Saturday, October 11, 2008

 

ONE WEEK FROM SUNDAY

Pam Brown
Magdalena Zurawski
Ron Silliman

DO NOT MISS THIS READING!

Hosted by CAConrad

ROBIN'S BOOKSTORE
108 S. 13th St., Philadelphia

Sunday, October 19th, 4pm

 

  

 

Pam Brown lives in Australia and is co-editor of Jacket Magazine. She has published many books and chapbooks including Text thing (Little Esther Books, 2002) and Dear Deliria (Salt Publishing, 2003) which was awarded the New South Wales Premier’s Prize for Poetry in 2004. She collaborated with Seattle-based Egyptian poet Maged Zaher on a collection of poems called farout library software (Tinfish Press, 2007). Her most recent book, True Thoughts, was published by Salt Publishing in September 2008. Her next collection, Authentic Local, is forthcoming from Papertiger Media in 2009. She keeps a blog you can see HERE.

Magdalena Zurawski was born in Newark, NJ in 1972 to Polish immigrants. Her work has been published in American Poet: The Journal of the Academy of American Poets, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Rattapallax, Talisman, and other magazines. She lives in North Carolina where she is working on her PhD at Duke University. The Bruise is her first novel and won the Ronald Sukenik Innovative Fiction Prize. Her blog is HERE.

Ron Silliman's long awaited collection THE ALPHABET will be available for sale and for signing. He is the author or editor of twenty-six books of poetry or criticism, among them The Age of Huts (compleat), Tjanting, ABC, Demo to Ink, Paradise, ®, What, Woundwood, and the memoir Under Albany. He edited the landmark poetry anthology In the American Tree, and has received a Pew Fellowship in the Arts, two Fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, and three arts commission grants from the state arts councils of California and Pennsylvania. His widely read Silliman's Blog, a daily journal devoted to contemporary poetry and poetics, has become a major force in online literary criticism. He is a member of the Grand Piano collective.

This note shamelessly stolen
(and somewhat adapted)
 from CAConradEvents blog

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

 

John Ashbery’s Pierre Martory

Jacques Debrot, John Ashbery
& “anarcho-flarf” interventionism

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Rachel Blau DuPlessis on Paavo Haavikko

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Haroldo de Campos:
3 poems & an essay

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Paul Zukofsky
on Bernstein’s poetry bailout

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Kevin Killian’s Orono-iad
parts 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

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Close-reading aloud
Erica Hunt

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Kate Greenstreet
interviews
Stephanie Strickland

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Don Share & Cole Swensen
come out for
hybrid poetics

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Donna Stonecipher’s Souvenir de Constantinople

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Laynie Browne on the
multiplicitous poetries of
Lee Ann Brown

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Ig-Nobel thoughts

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Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio
has won the Nobel Prize

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Frank O’Hara dream

But Frank is a candidate
in this year’s
Delete Key Awards

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Eshleman’s Vallejo

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Rae Armantrout at Harvard

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Eileen Tabios’ “dream tattoo”

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It’s Beckett Time

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Oct. 18 in Buffalo,
celebrating Raymond Federman
at 80

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Platt’s Mandelstam

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Jilly Dybka’s Trouble and Honey

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Archetypal Violence & the Feminine Heroic

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Gottfried Geist’s literary YouTubes

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That deadbeat Friedrich Schiller

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Kristin Bock’s Cloisters

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Tech, time & mimesis
in David Foster Wallace

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Kwame Davis
on PBS Newshour

§

Maverick versification
for one heckuva nation,
you betcha

§

Talking with Angela Ball

§

Brandi Homan’s Hard Reds

§

The traveling tapa

§

Hegel & the Fate of Thinking (PDF)

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The novelist Charles Wright has died

§

Collective aesthetics
& the “mere exposure effect”

§

Talking with Mike Young

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J.K. Rowling earns £5 every second

§

More verse from Sarah Palin

§

Three ways of being pissed off
by Issue 1

just when you thought that America
couldn’t have more disdain
for poetry…”

§

Virginia Woolf & Clarice Lispector

§

When audio-book casting goes bad

§

Liveliest of the dead languages

§

Warhol’s politics

§

What’s new in new music?
A round table with
Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson & Barre Phillips

§

Naomi Klein
on disaster capitalism’s
big disaster

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

 

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

 

