WEEK I: July 1-July 7 2013
History, Race and Polis, and “Karma" of the Modernists
The Kerouac School at Naropa University, founded in 1974 of its own volition and not as an extension or offshoot of an English Department, has roots in the most innovative aspects of the New American Poetry, and has extended itself over decades to include new praxis and world poetics, reveling in diversity and hybrid form. It seems important given the sorry divisive and tormented nature of US of A political adversity, including gender, class and racial divides, to review and examine “where we have been.” What is the legacy of Williams, Stevens, Pound and Stein, and their post-modern inheritors? How did they set the bar, what were their prejudices and why do we still feed off their work? What is the continuing narrative? Where has the gaze gone since, beyond Euro-centrism? This week we will look at our own modes of attitude, and the dark shadows of influence under newer world “orders.” The Kerouac School has always looked to collaboration amongst artists and art forms and the philosophies and orality of Asian and indigenous art forms. Poet/art thinker Bill Berskon will present a lecture on Gertrude Stein and her family art legacy, and Jerome Rothenberg will carry us forward to investigate the continuing shamanic powers of poetry.
Week Two: Hellfire, Drought, and Brimstone: A New Eco-Poetics
Week Three: Kulchur Connections and Beyond
Week Four: Third Mind: A Poetics of Performance, Cooperation and Affinity
w1 History, Race, Polis: “Karma” of the Modernists
The Kerouac School at Naropa University, founded in 1974, has roots in the most innova tive aspects of
the New American Poetry, and has extended itself over decades to include new praxis and world poetics,
reveling in diversity and hybrid form. It seems important given the sorry, divisive, and tormented nature
of US of A political adversity, including gender, class, and racial divides, to review and examine “where
we hav e been.” What is the legacy of Williams, Stevens, Pound, Stein, and their postmodern inheritors?
How did they set the bar, what were their prejudices, and why do we still feed off their work? What
is the continuing narrative? Where has the gaze gone since, beyond Euro-centrism? This week, we
will look at our own modes of attitude, and the dark shadows of influence under newer world “orders.”
The Kerouac School has alwa ys looked to collaboration amongst artists, art forms, and the philosophies
and orality of Asian and indigenous art forms. Poet/art thinker Bill Berskon will present a lecture on
Gertrude Stein and her fa mily art legacy, and Jerome Rothenberg will carry us forwa rd to investigate the
continuing shamanic powers of poetry.
Noncredit Course: WRI 051, tuition: $500 per week
Kazim Ali Cities of the Interior
A city exists as a concatenation of time unfolding in space. Pretending to be
permanent as both political and physical entities, in fact they shift with alarming
speed. Reading (mostly) prose by Stein, Nin, Kapil, Perec, Mehmedinovic,
Kostelanetz, Adnan, Darwish, and others will help us to create texts that explore
both the internal and external architectures of cities and consider the ways they are
expressed by the writers who write within them and the ways they impress psychic
and creative pressures upon those same citizens.
Kazim Ali was born in the UK to Muslim parents of South Asian and Middle Eastern
descent. His books include four volumes of poetry, two novels, two collections of essays, as
well as translations by Sohrab Sepehri, Marguerite Duras, and Ananda Devi. Recently
he edited the essay collection Jean Valentine: This-World Company. In addition to
being associate professor of creative writing and comparative literature at Oberlin
College and founding editor of Nightboat Books, he teaches in the Stonecoast MFA
program and is a certified Jivamukti Yoga instructor.
Cara Benson & Jennifer Karmin
Language as Communal Action
Time and again, new forms of expression are created from the demands history
makes on individuals devising artistic strategies together. We take part in societal
currency: mouth opens, fingers tap, hands pull and push across the page. Drawing
on experiences in collectives and trans-situational manifestations, we will
investigate our own writing and engage in collaborative practice as a model for our
future world/s. We tape words to our faces and offer each other new names.
Cara Benson is the author of the poetry collection (made) and a forthcoming book for
SUNY Press on the poetry class she teaches in a New York State Prison. Her poems have
appeared in The New York Times, Boston Review, Best American Poetry and are
forthcoming in Fence. Benson has performed poems in the offices of her Congressman to
the U.S. House of Representatives and on the streets of Washington DC, among many
other esteemed venues.
