Monday, December 31, 2012

What poets were born or have lived in Topeka, Kansas?

Comment below if you know of more:

Gwendolyn Brooks

Kevin Young

Cyrus Console

Bret DeFries

Margaret Hill McCarter

Miranda Ericsson-Kendall

Michael Robbins

Langston Hughes

Gary Jackson

Ronald Johnson

Sarah Mangold

Stella Robbins

CA Conrad

Anne Boyer

Dana Holt

Ben Lerner

Ed Skoog

Eric McHenry

Israel Wasserstein

Thomas Fox Averill


Matthew Porubsky

Tod Marshall

Nick Twemlow

Ben Cartwright

Amy Fleury

Leah Sewell

Melissa Sewell

Timothy Volpert

Andy Carter

Thomas C Kennedy

Annette Billings

Naomi Shihab Nye: conceived in Topeka

Denise Low-Weso: taught at Washburn

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Santa Narratives

Narration involves first Santa, a succession of Santas, a family of Santas, or the temporary manifestation of Santa.

Santa develops temporary amnesia due to falling off a roof or being shot down by forest creatures.

Obstacles include: one child is missed on toy delivery route, all children will be missed on toy delivery route, delivered toys are stolen or malfunction.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

March 9, 2013; AWP Boston

9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.


Room 202, Level 2
S115. Teaching Mutt Lit: Genre-Benders, Hybrids, and Other Weirdness in the Creative Writing Classroom. (Ruth Ellen Kocher, Jeanine Deibel, blake nemec, Vanessa Villarreal, Kelsie Hahn) This panel will explore nontraditional and hybrid literary forms as a means of developing craft, generating voice, and discovering a broader palette of reading and writing interests. Members will present approaches to teaching a variety of forms, including flash fiction, prose poetry, mixed-media, online and interactive text, and lyric essay, in addition to multi-genre work. We will also address resistance to unconventional structures and how to overcome these challenges in the classroom.

or

Room 203, Level 2
S116. The Art of Losing. (Reese Okyong Kwon, Elliott Holt, Jennine Capó Crucet, Meghan O’Rourke, Alexander Chee) Leonard Michaels wrote about his wife, Sylvia, Edwidge Danticat wrote about Haiti, and Henry James wrote about his cousin, Minny. Many writers, after losing the people and places they love, have translated their grief into prose. For those of us who find that profound personal loss has informed our writing, what concerns and challenges have we encountered? What are potential pitfalls, and are there any consolations? Join us as we share our perspectives and read from our work.

or

Room 206, Level 2
S118. Literary Nonfiction and Social Activism. (Helene Atwan, Marianne Leone, David Chura, Courtney Martin) This panel explores the craft of writing nonfiction that is both literary and socially relevant. Panelists include writers who, while seeking to make significant contributions to the national conversation on the issues they are writing about, are first and foremost writers of literary nonfiction. Writers and editors on the panel discuss ways to balance the political goals of the activist with the aesthetic imperatives of literary writing and the financial demands of trade publishing.



[

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Room 201, Level 2
S139. Feminism Meets Neo-Benshi: Movietelling Talks Back. (Sarah Rosenthal, Tracie Morris, Jennifer Firestone, Paolo Javier, Anne Waldman) Neo-benshi, also called movietelling, meets contemporary feminism in this panel where poets co-opt popular film and subvert its plots and purposes for their own. The panelists have rewritten film scripts to critique and respond to current social issues. Panelists will perform these short pieces, which explore Neo-benshi’s potential for feminist dialogue and collaboration as well as its capacity to talk back, as it were, to society at large.

[

12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m.

Room 111, Plaza Level
S163. Memoir Beyond the Self. (Jeffrey Shotts, Leslie Jamison, Brigid Hughes, Benjamin Nugent, Colleen Kinder) This panel will focus on narrative nonfiction that pushes the boundaries of traditional memoir by weaving personal experience into broader explorations of literature, history, and culture. What are the possibilities for a precarious first person, neither oppressively dominant nor entirely dissolved? How can memoir escape the bind of solipsism by looking outward at other people, places, and eras? How can private life become a medium through which the external world is articulated?

or

Room 210, Level 2
S173. Wesleyan Poetry Series Reading. (Stephanie Elliott, Rae Armantrout, Kazim Ali, Annie Finch, Jena Osman) Readings from the newest titles in the Wesleyan Poetry series. Rae Armantrout’s Just Saying continues her standard of inventive, tightly written verse. Spells: New and Collected Poems represents Annie Finch’s technical mastery and her illuminating response to the world. Kazim Ali’s carefully crafted Icarus is an ethereal meditation on the human spirit. Jena Osman’s Public Figures employs a hybrid form of poetry, prose, and found text to explore memory and remembrance in American culture.



[

1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Room 111, Plaza Level
S190. Document-Based Sources of Inquiry. (Allison Wigen, Patricia Kirkpatrick, Sally Keith, Jody Gladding, Arlene Kim) Poets will discuss the ways in which document-based sources inform the writing process. Works of art, “texts” found in nature, brain maps, and fairy tales are among the “source documents” of interest to the panelists. Though art, nature, and narrative have inspired poets for centuries, in their recent works, these poets have utilized document-based sources in unexpected ways. This craft discussion will offer panel attendees fresh approaches to incorporating found sources into the writing process

or

Room 306, Level 3
S204. How to Lose Friends and Alienate Loved Ones: Exploitation vs. Documentation in Creative Nonfiction. (B.J. Hollars, Roxane Gay, Marcia Aldrich, Ryan Van Meter, Bonnie J. Rough) Not every story is flattering, nor is every character. Nevertheless, nonfiction writers continue to document their lives and the lives of others, often at the risk of violating personal relationships. How should writers navigate between revealing the true nature of their subjects without alienating the people themselves? Join four writers as they explore the fine line between documentation and exploitation, among other ethical dilemmas inherent in writing of friends, family, and loved ones.



