Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Ben interviews Cyrus

“An argument with America in the American language, Topeka talk, real time.” --C.D. Wright, about Ben's first book

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Li-Young Lee -- notes from 2004 Indiana University Summer Writers' Conference

In the summer of 2004, I went through many changes, and this IU conference seemed like freedom!

Here are the notes I took in Li-Young Lee's poetry workshop:

Poetry is the highest form of mathematics. It is the mother of mathematics. It is about counting, timing at a deep level.

Poetic mind is the mother of all minds.

Poems try to get to the great "don't know." You dismantle the last poem to get to the next one.


5 parts to a poem: lineation, syntax, diction, argument, and figuration/trope

Poems are the displaced speech of people. Implied by a speaker.

Poetry exists at the limits of the will. Poems are needed when the will breaks down.

Poetry is daemonized (divine) speech. Psyche repressed.

Poetic knowledge is intuitive knowledge of the self's origins.

Poetry enacts the history of speech.

Poetry's language is a model of cognition. Communication is a by-product.
Exploration and cognition. Poetry is saturated in its own source--a double medium. The medium in poetry is also silence, not just language.

Poetry enacts a personal will and is daemonized--the divinization of the will.
You give up a personal will to give in to a greater will. It's like riding a horse that is out of control.

Dickinson--shattered. Leda and the swan--the swan is divine. Sing, muses--the
muses are singing. the human does not speak.
The poet goes to the edge of the mortal will to find the immortal will--it's not theirs.

More consciousness is found in poetry.

List of poets to examine: Frost, Dickinson, Neruda, Lorca, Plath, Ruekyser.


The subvocal range--murmur. Figure and ground give figuration. When the voice speaks, it's conscious of its own ground, which is silence. It is difficult to maintain. Figuration is utterance.

An end stopped line is highly resoled. Enjambment created contradiction, jeopardy, and violence. In Roethke, the contradiction is within the end-stopped line. In Frost, we like to see legitimate danger with rescue.
Roethke: "In a dark time, the eye begins to see." It is end-stopped, but tension is in the middle.

The voice before society is innocence. The voice after society is wisdom. They
meet at the same place (like New Year's Eve).

Every poem claims scriptural authority. Scripture claims its existence from reality itself. Since reality and speech come from the same source, the poem should enact so the reader comes to the conclusion.

Representation is repressing one thing to show another. The best poems also show the oppressed thing. The beauty, with a tinge--to show the whole reality.

The mission is disillusionment--free of illusion. To show primordial reality.

There's only one subject in poetry: death. When we breathe in, our body's filled with life/nutrients, firm. The feeding--the "I" affirmed in silence.
The dying breath, all human speech. The poem is a musical score for speech.
The more I talk, the more meaning gets divulged. Meaning increases in opposite ratio to vitality; meaning increases as life decreases. Speech is a paradigm for living. Our medium is the dying breath. What does it mean? I don't know. But it puts us in jeopardy. The more our work gets heft.

The sense of an "I" has to be undermined to make meaning. The ego must be displaced. Ego = "I" that affirms the body. For meaning, the ego must be lost.
How do we ransom the dying breath? Through different contents in the poem. How
do we get daemonism? By displacing "me"--presence for presence. Disillusioned,
uncovering, apocalyptic--apocalypt--to reveal.

Poetry is daemonized speech. Whitman--America and God. Dickinson--Death, God.

The problem is, it enhances the human figure. Daemonized, divine, but there is
the displacement of the "I."

Jacob and the angel: he leaves everything for solitude. He wrestles the angel
to get a blessing. Jacob becomes Israel--from one to many beings. But he is
crippled by the angel.

Plath--the psyche is manifold. Deep with terror. The human figure is shattered.

The oral is the proving ground for poems, or else it is just writing.

A poem has three bodies:
stressed syllables--heard
unstressed--barely heard
silence--the real body

Like architecture, it's easy to say the materials, but the real medium is space. Vertical infinitude--gothic cathedrals. The mystery is why we don't have the same awe outside. It takes the architect to say "this is your primordial condition."

So the true medium for a poem is silence--we write for the silence at the end.

The psyche has three bodies:
--manifest body
--barely manifest body
--unmanifest body--the real one

Poetry has to be metaphysical--the approach to reality. The poet and audience
are on the horizontal; the daemon is on the vertical. We have gotten rid of daemons, so if we are only social people, where are we? No hope; no equality.
So writing must turn transcendent. Down (Rilke) or up (Dickinson). We need the
daemonized, the spiritual. He works in a warehouse--he has no social attachment, or wants it.


A poet's development crystalizes human development. The cultural dialogue is all horizontal. The canon is horizontal. We need to get past that, to a vertical. The dialogue with death and eternity, not culture.

Language is horizontal. Lineage. Every poem is a form of scripture.
Speech whose origin coincides with the origin of reality. The cosmos is speech.
Vibration is speech.

Precision isn't one-to-one, it's one-to-all. A poem is the locally-inflected voice of the "all." Anything resides in the center of a mandala of a totality, of causes.

Who knows the things that brought the poem? Dickinson--inflects the awe with a
series of words. Not naming everything. Whitman: his math was off. An aesthetic error--he can't count the grass blades. He should have realized "There's a lot of grass here!"

We enact the deepening of the psyche. The audience can experience it.

Interested in being whole vs. being good. We want all three bodies of the poem there. We need a new hierarchy:
psyche -- daemonized and conscious of its source

A poem that discloses this experience. It's not our job to copy the culture--it's to propose a deeper personhood. The interior. The daemonized voice.

If you can see something, it is already past. Like light, words, the immediate past. The night is the deep past. We are falling back at 3 million cells a minute. Breathe in--"thank you." Breathe out--"good bye." So we shouldn't copy the culture. Culture is infinite inwardness with ruthlessness--forget it.


As poets, we belong to the cult of words. The five parts of the poem (line, syntax/sentence, diction, argument, figuration/texture)--our interest depends on these. Interest--inner being.

Reading is a form of libido.

Poem = cosmos
Ground = chaos

We privilege a certain thing. Why do we privilege certain words? Higher figure ratio. The ratio between figure vs. ground is higher in a poem. The blank page is a symbol of pure potential. The poem starts to pull material out of the psyche (psyche = world). There is an integration. There is also a high level of differentiation. It takes on a singularity--"this poem" vs. all other poems. Poems we remember have high figurative ratios. The poem is the figure. The page is the ground.

Poems are paradigms of the psyche. Matches how the mind works.

Language works in relation. A poem is a relationship between daemon/passion and the audience. Not to the audience, but overheard by. The author is a trustee, unnamed. Aware of, but not to.

Genuine mystery is not vague.

Poems bring issues of being and non-being.

To represent something, we oppress another. The crisis is enacted by society. You can't leave out the perceiver.

Writing poems is the supreme form of yoga. Find the center and the poem is the
reverberation. Hard hits equal longer poems. The mandala is a paradigm
of the totality of the poem.

Yoga, from yoke (sanskrit): link, connection, remembrance, bond. Same as religio (Latin). Link to what? Our original condition, sacred, saturated presence. Everything is alive, holy, linked with life, cosmos, cosmic presence. Whatever we do in emembrance is religious. We could sit in a church without yogic condition, without the sacred. Yogic condition is complete presence, openness, gratitude. We use language in its most saturated condition. Poetry is the act of that condition. When we make art, it's yoga.


Three pleasures of poetry:
--felt changes in consciousness (volta)
--archaism, priority, privilege

The difference is figurative ground--post-catastrophic. Poetic speech differentiates itself from other speech. Priority, because it has sources older than itself. All words reference to the absolute word, which is a mystery.

Poetry is a picture of the impeded will. Is there enough impediment? The will has to come up with strategies to say what it has to say: "Sing, muse..." A mortal human cannot speak immortal words. It's an exchange of presence.

Every poem is the first and last poem you will ever write. Every poem has totalization: this is it!

There is a beloved in Western poetry. How does the beloved come off: enhanced, deepened, enlarged? The total beloved should be accounted for.

Music/song is an ordering principle of the universe.

When we are writing a poem, we should never want to write another poem--this is it! A great poem is world-destroying and world-creating. The world before is gone; the world in the poem is what we have. Of course, this is impossible, but it doesn't stop us. The poem will change the whole universe! "Where does the threshold lead you?"

Stanza enacts continuity and discontinuity with breaks.

Intuitive knowledge is the deepest form of knowledge we have.

When something seems red, it is actually everything but red--it absorbs everything except red, which bounces off. Am I representing the thing in the poem? Am I projecting or am I letting the poem talk to me? We participate in re-presentation. We get in a predictiment. Is there any way to represent free of the observation?

The fallacy: all logic is tautological. Rational thinking leads to proof.

Relating to someone:
--purely horizontal (culture), there is no relationship with them
--purely vertical, a mutual divinity, is the only possible relationship

Past the pentameter, something happens. While still breathing out, the "I" gets woozy. The loss of "I" is undermined. Prophets use long lines, past the pentameter. Prophetic poetry uses long lines. The human figure is the count to ten.

The mind works with integrating and differentiating. Ambiguity integrates. Differentiating categorizes.

Poetry is a vocation. We are called to be poets by a shadowy voice.

Naropa SWP Week Four 2012

July 2– 8
Week Four
Performance & Collaboration
In our traditional 4th week or 4th dimension, The Kerouac School invites recognized and unique performers and songsters in a tradition of vocalizing, to teach and expand the fascinating possibilities for play with language-orality. Poetry is not a closed system. The elements of old language patterns reconfigure, making new hybrid connections. Life eats entropy. What might also be the role of other voices, music, dance, gesture, and visuals with our texts? How do we construe our libretti or plays or texts for performance? What is our praxis with the Internet and other technologies? We suggest a spirit of moisopholon domos, or house of those who cultivated the Muses, much like the one Sappho was purported to found in the 7th century B.C.E. Greece. We also honor the collaborative work of the ever-expanding poetics sangha in the realms of letterpress and digital printing, recording studio and small press publication, all elements of our study and passion at The Kerouac School.