The success of The Reality Street Book of Sonnets, edited by Jeff Hilson, is such that it throws light on the limitations of other recent anthologies. One that I happen to like a lot, tho not without reservation, is >2: An Anthology of New Collaborative Poetry, edited by Sheila E. Murphy & M.L. Weber, recently published by SugarMule.com Press. After the disappointment of the badly edited Saints of Hysteria: A Half-Century of Collaborative American Poetry, it’s instructive to see a major collection of collaborations that would not even appear to exist if one took Saints’ heavily blinkered view of history at face value. Which seems particularly bizarre since, regardless of how one conceives of it, contemporary collaborative poetry exists mostly on the post-avant side of the Grand Canyon of literary aesthetics.  (Hysteria does include work by Robert Bly, Olga Broumas & Ted Kooser, but they jump out as the exceptions they are.)

Yet here is a 200-plus book containing work from 41 different collaborative combinations that includes such well-known literary names as Mary Rising Higgins, George Kalamaras, Maria Damon, mIEKAL aND, Michael Basinski, Rupert Lloydell, John M. Bennett, Jim Leftwich, Penn Kemp, Alan Halsey, Jesse Glass, Nico Vassilakis, Geof Huth, Bob Grumman, Eileen Tabios, Nick Carbo, Vernon Frazer, K.S. Ernst, Juka-Pekka Kervinen, Erica kaufman, Anny Ballardini, kari Edwards, Steve Dalachinsky, Mark Young, Nico Vassilakis, Peter Ganick, Tom Taylor, Andrew Topel, David Baratier, jUStin!katKO, Tom Beckett & Thomas Fink, & many more. One wonders just how the three editors of Saints could have conceivably missed this much work by these poets. Of that list, Tabios, Fink & Carbo may be the only ones to appear in both books.

The happy thing about >2 is that it doesn’t seem bothered by this exclusion in the slightest. Rather, it presents the more experimental side of collaborative writing pretty much as it has occurred over the past decade. It’s fun & exciting, as a book like this should be. Not that it’s perfect. It takes great freedom with typefaces, because the poets themselves have, but the ones that use courier as a font look washed out & amateurish, because courier always does. Perhaps the book’s largest & most telling weakness is the exclusion is the work of Sheila E. Murphy herself, a primary practitioner within this terrain, but that’s a conscious decision discussed in her excellent foreword. Murphy traces her own interest in collaborative writing, interestingly enough, to Absence Sensorium, perhaps the finest extended collaborative project ever written, a book-length poem by Tom Mandel & Dan Davidson composed shortly before the latter’s suicide. Unfortunately, that project isn’t represented in either anthology tho Mandel contributes a blurb to >2.

Collaboration itself has existed in English-language literature since at least the days of Elizabethan theater (contrary to Hysteria’s genealogy, which extends back only to the surrealists), yet it has almost always been treated as the ugly stepchild of Western LitCrit’s focus on the individual. If the Allen anthology in 1960 had no prose poetry, it also had no collaborations, either by its NY School contributors (Ashbery, O’Hara, Koch & Schuyler are all in Hysteria) or the Beats (Ginsberg, Orlovsky, Kerouac & Welch also in Hysteria). Indeed, the taboo is significant. T.S. Eliot’s role as the apotheosis of the New Critical version of modernism largely collapsed once it was shown that virtually all of The Waste Land’s major literary devices were editing effects from that ultimate avant agitator, Ezra Pound. The whole notion that The Waste Land might not be a collaboration, frankly, reveals which decisions count as writing & which might not, even when they turn out to be the most substantial ones of all.

Collaboration has been nearly as prominent among the language poets as it has amid the New York School (or the Actualist movement of the 1970s, which is not visible in either of these collections¹). Langpo is included strictly on a token basis in Hysteria & referenced only in Murphy’s intro to >2, tho she gives a better sense of its role than the other book. A truly comprehensive anthology of the form would need to take in all of these different strains &, ideally, have some idea of historic drivers & aesthetic principles active in each.

For example, one might read the New American collaborations as part of a larger resistance to the rugged individualism behind New Critical theory in the 1950s, and on the part of the Beats as an element in an aesthetic that was actively looking to get away from the poet’s ego as sole proprietor of textual real estate, essentially for the same reasons that John Cage & Jackson Mac Low turned to chance operations in that same decade.