[

8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Hynes Ballroom, Level 3
S264. Academy of American Poets Presents Lucie Brock-Broido and Anne Carson. (Lucie Brock-Broido, Anne Carson, Jennifer Benka) Award-winning poet Lucie Brock-Broido, author of Trouble in Mind, and acclaimed poet, essayist, and translator Anne Carson, author of Autobiography of Red, present readings from their respective work to be followed by a discussion moderated by Jennifer Benka, Executive Director of the Academy of American Poets.

[

10:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight

Sheraton Boston Hotel, Constitution Ballroom, Level 2
S266. AWP Public Reception & Dance Party, Sponsored by Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department & Story Week. A dance party with music by DJ Neza. Free beer and wine from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Cash bar from 11:00 p.m. to midnight.

March 8, 2013; AWP Boston



9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Room 103, Plaza Level
F106. Post-Genre Lit: Form in the 21st Century. (Lacy M. Johnson, Nick Flynn, Lidia Yuknavitch, Kazim Ali, Stephen Elliott) An increasing body of literature not only blurs the boundaries between creative and critical, prose and verse, observation and invention, but also transcends and transgresses our most basic convictions about genre. Postgenre lit can alter our conversations about perception, experience, and reality; or it can kindle deep-seated animosities about the rules and limits of form. These divergent writers will discuss how they read, teach, write, and publish work that defies classification.

or

Room 109, Plaza Level
F111. Poetry of Resistance: Poets Responding to Xenophobia and Injustice. (Odilia Galván Rodríguez, Carmen Calatayud, Elena Díaz Björkquist, Andrea Hernandez Holm) In response to AZ SB 1070, in 2010 a Facebook page titled Poets Responding to SB 1070 was born. It has become a lively forum of poetics and politics involving a response of over two thousand poems. Panelists will discuss the success of the project, an upcoming anthology, and how social movements can incorporate poetry and writing into their organizing in order to bring about political awareness and empowerment. Presenters will read from poetry submissions and from their own work.


or


Room 110, Plaza Level
F112. Progression by Digression: Multiple Narrative Lines in Creative Nonfiction. (Deborah Lott, Peter Trachtenberg, Paul Lisicky, Hope Edelman) Laurence Sterne’s iconoclastic 1760 novel, Tristram Shandy, can be seen as a forebear to contemporary works of creative nonfiction. In this panel, four writers of CNF look at works that also progress via digression with their main narrative arcs illuminated, enhanced, commented on, and deepened by other threads. They’ll examine how seemingly digressive narrative lines can open up a work’s temporal frame, enlarge its perspective, provide metaphoric resonance, and add to its intellectual complexity.

[


10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Room 104, Plaza Level
F135. This Is Not a Cigar: The Uses of Therapy in a Writing Workshop. (Diana Joseph, Geoff Herbach, Sue William Silverman, Kerry Cohen, Sam Ligon) Writing teachers often dismiss therapy’s place in workshop, equating it with navel-gazing, at odds with critical thinking. The writers on this panel think the word “therapy,” while highly charged, is widely misunderstood. We will discuss how we successfully appropriate selective practices of therapy, exploring theories borrowed from existential psychology, as well as ethical concerns faced when working with vulnerable students. Which elements work while maintaining the focus on creating art?

or

Room 200, Level 2
F142. Essaying the Essay. (David Lazar, Phillip Lopate, David Shields, Lia Purpura, Reda Bensmaïa) This panel will speak to the essentially self-reflective nature of the essay: the ways essays have, historically, insistently talked about themselves. All the panelists have work in the newly released anthology Essaying the Essay, from Welcome Table Press, which presents essays on the essay from Montaigne to the present; they will read portions of their work and reflect/revise ways their views of the essay have modified over time.


[

12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m.

Room 111, Plaza Level
F170. 1963: 50 Years Later. (Jeffrey McDaniel, Rachel Zucker, Thomas Lux, Amy Gerstler) 1963 was a year of crossroads and convergences in American poetry, a year that not only confirms American poetry’s lineage, but also highlights the various directions American poetry would go in the coming decades. Five contemporary poets discuss vital books published or written in ’63, including The Moving Target (Merwin), Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law (Rich), The Branch Will Not Break (James Wright), Ariel (Plath), and books by Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Creeley, Anne Sexton, WC Williams, and others.

or

Room 204, Plaza Level
F175. Open the Door: How to Excite Young People About Poetry. (Dorothea Lasky, Michael Cirelli, Martin Farawell, Terry Blackhawk, Eileen Myles) Contributors to a new book focused on exciting young people about poetry will talk about their experiences with such poetry programs as InsideOut Literary Arts Project and the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival and Poetry Program. The discussion will provide hands-on advice to those interested in creating poetry programming for kids both in classrooms and in nontraditional settings, and will cover topics such as what to expect, how to plan, and where to find poetry resources.

or

Room 208, Level 2
F178. A Congeries of Voices: Vernacular and Diction in Contemporary Poetry. (Carmen Gimenez Smith, Joanna Fuhrman, Samuel Amadon, Lara Glenum, Rodrigo Toscano) Many contemporary poets appropriate the lexicon and syntax of foreign or marginal languages, often adopting the slang of a particular historical moment. These linguistic choices may be charged with political or cultural resistance, or they may be purely aesthetic. This panel will discuss the various possibilities and implications of appropriating and subverting foreign or marginal dictions in poems and what these explorations mean to the future of poetry.

or

Room 210, Level 2
F180. The Urge Toward Memoir. (Elisabeth Schmitz, Jill Kneerim, Michael Thomas, Jeanette Winterson, Lily King) Novelists Jeanette Winterson, Emily Raboteau, Michael Thomas, agent Jill Kneerim, and editor Elisabeth Schmitz discuss the writer’s urge toward memoir. What defines memoir and is it any more “true” or less creative a process than fiction? Panelists will talk about a favorite memoir and the forms they invented for their own.

