gentlemen and the crafts that they love. Grain & Gram interviews men immersed in, and enthralled by, the process of making things.  The second issue went live yesterday and features letterpress guru Nick Sambrato, of Mama’s Sauce Print Shoppe. My favorite thing about G&G is the scroll-ability of the page. Most websites are obsessively all about the clicks. Danny’s meticulous attention to detail and angular design style paired with Jonpaul’s rich, textured photos eliminate any desire to leave a page, making the G&G reading experience a smooth and engaging one. Cheers to Danny and Jonpaul for, yet again, making something very cool. Looking forward to seeing who they spotlight next.

Monday, May 31st

Cool Cause: Page 15.

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Page 15 is an Orlando-based nonprofit that offers free reading and writing education to Orlando public school students. It warms my heart to see my hometown investing time, money and effort to young writers. In a city that, at times, feels like it has a non-existent literary scene, I consider the mere existence of this program a triumph.
Friday, May 21st

Hello from Florida.


Oh, Florida, you really made me love you a lot last night.


Our very own Jen O’Malley curated a show for the Snap! Orlando Photography Festival, which Annalemma sponsored. It was dedicated to photographers from Florida and their images of the Sunshine State.


Annalemma contributor, Kim Vang.


An excellent point the show made last night is that Florida (Central Florida in particular) has this cultural perception of being strictly a tourist destination, an entire section of the country existing as this homogenized and commodified culture made safe for mass consumption. Let’s not kid ourselves, that’s a big part of this state. But, like everything, this is just the veneer, and if you’re curious or adventurous enough, Florida will surprise you with its treasures.


Treasures like the photography of Christopher Bolton. This one sold within minutes of the gallery opening. Not surprising in the least.


Another big seller was our very own, Rose Wind Jerome.



Louise Erhard’s photographs of a dilapidated, yet still operational, motel near West Palm Beach, another pocket of Florida that’s got more stories than anyone can handle.


My mom and the kitsch wall.


Kitsch has been a part of Florida long before the mouse invasion. That comes with being a sunny climate most of the calender year.


You can either be annoyed by this crass expression of consumerism, or you can be charmed by the ideal and naive worldview that it represents. I think most Floridians look at it through both lenses from time to time.


Here is a secret of Florida that outsiders don’t know. We have springs. They call to us. We go to them. They fill us with life.


A new (to me) photographer who’s work I regrettably failed to capture last night was Ted Hollins who photographs the Zora! festival every year. The images on his website are hard to find but check out the photo grid in the lower left. Some amazing shots. More to come on Ted in the future.


This man makes works crazy hard at making a good living doing something amazing in Florida.


Congrats to Jen for not only curating an amazing show, but for helping shed light on the unseen pockets of beauty and horror that lay just beneath the saccharine manicured surface of Florida.

Thursday, May 20th

Hey Florida!: Photo Show Tonight.


There is some cool shit happening tonight if you live in Orlando: Annalemma is sponsoring “Hello from Florida: Photographs of the Sunshine State” a photo show curated by none other than our own print designer, Jen O’Malley.

The show will feature all works by Floridian photographers including Annalemma contributors Rose Wind Jerome, Ryan Marshall, Kim Vang and Wheat Wurtzburger.

6-10pm at Gallery at Avalon Island (39 South Magnolia Ave. Orlando, FL 32801) as part of the Snap! Orlando Photography Festival. Come on out folks, it’s gonna be tighter than my hands around the throats of BP Oil executives, given the opportunity.

Thursday, May 20th

Hey Florida!: Burrow Press Call for Submissions.

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Anyone ever having anything to do with Florida, take heed. Burrow Press wants your writing for an exciting new collection. From the press release:


Burrow Press is collecting short story submissions now!

ORLANDO, Fla. (May 15, 2010) – If you live in, have lived in, or have any personal connection to the state of Florida, Burrow Press wants to publish your fiction in an upcoming collection of stories.