Non-credit Course #: WRI 054, tuition: $475 per week

WRI 454, tuition: $1350 per week

WRI 754, tuition: $1800 per week

Laurie Anderson (placeholder)
Using simple means – walking, writing, singing, talking, moving - we will study and invent various ways we can teach ourselves to be free as artists. Along the way we will investigate the questions many artists ask: How does this work? When is this finished? Who am I in the larger world? We will study work with solitude as well as the dynamics of interaction with other people, animals and nature.

Laurie Anderson is a multi-media artist who has made works including films, records, books, and musical instruments. She served as NASA’s first artist in residence. She is currently active in OWS.

Caroline Bergvall Embodying a figureWhat is a figure? How does one make oneself available to other voices, to other texts, to other lives? What kind of writing methods can this entail? In this workshop you will compose a short text for performance based on a figure (living, historic, fictional, or mythic) or an event of your choice. In session we will explore a range of source materials that will allow us to discuss the specific power of investment that this kind of material can provide, as well as modes of performance and of delivery. No required readings. Please come to first session with your “figure” and some basic research done.

Caroline Bergvall is a London-based writer and artist, of French-Norwegian background. Works across artforms, media and languages. Projects alternate between books, audio pieces, performances and language installations. Her work explores notions of language and performativity; audiovisual inscription, new literacies for writing, language politics and citizenry. Latest book: Meddle English: New and Selected Texts (Nightboat Books, 2011). Latest solo commission: Middling English (John Hansard Gallery). She has presented work at MOMA (NY), Tate Modern (London), The Hammer Museum (LA), Museu-Fundació Tàpies (Barcelona). Director of the influential program Performance Writing, Dartington College of Arts (1995-2000); co-Chair MFA in Writing, Bard College (NY, 2004-2006).

Toi Derracotte Coming to Voice: Exercising the Invisible Powers Inside the Poem
In a singer, voice is that quality that is most recognizable, their signature. In a poet is voice is the same thing? And how is the voice on the page connected to the actual voicing of our poems, to oral performance? This workshop will provide oral exercises, listening exercises, and writing exercises in order to open us to the complex and nuanced meanings and feelings in each word; and in order to go back to writing with more understanding of and freedom to be ourselves.

Toi Derricotte is the author of five books of poetry, the newest, The Undertaker’s Daughter was published in 2011; and a literary memoir, The Black Notebooks, which won the 1998 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Non-Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her honors include fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. With Cornelius Eady, she co-founded Cave Canem Foundation, North America’s premier “home for black poetry.”

Kenneth Goldsmith Uncreative Writing
Traditional notions of creativity are under attack, eroded by file-sharing, media culture, widespread sampling, and digital replication. How does writing respond to this new environment? This workshop will employ strategies of appropriation, replication, repetition, boredom, identity falsification, plagiarism, piracy, sampling, plundering as compositional methods. We'll trace the rich history of forgery, frauds, hoaxes, avatars, and impersonations spanning the arts, with a particular emphasis on how they employ language.

Kenneth Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb (, and the editor of I'll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews. In 2011, he co-edited, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and published a book essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania.

Bobbie Louise Hawkins MonologueThere are various ways a character can be created but the most powerful and immediate is the Monologue. When a character is going flat on the page give him/her a Monologue. Let them start talking out of their own mouths, let it be the character, not you, choosing the memories and the words; let it be a spill of unshaped thought. (You’ll clean it up later.) This class will focus on getting your voice and the voice of the character onto paper as smoothly as you can speak to a good friend.

Bobbie Louise Hawkins founded the prose fiction concentration in the Writing and Poetics Department at Naropa where she still teaches. She was awarded a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Literature, and has sixteen books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and performance monologues to her credit. Her one-woman shows include Life as We Know It and Take Love, for Instance.

Bhanu Kapil Performance and the Novel: A Gesture-Posture Workshop on the SceneThis week, we will build a performance from the materials of a book, as yet unwritten. What do you want to know more about? Sometimes I lie down on the sidewalk, for example, next to the ivy, for BAN. I combine three scenes into one. To be not only the butcher, but the meat too. Not just the meat but the vortex of neighbors, on-looking. How can we work out the witness positions of a novel, as well as its sensations? The sensorimotor sequence, a glitch, the windowpane vibrating inside our own bodies, though our voice is outside, in a bush? (Looped.) After compounding and embodying narrative/sensory elements, how can we return our findings to the page? Come prepared to disseminate a text then call it back again: that flux. Of particles, force and joy. A "cry below the level of sound." Come with a section of your work that is not progressing in some way, and leave with a revision derived from its: re-performance. You don't have to be a novelist. You might be a novelist. The idea of what a novel is: is up to you.

Bhanu Kapil teaches in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is the author of four works of experimental writing: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (Kelsey Street Press, 2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (Leon Works, 2006), humanimal (Kelsey Street Press, 2009), and Schizophrene (Nightboat Books, 2011.) Currently, she is writing a novel of the race riot, BAN.

Thurston Moore Caught On Tape
I plan to have each student, either separately, and/or as collective, discuss and create poetry/lyrics/shouts/whispers in both compositional and improvised contexts of music/sound/noise/silence.

Thurston Moore was born in 1958, moved to NYC in 1977 to hang out at CBGB and Gotham Book Mart, started Sonic Youth in 1980 as a manifestation of the living underground of record albums, poetry books and penniless romance.

Tracie Morris From line to wave: creating sound poetryIn this course, we will make sound poetry. We will emphasize writing during the workshop, but will consider how the text can be transfer from page to projected live voice by using page-based elements . The workshop will conclude with a short public reading either collaboratively or individually, depending on the preference of the participants. Class text will be handed out in class

Tracie Morris is a poet, performer and scholar. She works extensively as a singer, sound artist, writer, bandleader and actor. Her installations have been presented at the Whitney Biennial, Ronald Feldman Gallery, the Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and the New Museum. She holds an MFA in poetry from Hunter College and an MA and PhD in Performance Studies from New York University. Dr. Morris is an Associate Professor of Humanities and Media Studies at Pratt Institute. Her poetry book, TDJ: To Do w/ John (2011) is published by Zasterle Press. Rhyme Scheme, a longer poetic manuscript, will be published by Chax Press in 2012. She is also developing two audio projects: The Tracie Morris Band and sharpmorris, a collaboration with composer Elliott Sharp.

Jena Osman Walking Mapping Tracking Writing: An Experiment in Psychogeography
Our starting point will be the Situationist “dérive,” or drift, which requires breaking usual habits of moving through a place. We’ll read related works and then take a series of walks (alone and together, actual and imagined) in order to explore local terrains. Prompts for these walks will be constructed collaboratively; we’ll use the information gathered to create maps that will lead us to writing. Bring whatever portable recording devices you have on hand (cameras, smartphones, notebooks) to help us document our drifts.

Jena Osman’s latest book, The Network, was a 2009 National Poetry Series selection. Other books include An Essay In Asterisks and The Character. She co-edits the ChainLinks book series with Juliana Spahr and is a Professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Brad O’Sullivan Listening with Your FingersLetterpress printing enables writers to physically interact with readers by forcing language into the page, a tactile sensibility not possible with more contemporary forms of printing. Reading can become a fully sensate experience, where the psychological and aural qualities of language combine with the physical and textural. The printing press, then, along with other physical items in the printshop, becomes another of our writerly compositional tools. We’ll get dirty and inhabit these tools in the production of a collaborative printed piece.

Brad O’Sullivan is the founding member of underscore, a typewriter band. He’s a writer, teacher, letterpress printer, bike tinkerer and proprietor of Smokeproof Press, a letterpress workshop in Boulder, Colorado. He lives with Lisa, Finn, a couple dogs and some chickens, and is happiest when his hands are dirty and he’s solving some sort of problem.

Claudia Rankine The Visual Performance of LanguageDoes image have to arrive through language to be considered text? This class will approach text through image by beginning in the world of visual art. We will consider how text is used by various artists (Mark Steven Greenfield, William Pope L, Glenn Ligon, Rashaad Newsome, Adrian Piper, Hank Willis Thomas, Carrie Mae Weems, Pat Ward Williams and Hennessey Youngman) in order to create our own imaged text in small chapbooks or two-minute videos.

Claudia Rankine is the author of four collections of poetry most recently Don’t Let Me Be Lonely. She is also co-editor of the American Women Poets In the Twenty-First Century Wesleyan University Press series.

Roberto Tejada Collaborative AnimationsIn 2011, Austin-based experimentalists Rude Mechanicals restaged a Mabou Mines classic: B Beaver Animation (1974). Body motion, stage-set puppetry, the carpentered world performers inhabited, and a strange poetry all made for something remarkable, a rare angel from the history of art. Armed with script, video documentation (1974) and re-staging (2011) as our primary texts, this course will be likewise an experiment in collaborative writing for performance; to expand what speaking bodies can activate in relation to movement, space, and selfhood, both as real time and historical citation.

Roberto Tejada is the author of Mirrors for Gold (2006), Exposition Park (Wesleyan, 2010), and Full Foreground (forthcoming in 2012 from the University of Arizona Press). His books on art and media history include National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment (2009) and A Ver: Celia Alvarez Muñoz (2009). He contributed a catalog essay to Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980, an exhibition currently at UCLA’s Hammer Museum.

