Podcast 31: Evelyn Hinz, Anaïs Nin’s “official” biographer with Steven Reigns

Mystery has surrounded the never-produced biography that Canadian scholar Evelyn Hinz was appointed by Anaïs Nin to do for decades. Why did it never appear? Why was a single page never shown? And where is it today? Did it ever exist? Los Angeles poet and educator—and Nin aficionado—Steven Reigns wanted to know, so some years after Hinz’s death, he approached her widower, John Teunissen, who graciously granted Steven an interview in which he answered his questions and also dropped a bombshell in the process. There were plenty of politics, bad blood, intrigue and some radical decisions made by both Teunissen and The Anaïs Nin Trust that few know about.

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Steven Reigns’ interview appears in Volume 15 of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal and is a must-read for anyone–scholars, readers and fans alike–with an interest in Anaïs Nin and her biographers.

Run time: 42 minutes

To listen with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To order a print copy of Vol. 15 of A Café in Space, click here.

To order a digital copy of Vol. 15, click here.

 

Steven Reigns is a Los Angeles-based poet, educator, and was appointed the first City Poet of West Hollywood. He organized three of the largest Anaïs Nin events in the past twenty years, one being “Anaïs Nin @ 105” at the Hammer Museum in 2008 and most recently he co-produced “The Allure of Anaïs Nin” at Antioch University Santa Barbara. He has published dozens of chapbooks, poetry collections, and edited four anthologies.  He holds a BA in Creative Writing from USF, a Master of Clinical Psychology from Antioch University, and is an eleven-time recipient of LA City’s Department of Cultural Affairs’ Artist in Residency Grant program. He edited My Life is Poetry, featuring his students in the first-ever autobiographical poetry workshop for LGBT seniors, and has taught writing workshops around the country to LGBT youth and people living with HIV. Visit him at www.stevenreigns.com.

Complete Set of A Café in Space: Special Sale

For 15 years, A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal has been the only periodical devoted to Anaïs Nin and her world. Over the years, it has been the go-to publication for those studying or interested in Nin.

Cafe10Cover-WebA Café in Space contains previously unpublished work by Anaïs Nin; essays by writers and scholars including Janet Fitch, Benjamin Franklin V, John Ferrone, Lynette Felber, Tristine Rainer, Kazuko Sugisaki, and many more; memoirs and correspondence by Anaïs Nin, Henry Miller, Rupert Pole, Hugh Guiler, Joaquín Nin, Alfred Perlès, Eduardo Sánchez, Gunther Stuhlmann, Alan Swallow, Lanny Baldwin, John Tytell, Barbara Kraft et al.; interviews with Nin, Deirdre Bair, Nobuko Albery, John Teunissen, Béatrice Commengé; poetry and short fiction by Daisy Aldan, Diana Raab, Aeryn Seto, David Wilde, Changming Yuan; contributions from France, Japan, England, Australia, Canada, Spain, Brazil, India, Egypt, Romania; photography and artwork; book reviews covering Nin, Miller and Lawrence Durrell; studies of Henry Miller by James Decker, Karl Orend, Katrin Burtschell, Allison Palumbo; analysis of Durrell by James Clawson, Richard Pine, Peter G. Christensen, Donald Kaczvinsky, Pamela J. Francis, Candace Fertile, Nabil Abdel-Al, Joshua Zeller, Bruce Redwine, Kennedy Gammage, David Green; articles about Antonin Artaud, Louis and Bebe Barron, Luis Buñuel, Maya Deren, Gonzalo Moré, Helba Huara, Gore Vidal, June Miller, Reginald Pole, Joaquín Nin-Culmell; book and stage reviews; internet links; rare photographs of Nin and her circle and haunts.

Now that the final issue of the 15-volume series has been published, for a limited time (until March 31, 2018), the entire collection can be purchased at a discounted price.

At $150.00 for the entire set, the buyer is getting not only a wealth of reading material, but also a great bargain. After March 31, the price for the set will be $225.00. Individual copies are $15.00. The inventory is limited, so timeliness is encouraged. Visit www.skybluepress.org to order.

Anaïs Nin Podcast 30: Gonzalo Moré and Helba Huara

To kick off the celebration of the 15th and final issue of A Café in Space, California artist and historian Eduardo Pineda discusses his two articles, “The Dreaming Tiger—On Gonzalo Moré” and “La Gitana—On Helba Huara,” which reveal the secrets and long-lost memories of Nin’s Peruvian lover Gonzalo Moré and his wife, the dancer Helba Huara.