[

1:30 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.

Room 101, Plaza Level
F190. Options of the I: The Post-Memoir Memoir. (Alex Lemon, Lia Purpura, Brian Christian, Nin Andrews) AGNI marks its 40th birthday with an exploration of personal writing in the age of the complexified I. Panelists will consider issues of obliquity, fragmentation, collage, and counterpoint, truth-telling, personae, tonal ventriloquism, and other approaches that conduce to projecting new configurations of the contemplative and narrative self. Moderated by Sven Birkerts.



[

3:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m


Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Level 2
F219. Don DeLillo & Dana Spiotta: A Reading and Conversation, Sponsored by The Center for Fiction. (Noreen Tomassi, Don DeLillo, Dana Spiotta) Celebrated novelists Don DeLillo, author of Underworld, Libra, and White Noise, and Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia, present readings, to be followed by a discussion moderated by Noreen Tomassi, Executive Director of the Center for Fiction

or

Room 109, Plaza Level
F228. The Arcadia Project: Writing the Postmodern Pastoral. (Joshua Corey, Brenda Iijima, Dan Beachy-Quick, Jennifer Moxley, Jonathan Skinner) The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral is a groundbreaking new anthology from Ahsahta Press of contemporary poems that interrogate, refurbish, and upend the American pastoral tradition of Emerson and Thoreau. Four poets represented in the book discuss their work and explore the relevance of the ancient genre of idealized nature poetry to a world increasingly dominated by the discourse of disaster and environmental crisis


[

4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.


Room 206, Level 2
F266. Bring Out Your Dead: Writing Ghosts (and Zombies) in Literary Fiction. (Rebecca Makkai, Tea Obreht, Lauren Groff, Dan Chaon, Alexi Zentner) The ghost story thrives in literary fiction as well as the oral tradition, defying genre. How do we keep these compelling tales fresh? How do we frighten without resorting to cheap tricks? How do we navigate the borders between spirituality, science, doubt, and a reliable narrative voice? And why are we drawn to these themes again and again? Five writers introduce you to their ghosts and tell you how they summoned them.

or

Room 208, Level 2
F268. The Bible, Women, and American Literature. (Virginia Gilbert, Sena Jeter Naslund, Kelly Cherry, Alicia Ostriker, Grace Bauer) From the Pilgrim Fathers through Dickinson, Melville, Hemingway, and beyond, the Bible has been a major source for American writers. It is also constantly referred to in the national debates on women’s roles in society. How do women today contribute to this tradition which is both literary and political? Five women writers who use Bible-based themes transformatively in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction will discuss their own and others’ work and invite audience discussion.
[

10:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight

Sheraton Boston Hotel, Constitution Ballroom, Level 2
F287. AWP Public Reception & Dance Party, Sponsored by Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department & Story Week. A dance party with music by DJ Neza. Free beer and wine from 10:00 to 11:00 p.m. Cash bar from 11:00 p.m. to midnight.





Friday, December 14, 2012

March 7, 2013; AWP Boston




9:00 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Room 206, Level 2
R117. Writing Masculinities. (Samuel Ace, Thomas McBee, Brandon Shimoda, Farid Matuk, Rickey Laurentiis) This panel will offer a cross-genre/cross-sexuality/cross-gendered reading, with discussion to follow, about the interweave of the (other than) masculine in one’s work by writers who use “he” but put the “he” in question. Panelists will read from work that reimagines the landscape of the masculine, directly or obliquely, through a dense exploration of subject matter and language, while raising important questions about how masculinity is defined and what it represents


or

Room 208, Level 2
R119. Religion and Stories: Heretics and Humanists Shift the Perspective. (Mary Johnson, Alan Lightman, Rebecca Goldstein, Donna Johnson, Kristen Wolf) These writers, though not conventionally religious, use religion to explore reality. One novelist creates a physics-bound god (and his Aunt Penelope), another structures a novel using arguments against God, and a third imagines Jesus as a woman. The memoirists demystify Mother Teresa, and recall a childhood under gospel tents. Join them for a frank discussion of issues (creative, cultural, moral, and legal) involved when writers use what others regard as sacred to illuminate the human condition.


[

10:30 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Room 208, Level 2
R145. The Artist as Activist: On Seeing and Saving the Natural World. (Tom Montgomery Fate, Elizabeth Dodd, Jennifer Sahn, Jeffrey S. Cramer, John T. Price) In the 19th century, inspired by Emerson’s essay, Nature, Henry David Thoreau initiated a tradition of the nature writer as observer-artist. Today, that tradition continues, but amid a natural world that has been nearly devastated by our own species. This panel of writers and editors will explore the evolving role of the nature writer as artist and activist—how seeing the world and saving the world are part of the same work.


[

12:00 noon to 1:15 p.m.