Matvei Yankelevich Writing as Event / Word as Action
Can writing be an event in itself? Can the page become a stage – a trace of an action, or a notation to be performed in the future? We’ll investigate performing on the page, the potential of gestures (both productive and destructive), and writing that exists ephemerally and physically in the world. For inspiration we’ll look to strategies employed by Fluxus, artists’ books, conceptualism (the happenings of Collective Actions), and live writing (Antin’s talk poems).

Matvei Yankelevich is the author of several books of poetry, including Alpha Donut (United Artists Books), Bending at the Elbow (Minutes Books), and Boris by the Sea (Octopus Books). He is the translator and editor of Today I Wrote Nothing: The Selected Writings of Daniil Kharms (Overlook, 2007). He is an editor at Ugly Duckling Presse, and a member of the writing faculty of the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College.

Naropa SWP Week Three 2012

June 25 – July 1
Week Three
Science, Sanity & Evolution
“I is Another” – Arthur Rimbaud
“The mouse is old, but its image is light” – Mei-mei Berssenbrugge
Homo sapiens? Or homo ignoramus? Poets and writers need to cull and rescue language from the pundits and politicians and shine a light on the inspiring and scintillating glories and minute particulars of the symbiotic biosphere. So much interesting ecological work is being done, investigative hybrid texts, delving into study of other life forms: slime molds, manatee, wolves and hummingbirds (“A Route of Evanescence/With a revolving Wheel–/A Resonance of Emerald/A rush of Cochineal” Emily Dickinson). Count Korzybski, author of Science & Sanity, made the celebrated statement “the map is not the territory” which was invoked by William S. Burroughs in his teaching at Naropa, suggesting that humans are limited by what they think they know. We posit here greater scrutiny and rigor, rather than an androcentric romantic gaze at Nature, to unlock new terms, vocabularies, and philosophical ways of thinking of human and “other” and beyond. Our writing will evolve and hopefully mirror the neurons and the complexities of our morphing world and multi-verse.

Non-credit Course #: WRI 053, tuition: $475 per week

WRI 453, tuition: $1350 per week

WRI 753, tuition: $1800 per week

Tisa Bryant Under the Sleep of ReasonUsing Goya’s famed quote, “The sleep of reason produces monsters,” as provocation, we will dip down below “rational” thought to explore subordinated intelligences long rooted in human symbiosis with the spirited energy of all living substance. Recombining materials ranging from Henry Dumas’ “Ark of Bones” to Harper’s monthly “Findings” column, we will seek the unconscious presences in our gaze at nature, and create hybrid texts aided by tide pools, chimeras, symbolism, monkey talk and more.

Tisa Bryant is the author of Unexplained Presence, a collection of hybrid essays on Black presences in film, literature and visual art. Her work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Black Clock, Mandorla, Mixed Blood, and in the solo shows of visual artists Laylah Ali, Jaime Cortez, Wura-Natasha Ogunji, and Cauleen Smith. She teaches fiction, hybrid forms and innovative ethnic literature in the MFA Writing Program at the California Institute of the Arts.

Junior Burke - Sentient Verse
In this course we will infuse contemporary issues and sensibilities into classical forms from the expanse of world poetry. Proposed forms include: Sapphic (Greek), Pantoum (Malayan, Qasida (Arabic), Choka & Katuata (Japanese), Villanelle & Sestina (French), Madrigal & Rispetto (Italian), plus the English Ode & Sonnet. As a starting point, bring two to four selections of your work (no formal structure necessary) to be read aloud.

Junior Burke is a novelist (Something Gorgeous), dramatist (Soft Trumpet, Slow Guitar)and lyricist (While You Were Gone). Faculty in Naropa’s Department of Writing & Poetics. He is the founder and (with Maureen Owen) editor of the online literary magazine not enough night.

Julie Carr Outsource / InsourceJulia Kristeva’s Revolution in Poetic Language will help us think about how poetry finds sources in the body, the emotions, and the associative mind, delivering us to new “truths,” new “sanity.” The works of Keith and Rosmarie Waldrop, Alice Notley, Bernadette Mayer, and Lyn Hejinian will provide example and inspiration. Our own movements, dream-lives, and senses will provide access to the language.

Julie Carr is the author of four books of poetry, Mead: An Epithalamion, Equivocal, 100 Notes on Violence (winner of the Sawtooth Award 2009), and Sarah – Of Fragments and Lines (a National Poetry Series Selection 2010). Her critical monograph, Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry, is forthcoming from Dalkey Archive in 2012. She is the co-publisher of Counterpath Press and teaches in the MFA program and English Department at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

Clark Coolidge A Poetry Lifetime/Lifeline
The writer revisits his half-century reordering of the poem. An investigation of the evolution of a process, sources, prods, instructions hopefully sane but sometimes even usefully mad? The entertainment of questions he has never stopped asking himself. We have so much space, will there be enough time? At any rate, a relentless going for the irreducible poem boundless as a dream.

Clark Coolidge was born in Providence R.I. in 1939. He read geology at Brown University for two years, then read On The Road and left formal education forever. He attended the Vancouver Summer Session of 1963. Received an NEA Writers Fellowship in 1978. Writer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome 1984-1985. 5+5 Translation Project, Leningrad 1990. Drummer with David Meltzer's Serpent Power 1967, and Mix group 1993-1994. His books include Space, Own Face, At Egypt, Now It's Jazz, Alien Tatters, and most recently Counting On Planet Zero, The Act of Providence and This Time We Are Both.

Samuel R. Delany The Maze and The MirrorWhat do you want to do with your writing? Because the workshops are small, we can be surprisingly focused for each different student. We can talk about what makes writing last through time. We can talk about where you’d like your writing to go. There will be some intermittent reading, in both poetry and prose. We shall share our efforts through reading aloud in the classroom.

Samuel Delany’s stories are available in Aye, and Gomorrah and other stories and Atlantis: Three Tales. His novels include Nova, Dhalgren, the award-winning Dark Reflections, and – most recently – Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. His essay collections comprise The Jewel-Hinged Jaw, Starboard Wine, Longer Views, and Shorter Views. A judge for the 2010 National Book Awards, he was the subject of a documentary The Polymath. His interview in the Paris Review’s “Art of Fiction” series appeared last spring.

Michelle Ellsworth Preparations for ObsolescenceThis class will look at the science of extinction on both a macro/physical and micro/emotional level. We will: 1) attempt to document and archive vulnerable information, 2) ask what will be missed when things/people/species go and how we can replace them with technology and art, and 3) consider poetic interventions that might buy us some extra time on the planet. Special attention will be given to the coping mechanisms of the Y chromosome and the chemistry of meat.

Michelle Ellsworth makes solo performance work, performable websites, drawings, and videos. She was awarded the USA Knight Fellowship for 2011. She has performed at Diverseworks, Dance Theater Workshop, On The Boards, Jacob’s Pillow, and Brown University. Her drawings, spreadsheets, and scripts have been published in Chain and her screen dances have been seen around Europe and throughout the U.S. For the last five years, science has been central to her work.

Brian Evenson Madness and FictionThis class will look at depictions in fiction of altered states of perception, deranged consciousnesses, the mad, the insane. We will also examine writing by people subject to schizophrenia. The first two days will be reading and discussion intensive (with exercises), the last two we’ll spend looking at student stories.

Brian Evenson is the author of 11 books of fiction, most recently Immobility and Windeye, both published in 2012. He directs Brown University’s creative writing program.

Noah Eli Gordon Poet’s Prose: bending form, breaking genre, essaying against the lineWhat happens when poets recalibrate all of the particulars of their art toward the making of prose? We’ll find out. We’ll traipse around in muddy form, employing various sub-genres of sentence-based writing (experimental journal, improvisatory essay, fictive memoir, investigative collage) to walk through the house of hybridity, turn around, and see if we poets innately leave behind an identifiable set of tracks. Through a sequence of assignments, this course will lean toward the generative, toward developing an understanding of prose by exploring artful choices of diction, sentence construction, and the overarching structural elements of work that extends from margin to margin. The space at the center of the book where the edges of each page meet is called the gutter. We’ll find out why. We’ll create and we’ll destroy. Our sacred text will be Virginia Tufte’s Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style; our profane, Sesshu Foster’s World Ball Notebook.

Noah Eli Gordon is the author of seven books, including The Source (Futurepoem, 2011), and Novel Pictorial Noise (Harper Perennial, 2007), co-publisher of Letter Machine Editions, head reviews editor for The Volta, and an assistant professor in the MFA program in Creative Writing at The University of Colorado–Boulder, where he currently directs Subito Press.

Joanne Kyger A Curriculum of the Soul
In 1968 Charles Olson wrote down a series of subject on a topsy turvey map—names, subjects, ideas. After his death in 1970, Jack Clarke and later Al Glover assigned 28 of these words to members of the Olson community with the invitation to write a 20-50 page chapboook responding to the word. Some of the poets were Jim Koller, John Weiners, Lewis MacAdams, Anselm Hollo, Ed Sanders, Alice Notley, Michael McClure. Some of the topics were Dream, Dance, Woman, Vision, Earth, The Mushroom, Jazz Playing, Attention, Sensation. The class will look at some of these chapbooks, along with choosing a word-topic for the week in order to produce a current take on A Curriculum of the Soul.

Joanne Kyger lives on the west coast north of San Francisco. She is the author of many books of poetry among them About Now, Collected Poems, from the National Poetry Foundation. She has often taught at Naropa's Summer Writing Program.

Karen Randall How clichés become frisky again: The Meditative Art of Letterpress
The term cliché originated in printing to refer to a set phrase of type that was intended to save the typesetter time. The original charm of these phrases became tarnished from overuse. Returning to an earlier means of generating printed language presents us with the opportunity to dismantle our personal & public clichés letter by letter. Hand-setting type breathes space around each letter as we take it from the California job case …

Karen Pava Randall is an artist who works in the media of words, digital collage, oil painting, & letterpress printing. She grew up playing with primitive computers, a very cool chemistry set from the 50s, & building short wave radios, & still likes geeking around with computer programming & experimenting with non-silver photography. The proprietrix of Propolis Press, which publishes contemporary poets in artist book format, she recently launched the Least Weasel Chapbook series.