Jennifer Karmin’s multidisciplinary projects have been presented at festivals, artist-run
spaces, and on city streets across the U.S., Japan, Kenya, and Europe. She is the author
of the text-sound epic Aaaaaaaaaaalice and her writing is published in the anthology
I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women. In Chicago, she works
with immigrants as a community educator at Truman College, teaches in the Creative
Writing program at Columbia College, and curates the Red Rover Series.
poets, poems = telepa thic
landing pa ds
so here one sits
wa iting for long-ago vessel
sailed into one’s dream last night
Anselm Berrigan Listening as Practice
We’ll take as given that listening is an inherent component of reading and
writing, that listening is a mode of performance (to read a poem to yourself is to
perform that poem, however silently), and that listening is a skill, which means
one’s ability to listen (and by extension attend to the prosodic micro-elements of
sound and space that ultimately differentiate poetry from prose) can improve over
time. Readings to include Fred Moten, Dana Ward, Hoa Nguyen, Julian Brolaski,
Joanne Kyger, Harryette Mullen, Clark Coolidge, and Melvin Tolson. A complete
group reading of Douglas Oliver’s “The Infant & The Pearl” will also take place
across the four classes.
Anselm Berrigan’s books of poems include Notes from Irrelevance, Free Cell, and Zero
Star Hotel. Skasers, a book written jointly with John Coletti, was recently published by
Flowers & Cream. He is the poetry editor for The Brooklyn Rail, former artistic director
of The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, consciously a member of no particular school of
poetry, and co-chair of writing in the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts.
Sherwin Bitsui The Landscape of We
In this workshop, we will create poems by allowing certain shifts in our
perspectives to challenge our notions of place and identity. The space we create
together will be the ground on which our voices mingle with the present. We will
explore how contemporary Indigenous American poetry and perspectives help
renew our understanding of our connection to our shared world.
Sherwin Bitsui is the author of Flood Song (Copper Canyon Press) and Shapeshift
(University of Arizona Press). He is Diné of the Deer Springs Bitter Water People
and is born for the Manygoats People. He is from White Cone, Arizona, on the Navajo
Reservation. His honors include the 2011 Lannan Literary Fellowship, a Native
Arts & Culture Foundation Fellowship for Literature, a PEN Open Book Award, an
American Book Award, and a Whiting Writers Award.
Julie Carr My Wife My Car My Color and My Self: What
belongs to you? To what do you belong?
We will read and respond to texts from the 1950s and 60s that explore the notion
of belonging in order to ask: What belongs to you? To what do you belong? What
does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to “have” a color? a family? a
history? How do we both own a heritage and belonging to a nation? Own our
things and belong to the earth?
Julie Carr is the author of four books of poetry, including 100 Notes on Violence and
Sarah-Of Fragments and Lines. Surface Tension: Ruptural Time and the Poetics
of Desire in Late Victorian Poetry is out from Dalkey Archive in early 2013. A new
book, RAG, is forthcoming from Omnidawn. She teaches poetry and poetics at the
University of Colorado, Boulder, and is the co-editor of Counterpath Press.
Rikki Ducornet Revelation / A Practice
I propose giving space to a series of small pieces that will reveal themselves as they
are being written. We will work organically and imaginatively, always attentive to
the profound sympathy between the creative process and rigorous thinking. Expect
to have a sequence of pieces that will both stand alone and work interactively,
informing one another with energy and lunacy.
The author of eight novels, three collections of short fiction, a book of essays, and five books
of poetry, Rikki Ducornet has been twice honored by the Lannan Foundation. She has
received the Bard College Arts and Letters award and, in 2008, an Academy Award in
Literature. Her work is widely published abroad. Recent exhibitions of her paintings
include the solo show Desirous at the Pierre Menard Gallery in Cambridge, Massachusetts,
in 2007, and the group shows: O Reverso Do Olhar in Coimbra, Portugal, in 2008, and
El Umbral Secreto at the Museo de la Solidaridad Salvador Allende in Santiago, Chile,
in 2009. She has illustrated books by Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Coover, Forrest Gander,
Kate Bernheimer, Joanna Howard, and Anne Waldman, among others.
Lisa Jarnot Rogue State Epics
Beginning with Pound’s Cantos, we’ll branch out to look at contemporary
variations of the personal political epic, including Anne Waldman’s Iovis, kari
edwards’ a day in the life of p, and Bernadette Mayer’s Midwinter Day. Come
prepared to think about your place in the polis and begin an epic.
Lisa Jarnot is the author of four full-length collections of poetry: Some Other Kind
of Mission (Burning Deck Press, 1996), Ring of Fire (Zoland Books, 2001 and Salt
Publishers, 2003), Black Dog Songs (Flood Editions, 2003), and Night Scenes
(Flood Editions, 2008). Her biography of the San Francisco poet Robert Duncan was
published by the University of California Press in 2012 and a Selected Poems will be
published by City Lights in 2013. She currently lives in Sunnyside, New York, with her
husband and daughter. She works as a teacher, writer, and freelance gardener and is a
founding member of the Central Park Forest Nursery Preschool Cooperative.