Room 107, Plaza Level
R162. A Monster for Your Bridegroom: Jewish Mysticism in Contemporary Poetry. (Sheri Allen, Tony Barnstone, Jacqueline Osherow, Joy Ladin, Yehoshua November) A complex Jewish mystical tradition threaded with erotic elements has been a generous source of material appropriated by poets such as Allen Ginsberg amid the sexual and social revolutions of the 20th century. But in a current cultural milieu, which often associates religion with repressive violence and antagonism toward sexual exploration, how do poets make use of this erotic mysticism to speak to contemporary experience?

or

Room 109, Plaza Level
R164. Epistolophilia: Using Letters and Diaries in Creative Nonfiction. (Julija Sukys, Elsie K. Neufeld, Gabrielle Burton, Joan Sohn, Shannon McFerran) Each panel participant has used collections of letters and diaries to write nonfiction. Topics for discussion that have arisen for us in our work will include: What are the challenges of having a handful of letters to draw on versus mountains of them? What is the role of chronology in this kind of work? How do we fill in the gaps that personal writings inevitably leave? What is the author’s responsibility to her subject? What possibilities open up when working with such rich visual material?

or

Room 312, Level 3
R184. Prose and Verse Consubstantial: The New Mixed Form. (Peter Streckfus, Joshua Marie Wilkinson, C.D. Wright, Carole Maso, Julie Carr) Prose is our culture’s default for narrative. Writing organized by the poetic line is our default for lyric expression. This panel presents writers who, in lieu of erasing the boundaries between the paragraph and the line, alternate both forms in the same work. Authors will read from their own mixed-form work and discuss precedents from the rich history of the mixed form, ranging from Zukofsky’s “A” to Basho’s Narrow Road. How can mixed form serve the poet? The novelist?
[


4:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Room 109, Plaza Level
R252. Poetry and/as Play. (Kristi Maxwell, Cathy Park Hong, Kevin McFadden, Kiki Petrosino, Joshua Ware) From the frequently disdained pun to constraint-based challenges that require writers to play with letters and words, forms of play often emerge in poems. Four poets will discuss ways of using play to generate material, along with the value of play in their own writing. They will address the ways that play can invigorate writing practices and change a writer’s relationship to language and composition, increasing his or her understanding of language’s possibilities and abundances.

or

Room 209, Level 2
R263. Bending Genre. (Margot Singer, Nicole Walker, Robin Hemley, Dave Madden) The hot debate over ethics in creative nonfiction has sidelined important questions of literary form. Hybrid, innovative, and unconventional, nonfiction is arguably the most exciting area on the literary scene today. But how does nonfiction actually work? How does it recombine and transform elements of other genres? What techniques distinguish nonfiction from other kinds of prose? Contributors to a groundbreaking new anthology of critical essays share their perspectives and ideas


[

8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Veterans Memorial Auditorium, Level 2
R277. AWP 2013 Keynote, A Conversation Between Nobel Laureates Seamus Heaney and Derek Walcott, moderated by Rosanna Warren, Sponsored by Bath Spa University. (Rosanna Warren, Seamus Heaney, Derek Walcott) Celebrated poet and translator Seamus Heaney is the author of more than twenty volumes of poetry, essays, and translations, including Opened Ground; District and Circle, winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize; Human Chain; and Finders Keepers: Selected Prose 1971-2001. Poet, playwright, and essayist Derek Walcott is the author of eight collections of plays, a book of essays, and fourteen poetry collections, including Omeros, Tiepolo's Hound, and most recently, White Egrets. Playwright and novelist Steve May, Director of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, will introduce the two Nobel Prize-winning poets, who will present readings of their work. A discussion will follow, moderated by the poet and critic Rosanna Warren, author of Ghost in a Red Hat.


[

10:00 p.m. to 12:00 midnight

Sheraton Boston Hotel, Constitution Ballroom, Level 2
R279. AWP Public Reception & Dance Party, Sponsored by Columbia College Chicago Fiction Writing Department & Story Week. A dance party with music by DJ Neza. Free beer and wine from 10:00 p.m. to midnight.
 
 












Thursday, December 6, 2012

Stories of Diversity: A Call for Your Story

As Washburn’s First Year Experience is revising its textbook, The Washburn University Diversity Initiative (WUDI) is helping with a chapter on diversity. It is our plan to feature stories from the Washburn Community as a way to introduce ourselves and our diverse backgrounds to first-year students. As Washburn defines diversity broadly to encompass gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, religion, and national origin, our students make up a diverse community—each with a story to tell. In addition, we are also looking for students who “grew up” privileged to share their stories of when they first became aware of their privileged background.  

We encourage you to share your story!

All Washburn students, staff, faculty, and administration—the Washburn Community at-large—are invited to submit their stories for publication. In addition, these stories may be used for future FYE textbooks. All rights revert back to writers. Previously published stories will be accepted, with note of where the piece first appeared.   Please e-mail your story as a non-attachment text to WUDI Committee Member Dennis Etzel Jr. at dennis [dot] etzel [at] washburn [dot] edu. All stories will be considered for the next textbook or for future textbooks.

Deadline: December 15, 2012  

The Washburn University Diversity Initiative’s Mission: To honor the Washburn University commitment to respect, embrace, enhance and celebrate diversity at all levels of the University and surrounding communities through faculty, staff, student and administrative efforts and community partnerships.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Reading at Washburn University today

Today, I had the pleasure of reading with KL Barron and Israel Wasserstein. One of my students made a recording of my reading. Here it is!

video

Monday, November 12, 2012

A terrific day

Joe Harrington visited my creative writing class today. Afterwards, we went to Porubsky's for chili. Then later, I picked up Ben Cartwright to carpool to the C.A. Conrad reading. Overall, a wonderful day of poetry! Too tired to write anymore about it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

AWP interests

Post-Genre Lit: Form in the 21st Century. (Lacy M. Johnson, Nick Flynn, Claudia Rankine, Kazim Ali, Stephen Elliott) An increasing body of literature not only blurs the boundaries between creative and critical, prose and verse, observation and invention, but also transcends and transgresses our most basic convictions about genre. Post-genre lit can alter our conversations about perception, experience, and reality; or it can kindle deep-seated animosities about the rules and limits of form. These divergent writers will discuss how they read, teach, write and publish work that defies classification.