Selah Saterstrom Mystery Idioms
In this workshop we will drop ourselves off at the crossroads for a somatic holiday, complete with a tour of various catacombs. Through a series of experiments steeped in writing, active dreaming, and divination (traditional versions as well as those of our own making), we will seek to uncover ways to speak to what is other and beyond.

Selah Saterstrom is the author of Slab (forthcoming), The Meat and Spirit Plan, and The Pink Institution (all published by Coffee House Press). She teaches and lectures widely and is on faculty in the University of Denver’s graduate creative writing program.

Edwin Torres Brainlingo: Writing The Voice Of The BodyPoets are creatures of awareness – receptive beings that embody transition. Where the senses meet each other is where poetry can begin. Can the body be allowed its place in writing? Can the brain evolve into its roar? By integrating performance modalities into the writing process, we can explore what the voice of the body sounds like. This workshop will be an active creative laboratory that explores how we communicate by exercising the languages inside us.

Edwin Torres is a lingualisualist, rooted in the languages of sight and sound. He’s the author of 8 poetry collections including, Yes Thing No Thing (Roof Books), In The Function Of External Circumstances (Nightboat Books) and The PoPedology Of An Ambient Language (Atelos Books). He has received fellowships from The Foundation For Contemporary Performing Arts, The Poetry Fund and NYFA among others. Juliana Spahr writes, “Edwin Torres is our 21st Century Mayakovsky.”

Anne Waldman & Ambrose Bye Symbiosis Poesis: Collaboration & Performance
What is it to be contemporary with one's time? How is our writing a "walking meditation"? How do we reflect on our bacterial Ur-ancestors of 3.5 billion years ago surrounding us? How have we morphed spiritually? We will collaborate and write in performance with others, investigate sentient lifeforms, stretch our larynx to activist vocal edges, deconstruct fracking, check out plans for colonization on Mars and the hybrid drone life, and Occupy our texts with science, song, philosophy & imagination. "The contemporary is one whose eyes are struck by the beam of darkness that comes from his own time" (Giorgio Agamben). Ambrose Bye will help us record and hone the work. What we do may lead to longer investigative texts and oral projects.

Anne Waldman, poet, professor, performer, and cultural activist is the author of over 40 books and small press editions of poetry and poetics, including most recently The Iovis Trilogy, Manatee/Humanity and the anthology Beats at Naropa. Other titles include Fast Speaking Woman, Vow to Poetry: Essays, Interviews and Manifestos, Marriage: A Sentence, In the Room of Never Grieve, Structure of the World Compared to a Bubble, Outrider, Red Noir and Martyrdom. She also edited The Beat Book, and is co-editor of Disembodied Poetics: Annals of the Jack Kerouac School, The Angel Hair Anthology, and Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action. CDs include The Eye of the Falcon and Matching Half (with Akilah Oliver), with music and production by Ambrose Bye. She works with writer/director Ed Bowes on a number of video/movie projects. Anne recently completed a collaboration "Soldatesque/Soldiering" with artist Noah Saterstrom who created a 45 foot long frieze, which was first exhibited at The Poetry Center in Tucson. She is a Chancellor at The Academy of American Poets.

Ambrose Bye, composer/musician/producer, grew up in the environment of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, graduated from The University of California, Santa Cruz and was trained as an audio engineer at the music/production program at Pyramind in San Francisco. He has produced four albums with Anne Waldman, In the Room of Never Grieve, The Eye of the Falcon, Matching Half, and The Milk of Universal Kindness.

Naropa SWP Week Two 2012

June 18-24
Week Two
Cultural Rhizomes and Intentional Communities

The rhizome is a tuber system, horizontal, a veritable Indra’s Net of association and growth and “high energy constructs”. It furthers a view of our mutual interdependence. How do our individual cultures, or unsung and diverse communities, interact and foster new creative projects in exchange and translation? How do we represent and cultivate the tangibles and particulars of our languages, mores, poetic forms and alternative communities or “temporary autonomous zones”? Our work this week will seek inspiration from intentional communities such as Black Mountain College, diasporas of the Middle East and South America, and Native American praxis. Some of our guests have been instrumental in political activism on behalf of LGBT communities. Other have founded projects that support multi-lingual libraries and schools. Our own writing can be
radical and powerful and reflect the diversity in our world.

Non-credit Course #: WRI 052, tuition: $475 per week

WRI 452, tuition: $1350 per week

WRI 752, tuition: $1800 per week

Sherwin Bitsui Saad bee nááchá: PoetryThe poems we create and learn from in this is workshop will help enable us to connect to the land and each other. We will examine Dine’ world-view and poetics for inspiration and draw from them – continuing ways of re-embodying language with song, thus reconnecting ourselves to the world around us and each other. We will write from this space and speak forth new poems from the ground we uncover together.

Sherwin Bitsui is the author of two poetry books, Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press, 2009), and Shapeshift (University of Arizona Press, 2003). His honors include a 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowship, a 2011 Native Arts & Cultures Foundation Artist Fellowship for Literature, a 2010 PEN Open Book Award, an American Book Award and a Whiting Writers Award. He is originally from Baa’oogeedí (White Cone, Arizona on the Navajo Nation). He is Diné of the Todich’íi’nii (Bitter Water Clan), born for the Tł’ízíłání (Many Goats Clan).

CAConrad (Soma)tic Poetry: Flowers Dreaming The Elevation AllegianceThe aim of (Soma)tic poetry and poetics is the realization of two basic ideas: (1) Everything around us has a creative viability with the potential to spur new modes of thought and imaginative output. (2) The most vital ingredient to bringing sustainable, human changes to our world is creativity. Among other things we will build a Human Hibernaculum, a place for our poems to THRIVE by the very community of our workshop!

CAConrad is the author of A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (Wave Books, 2012), The Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010), Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009), Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006), and a collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined (Factory School, 2010). He is a 2012 Ucross Fellow, a 2011 Pew Fellow, and has conducted poetry workshops in New York, Seattle, Boise, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and elsewhere.

Danielle Dutton Writing in PlaceWe will engage a weeklong meditation on place in writing, discussing everything from maps by Denis Wood to installations by Do-Ho Suh to fiction by Renee Gladman. We’ll consider the myriad ways writers use place as more than simple backdrop – as character, philosophy, motivation, commentary, etc. Readings will be geared toward prose, but all are welcome. Assignments and exercises will allow you to explore aspects of place in your writing.

Danielle Dutton is the author of Attempts at a Life and S P R A W L, a finalist last year for the Believer Book Award. From 2006-2012, she taught fiction writing and literature courses in the Jack Kerouac School; during four of those years she also designed books at Dalkey Archive Press. Danielle is currently assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, and ditor of Dorothy, a publishing project.

Allison Hedge Coke Rhizomes: Ride of a Lifetime
Cultural duty and attentiveness is generated by kinships working on a community member and nurtured by the member's tangible return. In our work, our intentionality, our active involvement, our return is a perpetual embrace, one we adhere to, further, honor, and support each time we deliver ourselves into creative process and recognition of our inheritances. This multi-genre workshop brings us back to reason. This course will include an eco-ethos and employ the learned behavior in migration as impetus for kinship value.

Allison Hedge Coke is the author of Dog Road Woman, Off-Season City Pipe, Blood Run, and Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer. Her edited collections include: Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, Effigies, and Effigies II. Hedge Coke directs the Literary Sandhill CraneFest and has had recent fellowships with Weymouth Center for the Arts, the Lannan Foundation, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center, and the Center for Great Plains. She is MFA faculty for the University of Nebraska.

Bob Holman An Ecology of Consciousness: From the Poetry Communities
of the Lower East Side to the Global Language Crisis, A Poetry Activist’s Primer
Or, How Running the Poetry Project w/ Bernadette, Being the Original Slam Master of the Nuyorican, Starting The Stoop @ Steve Cannon’s Tribes, and Founding the Bowery Poetry Club, w/ Stops Along the Way to Produce The United State of Poetry for PBS & Create Mouth Almighty/Mercury Records, Led Me To Host Word Up! Languages in Danger on PBS. And How I Co-Raised the Kids, Wrote the Books & Moved to Tumblr, In the Meantime.

Bob Holman is a co-director of the Endangered Language Alliance. He is currently writing The Endangered Cento, a video poem where each line is from a poem in a different threatened language. His research into the roots of hip hop in Africa led him to the understanding that of the 6500 languages on earth, half will be gone by the end of this century, and redirected his work towards using poetry to illuminate this crisis.

Laird Hunt Technologies of Disruption
Through examination of some of the approaches taken in postmodern fiction we will attempt to deepen our understanding of the range of techniques and tactics 21st century writers have at their disposal. Come prepared to write.

Laird Hunt's novels include The Impossibly and The Exquisite. A new novel, Kind One, will be published by Coffee House press in Fall 2012.

Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte domopoetics wor(k)shi/op
This workshop is an open space in and around which to practice personal, collective and rhizomatic processes of writing, translation and performance. The workshop offers a collective experimental & heuristic daily practice that moves between Peyrafitte’s concept of “Vulvic space” — a homeomorphic topology or transformable conceptual space enhancing the exchanges between self & other(s) — and Joris’ nomadic writerly processes and their insistence on a “barzakh,” i.e. a navigable archipelago or archipelago “in-betweeness.”

Pierre Joris & Nicole Peyrafitte’s collaborations since the early 90s include a range of duo multimedia performances, many book covers & illustrations, & raising two sons. Peyrafitte’s latest multimedia performance (including texts, paintings & onstage food preparation) is “Bi-Valve;” she is presently co-directing a film on artist Basil King. Pierre Joris just finished an anthology of Maghrebian literature, & has two books of poems forthcoming, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj and Aljibar America.