A Machine Made of Words: The Poetry of Letterpress Printing
William Carlos Williams describes a poem as “a small (or large) machine made
of words.” The Naropa letterpress imprint, Kavyayantra Press, takes its title from
a Sanskrit word meaning “poetry machine.” In this workshop, we will learn basic
letterpress techniques while considering this connection, our bodies as writing
technologies. Metal type, presses, and hands as different cogs in a single poetic
apparatus. How we can be both machines made of words and machines which
Jade Lascelles is a poet and letterpress printer based in Boulder, Colorado. A graduate of
the Kerouac School, she now serves as the Harry Smith Print Shop assistant and the book
review editor for Bombay Gin. She is a founding member of the eco-poetic publishing
project Inukshuk Collective and teaches writing and literature at Naropa University
and Front Range Community College. She is also quite fond of yoga and dance parties.
Rachel Levitsky Recuperative Strategies (OoRS .net)
OoRS is a mobile research laboratory that explores tactics to promote the reuse,
perversification, and reparation of precarious, outmoded, and correctable cultural
phenomena. In this workshop, we will deploy a range of modes including strategies
(detourning, queering, rearranging, assisting), documentary tools (pen, camera, tape
recorder, video), and research methodologies (archive investigation, field-notes,
sampling, collecting, inserting) towards a practice that both denaturalizes the
present and opens up new modes of hybridity, activism, and dwelling.
Rachel Levitsky is the author of Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003), NEIGHBOR
(UDP, 2009) and the novel, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013), and
the founder of the feminist avant-garde network, Belladonna* Collaborative. In 2010, with
Christian Hawkey, she started The Office of Recuperative Strategies (OoRS.net), a mobile
research unit variously located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Boulder, Brooklyn, Cambridge, New
York City, and the Universität Leipzig in Leipzig. She teaches writing at Pratt Institute.
Anna Moschovakis Poem-Essays and the Poetics of Ignorance
Reliance on partial knowledge; appropriation of material that is not understood;
a willfully ignorant stance; empathic imagination; irresponsible research;
untenable argument; aggressive wrongness; inexpert testimony; deliberate
decontextualization—these easily criticized attributes of a text can also be
powerful techniques for writing discursively, often wielded for political and ethical
uses. We will think—and write—through this hypothesis together, considering
also the question of privilege in relation to these approaches. We’ll read Redonnet,
Hawkey, Catherine Taylor, Markson, Spahr, others.
Anna Moschovakis’s recent books are: You and Three Others Are Approaching a
Lake and The Jokers, a translation of La violence et la dérision by Egyptian-French
novelist Albert Cossery. She teaches in the Writing Program at Pratt Institute and at
Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. She is also a member of
Brooklyn-based publishing collective Ugly Duckling Presse, for which she heads up the
Dossier Series of Investigative Texts.
Mikey Muscat Joan Beard
Julie Patton Where the Wild Thinks Are
Out of classroom field notes and thrifts re cycle natural rhythms, far ranging
botanies of the soul, geologies spur’d risk. On a humble. Reading writing &
writing reading spellbound around all. Trace, list, lisp, map presence songs. Scout.
Common ground-selves turn inside out recall invoiced beeings (babbling brook,
magpies, aspen, boulders, insects) within and without. Being in touch with
inner elders, buried beoples stretch perceptual limits, dispell received categories
positing a “nature” here, “culture” there, and “human” and “other” tongue ties as
separate wear and tear. Sound musings, found objects, letters, textures, smells and
other tones be pencorporated into a collective holding pattern, swarm, lemming
aid or perfume. Performance, installation, or scat reference the tickled journey.
Permaculture as an ecopoetic framing device, Boulder: A Rock Opera and other ripe
callings may stir the pot.
Julie Ezelle Patton’s recent paper-piper planes bees Notes for Some (Nominally)
Awake (Yo Yo Labs, 2010), forthcoming F (Field Books, 2013), and Writing with
Crooked Ink (Belladonna 2013). Julie is a performance poet, visual artist, and
permaculturist who lives in New York City. Her visualertness can be found in I’ll
Drown My Book: Conceptual writing by Women (Les Figues), ((eco(lang)
uage(reader)), and Critiphoria. Julie’s Building by the Side of the Road (About
Place Journal: Rust Belt Tales, 2012), chronicles a storied land conservation and
eco-artist housing project she established in a povarty city 180 miles from the rock star
Detroit. Poet Tree Mitigation Services, Let it Bee Green, Salon des Refusé, Community
Service Berry Jam are some of niches mined in this rust belt galaxy. Julie vocallaborates
with composer/instrumentalists Daniel Carter, Paul Van Curen, Drew Gardner. Fall
2012 found her wording notes with Brad Jones at the Stone in New York City, and
noting words with Anne Waldman at Poets House and Lee Ann Brown at a Museum
of Moving Images Event dedicated to John Cornell. Julie has been honored with a
Doan Brook Association 2012 Watershed Hero Award, a 2010 and 2008 Acadia Arts
Foundation Award, and a 2007 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (Poetry).