[

Feminism Meets Neo-Benshi: Movietelling Talks Back. (Sarah Rosenthal, Tracie Morris, Bhanu Kapil, Paolo Javier, Jennifer Firestone) Neo-benshi, also called movietelling, meets contemporary feminism in this panel where poets co-opt popular film and subvert its plots and purposes for their own. The panelists have rewritten film scripts to critique and respond to current social issues. Panelists will perform these short pieces, which explore Neo-benshi’s potential for feminist dialogue and collaboration as well as its capacity to talk back, as it were, to society at large.

[

Options of the I: The Post-Memoir Memoir. (Sven Birkerts, Lia Purpura, Brian Christian, Nin Andrews, Alex Lemon) AGNI marks its 40th birthday with an exploration of personal writing in the age of the complexified I. Panelists Lia Purpura, Brian Christian, Nin Andrews, and Alex  Lemon (with moderator Sven Birkerts) will consider issues of obliquity, fragmentation, collage and counterpoint, truth-telling, personae, tonal ventriloquism, and other approaches that conduce to projecting new configurations of the contemplative and narrative self.

[

Bending Genre. (Margot Singer, Nicole Walker, Robin Hemley, Dave Madden, Ander Monson) The hot debate over ethics in creative nonfiction has sidelined important questions of literary form. Hybrid, innovative, and unconventional, nonfiction is arguably the most exciting area on the literary scene today. But how does nonfiction actually work? How does it recombine and transform elements of other genres? What techniques distinguish nonfiction from other kinds of prose? Contributors to a groundbreaking new anthology of critical essays share their perspectives and ideas.

[

Wesleyan Poetry Series Reading. (Stephanie Elliott, Rae Armantrout, Kazim Ali, Annie Finch, Jena Osman) Readings from the newest titles in the Wesleyan Poetry series. Rae Armantrout’s Just Saying continues her standard of inventive, tightly written verse. Spells: New and Collected Poems represents Annie Finch’s technical mastery and her illuminating response to the world. Kazim Ali’s carefully crafted Icarus is an ethereal meditation on the human spirit. Jena Osman’s Public Figures employs a hybrid form of poetry, prose, and found text to explore memory and remembrance in  American culture.

[

The Arcadia Project: Writing the Postmodern Pastoral. (Joshua Corey, Brenda Iijima, Dan Beachy-Quick, Jennifer Moxley, Jonathan Skinner) The Arcadia Project: North American Postmodern Pastoral is a groundbreaking new anthology from Ahsahta Press of contemporary poems that interrogate, refurbish, and upend the American pastoral tradition of Emerson and Thoreau. Four poets represented in the book discuss their work and explore the relevance of the ancient genre of idealized nature poetry to a world increasingly dominated by the discourse of disaster and environmental crisis.

[

A Monster for Your Bridegroom: Jewish Mysticism in Contemporary Poetry. (Sheri Allen, Peter Cole, Willis Barnstone, Joy Ladin, Jacqueline Osherow) A complex Jewish mystical tradition threaded with erotic elements has been a generous source of material appropriated by poets such as Allen Ginsberg amid the sexual and social revolutions of the 20th century. But in a current cultural milieu which often associates religion with repressive violence and antagonism toward sexual exploration, how do poets make use of this erotic mysticism to speak to contemporary experience?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Topeka-Based Poetry Events

November 28, 2012
Karen Barron, Israel Wasserstein, and Dennis Etzel Jr.
4:00pm
Washburn University
Mabee Library

December 7, 2012
This reading features experimental and hybrid forms by writers from around Topeka: Cal Phoenix, John McClenny, M, Elise Barnett, Eddie Foree, Dorian Hadley, Tori Willmon, and Tess Wilson.
7:00pm
Blue Planet Cafe

A visit to Grolier Poetry Book Store

One of the three all-poetry bookstores in the USA, Grolier is the last I need to visit. I've been to Open Books in Seattle, to Innisfree in Boulder, and, now, trips on the subway during AWP will be a highlight.

http://goo.gl/maps/PF4b6

Yes, I love bookstores!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Docupoems by African American Poets

I'm amazed how facebook allows discussions like these. Thanks, Joe, for putting this out there.

[


Joseph Harrington

OK - so I'm teaching a course on "Documentary Poetry" next semester - a seminar for senior honors students. I want to teach docupoems by African American poets. I'm thinking about Cecil Giscombe, but am worried he might fry them. I could do Don't Let Me Be Lonely. Other ideas?

Mark Wallace Too obvious, of course, and not recent: Langston Hughes, "Montage of a Dream Deferred," and Melvin Tolson, Harlem Gallery.

Joseph Harrington You're right, Mark - I think I'm going to include at least one of those.

Dennis EtzelJr Don't Let Me Be Lonely! Love that one. How about the latest Kevin Young one around the Amistad?

Joseph Harrington O right - have you read it, Dennis?

Dennis EtzelJr No, I haven't. I remember how different it looks. Less like his stanzas, more like documents, letters.

Catherine Daly though it would be a shame to do young's Amistad without Barbara Chase-Ribaud...

Dennis EtzelJr Nice!

Ben Friedlander If you are including Rukeyser, might be good to add Robert Hayden's "Middle Passage," which drew on her Amistad research. There's also Gwendolyn Brooks's "verse journalism," her poem "In Montgomery," first published in a special issue of Ebony on the state of the South. I suspect you could fit Jay Wright in too, if you like his work, as an instance of Dogon research.

