Friday, July 29, 2005

The Ass of Babel

In a recent debate on grammar at, the subject came up of non-native speakers and the natural poetry of their English. That thing we natural-born Americans lack and covet, unusual arrangements of words, bizarrely beautiful syntax, like “opening the light” and walking “under the rain.” Someone mentioned that she uses the Babelfish online translator ( when composing poems, and I had one of those outloud Yeah! online moments. I decided to try it myself.

The technique: pass the problematic passage through several languages, then back to English, and see what happens.

Like this:

Ass Backwards

Then in Dutch:

ezel achteruit
(rest reverse)

To France:

l'âne marche arrière
(the ass reverse gear)

Then Spain:

el asno marcha atrás
(the ass reverse gear)

France again:
l'âne va en arrière

(So ass in French is ane? Coincidence? I think not.)

And back to English:

The ass goes behind.

And indeed she does.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Some Audio Recordings

Here are some of my spoken word projects. Please note that they ALL contain expletives and/or explicit situations. If you have a delicate constitution, are at the office, or have small children in the room, you may not want to click.

I will be adding to this link page as I gather materials.


2005. Produced by James "Trophy" Barr, Barr on guitar, poem by me.
(3:40 minutes)


1996. Produced by Jordan Trachtenberg for Tomato Records.
(2:57 minutes)


1996. Produced by Jordan Trachtenberg for Tomato Records. Soundscape by Hoyt and Trachtenberg.
(3:16 minutes)


1996. Me on rants. Gary Miles on processed bass clarinet and bass guitar.
(18:13 minutes)


1995. With Hot Sauce Gizzard ensemble: Seth Cooper, bass; John Freund, organ; Jay Gogan, guitar; Eric Kalb, drums. Produced by Mike Boris, Seth Cooper, and John Freund.
(3:14 minutes)


1995. With Hot Sauce Gizzard ensemble, see personnel above.
(2:54 minutes)


1995. With Hot Sauce Gizzard ensemble, see personnel above.
(2:54 minutes)

About Anne Elliott

Anne Elliott began her creative career as an installation artist, filling whitewashed rooms with stream-of-consciousness text. She received a BFA in sculpture from Washington University, St. Louis, and an MFA in visual arts from UC San Diego, where her teachers Jerome Rothenberg and David Antin turned her onto spoken poetry.

Spoken Word
She moved to New York in 1991, and quickly became a fixture in the downtown spoken word scene, participating in poetry slams and performing with the postfeminist talk group, The Pussy Poets. Her spoken word hit the air of numerous venues in the 1990’s, after The Pussy Poets disbanded: The Whitney Museum (performing alongside their Beats show), The New York Historical Society, The New School, St. Mark’s Poetry Project, KGB Bar, PS 122, Here Theater, Dixon Place, Lincoln Center, The Nuyorican, The Knitting Factory, CMJ Music Marathon, and bars, galleries, and coffeehouses throughout the five boroughs. On the road, Elliott took the mic at Woodstock ’94; Insomniacathon in Louisville, Kentucky; The German-American Institute in Heidelberg; City Hall in Burlington, Vermont; and the Black Cat in Washington, DC.

In the mid-1990’s, Elliott began branching out from solo spoken word. She has published the works of poets and experimental writers on her chapbook imprint, Big Fat Press, and released spoken-word audio under her label Big Fat Talk. She has joined forces with musicians, performing with bands Hot Sauce Gizzard and Continuous Cocktail Hour, and collaborating with composer Jed Distler on an opera, “Godfrey’s Moon,” performed in 2002 at the Bowery Poetry Club. She also occasionally gigs solo on the ukulele, playing original country songs. She was a featured poet in the documentary film “Beef,” by Jon Baskin.

On the page, Elliott’s poetry and fiction has appeared in anthologies Verses That Hurt: Pleasure and Pain from the Poemfone Poets (St. Martins), Aloud: Voices from the Nuyorican Poet’s Café (Henry Holt), and Poetry Nation: The North American Anthology of Fusion Poetry (Vehicule), as well as periodicals Pindeldyboz, Ars Medica, Hobart, Smokelong Quarterly, Interview, Excursus Literary Journal, WV, Lungfull, and FRiGG(forthcoming).

Audio Recordings
Elliott’s work is featured on the following audio compilations: Poemfone: New Word Order (Tomato Records), State of the Union (Atavistic), and Family Matters (Tongue’n’Groove). She also was featured on MTV’s syndicated spoken word show, “Man in the Moon,” which played in college radio markets across the country.

Elliott was a 2001 fiction fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She has been shortlisted for the Faulkner-Wisdom writing competition (both the novella and novel-in-progress categories) and James Jones First Novel Fellowship.

(last updated 3/30/2007)

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Welcome to Ass

Greetings. You probably know me or you wouldn't be here, but I'll introduce myself. My name is Anne Elliott. I'm working on a collection of short stories called LIGHT STREAMING FROM A HORSE'S ASS, and rather than letting all my untamed thoughts find their way into the manuscript, I decided to share them here.

My collection is about artists. Which I used to consider myself. I even studied it formally, and have an acid-free master's thesis gathering dust in the stacks at UC San Diego. Now I'm more of a hobbaholic. It becomes compulsive, taking on new projects--oh, I think I'll write a book. Then I'll knit a sweater. Maybe I'll paint this chair. What if I cut up all my clothes and then put them back together to make new clothes? So I end up with a bunch of dismantled clothes, neatly folded on top of a stack of books I really want to read, next to plants I have been meaning to transplant outside, next to a needy dog who really wants a cookie. My husband is very patient. My parents were too. I probably pissed off a few roommates along the way.

My husband is a musician and is studying to become a veterinary technician. (I enjoy saying "Vet Nurse" with a German accent.) I work as a database "architect" (my god what an ass title) and risk-assessor at a hedge fund. I enjoy talking on mic at NYC bars and coffeehouses, and occasionally play my ukulele. In other incarnations, I published handprinted chapbooks as Big Fat Press, and was a member of the postfeminist performance team, The Pussy Poets.

I finished a novel, STARVING HYSTERICAL NAKED, and have been trying to place it. Like most introverted writers, I find the making part way more fun than the selling part.