Vincent Katz Crossing Over: Collaboration and Interdisciplinarity
This course will start from the thesis that art is created by interactions between and among individuals. We will look at the rich history of collaborative efforts, from French modernism to American experiments in combining word and image, word and sound, word and film, and publishing. Nexuses will include Pound and visual art, New York School, Black Mountain, and Wallace Berman’s Semina. Students will be given assignments involving responding to works of visual art and sound, including experiments in collaboration.

Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, and teacher. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, two books of translation, and numerous articles and essays. Katz curated an exhibition on Black Mountain College at the Reina Sofia museum in Madrid and edited the catalogue, Black Mountain College: Experiment In Art (MIT, 2002). He translated The Complete Elegies Of Sextus Propertius (Princeton, 2004) and is the author of Alcuni Telefonini (Granary Books, 2008), a collaboration with painter Francesco Clemente.

Stephen Motika Rhizomatic Lives: A Multiplicity of Engagements

We'll read and discuss work by a diverse group of artists and writers engaging the representation of subjectivity, self and other(s), as we write about lives, our own and those around us. We'll think rhizomatically, across chronology and history, in an effort to break down the genres of autobiography and biography and radicalize our own ways of telling. We'll look at work by Etel Adnan, Joe Brainard, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Danielle Collobert, C.S. Giscombe, Lyn Hejinian, Harry Partch, and Lisa Robertson. We'll deconstruct several commons forms--diary, letter, memoir, interview, obituary--and experiment with our own writing practice to create new texts and poems that represent the complexity of our lives.

Stephen Motika's first book, Western Practice, will be published by Alice James Books in April 2012. He is also the editor of Tiresias: The Collected Poems of Leland Hickman (2009). A 2010-2011 Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Resident, he is the program director at Poets House and the editor and publisher of Nightboat Books.

Alexs Pate Engaging the Good: Community, Writer, CharacterThis is a fiction and prose poetry workshop that plays off of the Aristotelian idea of good as “the thing for which all other things are done.” We will examine the various communities represented in the class, the writers themselves and the characters they create and talk about the way goodness operates at each phase of a story’s creation.

Alexs Pate is the author of five novels including the New York Times Bestseller, Amistad commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Dreamworks/SKG and based on the screenplay by David Franzoni. Other novels are Losing Absalom, Finding Makeba, The Multicultiboho Sideshow and West of Rehoboth which was selected as “Honor Fiction Book” for 2002 by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association. Alexs’ first book of nonfiction, In The Heart of the Beat: The Poetry of Rap was published by Scarecrow Press in January 2010. His memoir, The Past is Perfect: Memoir of a Father/Son Reunion will be published next year by Coffee House Press.

Wang Ping Kinship of Rivers
We’ll brainstorm and meditate on rivers, their beauty, symbols and movements, their connections with us, within us… Rivers run through us as blood, as poetry, as art. We’ll write river poems in various forms: lyrics, prose poems, collages, and we’ll make rivers flags with our words and art, hang them as prayer flags, and let the wind spread our wishes into the world. Please check out for more details.

Wang Ping was born in China and came to the U.S. in 1986. Her publications of poetry and prose include American Visa, Foreign Devil, Of Flesh and Spirit, New Generation: Poetry from China Today, Aching for Beauty: Footbinding in China, The Magic Whip, The Dragon Emperor, and The Last Communist Virgin. She won the Eugene Kayden Award for the Best Book in Humanities and is the recipient of NEA and the Bush Artist Fellowship for poetry. Her photo and video installation, “Behind the Gate: After the Flood of the Three Gorges,” was exhibited at Macalester Art Gallery in March, 2007 and Ban-fille Lock Center, 2008. She is associate professor of English at Macalester College.

Margaret Randall Befriend the Rhizome
What is connected, what broken? A poetry workshop for students serious about craft. Prepare to bring poems to first session. Class will include exercises and writing assignments. "We who see a field of broken bones / view pale faces / on memory’s imprint / befriend the rhizome: / neither beginning nor end. / Balanced at midpoint, / we resist chronology and claim our place / as nomads on a savage map of risk…"

Margaret Randall is a lesbian feminist poet, essayist, photographer and social activist. She spent 23 years in Latin America (Mexico, Cuba, Nicaragua) and returned to the U.S. only to be ordered deported because of the content of some of her books. She won her case in 1989. Recent books of poetry include As If The Empty Chair / Como Si La Silla Vacia and Ruins. She lives in New Mexico.

Julia Seko Typographic Conversations: Letterpress as Collective Art
We’ll bring our voices together in this introductory letterpress workshop by writing, designing, and printing a collaborative project. Students will learn about typographic design and the basic techniques of letterpress printing. We’ll create community by setting type, mixing ink, folding paper, and running machinery, and surprise ourselves with what comes off the presses.

Julia Seko is a letterpress printer, book artist, and proprietor of P.S. Press. She learned letterpress printing at the Women's Graphic Center in Los Angeles and has had inky fingernails ever since. She is adjunct faculty at Naropa University, where she helped set up the letterpress studio, and is active in the Book Arts League. Her letterpress work is in university and private collections and has been exhibited in the United States and abroad.

Naropa SWP Week One 2012

June 11-June 17
Week One
Archival Poetics and The War on Memory
With current political discourse so far from truth and accountability, and the problem of master narrative in versions of history, how does the notion of Archive figure in our poetic sensibility? Archive is an inscription on our psyches, it struggles to preserve and nurture what might otherwise be lost and buried. It foregrounds imagination, candor, spontaneous discourse and the vibrational artifacts of our work as active writers – manuscripts, correspondence, research, intellectual exchange, small press and the oral record. Archivapoeia is a deeply engrained ethos of the Kerouac School, and co-founder Allen Ginsberg saw it as an antidote to memory loss perpetuated by the oligarchs and plutocrats. We will focus this week on our “memory banks” as writers. What are the sources and texts and ideas we cherish? How do we work with rescuing the work of others, and consider the technologies for future preservation?

Non-credit Course #: WRI 051, tuition: $475 per week

WRI 451, tuition: $1350 per week

WRI 751, tuition: $1800 per week

Charles Alexander Search & Rescue
In the SWP Print Shop, students will work with text from their own archive, i.e. "sources and texts" they cherish, or perhaps have just discovered, and want to share with others. To share, students will set short texts in type, print, and send. Postcards will be the preferred form, though standards will be driven through, crossed over, broken and reconstructed, as students take archival texts and "make it new." Bring stamps and pre-stamped postcards, my friends. While in the studio we will read selected archival pieces the instructor brings, as well as a masterpiece of survival and reconjecturing the past/present, H.D.'s Trilogy.

Charles Alexander's books include Hopeful Buildings (Chax 1990), Arc of Light / Dark Matter (Segue 1992), Near or Random Acts (Singing Horse 2004), Certain Slants (Junction 2007), the recent Pushing Water (complete) (Cuneiform 2011), as well as nine chapbooks. He has taught several times at Naropa SWP, and teaches at the University of Arizona South. He is the founder and director of Chax Press, in Tucson, where he lives with the visual artist Cynthia Miller.

Rebecca Brown From Biography to Fiction
This course looks at why and how to turn the material of other peoples’ lives (letters, pictures, laundry lists, rumors, detritus) into fiction, poetry, hybrid and cross-genre art. How research, erasure, invention and theft can help us remember, honor, critique or talk back to our forebears and ourselves. Authors whose work we might read include Woolf, Ondaatje, Schaeppi, Sante, Nelson, others. Students will write lots of new work. All levels and genres welcome.

Rebecca Brown is the author of twelve books, most recently American Romances (City Lights, 2009) winner of a Publishing Triangle Award. Other titles include The Terrible Girls, The Gifts of the Body, The Last Time I Saw You, and The Dogs. She has written for dance, theater and the visual arts. Her work has been translated into Japanese, German, Italian, etc. She lives in Seattle and teaches at Goddard College in Vermont and elsewhere.

Brenda Coultas The Poetics of Retrieval
Although an event maybe hidden, it is never lost for its life force resonates in our bones. In this course we will subvert the dominant narrative by diving beneath the surface. With the tools of investigative poetics, students will craft and gather materials to shape a people’s narrative of resistance. Readings include: Stacy Szymaszek, Jena Osman, David Wojnarowicz, Claudia Rankine, Tonya Foster, Ed Sanders, and Anne Waldman.

Brenda Coultas is the author of The Marvelous Bones of Time (2008) and A Handmade Museum (2003) from Coffee House Press, which won the Norma Farber Award from The Poetry Society of America, and a Greenwall Fund publishing grant from the Academy of American Poets. She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship (NYFA) and a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council residency (LMCC). Coultas recently served as visiting poet at Long Island University in Brooklyn New York. Her poetry can most recently be found in The Brooklyn Rail, Witness and Court Green. The hybrid nature of her long projects allow her to peel back layers of the past by coming at the subject of her gaze from all directions. The subjects of the gaze may include ghosts, the Bowery, Underground Railway stations, water tables and anarchist heroes.

E. Tracy Grinnell Re-membering Dismemberment /
Dis-membering Rememberment
“Recognizing and accepting our own fragmentation and the inevitably fragmented past…has implications for how we treat bodies of poetry, bodies in poetry, and bodies in the world.” – Page duBois
In this workshop, we will look at formally explorative poetries that incite our engagement with the fragmented and unknown in our personal and collective pasts. We will consider the archive – as memory, as corpus, as assembly – as site – for experimentation with form. Texts by Sappho, M. NourbeSe Philip, Leslie Scalapino, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, among others.