Jena Osman don't know if you can include Caribbean: Trench Town Rock by Kamau Brathwaite

Jena Osman and for Tolson you might want to try his Libretto for the Republic of Liberia

Catherine Daly Cesaire

Jena Osman again, not American (as in U.S.), but certainly addressing issues of race: Nourbese Philip's Zong

Michele Battiste Camille Dungy's Suck on the Marrow

Michele Battiste Tyehimba Jess's Leadbelly

Ben Friedlander Thinking too that the documentary status of African American poetry has been at issue from Wheatley on, which ought to be addressed. And in that light would propose God's Trombones as exemplary: it's documentary in method while making a case for the sermon's own status as document.

Rosa Alcala Yes, Jena Osman, Trench Town Rock, although its Caribbean. And Natasha Trethewey. I even want to put Mullen's S*PeRM**K*T in there.

Rosa Alcala it's

Rosa Alcala I think Ben's right, and to consider Hughes' work as documentary is to delve into matters of" "authenticity" vs. artistic expression/representation.

Rosa Alcala I want to take your class, Joe!

Joseph Harrington These are great ideas, folks! Thank you! Ben, hadn't known re: the Rukeyser/Hayden connection - definitely doing Book of the Dead, maybe Mediterraneo. But Jay Wright? His stuff fries *me* (tho I like the sound of it quite a bit). And excellent point Re: Af-Am poetry (lit.) being taken *as* documentary. Jena - yeah, those are on my short-list. But I also have an eye on this NEH seminar we're having this summer re: teaching African-American poetry (per se). Michele - thanks for mentioning Suck on the Marrow as a docupoem - that was one I was thinking of. More voice-based than most stuff I'm doing, but that's precisely what's at issue, in that book. Rosa - why S*perM*k*t as docupo? B/c of the lyrics, ads, etc?

Joseph Harrington My cup runneth over! I'm running to get another cup! Keep 'em comin!

Rosa Alcala I know it's a stretch, but I'm thinking of the ways it documents this commercial space. Of course, it's not investigative in the usual sense, in its direct or collaged use of sources. But, I wouldn't consider Hughes' Montage investigative or documentary.

Lee Chapman What do you mean Giscombe might fry them? He's an excellent docupoem proponent. Would frying them be a good thing or a bad thing?

Sarah Fox Zong is amazing, I second that, and have taught parts of it with great success.

Susan Schweik I've taught Cecil's "Indianapolis, Indiana" to nonmajors even. With a lot of framing about the Tribe of Ishmael. Very fun. Even did it again.

Joseph Harrington Thanks, Sue!! I was looking for some encouragement. I'm thinking honors students here = regular students at Berkeley, in terms of prep. Do you have any resources re: Tribe of Ishmael that you'd recommend?

Susan Schweik I've got something unpublished written on it I can send you!

Joseph Harrington Thanks!!

Don Byrd Paul Metcalf

Goro Takano Wish I could take your course, Joe.

Dale Martin Smith Lorenzo Thomas--Dancing on Main Street--Chances Are Few, etc

Dale Martin Smith Also M. Nourbese Philips' ZONG

Aldon Lynn Nielsen http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/11/nyregion/amiri-baraka-newark-poet-looks-back-on-a-bloody-week-in-1967.html?_r=0

Aldon Lynn Nielsen I hadn't jumped in yet because I wasn't clear from the comments how people were defining "documentary" -- but if Montage of a Dream Deferred qualifies, then certainly Baraka's WISE does. And check out that piece in today's NY TIMES.

Rachel Blau DuPlessis There's something about the few prose poems by Fenton Johnson that might help out here.

Joseph Harrington I'm not sure I've ever read them, Rachel - book?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Upcoming poetry events

Sunday, October 14

Daniel A. Hoyt and Kellie Wells
5:00 pm
Eighth Street Taproom, 19 E. Eighth St., Lawrence, KS

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Hadara Bar-Nadav, John Gallaher, and Elizabeth Clark Wessel
7:00 pm
A Common Sense Reading Series, Cara and Cabezas Contemporary, 1714 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Neil Shepard and Kevin Prufer
7:00 pm
The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tracy K. Smith (2012 Pulitzer Prize in Poetry)
7:00 pm
Rockhurst University, 54th Street and Troost, Kansas City, MO

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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Jim McCray and David Ohle
4:00 pm
A Common Sense Reading Series, Cara and Cabezas Contemporary, 1714 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bayard Godsave and George McCormick
7:00 pm
A Common Sense Reading Series, Cara and Cabezas Contemporary, 1714 Holmes Street, Kansas City, MO

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Jacqueline Guidry and Lisa Moritz
8:00 pm
The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO

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Monday, November 12, 2012

CA Conrad
7:00 pm
The Commons (Spooner Hall), The University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Janice Gould
4:00 pm
Kansas State University's Little Theatre, Student Union, Manhattan, KS

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Hadara Bar-Nadav and Kathryn Nuernberger 
7:00 pm
The Writers Place, 3607 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chandra Dickson and Brenda Sieczkowski
5:00 pm
Eighth Street Taproom, 19 E. Eighth St., Lawrence, KS

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Valzhyna Mort
7:00 pm
Rockhurst University, 54th Street and Troost, Kansas City, MO ($3 at the door. No one will be turned away for lack of funds.)

The setting

The setting should be: Topeka, Kansas

The history should be included, in interludes

Including LGBT rights, and AT&SF matters

The time is now

Fence Modern Prose Prize

Dear Friends,

Fence Books announces a new book contest, the Fence Modern Prose Prize, which awards $2,500 plus publication to a book-length work of prose. In 2013 the prize will be awarded to a novel.