Burrow Press is an Orlando-based independent publishing company dedicated to discovering emerging talent in its home state.  Burrow Press will publish fiction and “other works that move and inspire us,” says founder and author, Jana Waring.  “The ultimate goal,” according to co-founder Ryan Rivas, “is to establish a more serious literary base on this peninsula better known for its stereotypical, Bermuda shorts realism.”

Burrow Press is differentiated by its year-round publishing schedule, commitment to advance publishing technology, and a collaborative approach: authors are offered hands-on involvement during the entire publishing process, from story to cover design to marketing.

This particular collection will feature ten to fifteen stories. Authors selected for publication will be rewarded, not necessarily handsomely, with American currency. The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2010. Please visit for specific submission guidelines.

Thursday, April 29th

Hello From Florida.

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There is some cool shit happening if you live in Orlando: Annalemma is sponsoring “Hello from Florida: Photographs of the Sunshine State” a photo show curated by none other than our own print designer, Jen O’Malley.

The show will feature all works by Floridian photographers including Annalemma contributors Rose Wind Jerome, Ryan Marshall, Kim Vang and Wheat Wurtzburger.

This is happening Thursday May 20th from 6-10pm at Gallery at Avalon Island (39 South Magnolia Ave. Orlando, FL 32801) as part of the Snap! Orlando Photography Festival. Come on out folks, it’s gonna be tighter than Rush Limbaugh’s girdle.

Monday, February 8th

The Grand Family.

Our intrepid intern comes at us with a report from the burgeoning art capital of the world, Orlando, FL. Take it away, Janelle!

Good friend and Annalemma contributor Gianelle Gelpi held an art opening at Stardust on Saturday night.

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Fans and friends came together to celebrate Gianelle’s first solo show.


I donned my newly dubbed “Montana” jacket in honor of the furry family.


Gianelle’s choice of medium ranged from rich, seductive oils to bright and yummy acrylics. The most beloved though were her drawings.


By the end of the night they were all $OLD! Cha-ching is a good thing indeed.


Gianelle’s style, influenced by World Mythology, has evolved into a kind of mystical optimism. Through the creatures of the Grand Family, she conveys a belief in the connectedness of all things alive and imagined. Their serenity may be ours as well.


I especially loved the lion. Just look at his eyes! Gorgeous. Someone else snatched it up before I got there. Boohoooo.


We are just bursting with pride. Gianelle owned Stardust. (And the dance floor a little later that night.) Expect to see more of her.


We are just bursting with pride. Gianelle owned Stardust. (And the dance floor a little later that night.) Expect to see more of her.

Monday, November 30th



Some random images from the holiday weekend:

This was Chase’s first attempt at a fried turkey. I thought it was delicious. But I think he was expecting the heavens to open up and waves of light to wash over him as he took the first bite. He was a bit let down.

Also, congrats to Chase for receiving the nod from Pitchfork for one of the best vids of ’09!


This guy was turning his beak up to all the turkeys that got screwed this year. Don’t get cocky dude, Christmas is just around the corner and I ain’t never cooked a goose before.


Or a turkeygoose.


We played a show. This guy’s band didn’t show up and he had to play all his jams solo. The brass balls on this dude. Hats off to you sir.


Viernes with their new multimedia setup.


It wouldn’t be Turkey Day without football.


And it wouldn’t be football without me wishing I was in the marching band.

I was about to make a joke along the lines that I was forming an all-tuba band and call it Tuba Gooding Jr. But apparently he already exists.


In other news, I met a Transformer.


And the cute alert has been ringing off the hook.

Back to work! Back to burning calories! Keeping the gut at bay! To pressing forward and pressing hard until the end of the year! Finish line is in sight everyone! Don’t give up yet! We believe in you if no one else does! Count on that! Set your watch to it!

Speaking of which, keep an eye out for a new video next week…

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