E. Tracy Grinnell is the author of Helen: A Fugue (Belladonna Elder Series #1, 2008), Some Clear Souvenir (O Books, 2006), and Music or Forgetting (O Books, 2001), in addition to several limited edition chapbooks, including Leukadia (Trafficker Press, 2008) and Humoresque (Blood Pudding/Dusie #3, 2008). She has taught creative writing at Pratt Institute and Brown University. She lives

HR Hegnauer Archival Publishing: The Limits of the Body
While considering Robert Gluck’s question, “What kind of representation least deforms its subject,” we might think of publishing as an extension of the body, and furthermore, “What are the limits of the body?” How can publishing serve this body while being an advocate for memory? We’ll focus on independent publishing as an archive of our time; we’ll research and create presses that have unique missions necessary for the writing that we create this week.

HR Hegnauer is the author of Sir (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2011). She is a freelance book designer and website designer specializing in working with independent publishers as well as individual artists and writers. Since graduating from the Kerouac School, HR has worked with over 350 writers and translators.

David Henderson We Are the Archive: Contextual Scripts
We will "play" with combos of manuscripts, correspondence, research, intellectual exchange, and the oral record, and document outcomes via very "small press" self-publication. For examples, parallels and inspiration we can look towards Amiri Baraka and Ed Dorn, Diane di Prima and H.D., and Bob Kaufman and D.H. Examples of current political discourse and their relationship to truth and accountability can contrast with individuals and/or groups in interpersonal experiences and their truth and accountability.

David Henderson's books of poetry include: De Mayor of Harlem and Neo-California. His biography: 'Scuse Me While I Kiss the Sky: Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child is available in a new, revised, 30 year anniversary edition. His radio documentary on the Black Beat, Bob Kaufman, Poet is available through the Pacifica Archive. He is one of the founding members of the Society of Umbra, a seminal Black Arts Movement group.

Lisa Jarnot The Book Length Project
This course will be a starting point for students who would like to begin what Charles Olson called "a saturation job", ("Best thing to do is to dig one thing or place or [wo]man until you yourself know more abt that than is possible to any other [wo]man…(it might take 14 years). And you’re in, forever."). We'll look at conventional and unconventional research/foraging methods and we'll talk about data retention and the art of memory in the age of the quick-fix internet.

Lisa Jarnot is the author of four books of poetry including Night Scenes (Flood Editions) and a biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan.

Dawn Lundy Martin Writing the Unutterable
During unending civil war, writes David Grossman, “The world […] become[s] increasingly narrow. So does the language that describes it.” When what seeks to be said is unsayable, how do we say it? What does language do when confronted with the impossibilities of death or trauma, or bliss or jouissance? Bring your fragmented utterances, your notes, diaries, failed poems, other incompletions to explore the limitations of, and potential for, language when it faces the unutterable.

Dawn Lundy Martin is the author of A Gathering of Matter / A Matter of Gathering (2007), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry Prize; Discipline (2011), selected by Fanny Howe for the Nightboat Books Poetry Prize; and Candy (Albion Books 2011). She is the co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation in New York, a member of the Black Took Collective, and is an assistant professor in the writing program at the University of Pittsburgh.

Prageeta Sharma Archival Theories and Emancipatory Practices
What if we look at poems as archival spaces: How can we translate them to
accommodate our poetic processes in relation to our own poetic memory and our own personalized archives full of the relics and philosophies we hold dear? We will look at content and form as it is shaped by collage, material, cultural, and nontraditional writing. We will collaboratively construct poems that are constituents of our collective and shielding symbols, dream-like imagery, practices, psychologies, mythologies,
aphorisms, theories and dogma. We will create poems and multi-media and
interdisciplinary work that enacts, and through our own attentiveness to them, poems and pieces that guide and embody our fascination with and connection to our own archival and poetic imaginations.

Prageeta Sharma is an associate professor of creative writing at the University of Montana. She is the author of Bliss to Fill (subpress books), The Opening Question and Infamous Landscapes (Fence Books). Her forthcoming collection of poems,Undergloom (Fence Books) will be published in 2013. She is the recipient of the 2010 Howard Foundation Fellowship.
Eleni Sikelianos Documagination

Eleni Sikelianos Documagination

What does the Document record that the Imagination can’t? What does the
Imagination perform that the Document is blind to? How do the two interact? In this workshop, we will play between the two, amid questions of acting upon history and its recordings as those histories act upon our physical, intellectual and spiritual bodies. What marks can we make on the document? What marks does it leave upon us? What is a document (court records, family photographs, geological formations, fossils)? What dissipates? What does not? Artists we might look to: Susan Howe, M. NourbeSe Philip, Richard Long, Brenda Coultas, Ana Mendieta, Ondaatje, Reznikoff, McPhee,James Stevens, and others. Eleni Sikelianos is the author of a book-length eco poem (The California Poem), as well as five other books of poetry and a hybrid memoir. She is a translator and translatee,and is a graduate and devotee of the Kerouac School.

Eleni Sikelianos is the author of a book-length eco poem (The California Poem), as well as five other books of poetry and a hybrid memoir. She is a translator and translatee, and is a graduate and devotee of the Kerouac School.

Stacy Szymaszek Histories of the Self
We’ll consider the unusual and elusive being we call “the self.” As poets, we transfer the tension between memory, imagination and desire into energy, and energy into the poem. We’ll use our memory banks to engage the moment of creation, without letting memory over-ride our writing. Is the self an artifact of language? What traces of ourselves will we leave for the record and who will follow them? Inhabiting “I” as a zone of being, rather than an identity, we’ll subvert antagonizing forces and create utopian dimensions. We’ll read a wide range of writers who have left histories of the self and write our own.

Szymaszek is the author of Pasolini Poems (Cy Press, 2005), Stacy S: Autoportraits (OMG! Press, 2008), Orizaba: A Voyage with Hart Crane (Faux Chaps, 2008), Emptied of All Ships (Litmus Press, 2005) and Hyperglossia (Litmus Press 2009), among other titles. She currently serves as Artistic Director for The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church.

Steven Taylor Song Works
We use the Smithsonian Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music to model various song forms and genres. The class then becomes an ensemble where we collaborate on one another’s song writing efforts toward a weekend concert. No previous experience required. All you need is a willingness to sing.

Steven Taylor is a musician and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. He is the author of False Prophet: Fieldnotes from the Punk Underground and is a member of the Fugs.

Magdalena Zurawski The Forms of NowThis workshop begins with the assumption that poetry offers us an archive for investigating the relationship of the personal to the historical, the individual to the social. Poetic traditions present to us a record of human forms that history has made possible, forms that are inclusively political, personal, rational, sexual, emotional, spiritual, grammatical, and syntactical. In this workshop we’ll begin writing by considering both the life forms and poetic forms our “now” makes possible.

Magdalena Zurawski’s novel The Bruise won the Ronald Sukenick Prize for Innovative Fiction and the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Debut Fiction. She is currently writing a manuscript of poetry called, Dog is a Way of Thinking. A PhD candidate in American Literature at Duke University, she co-curates the Minor American Poetry Series in Durham, NC.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Required reading for Creative Writing: Contemporary Forms

Reality Hunger, by David Shields
Don’t Let Me Be Lonely, by Claudia Rankine
Against Expression, Eds. Dworkin and Goldsmith
Things Come On, by Joseph Harrington
Home/Birth, by Greenburg and Zucker
Other readings will be in PDF files and made available

We will explore and write in a current hybrid approach of writing, combining memoir, poetry, image, fiction, non-fiction, appropriation, collaboration, the political, and Google/conceptual writing.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Notes from Deb's class

It was an honor to be in two of Deb Olin Unferth's classes at KU (2008-09). I often take notes, so here are a few I wrote:

Books we used in class:

Jesus' Son (excellent book)
The use of names of character's, even after they are killed off in previous stories
Use of dream/mysticism via drug hallucination
Characters as themselves--coldness

Arkansas (great McSweeney's book)
Similar to Jesus' Son, up a notch
Uses "you"--you as a character going back in years
Stories merge
Burn books at a dealer's place
[spoiler alert]
Later, you realize the chatacters are talking about you--you were the one that saw the characters

Other recommended books:
The People of Paper (yes, I loved this one)
Autobiography of Alice B Toklas
In the Lighthouse


Ways to write:
Rejection of previous utterance
Narrative outside construct
Leave mystery/things unanswered
Suspense with surprise/challange possibilities
Challange catagories
Exclude "cheating" chapters (do not define terms, e.g. Motorman)
Use of space on the page (block text, blank space, etc.)
Change words throughout sentence (think Harryette Mullen)
Calling credibility/authority into question (main char, etc.)
Cyclic time
Familiar into abstract
Mystery in detail


Tell a good secret in the first sentence of the story
Use contrasts of sentences
Contrasts of stories/narrative/tension without discussion

About Art

1) Information is the enemy of Art. Placing information in displaces Art.

So make it Artful!

If conveying information: write a relationship of tension with information.

2) Create tension by contrast. Create depth by contrast.

Diff. ways to create tension: style, structure, description--not just story.

Adds profundity to the text.


One story suggestion: place scenes on cards, then rearrange them--to have control and be aware of how the scenes function.


A dangerous place is an urgent place. The author is also in emotional danger. The author is afraid to write--that it might be too revealing. When writing from this place of urgency, it brings powerful writing and/or confusions of morality. Objective of fiction: to raise these issues that philosophy can't.

Love your characters and put them in harm's way.


Avoid traps of multiple stories. Avoid writing the same story. In Jesus' Son, each story is independent. Not juggling the same tensions (e.g. the girlfriend problem). Each story has a problem: we are going to work today, a guy has a knife in his eye, etc. There is an action, a situation, an environment, in each one.

Grace Paley: Every story has two stories. If there is one, the story might not work. Action/event + emotional problem.