We will be accepting entries during the month of November 2012. The submission fee is $28, and all entrants will receive a complimentary subscription to Fence. The winning manuscript will be published in the spring of 2014.

The inaugural Fence Modern Prose Prize will be judged by Rivka Galchen. Galchen's stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The Believer, Harper's, and elsewhere. Her novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, was published in 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and was named a finalist for Canada's 2008 Governor General's Award. She currently teaches at Columbia University. Galchen is guest fiction editor of Fence's Fall 2012 issue, due out mid-November.
The Fence Modern Poets Series will be running in February of 2013 as per usual.

Please forward this announcement to all interested parties. Please direct any inquiries to robfence at gmail dot com.

Best,

Fence Books Editors

Things for my Antinovel

Not only will the story revolve around parents who divorce, the mother coming out and meeting another woman, and the son marrying a wife, but there should be the mother-in-law as tension. Also, a couple whose genders are unknown. "The one met another, as simple as that. They married in Ohio."

Other search phrases:
how they met, how my parents met, how we met, how my grandparents met

Other websites:
Jack Wu http://www.jpwu.info/index.html

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Birthers versus Homebirthers

A Homebirther is someone who knows the truth about homebirths. A Birther is someone who doubts the President was born.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

NaAntinoWriMo

I plan on writing my Antinovel during NaNoWriMo in November.

Here are activities, either way. I plan on infiltrating.

Mark your calendars -- NaNoWriMo 2012 events for Topeka KS
**If you would like to co-host any of these events, please email Lissa to volunteer!**
BOOK LAUNCH PARTY for 2012 Community Novel Project (featuring MANY Topeka wrimo writers!)
3-4 pm, Sunday, September 30, 2012 Marvin Auditorium, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library
More here, including full text of novel and how to get involved next year: http://www.tscpl.org/community-novel
PREWRITING EVENTS
30 Days of PreWriting
Get started on planning your novel with this free ebook from D.L. Rose to guide you through the process. Discuss techniques with other fiction writers.
7-8 pm, Monday, October 1, Marvin Auditorium 101C, Topeka Public Library
Plot Outlines, Scenes and Dialogue
Review some basics of writing fiction. Discuss techniques with other fiction writers.
7-8 pm, Monday, October 15, Marvin Auditorium 101C, Topeka Public Library
KICKOFF EVENTS
How to Write a Novel in 30 Days
7-8 pm, Monday, October 29, Marvin 101BC
Fun and helpful advice from former participants, plus official swag (stickers) from NaNo headquarters and other inspiring goodies to get you through the month.
VIRTUAL KICKOFF—AND OTHER THINGS TO DO
Post encouragement and tips at Nanowrimo.org under the Kansas :: Topeka forums and join the Facebook group: Topeka Wrimos -- 50,000 words in 30 days.
Tell everyone you know, online and in real life, that you are preparing to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Invite them to do it too. The more the merrier and everyone can win!
COME WRITE IN: WRITE-A-THONS
Participants meet to add to their daily word count, compete in word wars, take writing dares and further their plots. Bring laptops for a creative and frantic writing session to help boost word counts.
1-5 pm, Sunday, November 4 Anton Room 204, Topeka Public Library
1-5 pm, Sunday, November 18 Menninger Room 206, Topeka Public Library
CAFFEINATE AND CHAT
Socialize with other NaNoWriMo writers, share ideas to get unstuck, grab a bite to eat and get inspired and caffeinated for more writing. (Then go write!)
6-7 pm, Wednesday, November 7
6-7 pm, Wednesday, November 14
Classic Bean, 21st and Fairlawn
FINISH LINE CELEBRATION Thank God It’s Over! Celebrate your amazing accomplishment with other writers before you return to your boring slow-paced post-NaNo life. 2-3 pm, Saturday, December 1 Millennium Café, Topeka Public Library
Contact Lissa Staley for more information
lysistratagirl@yahoo.com or estaley@tscpl.org
Visit the regional forums: http://nanowrimo.org/en/regions/usa-kansas-topeka

NaAntinoWriMo

"The novel is dead. Long live the antinovel, built from scraps." --#327 from Reality Hunger by David Shields.

Erasure and boundaries

As a student of mine is against erasure, noting how it is taking someone's words and altering/removing them, I was reminded how I hold this rule in writing workshops--that no one can mark through words as a means of saying "omit this."

Maybe the boundary is the difference between a work in progress and an artistic endevour on an existing work?

Maybe the omission is against a writer "we don't like?" I'm thinking The O MISSION REPO and Voyager.

Or an archaic piece, one like RA DI OS?

I'm going to go back to The Believer article from the beginning of this year to get another look.

Sound poets via facebook via Anne Boyer

Anne Boyer besides tracie morris and christian bok, other interesting contemporary sound poets?