She’s an award-winning educator who has taught in public schools, museums, and
universities in the Americas and abroad.
Language Has a Body: Writing as an Energy Container
Language is immaterial—it is made of signs, follows rules, and outlasts its users.
But language has a body, too—it takes form in synaptic flashes, breathing, muscle
movements, typography, radio waves, electronic pulses. How do we write across
these valences? How do nonsense and invented music work in this technology of
mind, which is not private but shared? How do we track libidinal rhythms, say the
unsayable, and risk gobbledygook, yet communicate with other people? Letting
what we write become an energy container, we’ll experiment.
Frances Richard’s books include Anarch. (Futurepoem, 2012), The Phonemes (Les
Figues Press, 2012), See Through (Four Way Books, 2003), and the chapbooks Shaved
Code (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2008) and Anarch. (Woodland Editions, 2008).
She writes frequently about contemporary art and is co-author, with Jeffrey Kastner and
Sina Najafi, of Odd Lots: Revisiting Gordon Matta-Clark’s “Fake Estates” (Cabinet
Books, 2005). Currently she teaches at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
Revisiting James Baldwin’s Views on the Artist In American Society
In James Baldwin’s Uncollected Writings: The Cross of Redemption, he
uncompromisingly puts the responsibility of telling the essential truths about the
society that produces an artist on the artist. The artist is a model of expressive
individuality in his/her culture fostering healthy heterogeneous discourse. Using
Baldwin’s texts to configure models of thought and approach, we will discuss the
socio-political agency in the work of American artists in various fields to inspire
analytically informed poetry and prose.
Christopher Stackhouse is a writer and artist. Plural (2012) is a volume of his poetry
published by Counterpath Press. Seismosis (2006) is a collaborative book of Stackhouse’s
drawings in dialogue with text by writer John Keene. He is a recent visiting critic at
the Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art, Hoffberger School of Painting, and, guest
lecturer at Bethel University’s, New York Center for Art & Media Studies.
Alarm! Human driven modification to the planet’s ecosystems contributes to rising atmosphere greenhouse
gas levels, causing extreme fluctuations in weather, altered species distribution, and increase in
extinction rates. Whole cultures and languages are going out of existence as well, affected by basic
human struggle for surviva l under increasing duress. As we experience, our planet is undergoing
unprecedented instances of climate change, with wa ter clearly emerging as the inestimable element in the
balance of our “oikos” (root of the word “ecology” meaning house). Fire, floods, and drought hav e been
causing hav oc, as well as strange denial in the will or the polis around issues of gun control in a
culture run wild with violence. The connections between man-made plunder, from fracking to wa r, hav e
been established in terms of how we eschew guardianship of our planet and our own communities. Can
poets and artists envision an alternative to this dystopia? How do we address violence, amnesia, deathwish,
and the extreme, almost biblical, conditions of an altered world? How are we adapting?
Noncredit Course: WRI 052, tuition: $500 per week
Rae Armantrout Going Negative
How have poets said “No!” or “Enough!’ to the excesses of global capital? In this
course we will look at the minimalist poetics of writers such as Lorine Niedecker
and Graham Foust along with the erasure techniques of Ronald Johnson and Susan
Howe. Students will produce their own “erasure poems.” They will also respond
(in poetry) to the work of poets such as Rodrigo Toscano and Vanessa Place who
use their positions inside major institutions (criminal courts and labor unions,
respectively) to de-form and repurpose dominant narratives, jamming the circuits.
With the poets above (and others) as examples, you will be encouraged to “talk back.”
Coming from the nexus of Bay Area Language Writing, Rae Armantrout has published
eleven volumes of poetry. Her book Versed won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and
the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her 2011 collection, Money Shot, focused, in
part, on the impact of the Wall Street mentality on our culture. A new book, Just Saying,
appeared this year from Wesleyan.
CA Conrad Integral Crystal Application For Dispelling Information
Fatigue: A New (Soma)tic Poetry Primer for the Ritual of the
This mechanistic world, as it becomes more and more efficient, resulting in
ever increasing brutality, has required us to find our bodies to find our planet in
order to find our poetry. (Soma)tic poetry rituals aim our attention at two basic
principles: (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, humane changes to our world is creativity.
CA Conrad is the author of TRANSLUCENT SALAMANDER (TROLL
THREAD Press, 2012), A BEAUTIFUL MARSUPIAL AFTERNOON:
New (Soma)tics (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 2011 PEW Fellow, a 2012 UCROSS Fellow,
and a 2013 BANFF Fellow.