Helba Huara and Anaïs Nin, 1936. Photo: Emile Savitry

Helba Huara and Anais Nin, 1936. Photo: Emile Savitry

As anyone who has read Nin’s 1930s and 1940s diaries knows, Nin met Gonzalo Moré at a party and was swept off her feet by his astounding presence, his Latin passion, and his utter bohemianism. When Nin visited Moré at his Paris apartment, she was shocked to find that he and his wife Helba were living in utter squalor. Once Nin and Moré commenced their decade-long love affair, she felt compelled to help him and Helba escape their sickly existence by giving them money for a new apartment, for food and medicine—Helba, at this time, had just fallen into a mélange of illnesses that incapacitated her and ended her once-celebrated dance career. While Huara was grateful for Nin’s financial support, she resented her presence in her husband’s live, and almost immediately a hate-infested relationship developed between the three of them. For ten years, it was a war between carnal passion and almost insane jealousy and hatred, a war in which the dark side eventually ultimately destroyed the Nin-Moré relationship in 1946. But before it ended, Nin and Moré founded the Gemor Press in New York to not only print Nin’s books, but also to provide Moré with a source of income. While the press produced several true works of art, Moré’s lack of discipline and Helba’s increasing demands on him for constant care rendered him unable to fulfill his duties as a printer.

Ironically, Moré came from a prominent Peruvian family and was due a significant inheritance. In order to save their relationship, Nin offered to send Moré back to Peru to get his inheritance, but his pride would not let him go—he was horrified by the idea of how his family would react to his sorry state of affairs and never went back.

Once the affair ended—and it ended bitterly—there were few entries in Nin’s diaries about Moré and Huara, and we, the readers, like Nin, lose track of them. There was confusion about how Moré and Huara left the country, when, and what happened next. Even the death date attributed to Moré in the published diaries (1966) turns out to be off by seven years.

But now, the lack of information and the mysteries have been in great part solved by Pineda’s dogged detective work, which has taken over twenty years. We find out how Moré and Huara met each other, how they had a daughter who Nin believed was Moré’s niece, and the incredible success Huara had as a performer of Peruvian indigenous dances, even to the point where she and Moré (who accompanied Huara on piano) appeared in New York City during the 1920s. We also discover that Huara was about to be awarded a national U.S. tour just as she fell ill, and how her plans for a return to dance many years later were tragically ended with an accident.

Listen as Eduardo Pineda reveals these details of the lives of these two once-famed but now enigmatic artists.

Run time: 50 minutes

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To order Volume 15 of A Café in Space, click here.

Podcast 28: A brief history of journals dedicated to Anaïs Nin

Until after Anaïs Nin published her blockbuster Diary of Anaïs Nin in 1966, there had been very few critical studies of her work. One notable exception was Oliver Evans’ article “Anaïs Nin and the Discovery of Inner Space” in the Fall 1962 issue of Prairie Schooner. His book-length analysis didn’t appear until 1968, but soon thereafter, scholars such as Richard Centing, Benjamin Franklin V, Duane Schneider, Philip K. Jason, and Evelyn Hinz began to take Nin’s work seriously and wrote about it.

Centing and Franklin were the co-founders and co-editors of the first periodical dedicated to Nin, which they called Under the Sign of Pisces: Anaïs Nin and her Circle, a quarterly that debuted at the beginning of 1970.

Inaugural issue of Under the Sign of Pisces

Inaugural issue of Under the Sign of Pisces

 

Nin was a tough critic of those who critiqued her work; Oliver Evans was a victim of her dissatisfaction, as was, eventually, Benjamin Franklin V. Franklin says that he was “fired” by Centing in 1973 at the bequest of Nin. The reasons are explained in Episode 28 of The Anaïs Nin Podcast.

Pisces had a long run, ending in 1981, after which the void was filled by Gunther Stuhlmann’s ANAIS: An International Journal. The story behind how this journal came to be and lasted for 19 annual issues is related by Paul Herron, who knew Stuhlmann personally, and who was inspired to create the most recent Nin journal, A Café in Space.

Herron details how Café came to be, who has been in its pages, how by pure luck he was able to include Janet Fitch (White Oleander) in the first annual volume, and attempts to explain why volume 15 (2018) will be the last.

Run time: 22 minutes

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen without iTunes, click here.

To view past issues of A Café in Space, click here.

To find out how to submit work to Volume 15, click here.

Final Annual Volume of A Café in Space Announced

Sky Blue Press has announced that the upcoming Volume 15 of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal will be the final annual issue.

Café began in 2003 as part of the celebration of Anaïs Nin’s centennial, and it was unsure that a second volume would ever be published. However, the response to Vol. 1 was so great, that Vol. 2 was released the following year; it has been an annual event every year since, with a collection of dozens of excerpts from Nin’s unpublished diaries and contributions from more than 100 writers, scholars, poets and artists from around the world.

