Saturday, June 23, 2012

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.

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