“Bardic, O Self, Visitacione, tell naught
but what seen by one man in a va le in Albion,
of the folk, whose physical sciences end in Ecology,
the wisdom of earthly relations,
of mouths & eyes interknit ten centuries visible
orchards of mind language manifest human,
of the satanic thistle that raises its horned symmetry
flowering above sister grass-daisies’ pink tiny
bloomlets angelic as lightbulbs—”
—Allen Ginsberg, “Wales Visitation”
Samuel R. Delany The Maze and The Mirror
What do you want to do with your writing? Because the workshops are small,
we can be surprisingly focused for each 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, and a
revised and enhanced edition of his 2004 novel Phallos. 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.
Lost in Strangeness: Writing in Heav en: Endless Narration
Jesus saw some little ones nursing—He said to his disciples, “What these little
ones who are nursing resemble is those who enter the kingdom.” They said to him,
“So shall we enter the kingdom by being little ones?” Jesus said to them, “When
you make the two one and make the inside like the outside and the outside like
the inside and the above like the below, and that you might make the male and the
female be one and the same, so that the male might not be male nor the female be
female, when you make eyes in the place of an eye and a hand in place of a hand
and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image then you will enter the
kingdom” —from The Gospel According to Thomas.
Robert Glück is the author of nine books of poetry and fiction, including two novels,
Margery Kempe and Jack the Modernist and a book of stories, Denny Smith. Glück
prefaced Between Life and Death, a book on the paintings of Frank Moore, and he
edited, along with Camille Roy, Mary Berger and Gail Scott, the anthology Biting
The Error: Writers Explore Narrative. Glück was co-director of Small Press Traffic
Literary Arts Center, director of The Poetry Center at San Francisco State, and associate
editor at Lapis Press. His first book of stories, Elements of a Coffee Service (1982),
has just been republished by Ithuriel’s Spear.
HR Hegnauer The Least Deformed Book
We’ll root ourselves in Robert Glück’s question, “What kind of representation
least deforms its subject?” While also keeping in mind the week’s ecological
themes, this class manifests itself out of the destruction of the planet, the human,
and language. We’ll focus on publishing as an archive of our time and then create
a new press with a necessary mission. We’ll also physically publish our first book
from a collection of the week’s writing.
HR Hegnauer is a writer, freelance book designer, and website designer who specializes
in working with small presses and individual artists. She is the author of Sir (Portable
Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2011). As a designer, HR has worked with more than 350 writers
and translators. She is a member of the feminist publishing collaborative Belladonna*
and the poets’ theater group, GASP: Girls Assembling Something Perpetual; she has also
acted in movies directed by Ed Bowes.
Fred Moten The General Balm
On the poetics of drought and flood, nothingness and abundance, privation and
fullness, thirst and saturation: John Donne, Emily Dickinson, Charlie Patton,
Steven Feld, M. NourbeSe Philip.
Fred Moten is the Helen L. Bevington Professor of Modern Poetry at Duke University.
He is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition
(University of Minnesota Press), Hughson’s Tavern (Leon Works), B. Jenkins (Duke
University Press), and of two forthcoming books: The Feel Trio (Letter Machine
Editions) and consent not to be a single being (Duke University Press).
Eileen Myles Long Poems
Let’s write a long poem all week looking at such artists as Whalen, Scalapino,
Snyder, Waldman, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, and CA Conrad as our guides. We’ll
work inside & outside and definitely consult a book that deals with a philosophy of
intimacy & space by Peter Sloterdijk called Bubbles. Give that a look now if you can.
Eileen Myles was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and moved to New York (where
she still lives) in 1974 to be a poet. Latest books are Snowflake/different streets,
Inferno (a poet’s novel) and The Importance of Being Iceland for which she received
a Creative Capital/Warhol art writing grant. She’s a 2012 Guggenheim fellow.
Kristin Prevallet Surviva l Poetics
As writers we live in this culture of fractured consciousness with our antennae
tuned into the frequency of apocalyptic urgencies as they surface in the
unprecedented ecological and personal shifts of these times. We tune in, investigate,
and find poetic and other artistic forms to address the world in its state of constant
change. This workshop will integrate your creative vision with its potential to heal
symptoms manifesting in your body and mind—and use all of your resources to
begin imagining possible futures that will allow you to open larger fields of creative
awareness and in doing that, learn how to survive. We will read, write, and think
in relation to sources including Akilah Oliver, Anne Waldman, Leslie Scalapino,
Francisco Varela, V. S. Ramachandran, and Amit Goswami.
Kristin Prevallet is a poet, performer, and change worker whose fifth book, Everywhere
Here and in Brooklyn (A Four Quartets) was published by the Belladonna*
Collaborative. She edited and introduced the critical edition of Helen Adam’s work,
A Helen Adam Reader (National Poetry Foundation) and recent writing appears
in Reality Sandwich, Spoon River Review and Fourth Genre: Adventures in
Nonfiction as well as in the anthologies I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing
By Women and Rhythm of Structure: Mathematics, Art, and Poetic Reflection.
