The HB 2 Issue

D1If you only read the INDY once in your life, make it this week’s very important issue. Our HB 2 special begins with a deep dive into the thirty years that got us here by the unparalleled Barry Yeoman, and then dials in on a wide array of perspectives and issues from Paul Blest, Lily Carollo,Hannah Pitstick, Abigaile Hoile (who is in high school, and scarily good at writing), Fred Hobson, Jane Porter, and Grayson Haver Currin. I’m proud of the very small hand I had in putting this together, and of the writers and photographers and designers who contributed so beautifully, but it was really Jeff Billman’s project, and my hat is off to him for putting so much vision, energy, leadership, and substance into anatomizing an issue as important and bewildering as HB 2. This is the INDY at its best.

INDY Week at the AAN Awards

WE’RE NUMBER TWO! WE’RE NUMBER TWO! (Except V.C. Rogers, who took home first place for cartooning.) This year, INDY Week did pretty good at the national AAN Awards in Austin, Texas, which Jeff and I just got back from; we won at least second place in all five categories in which we were nominated. Read the finalists and winning stories below:

ARTS FEATURE circulation under 45,000

First Place: Rap’s Poetic License: Revoked by Sam Lefebvre, East Bay Express

Second Place: Code Green by Brian Howe, INDY Week

Third Place: Best of Enemies by Chris McCoy, Memphis Flyer


MUSIC WRITING circulation under 45,000

First Place: Music Writing (I; II; III) by Matt Stieb, San Antonio Current

Second Place: Music Writing (I; II; III) by Grayson Haver Currin, INDY Week

Third Place: We’ll Always Have Short Vine by Brian Baker, Cincinnati CityBeat

Honorable Mention: Music Writing (I; II; III) by Alex De Vore, Santa Fe Reporter


BEAT REPORTING circulation under 45,000

First Place: Farming, Sustainability and the Environment in Western NC (I; II; III; IV; V) by Carrie Eidson, Mountain Xpress

Second Place: Criminal Justice Reporting (I; II; III; IV; V) by John H. Tucker, INDY Week

Third Place: Cops and Courts (I; II; III; IV; V) by Mark Davis, Seven Days


ARTS CRITICISM circulation under 45,000

First Place: What Was Withheld; The Sonic Sweet Spot; and Oceanic Aspirations by Sarah Burke, East Bay Express

Second Place: Rite of Refusal;Identity Crisis; and Blackboard Shattering by Byron Woods, INDY Week

Third Place: Fifty Shades of Grey; Is Loving the Wrong Approach?; and I Thought I Might Find You Here by Eileen Townsend, Memphis Flyer

Honorable Mention: Jess T. Dugan’s Portraits Look Into You; Art in Odd Places; and The “Visual Anthropology” of Bayeté Ross Smith by Richard T. Reep, Orlando Weekly

CARTOON (listed alphabetically by last name)


First Place: V.C. Rogers, INDY Week (I; II; III; IV; V)

Second Place: Jen Sorensen, Jen Sorensen Comics (I; II; III; IV; V)

Third Place: Harry Bliss, Seven Days (I; II; III; IV; V)

James Blake in Hyperallergic


I’m pleased that my first piece about one of my favorite musicians, James Blake, is also my first piece for one of my favorite websites, Hyperallergic, with more to follow. In it, I exhume a bit of personal history through the obsidian idiosyncrasies of Blake’s superlative Overgrown and his new album, The Colour in Anything, all while trying to get at the elusive thing that makes his music stand out uncannily in a crowded field. Read it here.