Hanna Andrews caroline bergvall!
Anne Boyer totally, how could I leave her out.
Carmel Purkis Phil Minton, jwcurry, Paul Dutton, Jaap Blonk, Leevi Lehto ... will think of more ...
Carmel Purkis Angela Rawlings!
Valerie Loveland Everyone mentioned poets I already thought of. I am commenting so I can keep up with what everyone says.
Bob Holman Edwin Torres, Stephen Smith, Charlie Morrow, Jerome Rothenberg, Alurista
Lisa Robertson Stacy Doris-- her hour long sound piece (opera really) for Radio France, Parlement. And our work together as The Perfume Recordist. And up in Vancouver Catriona Strang.
Erin Lyndal Martin What about Alexis O'Hara? She's kind of a poet and of a musician. Plus she does sound installation artists. (If you want more info, I interviewed her here: http://euterpesnotebook.com/ellipsis-and-the-speakerbox-igloo-the-alexis-ohara-interview/)
Trisha Low a. rawlings and m. jantar's collabos are incredible - also jordan scott re: the stutter& traitorous bodies
Nada Gordon jap blonk!
Nada Gordon o, someone already said...
Stephanie Young jordan scott
Buck Downs Chris Mason
Kasey Mohammad Bonnie Jones
Janet Holmes Heidi Lynn Staples
Harold Abramowitz Mathew Timmons :)
Michael Sikkema michael sikkema
Johannes Göransson http://www.actionyes.org/issue16/eskildsen-rinne/eskildsen-rinne1.html
ACTION YES Online Quarterly
Bill Luoma Hazel Smith
Michael Sikkema Mike Basinski
CA Conrad Cris Cheek. He's amazing!!
Taylor Brady I don't know whether she calls herself a sound poet, but I'd put http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ute-Wassermann/160958007265285?ref=ts in this grouping if we're going to include Phil Minton (mentioned above). Also, at least on occasion, Geraldine Monk. And Wendy Kramer.
Asher Lewis not trad sound poetry, but search out & hear Sarah Dowling read from Security Posture, particularly snd particles from "Starlight Tour"--will make you a believer (in the oral)
Anne Boyer ok, this is fantastic. I'm just going to give my students this entire thread.
Karen Weiser Me too!
Brenda Iijima oh, Julie Patten!!
Cris Cheek danny snelson

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Misogyny in assignments

I'm coming to realize I am changing my stance on how to deal with students who say or write things that would offend, harrass, etc. others. Often, I ask someone to leave the room and have a conference with that student. However, maybe bringing up a discussion first, especially when considering writing, allows for all voices to be heard around how we read, interpret, respond, etc. to issues. After all, for many students, it is their first true chance to be heard, as well as share beliefs without exposure to other beliefs.

The person who brought up the incident:
A student submits (what appears to be) a rap w/misogynistic lines for a poetry workshop. What to do about it, w/o wrecking the workshop?
 
One of the best responses:
I've had this happen. In one class, long ago, women students lingered after the final class of the semester and set about burning a misogynist poem that had been workshopped! I'd lean toward business as usual, but first of all talking about the possibility of people (uh, that would be women) getting triggered, saying that people are free to leave anytime in any class if the subject matter is triggering them, then taking a strong stand yourself, expressing your own point of view on the poem strongly at the point where it seems right, keeping the discussion focused on the poem not the writer, talking about whether there are limits on what should be presented in a classroom, whether context and audience matter, just repeatedly emphasizing that your job is to watch their backs but also not to censor them, and then following up by bringing in some poetry that talks back to the issues in the poem and perhaps doing that for other students' poems as well. And talking to him in private, before and after.
 
My final response:
Thanks for this discussion! I'm coming to realize the open discussion approach--the learning experience--allows for that dialogue that rarely happens outside of a campus.
 
My previous responses had to do with protecting students. I made many posts. I hadn't realized how much the previous issue from last month affected me.

Friday, September 7, 2012

"I TALK, TALK, I TALK to you"

I am a TALK scholar for the Kansas Humanities Council and last night was my first TALK Book Discussion, held in Bonner Springs. Kim, the director, is doing amazing work there! The overall theme for this season is the 1930's, so we covered All the King's Men.

It was a warm reception, truly, and thirteen people joined for the discussion. I want to thank all of the people: Ramona, Sharon, Ted, Mike, Sarah, Joann, Jane, John, Twila, Karen, Carol, Donna, and Donna's husband! I still need to know his name!

That was a funny way to start, as Donna said she lost her husband--once in a conversation and secondly during introductions. She said he had read the book, too. I offered my sympathy, thinking she had lost him recently, but it was the lost, as in "he's around here somewhere" lost, and not the "lost" widowed sense. I noted my relief.

Overall, KHC is an amazing organization that truly fits the mission, as they "promote understanding of the history, traditions, and iideas that shape our lives and strengthen our communities." It was a pleasure to discuss how the novel truly applies to our lives, too, and to see a community come together via a book.

Thank you, Kim, for your invitation!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

1913 First Book Prize

I am honored that Rae Armantrout selected me as a finalist. I love Scott McFarland's work (I remember it from DIAGRAM), so I can't wait to read his first book!

http://1913press.blogspot.com/2012/09/1913-prize-results.html

http://thediagram.com/11_6/mcfarland.html


We are delighted to announce that Rae Armantrout has selected  

“O, Human Microphone” by Scott McFarland 

for publication by 1913 Press as winner of 2012’s 1913 Prize for 1st Books!


There were so many wild, wonderful, and truly exquisite submissions, and we thank everyone who entered.

We’d especially like to honor the following 12 finalists, whose first books are exciting news of what’s afoot:

Finalists:

Eric Amling
Junior Clemens
Dennis Etzel Jr.
Leora Fridman
Leif Haven
Lauren Ireland
Drew Krewer
Ji Yoon Lee
Stephanie Luczajko
Athena Nilssen
Andrew Terhune
Elizabeth Clark Wessel

The editors would also like to recognize the following truly wonderful semifinalists whose stunning work stood out in the mix:

Semifinalists:

Stephanie Anderson
Elaine Bleakney
Raymond Johnde Borja
Wendy Burk
Loretta Clodfelter
Thomas Cook
Jeanine Deibel
Jane Gregory
Christine Herzer
Jen Hyde
Steven Karl
Paula Koneazny
M. Mack
Stephen Mead
Juan Daniel Millan
Alexandra Nichols
Frances Justine Post
Afton Wilky

We wish all those who entered the best of luck, and we look forward to reading you in the years to come.

Very best,
1913