Founding director of the Center for Mindbody Studies, she is a board certified
hypnotherapist and integral health coach with a private practice in Manhattan.
Julia Seko The Word/World Transformed
Letterpress printing is a dynamic interaction between the printers, the text, and
the craft itself—the materials, tools, and presses. Through this process we craft
and envision worlds on paper. In this introductory workshop, we’ll cover basic
letterpress skills and discuss choices in typography, materials, and structure.
Together we’ll find our way to the finished work.
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 her letterpress work is in university and private collections.
Most recently, she participated in the Al-Mutanabbi Street project.
Ron Silliman Post-Everything Poetics
The history of poetry is the history of change in poetry, closely intertwined with
changes in the material world. But what happens when global empires come
apart? When all options have been tried? When there are a million poets & only
capital & the biosphere are truly global? How do you write what’s next if next isn’t
a given? What then?
Ron Silliman has written and edited more than thirty books, most recently Wharf
Hypothesis, and had his poetry & criticism translated into twelve languages. He has
edited In the American Tree, Tottel’s, and The Socialist Review. Silliman was a Kelly
Writers House Fellow, winner of the Levinson Prize from the Poetry Foundation, and a
fellow of the Pew Foundation & the NEA. His blog has had over 3.5 million visits.
Tineke de Lange Leopoldine Core
Orlando White Desire Lines
A desire line is a pathway constructed by footfall with an impulse to navigate inbetween
manmade structures like sidewalks and paved roads. To create a trail from
one place to another, not only to establish a short distance of travel, but also enact
a personal intuitive design. In this workshop, we will explore desire lines and write
unconventionally about how this concept adapts into imagination to encourage
our instinctual risks even more.
Orlando White is the author of Bone Light (Red Hen Press, 2009). Originally from
Tółikan, Arizona, he is Diné of the Naaneesht’ézhi Tábaahí and born for the Naakai
Diné’e. His work has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Evening Will Come: A
Monthly Journal of Poetics, and elsewhere. He is a recipient of a Lannan Foundation
Residency and the 2012 Bread Loaf John Ciardi Fellowship. He teaches at Diné College
and lives in Tsaile, Arizona.
Freecycle Aesthetics?: Taking Poetry Off the Grid
What does the future sound like? If we change its sound, what will follow? Is
your poetic practice sustainable? What would a ‘progressive’ poetics look like?
Can poetry be useful? What kinds of unmaking will lead us to remaking? What
is gained by re-engaging with the handmade, the salvaged, the wild? In this
workshop, we will practice acts of cultural dumpster-diving, in search of a reopening
of the field.
Elizabeth Willis’s most recent book, Address (Wesleyan, 2011), was awarded the PEN
New England / L. L. Winship Prize for poetry. Other books of poetry include Meteoric
Flowers (Wesleyan, 2006); Turneresque (Burning Deck, 2003); and The Human
Abstract (Penguin, 1995). She is also the editor of a volume of essays entitled Radical
Vernacular: Lorine Niedecker and the Poetics of Place (Iowa, 2008). She teaches at
Wesleyan University and is a 2012–13 Guggenheim fellow.
Lidia Yuknavitch Corporeal Writing
How do we address violence, amnesia, death wish, and the extreme—almost
biblical conditions—of an altered world? How are we adapting? To these
questions I counter with: What does it mean to write from the body as an
epistemological site? What forms reveal themselves when we turn away from
inherited cultural scripts and focus on developing stories, voices, rhythms, images
that are body-born? Back to our animal selves, back to our breathable blue past, in
this course we will create a series of “alternative warrior myths” and “eco-prosaics”
that stake claims on how we endure.
Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the anti-memoir The Chronology
of Water, the novel Dora: A Headcase: A Modern Farce, and
three books of experimental short fictions. She is the recipient of
an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award,
and she was a finalist for the Pen Center Award in Creative
Nonfiction. She lives, loves, teaches, and commits art banditry in
a book about trees
It’s like a park
except that all its windows
you look up at the world &
This week we are reaching out to poets and writers whose work has been strategic in addressing other
kulchurs through translation, educational projects, investigative poetics, and cross-cultural collaboration
of all kinds with forays into Morocco, the UK, India, and pockets of our own continent. We are asking
our guests to bring us the news from other zones of creative and generative activity. How are we
suited to create our own schools and cultural programs, and raise support for artist-run enterprises
that might be sustainable into the future? How can we be progressive entrepreneurs of a new crosscultural
dynamism? How can we better understand and enlarge our awa reness through forums, archives,
libraries, international online magazines, study centers, and residencies that promote exchange through
study and scholarship of languages and cultures? The projects to consider might reach back centuries, or
exist in the interstices of a new hybrid diaspora.