But the real distinction between these two books is social. In general, one might say that most of the poets in Hysteria used collaboration as a mechanism for cementing face-to-face relationships with their buddies while most of the poets in >2 are using collaboration as a means of transcending physical distance, exploiting the web’s capacity to erase geography.  One thing that is curious about >2 is that, while it includes the writing of many poets widely known for their visual poetry, there’s really no vispo here. Have we not yet learned how to collaborate in that genre? Or does a visual aspect to collaboration instantly move us over toward the realm of the conceptual or performance art? Here is Geof Huth in five different combinations with other poets – and no vispo?

There are other questions also that both books raise. What is collaboration’s relationship to poets’ theater? I’m reminded of Actualism’s relationship to physical theater & even contact improve, a version of dance, and the fact that Actualist Conventions were held in conjunction with Berkeley’s Blake Street Hawkeye’s theater troup, run by Dav Schein. Indeed Schein’s wife-at-the-time, Karen Johnson, took her work from the Conventions onto the stage successfully as a one-woman show under her then-emerging stage name, Whoopi Goldberg. Which leads to the question: what about spousal collaboration? Or between parents & their children? Spousal collaboration goes back at least to Alice B. Toklas' work with Gertrude Stein, and to Celia Zukofsky's “A”-24.

And then there is the question of invisible collaboration – Pound’s role in the work of Eliot, Eliot’s use of his own maid’s text, Dorothy Wordsworth’s role in the work of William, Ginsberg determining the order of pages in Burroughs’ Naked Lunch. My own editors at the University of Alabama didn’t recognize that the epigram at the start of “Engines” in The Alphabet, which reads with Rae Armantrout, actually signaled her role as co-author of that piece (the poem also appears in her selected poems, Veil).

We are still a long way from having a good understanding of what collaboration means & why it seems so powerful on one side of the divide between American poets while it is so muted & marginal among the School of Q. And we are still a long way yet from having a decent first comprehensive gathering of the historical field. What we can hope for, at best, at this juncture in history, is going to be projects like >2, which focus intently on specific parts of the overall spectrum without making too much of a claim to represent the whole. And on those terms, >2 is a job well done.

 

¹ The most prolific collaborator of that decade, Darrell Gray, died young of alcoholism & his residential hotel landlord simply threw his belongings, including 15 years of manuscripts, into the dumpster. Yet a search of the journals of the 1970s in particular ought to produce a collection of collaborations by Gray & such other Actualists as George Mattingly, Pat Nolan, Jim Nesbit, Victoria Rathbun & G.P. Skratz along with fellow travelers Andrei Codrescu & Jim Gustafson as large, & possibly even as impressive, as >2. Gray may have been the first poet for whom collaboration was a primary, if not the primary, mode.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

 


Photo by Kaplan Harris

Intercapillary Space
is building a constellation
of articles
responding to the poetry of
Alice Notley

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Rothenberg remembers Zukofsky

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Allen Mozek’s profile of Lorine Niedecker

§

Europe’s “most important book

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Maria Damon, Steve Benson, Leslie Scalapino
Bruce Andrews, Erica Kaufman & Tim Peterson:
Language poetry & the body

§

Amy King has some different addresses
for the perps of Issue 1

The actual author

§

Kent Johnson & Naomi Shihab Nye:
writing in parallel

The king of the hoax

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Tenney Nathanson on Leslie Scalapino

§

A profile of Woeser

§

Eileen Tabios & Michelle Bautista
are running for office
(“I come from the mothership and I approve this message”)

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Pam Brown, Maggie Zurawski & Ron Silliman
reading in Philly Oct. 19

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Colin Dayan on Aimé Césaire

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How Yehuda Amichai got his name

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Julian Brolaski on Stacy Szymaszek

§

Ashvaghosha’s Handsome Nanda

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Going back to Ed Dorn

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Thomas Disch’s Wall of America

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Alan Davies on Roberto Harrison

& on Norman Fischer

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Unpacking Donald Hall

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“Hughes interminable glosses on his poems”

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Kevin Killian’s Orono epic:
Part 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

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Terence Winch on Tim Dlugos

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The death of the “gay novel

§

Queer zines exhibit
at NY Art Book Fair

§

Are small & indie presses
being ripped off?