One is upheld, so the other is with held.


Sometimes there is a flashback in a story--when the flashback is the story. Why not only have the flashback?


Do not use description to describe a place. Use description to show the character'semotion, the situation, etc. We all know what a room looks like.

(Note: Atonement often has one or two room desc. to show what a character is like or values.)


Think of what the extreme opposite of what is usually said is and see what happens when in the story. To take an uncreepy action and make it uber-creepy.


For metafiction, find the "rules" of fiction and incorporate it in a story. Or take the rules of fiction and write something else.


Start a story with something exciting--not a cliche.
Take out leading participles to see what strength a sentence has. Does it take too long to get to the topic? That way, a phrase like "one afternoon" becomes a sudden trigger--to know there is an important turn.
To write as a contemporary, recognize "the old" in the text--but move it forward.
Break apart a rut.
Find where repetition is and decide if it is needed--prepositional phrases, etc. "Although" is a weak word, while "eventually" carries weight. Look at all of the opening phrases.


About subtitles:
Use your subtitles in different ways: a reaction to what happened, to transition into what is said, to use as a joke, etc.


Two important levels of a story: philosophical and emotional.


"Are you all tired? It is because you drank wine." --what Deb said at towards the close the night we had workshop in her house because the campus was closed due to KU going to the Final Four Championship in 2008.

Note: I also did her dishes!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

When your favorite writer is rude

"I love Bok’s writings but apparently he’s the captain of the jerk festival."

My friend and I were talking about Christian Bök, when the third friend called him a jerk. She said when he came to visit her last school, not only did he not pay attention to any of the students while there, but he talked with his friends while the graduate students were reading their poems--just before he read.

The public and private life has always fascinated me, but I believe if you are a visitor, paid or not, or just a person at a public performance, you need to pay respect to those around you--and to the reader at the microphone.

Call me Christian Bök. However, I'll come visit your school as a respectful poet. :)

It's the Midwest poet in me.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Another rant

The War on Kids

After a friend posted on facebook, I had to respond:

We are homeschooling! I'm doing it for non-religious reasons. More for the reasons here! If anyone would like more info, please let me know! Maybe we can join together and raise our brilliant children.

It is just another system in America--a Patriarchal mess!

I'll say one more thing: We attachment parent, cosleep, grow our own produce, buy raw milk, grind our own wheat, try to eat at local restaurants, support local businesses, and we are going to homeschool. I'm a father, husband, poet, college professor, feminist, into Christian mysticism, and homeschooler. :) We'll talk later.

The trouble with I

I recently picked up the book After Confession again, a book from around ten years ago containing essays around lyrical poetry and the use of "I."

Yes, feminist essays describe how women are writing in the Twenty-First Century. (I'll post about this soon.)

However, my true complex began after Rachel Zucker's speech around political poetry at AWP this year:

"Am I saying that the self is always male and female and neither but the “I” is almost always male? White? Dominant? That to speak or write as we have known it is to put on that mantle of authority and what does this have to do with poetry or with government?"

Thus my dilemma, as a white, straight, male poet who is feminist, writes about LGBT issues, and is against masculinity. What can I do with years of Patriarchal poetry writing with the "I" and I am sharing in this "tradition?"

Of course, I'm dabbling in experimental poetry, which helps. (The topics that came up in both the feminist and the political panels at AWP were to find a way of hybrid writing and collaboration.)

Don't get me wrong--I'm a Buber fan. I know how the I-thou relationship in poetry is serving the ecopoetry movement nowadays.

Let me argue that Patriarchal poetry is more like a video game, where the writer has control of the environment, the autonomy, but without any "you" present. Sure, there are games where you partner with another gamer--true environments for socializing--but I'm thinking of the first-person shooter game.

I'm working on a project that examines these dilemmas. Thanks to Alexander R. Galloway's permission to use his essay "Origins of the First-Person Shooter."

I know you will argue for the You. However, I still feel those men who are writing out of patriarchy, operating out of sexism, down my back.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

This summer's Experimental Poetry class

I am really enjoying my online Experimental Poetry class as students are getting involved with the discussion posts, the poems they are writing, and the essays--truly taking it all in. Here is what one student emailed me (used with permission):

I really love Henjinian! Her work is industrial and organic and plays with time and space. Her work is representitive of the spaces between all things, tangible and not. Her work is very exciting to me. I've never even heard of her before this. It's so exciting when I find a new favorite.
Then in a follow-up email:

I was really moved by her work, powerful stuff. Really got my wheels turning about how I could play with things like color, time/space, and other things that seem to be so fixed and permanent. I enjoyed how she created spaces where one doesn't think they'd exist.

I know this student isn't an English major, too! It just thrills me to see people talk about an incorporate the same poets I admire and love.

I posted this on facebook:

I'm enjoying the responses from my students in Experimental Poetry this summer. They love Diane di Prima AND Lyn Hejinian so far. I feel successful!
A student I friended replied:
:-)) its a blast! Truly....
How could I ask for more from an online five-week summer class?

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Poet's Guide to Travel: Santa Fe, NM

From facebook postings, for if I ever visit:

JH: “Suggestions for lodging in Santa Fe?”

SMS: “Uncle Maurice's!”

JH: “How about El Paradero?”

JM: “St. Francis has a great porch!”

AZ: “What's the price range? La Fonda is the classic Santa Fe stop, right on the Plaza. The El Dorado is right off the Plaza, but the more high-end choice. La Posada is gorgeous, with a great bar, has music on Friday nights, has outdoor dining -- more of an Inn with a campus where people have their weddings. Over-the-top expensive luxury can be found at the Inn of the Five Graces. The St Francis is lovely and modern, with decor styled after a monastery. Most of these places are right near the Plaza and have great restaurants. If you are more budget-conscious, then the El Rey Inn is 1-2 miles from the Plaza, very quaint and well-maintained. If you want a place with a kitchen and a fireplace, there are some rentable condos in Fort Marcy that are very affordable (our friends found one on Craig's List for $89/night), and walkable to the Plaza.”

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Syllabus for Experimental Poetry

Experimental Poetry (EN399VA) Summer 2012 Course Policy Statement

Online course on ANGEL

Professor: Dennis Etzel, Jr.                

PostModern American Poetry, Ed. Paul Hoover
American Hybrid, Eds. Cole Swensen and David St. John  
Online links

Required Supplies:
Access to a computer with internet (also see Mabee Library or TSC Public Library for access)

Highly-Recommended Supplies:
Flash drives for storing and backing up your computer files.

Mission of the University:
Washburn University enriches the lives of students by providing opportunities for them to develop and to realize their intellectual, academic, and professional potential, leading to becoming productive and responsible citizens. We are committed to excellence in teaching, scholarly work, quality academic and professional programs, and high levels of faculty-student interaction. We develop and engage in relationships to enhance educational experiences and our community.  Washburn University Board of Regents, 2010

Course Philosophy and Description:

This course will highlight Twentieth-Century American experimental poets for each of their respective movements: The Modernists, The Beats, Language Poets, Contemporary Hybrid, and Flarf. There is both a literature and a creative writing aspect in the study of these movements. Assignments include: assigned readings, discussion posts, discussion post responses, poetry writing, and essay writing over the assigned readings. These assignments will enhance the objectives of reading, writing, and the understanding of theories and histories behind each poet and movement.

Online Atmosphere: 
Please be respectful of your peers when posting online to the discussion boards on ANGEL.  For information about the University’s Code of Conduct, please see Washburn University’s Student Conduct Code in the catalog or student planner/handbook. 

How To Submit Your Work:
Put your name, my name, the name of the course, and the date on the top left of the first page.  Skip lines between each entry:      
Your Name
Dennis Etzel, Jr.
June 10, 2012
All papers should be typed, double-spaced, using one-inch margins. The font should be 12pt.and Times New Roman. The file format should be in MS Word or Rich Text Format (.rtf). MS Works, WordPerfect, etc. users should save their file in RTF format before submitting online.

A "Works Cited" page is optional. However, please include page numbers in parentheses after quotes, paraphrases, etc. AKA: MLA format.

In the past, a few students had troubles with submitting files in the submit screen. Please print off and use this “checklist” to help with the process:

                     Be sure to click "attachments"
                     The attachment box will come up. Select "Browse," then find your file on your computer. Select "OK."
                     Be sure to click the "Upload File" button in the attachment box.
                     Your file will appear in the "Uploaded Files" box.
                     Then click "Finished" to close the attachment box. This places the file into the submit e-mail.
                     You should be back to the original submit screen.
                     Does your file's name appear above the submit button? If not, your file did not attach correctly. The name should appear between the "Attachment" and "Submit" buttons.
                     Click "Submit."

I've also read that Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox is recommended for ANGEL. If in doubt, I recommend using the school's computer if at all possible.

If you are a Mac user, please be aware files often do not work with ANGEL system. I might request you to resend your file, so please check for e-mails often.

Page/ poem lengths: I always grade quality over quantity, but a poem should have more than ten lines. Essays #1 and #2 should be 3-6 pages. Essay #3 should be 5-10 pages. Note: For the last essay, please go past the three-point, five-paragraph essay.

The following assignments will be graded using this point system:
Discussion Posts                                 25 points each (100 points total)
Discussion Responses                         25 points each (100 points total)
Note: Assigned points for these discussions will appear as a sum total of the two
Poem and paragraph                           75 points each (300 points total)
Essay #1                                              150 points
Essay #2                                              150 points
Essay #3                                              200 points

The final grade will be evaluated based on the total of 1000 points:
900-1000=A, 800-899=B, 700-799=C, 600-699=D, and below 600 is an F.

Late assignments have a penalty of points equivalent to a letter grade within each 24-hour period of being late.

Remember: I check my email on ANGEL often and can also meet one-on-one with enough notice. I pride myself on having an open availability.