Noncredit Course: WRI 053, tuition: $500 per week
Poetry, Landscape, Identity: Elements of India
How is identity made and unmade in poetry? What might it mean to evoke
a poetics of dislocation? We’ll read poems from the Indian classical traditions
and discuss poetics—notions of rasa and of akam and puram (inner and
outer landscapes); poems by Dalits (members of the so called `Untouchable’
community); poems from the diaspora. We’ll figure out how the landscapes of
poetry might flow through layers of time, how poetry and history are bound
together, even as they split apart.
Meena Alexander was born in India. Her poetry has been anthologized, translated, and
set to music. Her most recent book of poetry is Quickly Changing River; a new volume
Birthplace with Buried Stones is forthcoming. Poetics of Dislocation appears in the
Michigan Poets on Poetry series. She has received awards from the Guggenheim and
Fulbright foundations and the Arts Council of England. She lives and works in New
Poetry and the Art of Playing: words, games & wonder(s)
We will make poems with the aid of John Keats and his concept of Negative
Capability, Zen master Dogen’s Buddhist notion of emptiness, and Andrei
Codrescu’s Ten Muses of Poetry: Mishearing, Misunderstanding, Mistranslating,
Mismanaging, Mislaying, Misreading, Misappropriating clichés, Misplacing
objects belonging to roommates or lovers, Misguided thoughts at inappropriate
times, funerals &c., and 10. Mississippi. Bernadette Mayer once asked: “Are you
supposed to write only one kind of poetry? I don’t think so.” Serious, silly, free,
formal, wild and/or withdrawn—all poems/poets are welcome!
Tim Atkins is the author of Horace, 1000 Sonnets, Petrarch (three volumes), Folklore,
and Honda Ode (a Japanese translation of On the Road). Editor of the long-running
online poetry journal onedit, he teaches at the University of East London, and is
London correspondent for Lungfull! magazine.
I carry buckets
from the pond
more than my arms can bear.
Under a full moon
like flies in amber.
We hav e to understand that since the planet is taking care of us, our job is to protect ourselves from
ourselves. And once that change is made, that we are protecting ourselves from ourselves inside a symbiosis,
then we can go on and create a politics that is different from the politics we hav e now...
Kulchur Connections and Beyond
Omar Berrada & Sarah Riggs Creating/curating the between
This workshop is a virtual invitation to Morocco and France to hatch your own
fresh writing. Participants will view film poems we’ve produced in Tangier, witness
the translation of poems from the 1001 Nights, and of contemporary French poet
Oscarine Bosquet, as well as “guest curate” art happenings at Dar al Ma’mûn in
Marrakech. No foreign language experience necessary, just a willingness to let your
writing grow out of collaboration and an international context.
Omar Berrada directs the library and translation center at Dar al-Ma’mûn in
Marrakech. Previously, he hosted shows on French national radio and public programs
at the Centre Pompidou, and curated Tangier’s International Book Salon. He translates
American poetry and philosophy into French, and has recently edited, with Erik Bullot,
Expanded Translation – A Treason Treatise (Sharjah Art Foundation, 2011) and,
with Yto Barrada, Album – Cinémathèque de Tanger (Virreina/LDC, 2012).
Sarah Riggs, the author of Autobiography of Envelopes (Burning Deck, 2012), 60
Textos (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), Waterwork (Chax Press, 2007), and Chain of
Minuscule Decisions in the Form of a Feeling (Reality Street Editions, 2007), has
(co-)translated from the French poets Isabelle Garron, Marie Borel, Etel Adnan, Ryoko
Sekiguchi, and Oscarine Bosquet. A member of the bilingual poetry collective Double
Change (www.doublechange.org), and founder of the interart nonprofit Tamaas
(www.tamaas.org), she lives in Paris, where she teaches at NYU-in-France.
Lisa Birman Writing Home
What is home? A country? A house? A body? A person? Can our writing be a
home? Can we write ourselves (a) home? Where do we write from? Whom do we
write to? In poetry, in prose, in reading, in conversation, we will explore these and
other questions. We will write the grounds, the memories, the hopes, the sounds, the
communities that make our homes. Writers of any genre and experience are welcome.
Lisa Birman is the author of For That Return Passage—a Valentine for the United
States of America, and co-editor of Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics
in Action. Her work has appeared in Floor Journal, Milk Poetry Magazine,
Trickhouse, and not enough night. Lisa was the director of the Kerouac School’s SWP
for more than a decade and taught for Naropa’s MFA in Creative Writing.