The Carrack Modern Art Moves, Shifting the Center of Gravity in Durham


Laura Ritchie in the new Carrack / photo by Alex Boerner for INDY Week

If you’d like to read a story about Durham that didn’t come from the Guardian’s slush pile, here is something. Let’s not bury the lede: Yes, the Carrack Modern Art is leaving its beloved Parrish Street loft at the end of June, when it will join the hive buzzing around Golden Belt (Spectre Arts, The Shed, UNEXPOSED,Alicia Lange’s new Torus Building) — and, I believe, significantly shift the center of gravity in the art scene while continuing to provide the superlative community service it’s known for. In addition to Laura Ritchie, Heather Gordon, and others, I spoke with Ginger Wagg about her DIDA show, AndAlwaysWhy, a deeply envisioned movement and music installation whose premiere this week is the first event in the Torus Building gallery that will soon house the Carrack. We explore the momentum and meaning of the move for the Carrack, Golden Belt, and the shape of downtown in this INDY cover story. And somehow, not to brag, but I got through the whole thing without a single Bull Durham reference.

Wax Wroth Poetry Series at the Shed



An evening of words, images, and sound featuring Atlanta’s Scott Daughtridge and Stephanie Dowda

With Jessica Q. Stark, Amanda Dahill-Moore, Brian Howe, and Calapse

Saturday, March 19, 8 p.m., The Shed, Durham [DETAILS]


Wax Wroth is a series like Halley’s Comet is … a comet? That didn’t quite work but you see what I’m getting at. I put on Wax Wroth whenever I have the chance to present something extra cool. It doesn’t come around that often, but when it does—*low, impressed whistle*.

After hosting the likes of Heather Christle, Tony Tost, and kathryn l. pringle in venues ranging from Carrboro’s Looking Glass Café to Durham’s Carrack, Wax Wroth moves to The Shed to present writer SCOTT DAUGHTRIDGE and artist/writer STEPHANIE DOWDA all the way from Atlanta, where they run the amazing Lostintheletters festival. (

Scott and Stephanie will be joined by four Durhamites: Amanda Dahill-Moore, Jessica Q. Stark, Reed Benjamin (a.k.a. Calapse), and yours truly. Amanda and I will read and host. Calapse is making interstitial sound. Jess asked for a projector, so god knows what she’s up to, but I can’t wait to see.

We’ll have a bit of music at 8 sharp, then readings by 8:30. It’s free. Come meet some cool visiting writers and then we’ll all go out for drinks. Drinks! On a Saturday! Imagine.



SCOTT DAUGHTRIDGE lives in Atlanta, where he runs Lostintheletters, a literary organization. Most recently, his work has appeared in CHEAP POP, Midwestern Gothic, Necessary Fiction, Storychord, and others. Lame House Press released his chapbook, I Hope Something Good Happens, in 2014.

STEPHANIE DOWDA is an artist and writer living in Atlanta. Dowda’s writing and photography have been featured in Possible Press, Issue Press, Gesture, ArtsATL, Oxford American, Bad at Sports, and BurnAway. She is the recipient of an Idea Capital grant, a Fellowship with Vermont Studio Center, Hambidge Fellow and Studio Artist with Atlanta Contemporary.

JESSICA Q. STARK is a doctoral student in English at Duke University, where she studies the intersections between poetry and comic books. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Invisible Bear, a poetry and visual arts review, and she organizes the Little Corner Poetry Reading Series in Durham. Her work has been published in Potluck Magazine, the Tipton Poetry Journal, and Big River, among others. Her forthcoming poetry manuscript The Liminal Parade was selected by Dorothea Lasky for Heavy Feather Review’s Double Take Grand Prize.

BRIAN HOWE’s poems and sound art have appeared in journals including Coconut, Octopus, So and So, Effing Magazine, Drunken Boat, and others. He has issued three chapbooks, Guitar Smash (3rdness Press), This is the Motherfucking Remix (with Marcus Slease; Scantily Clad), and Foreign Letter (Beard of Bees). A journalist and critic by trade, he is Arts & Culture Editor at Durham’s INDY Week. He runs the Wax Wroth Poetry Series now and then, and he clearly has no qualms about booking

AMANDA DAHILL-MOORE writes, works, and makes art in Durham. She studied writing and sculpture at Guilford College. Her interest in social spaces and lived experience has lead to several installations and collaborative multimedia projects in Durham. She is currently writing her first book of poems.

As CALAPSE, Reed Benjamin creates electronic music using analog synths and drum machines as well as digital software.