CafeVol14-Cover-Draft-1In preparation for this final volume, Sky Blue Press is seeking submissions now.

Academic/non-academic articles concerning Nin and her circle (Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, Antonin Artaud, Marcel Proust, Jean Genet, Henri Michaux, Djuna Barnes, James Leo Herlihy, et al.) are especially valuable; we also consider short fiction, poetry, art, photography, travel memoir if they are somehow Nin-related or inspired.

Sky Blue Press asks that responses and proposals be sent to skybluepress @ skybluepress.com. They will require copy by the end of the year so that the Feb. 21, 2018 deadline can be met.

An anthology of the best of Vols. 1-15 will be released in 2019.

To see or purchase Vols. 1-14, click here.

New Anaïs Nin Podcast and A Café in Space

We are celebrating Anaïs Nin’s 114th birthday with two major events: First, the publication of the 14th volume of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, and the 24th episode of The Anaïs Nin Podcast.

The theme of this year’s A Café in Space is twofold: erotica and Nin’s relationship with her parents. Scholars from India and England look at Nin’s childhood and how it affected her life: Kastoori Barua’s essay uses popular theory to explain how Nin’s life choices were influenced by the unusual relationship she had with both parents, while Jean Owen explores adult-onset incest, using Nin and Kathryn Harrison as examples. Casandra Lim uses Freud’s theory of Oedipus to explains Nin’s relationships. The erotica aspect comes from the recent release of Nin’s long-lost collection Auletris: Erotica, and we present the introduction to the book as well as a lengthy excerpt. Erotica writer Lana Fox then uses Auletris as inspiration for her short story “L’Étalion.”

Also included is never-before-published correspondence between Anaïs Nin, Joaquin Nin-Culmell and Eduardo Sanchez regarding contentious character descriptions of family members in the first volume of The Diary of Anaïs Nin, some of which is explosive.

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Nin scholars Simon Dubois Boucheraud and Jessica Gilbey also provide article to volume 14, while David Green treats us to his experiences in Durrell country in France. There is an excerpt from and a review of Kazim Ali’s new book Anaïs Nin: An Unprofessional Study and a tribute to John Ferrone from Tristine Rainer.

Short fiction, poetry and art are from Danica Davidson, Katie Doherty, Kennedy Gammage, Harry Kiakis, Steven Reigns, Chrissie Sepe, Colette Standish, David Wilde and Changming Yuan.

At $15, and with this caliber of work, it’s a steal.

Podcast 24 concentrates on the history and future of Anaïs Nin’s diary publication. As you may know, we are fast approaching the May 2017 release of the sixth unexpurgated diary, Trapeze, which covers the beginning of Nin’s double life with husband Hugh Guiler and lover Rupert Pole on opposite ends of the country. We talk about the misconceptions behind the original series (the controversy surrounding the “missing husband”), the development of the early diary series, and a look at the rocky unexpurgated series, one which has reached incredible heights with Henry and June, and horrible lows after Incest was published in 1992, setting up the collapse of Nin’s popularity. I talk about the editing of both Mirages and Trapeze, and the two future diaries, about which few know at this point.

Coming in at 20 minutes, I guarantee it’s worth the listen.

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.
To listen without iTunes, click here.

To order volume 14 of A Café in Space, click here.
It is also available as a digital edition.

Call for Papers

A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal is seeking contributions for its 2017 issue.

Articles (both academic and non-academic) on Nin, Henry Miller, Lawrence Durrell, or anyone within Nin’s literary circle, are welcome. We also accept photo essays, poetry, short fiction, travelogues and book or event reviews.

Articles are generally around 2,500 words, but we are extremely flexible, depending on the theme.

All styles (Chicago, MLA, etc.) are welcome and will be modified to our house style.

Poetry and short fiction do not have to necessarily be about Nin per se, but should have a certain quality that evokes her spirit.

We do accept short erotica, but we ask that the style be somewhat in line with Nin’s.

You can contact us a skybluepress@skybluepress.com with proposals or queries.CafeVol13-CoverLarge-1

Anaïs Nin Podcast 15: Nin’s Editor John Ferrone

When one thinks of Anaïs Nin’s Henry and June, Delta of Venus and Little Birds, one thinks of her “blockbusters,” her most popular and bestselling works, titles that put her on the map. Two of the three books were made into Hollywood films, and Henry and June became notorious because of its first-ever NC-17 rating. The two volumes of erotica, Delta of Venus and Little Birds, propelled Nin’s reputation as a groundbreaking feminine erotica writer. While Nin wrote all of the material in these volumes, the man who made them bona fide successes was John Ferrone, Nin’s editor.