Grading Rubrics:

For a poem

Evaluation Criteria
Needs revision
Above Average
(Poem fits with accompanying  paragraph’s description?)

(Displays understanding of poem(s) and/or theory(ies) via the written poem? Connects elements?)

(Enough support, detail, words? This is very subjective, but you should try for more than ten lines.)

(Is there a fitting structure?)

(Relatively free of distracting surface errors? Rhetorical strategies? Appropriate tone?)

For an essay

Evaluation Criteria
Needs revision
Above Average
(Essay has a clear purpose? Explains one main idea? Makes clear points and assertions?)

(Displays understanding of poem(s), theorist(s), introduction(s)? Connects elements?)

(Enough support, detail, elaboration, examples, explanation?)

(Arrangement of info and ideas logical and easy to follow? Is there a fitting structure?)

(Relatively free of distracting surface errors? Rhetorical strategies? Appropriate tone?)

General information:

The Tutoring Office at Mabee Library:
I strongly urge you to utilize Washburn University’s Tutoring Service if you know you need help with your writing. They will be able to help with the things I cannot necessarily help with. I can give advice for writing and show you examples, but I can’t co-author essays for a better grade. The Tutoring Office provides free one-on-one tutoring to all Washburn students enrolled in all levels.  Please call (785) 670-1397 to get the specific hours they will be open.

Definition of a Credit Hour:
For every credit hour awarded for a course, the student is typically expected to complete approximately one hour of classroom instruction, online interaction with course material, or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two additional hours of student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time. For summer classes, the equivalent is 18 hours a week.

(Personal note: I don’t think you will need 18 hours a week to work on this class’ projects. However, you should plan accordingly, based on the assignment due.)

Academic Misconduct Policy:
All students are expected to conduct themselves appropriately and ethically in their academic work.  Inappropriate and unethical behavior includes (but is not limited to) giving or receiving unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of papers or other assignments, or knowingly misrepresenting the source of academic work.  Washburn University’s Academic Impropriety Policy describes academically unethical behavior in greater detail and explains the actions that may be taken when such behavior occurs.  For guidelines regarding protection of copyright, consult For a complete copy of the Academic Impropriety Policy, contact the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs, Bradbury Thompson Alumni Center Suite 200, or go on-line to:

Disability Services:
The Student Services Office is responsible for assisting in arranging accommodations and for identifying resources on campus for persons with disabilities.  Qualified students with disabilities must register with the office to be eligible for services.  The office MUST have appropriate documentation on file in order to provide services.  Accommodations may include in-class note takers, test readers and/or scribes, adaptive computer technology, brailled materials.  Requests for accommodations should be submitted at least two months before services should begin; however, if you need an accommodation this semester, please contact the Student Services Office immediately.

Location:  Student Services, Morgan Hall Room 135  (new location)
Phone:  785-670-1629 or TDD 785-670-1025

Students may voluntarily identify themselves to the instructor for a referral to the Student Services Office.

Office of Academic Advising:
As a Washburn student, you may experience difficulty with issues such as studying, personal problems, time management, or choice of major, classes, or employment.  The Office of Academic Advising is available to help students either directly through academic advising, mentoring, testing and developing learning strategies or by identifying the appropriate University resource.  If you feel you need someone with whom to discuss an issue confidentially and free of charge, contact Academic Advising in Morgan 122, 785-670-1942,

Withdrawal Policy:
During fall and spring semesters, students may go online and withdraw from full semester courses through the second week of class with no recorded grade.  From the third through the eleventh week a “W” is recorded for any dropped course.  After the eleventh week, there are NO withdrawals, and a grade will be assigned for the course. These deadlines will be different for short-term, out-of-sequence, or summer courses.  To view the deadline dates for your courses visit the “Last Day” Deadlines web page at:

Attendance/Administrative Withdrawal:
Although it is the student's responsibility to initiate course withdrawals, an instructor, after due notice to the student, may request withdrawal of the student from a course because of nonattendance through the same date as the last day a student may withdraw from a course. This would NOT absolve the student of financial responsibility for tuition/fees for the course in question.  The inclusion of this information in the course syllabus is considered due notice.

Official E-Mail Address:
Your Washburn University e-mail address will be the official address used by the University for relaying important messages regarding academic and financial information and the University will consider this your official notification for important information.  It may also be used by your instructors to provide specific course information.  If you prefer to use an alternate e-mail address to receive official University notices, you can access your MyWashburn e-mail account, choose the "Options" tab, and select "Settings", scroll to the bottom of the screen, click enable forwarding and enter the e-mail address you would like your Washburn emails forwarded to in the “mail forwarding” area.  Click add and the click on save changes.  This will complete the process of forwarding your Washburn e-mail.  It is your responsibility to ensure that your official e-mail box does not exceed your message quota resulting in the inability of e-mail messages to be accepted into your mailbox.

Tentative Syllabus

I reserve the right to change this syllabus throughout the semester.

Due today
May 29
MODERNISTS: Pound, Eliot, HD, and Stein (online links), Introduction to PMAP, Olson p3-17, 613-21 (PMAP)
Discussion Board Post #1 due by 4pm
May 30
BEATS: Kerouac p75-80 (PMAP), Ginsberg p130-43, 635-37 (PMAP), Di Prima p272-78 (PMAP) 
Discussion Board Response #1 due by 4pm
May 31
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #1 by 4pm
June 1
BEATS: Corso p208-14 (PMAP), Snyder p214-21 (PMAP); LANGUAGE: Andrews p668-72 (PMAP), Hejinian p385-90, 653-58 (PMAP)
Discussion Board Post #2 due by 4pm
June 4
LANGUAGE: Silliman p489-97 (PMAP), 660-63 (PMAP); AM. HYBRID: R. Waldrop p313-17 (PMAP), K. Waldrop p247-52 (PMAP)
Discussion Board Response #2 due by 4pm
June 5
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #2 by 4pm
June 6
Write Essay #1

June 7
Write Essay #1

June 8
Revise Essay #1
Essay #1 by 4pm
June 11
Intro to American Hybrid
AM. HYBRID: Hejinian p185-91 (AH), K. Waldrop p440-45, R. Waldrop p446-51
Discussion Board Post #3 due by 4pm
June 12
AM. HYBRID: Ashbery p165-84 (PMAP), p22-28 (AH), Beckman p36-42 (AH), H. Mullen p295-300 (AH)

Discussion Board Response #3 due by 4pm
June 13
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #3 by 4pm
June 14
Write Essay #2

June 15
Write Essay #2


June 18
Revise Essay #2
Essay #2 by 4pm
June 19
Armantrout p514-17 (PMAP), p15-21 (AH),     Berssenbrugge p517-23 (PMAP), p57-62, Wright p481-87 (AH)
Discussion Board Post #4 due by 4pm
June 20
FLARF: Read online links (Gary, Sullivan, Mohammad, Degentesh) and Rod Smith p392-98 (AH)
Discussion Board Response #4 due by 4pm
June 21
Write a poem: see poetry assignment guidelines
Poem #4 by 4pm
June 22
Write Essay #3

June 25
Write Essay #3

June 26
Revise Essay #3

June 27
Revise Essay #3

June 28
Essay #3 by 4pm
All assignments MUST BE turned in by 4pm

Discussion Boards

Please post a clear point and an unclear point over that day’s reading. These “discussions” won’t cover all of the readings, but it is a good start to seek feedback for something unclear—in either an introduction, poem, or theory essay.

Write two paragraphs: one for your clear point and one for the unclear point. An example: The clear point could be how a certain poem describes its theme well. This would include quotes and elaborations with your analysis. The unclear point could be for a poem that “makes no sense” to you. You should still describe what you see in the poem, what the poet is saying, that the poem “does.” Then ask what questions you have.

The day following a post, look for another post without a response and respond to it. Describe how you see the poem or how a theory applies to a poem. Do your best in analyzing based on the questions posed.

Use details, quotes (with page numbers), and elaborations.

Be respectful of your reading audience in both posts and responses.

Write a poem

This assignment will involve writing a poem in the style or influence of a movement or poet from that week’s reading assignment.

Please include a paragraph or two describing the style or influence, referring to the pages of the reading. For an example, for Poem #1, after reading about the Modernists and Beats that week, if you were inspired by Stein’s prose poem, you could begin with an idea of modern domesticity in terms of today’s technology. Maybe the Ginsberg Essay “Notes for Howl and Other Poems” inspires you. I’m not saying to go find some peyote, but maybe “long units & broken short lines” (PMAP 636) could be an experiment? Feel free to be influenced by more than one source, poem, theory, etc.—a hybrid.

Please refer to the book’s pages and include details and elaborations. I should be able to read the connections between your poem, your paragraph, and the referred poem(s) and or theory(ies)—on which I will assign a grade. I’m not grading “how good” your poem is. I do not want you to feel burdened by writing the poem; I want you to feel inspired by the readings.

Essay #1

Modernists, Beats, or Language Poets essay. Write about one or more poets from the readings so far. Compare and describe how themes, imagery, and form lead to your assertion about what the poet(s) are “doing” in the work.

Essay #2

Language Poets essay. Write about one or more poets and a theory. Base your essay on the poetry readings from June 14 and 15 (Language poets) and the theories from June 7 and 8 (Hejinian and Silliman). Compare and describe how the poet(s) fits the theory. Also, use one or both of the introductions from the books in the essay.

Essay #3

An extensive project over two poets. Include poems, theories, and the introduction(s). Find an overall comparison and contrast in how the poets use context and form for their themes. An ideal paper would be using two poets who have an overall objective or theme in their writing, but write with slight differences. I prefer poets from the same movement, but can be about influenced poets, like Gertrude Stein’s influence on Harryette Mullen.

Any questions? Please do not hesitate in emailing me!