Saturday, June 23, 2012

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.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dennis. Thanks so much for posting the SWP schedule each week. Not only will it, hopefully, get the word out about this GREAT program, but it's also proven invaluable to me in writing my own blog. All but week four has been, inexplicably, deleted from the SWP blog, leaving me to rely on Radius for such minutiae as correct spelling, dates, and course titles.

    Great blog, btw. I've posted a link to it on my own--I hope you don't mind.
    Thanks again, Annie M