§

Angela Veronica Wong
on cultural identity

§

Poetry without borders
but lots of labels

§

France has vomited on us
for too long

§

Charles Olson in Tucson

Fighting to save Olson’s Gloucester

§

Charles Alexander on Robert Creeley

§

The next Thomas Pynchon novel

§

Michael Gottlieb on Lydia Davis’ Proust

§

The life of Derek Walcott

§

William Logan vs. John Ashbery

§

Raymond McDaniel on Frank Bidart

§

The odd couple –
Lowell & Bishop

§

Traveling with Mario Vargas Llosa

§

In SF Tuesday,
a rare reading by
Beverly Dahlen
with Gloria Frym

§

Reading report:
Geoffrey Olsen, Jess Mynes &
(to come) Kim Lyons

§

New poetry by Olds, Giscombe, McLane

§

Christina Strong on Jack Kimball

§

Multimedia Yeats

§

Sven Birkerts on John Barth

§

Geof Huth reads “®

§

On not writing
the Great American Poem

§

On November 11,
Penn celebrates
its most famous literary graduate
on his 125th birthday,
William Carlos Williams

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The last days of
Czeslaw Milosz

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Anne Carson: “Tag”

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4 Hindi poets

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Harvard Bookstore has new owners

§

A town where indie bookstores are blooming

§

But in DC, Olsson’s gives up

§

Bookstore as time capsule
in
Morristown, NJ

§

In praise of Walden Pond
Books

§

YouWriteOn.com
is publishing
5,000 books
(virtually all fiction)
at no cost
to the authors

§

Canadian Oxford dictionary
fires entire staff

§

Talking with Steve Fellner

§

Karen Harryman’s Auto Mechanic’s Daughter

§

Talking with Kasi Anandan

§

Keith Montesano
takes on Kate Greenstreet’s
first book interviews,
starting with Matthew Guenette

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Stars for upcoming poetry biopics

§

Talking with Fadumo Ali

§

Mary Karr on Hayden Carruth

Carruth obit in The Independent

§

Steven Fama on
baseball & poetry

§

Beyonce, Žižek, dogs
& other essentials

§

Kenneth Baker talking with Slavoy Žižek

§

Louis Menand on Lionel Trilling

§

A poet for haters of poetry

Clive James the polymath

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Seamus Heaney at Harvard

§

Robert van Hallberg on anti-war poetry

§

Lawson Fusao Inada on PBS Newshour

§

Talking with Michael Ansara
about the
Massachusetts Poetry Festival

§

Grace Cavalieri on Kay Ryan (MP3)

§

John Gallaher on “why do you write?”

§

Charles McGrath on
the Nobel lit chief’s putdown
of
U.S. writing

Adam Kirsch volunteers to be
the Sarah Palin
to Horace Engdahl’s Joe Biden
(Oh, we’re literary, you betcha)

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More about pen names

§

Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard Book

§

Katie Ford’s Colosseum

§

Translation prizes
to Fady Joudah & others

§

Pollock, O’Hara,
Lee Krasner, Patsy Southgate
&
What a Man Should Know

§

A profile of Felix Dennis

§

The letters of Norman Mailer

§

Worse than being remaindered

§

Charles Bernstein’s electoral placards

§

Against self-knowledge

§

Black swans on Wall Street

§

A short course in behavioral economics

§

Linguistic home movies

§

The poetry of Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin’saccent

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Edward Klima has died

§

Metaphors of the mind

§

Why we seek patterns

§

What professors (writers)
want from editors

& peer reviewers

§

Reading by the numbers

§

Experimental philosophy
number-crunching “truth”

§

When does Bernard-Henri Levy’s
bubble burst?

§

Grist for John Stuart Mill

§

To boldly go . . .

§

The Communist Manifesto is 160

§

Pete Seeger & William Buckley, Jr.

§

Stephen Paul Miller on Radiohead

§

A profile of Reinbert De Leeuw

§

Cleveland paper demotes
a critic
for being critical

§

In New York, The Sun sets

§

Lang Lang’s tale of
Daddy Dearest

§

Philip Glass’ next opera
is a bio of Disney

§

Is the audience aging?

§

50 years of Merce Cunningham

§

When the awards go to big names

§

Dance director canned:
insufficiently black

§

Suffering through the Mindset List

§

Vispo by Nico Vasilakis

§

Joe Brainard’s
”Imaginary Still-Lifes

§

How to pick a Pollock

§

East Village Afternoon

§

Rothko with a smile

§

Richard Serra,
”man of steel”

§

Pitching the arts
to the corporate community

§

Gilbert & George
go to
Brooklyn

§

Banksy refuses to authenticate
street art for auction

Auction house massacre

§

This year’s Turner Prize show has opened

§

Which arts administrator
gets paid the most?

§

In Pittsburgh, it’s 1958
& also it’s
Detroit

§

Bad buildings

§

Zeroed

§

Yesterday’s note
set a record
for the number of visits,
2,376

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