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Memoirist and jazz producer interviewed in next issue of Brilliant Corners

Memoirist and jazz producer interviewed in next issue of Brilliant Corners

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In her memoir Art: Why I Stuck with a Junkie Jazzman, Laurie Pepper describes a particularly challenging recording session for her late husband, alto-sax legend Art Pepper: “He dragged himself out of the quicksand of that chart, ignoring it, at last, relying just on what he heard inside. It sounded as if he was ripping his own guts out in the studio. He was magnificent, and when he heard the take he knew it.”

The Summer 2023 issue of Brilliant Corners features an interview with Laurie Pepper, focusing largely on that memoir as well as Straight Life: The Story of Art Pepper, which she co-wrote and which is still considered to be an indispensable part of jazz-related literature. In addition to being a writer, she is the founding producer of the label Widow’s Taste, which releases previously unissued recordings by Art Pepper.

In addition to the interview, the Summer 2023 issue features poems by Yvonne Zipter (whose books include four poetry collections and the nonfiction book Diamonds Are a Dyke’s Best Friend), Richard Jackson (winner of Guggenheim, NEA, and Fulbright Fellowships), and Richard Cecil (author of four poetry collections and recipient of a Pushcart Prize). Aaron Gilbreath offers two lengthy works of historical fiction, one on guitarist Billy Bauer, the other on tenor saxophonist Ike Quebec. The issue also includes an essay on Miles Davis by Matthew Duffus and an autobiographical reflection by Sydney Lea (formerly Vermont’s Poet Laureate and finalist for the Pulitzer prize). The striking portrait of Ma Rainey on the cover is a quilt by Marla Arna Jackson, whose work has been exhibited in scores of venues, including The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Brilliant Corners is a biannual journal that highlights an exceptional collection of literature and art pertaining to jazz. Founded in 1996, the journal bears strong ties to Lycoming College, with Sascha Feinstein, Ph.D., Robert L. and Charlene Shangraw Professor of English at Lycoming College, who serves as the managing editor, and Gary R. Hafer, Ph.D., John P. Graham Teaching Professor of English at Lycoming College, who serves as the production design editor. The publication is funded in part by the College, the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, and private endowments.

A subscription costs $12 per year ($18 for international orders), and checks or money can be sent to Brilliant Corners, Lycoming College, 1 College Place, Williamsport, PA 17701. More information can be found at or on Brilliant Corners’ Facebook page.

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