John Ferrone & Anais Nin, 1970s

John Ferrone & Anais Nin, 1970s

Nin met Ferrone in 1969, and by 1973 he was her fulltime editor at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. Nin was so impressed with his editing that as she gave him 850 pages of raw erotica, written some thirty years prior for a dollar a page, she gave him the following instructions: “Do anything you like with it. I trust you.” Ferrone wrote “The Making of Delta of Venus” for Volume 7 of A Café in Space in which he describes the great lengths he had to go to in order to sort out the entangled and complicated stories, to craft them into top-notch literary collections.

When Ferrone was editing Henry and June in 1985, he clashed with Nin’s “West Coast Husband” and Trustee of The Anaïs Nin Trust over how the book would appear—Rupert Pole wanted none of Nin’s writing changed, whereas Ferrone recognized the need for significant alterations in order to produce a commercially successful book. Their letters were so incendiary that after the book was done, Ferrone never edited another Nin book. For more on this, read Ferrone’s “The Making of Henry and June the Book” in Volume 4 of A Café in Space. The exchanges are legendary.

I was saddened to learn that John Ferrone died on April 10, 2016 in Old Bridge, New Jersey, due to complications from Parkinson’s Disease. There will be a memorial service at the Most Holy Redeemer Church, 133 Amboy Rd., Matawan, NJ on May 24 at 11:30. For more information, visit mostholyredeemerchurch.org.

Podcast 15 is devoted to John Ferrone and tells the story of how he was instrumental in helping me with the most important project I’d ever undertaken at that point—the editing of 1,600 pages of handwritten diary pages into Mirages: The Unexpurgated Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1939-1947, the first such diary in nearly twenty years.

To listen to the podcast with iTunes, click here.

To listen to the podcast without iTunes, click here.

To order Volume 4 of A Café in Space, click here.

To order Volume 7 of A Café in Space, click here.

Podcast 14: The Maternality of Anaïs Nin with Jessica Gilbey

Australian scholar Jessica Gilbey explains an often ignored relationship—that between Anaïs Nin and her mother. Nin’s connection with her father has received a lot of intention, and to this day search data for their incestuous relationship on this blog remains among the top five. Searches for Rosa Culmell de Nin? Virtually none.

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Jessica Gilbey

When Gilbey decided to write her doctoral thesis on how motherhood played a major role in Nin’s writing, her supervisor advised her to also explore Nin’s relationship with her own mother, which, at first, Gilbey was reluctant to do—mainly because the mother seemed to be mundane, plain, prosaic. But when she truly began to explore the bond between them, she discovered how much it informed Nin’s decisions, her rebellions, her path in life, her art, and even the other relationship in her life, including her father.

All of these topics are included in Gilbey’s contribution to Volume 13 of A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, “Our Mother (Re)Born—The fertile treasure of Nin’s matrilineality.”

Listen as Gilbey brilliantly and objectively discusses how Nin became a symbolic mother to many and biological mother to none, and how critics lashed out at her for her life choices, not to mention her decision to write about them.

Run time: 39 minutes

To listen with iTunes, click here.

To listen to the podcast without iTunes, click here.

To order a copy of Volume 13 of A Café in Space, click here.

Upon the occasion of Anaïs Nin’s birthday

Where Nin was born

Where Nin was born

Today is Anaïs Nin’s birthday. She was born February 21, 1903 in Neuilly, France, near the Bois and the Seine. Her house was in a stately neighborhood where, perhaps, Proust’s characters could have lived. It was a time of horses and carriages, top hats, long voluminous gowns, gaslights and the rare telephone. In such a setting, who would have imagined someone was born who would become one of the leading modernists of the twentieth century, someone an entire generation not yet conceived would admire and look to as an inspiration, a guide, a guru, someone who would break all the rules, both in literature and in life? A little, sickly girl with a stern but musically gifted father, a mother whose own musical career would be stifled, a little girl who would nearly die from a burst appendix, a little girl whose father called “ugly,” whose father would abandon, thrusting her from all sense of comfort and security into a life of struggle and poverty in a foreign land? Who could imagine?

And yet, here we are, 113 years later, celebrating the birth of this amazing icon of feminine literature by reading her work, talking about her, listening to her words recorded long ago, watching Anaïs Nin Observed or Henry and June, or just thinking about her for a few moments. This day in 1903 was a gift to all of us who have somehow been touched by Anaïs Nin, or are yet to be. To you, to us, to Anaïs…I lift a glass of gratitude.

A Café in Space: The Anaïs Nin Literary Journal, Volume 13, is out now. Check it out for the latest on Anaïs Nin.

Episode 13 of The Anaïs Nin Podcast has just dropped. You can listen to “The Music in Anaïs Nin” by clicking here. (14 minutes)

 

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