Junior Burke Sentient Verse
In this course, we will infuse contemporary issues and sensibilities into classical
modes 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, dramatist, and lyricist. His novel, Something Gorgeous,
which explores the world behind Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby, was republished in
2012. A set of his first studio recordings tentatively titled With You in Rockland, is
being readied for release on the Di-Tone label. He has taught at the Kerouac School since
1999, and served as chair of Writing & Poetics from 2006 to 2010.
Victor HernAndez Cruz Bi-lingualism and American Poetics
This course will explore migratory poetics, modernism in Latin America, and
Modernism in the United States. We will discuss sociologies, politics, and cultural
traits that exist right through the Saxon/English occupation. We will read and
discuss some of the early bi-lingual poems of William Carlos Williams, dwell
upon the difficulties of Translation; how to integrate and melt two languages
within a single poem: does it enhance the creative process of the poem or thus
it create chaos? The class will encourage bi-lingual readings and even tri-lingual
Víctor Hernández Cruz was born in the small mountain town of Aguas Buenas, Puerto
Rico. Reading the Beats and Afro American poets and writers he began to write as a
teenager, producing his first booklet Papo Got His Gun in 1966. Some of these poems
made it into Evergreen Review, poems along with a spread of photos. It opened up a
new level of audience; Random House published a volume called Snaps in 1968. He
currently writes in both Spanish and English and divides his time between Puerto Rico
and Morocco where his wife and son live. His poems have been translated into Dutch,
German, French, Greek, Turkish, and Chinese.
Tonya Foster Dislocations: Place and Poetry
“Weaving together the two sides of the road/Joining the two banks, below and
above the water.” Reading the poem as a site/sight of encounters between material
and conceptual geographies, this workshop will explore poetic elaborations of
space, place, and time in the works of Aimé Césaire, Kamau Brathwaite, Frantz
Fanon, and others.
Tonya Foster is the author of poetry, fiction, and essays that have been published in a
variety of journals from Callaloo to The Hat to Western Humanities Review. She
is the author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court (Belladonna Press) and co-editor
of Third Mind: Creative Writing through Visual Art. A recipient of fellowships
from New York Foundation for the Arts, Macdowell Colony, the Mellon and Ford
Foundations, she teaches in Bard’s Language & Thinking Workshop and is a student at
the CUNY Graduate Center in the doctoral program in English.
Wandering Carniva l/Carniva l Wandering Theatre for Poets
The aim here is for angel-headed poetry to meet and interact with the low haunt
of county fairs, sideshows, games of chance, etc. (M. Bakhtin hovering, a serious
afterthought, in the background); out of this meeting will be produced a theater
of danger, a performance made by and of several voices and concerns, and a
unrepairable fissure in things as they are (one that will involve and disquiet the
citizenry). Bring a mask or something that might be a costume.
C. S. Giscombe’s recent poetry books are Prairie Style and Giscome Road. His prose
books are Into and Out of Dislocation and (forthcoming) Back Burner. Prairie Style
was awarded a 2008 American Book Award by the Before Columbus Foundation;
Giscombe is the 2010 recipient of the Stephen Henderson Award in poetry, given by
the African-American Literature and Culture Society. He is a long-distance cyclist. He
teaches poetry at the University of California, Berkeley.
Bhanu Kapil & Andrea Spain Writing the Event
We hope to create a space in which a philosophy of the event cross-germinates
with creative practice. Short talks on post-colonial theory will be transposed with
physical experiments of all kinds. Please come prepared to perform anti-clockwise
and clockwise movements as an activity of form. Please come prepared to write the
vectors that orbit the event, or approach it, refuse it, burn up: absorbed, instantly,
by a space that’s never seen. Novelists, poets, and cross-genre writers are very
welcome. You will leave the week with a radical revision of work you’ve already
begun, or a set of notes [vectors] with which to: continue, write forward, begin.
Bhanu Kapil is the author of five books of experimental writing, most recently Notes for
a novel not yet written: Ban. She is a core faculty member who teaches year-round in
the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.
Andrea Spain’s work investigates philosophies of time, materiality, and becoming.
Her manuscript Postcoloniality and Event, explores the role of time, memory, and
perception in the postcolonial present. She teaches literature and cultural theory at
Mississippi State University. Bhanu and Andrea have been in symbiotic conversation
about the event, Elizabeth Grosz, and the form a book might take [never take] since
1995. They co-taught a class on Francis Bacon, Deleuze, and triptych forms in a prior
Summer Writing Program.
M. NourbeSe Philip
Noise, Silence, and the Sacred: Performing Trauma, Ritualizing the Archive
How do we translate the silence of the archive into the noise of the text? Is there
a role for the “sacred”? How do we untell the histories of trauma? These are some
of the questions the workshop will explore through techniques such as erasure.
We will pay particular attention to how we may find the/our/my/your Story in
the silence of the archive. We will explore how to read Silence and find our way
through the Noise. We will read out loud in ensemble to explore the boundaries of
sound and silence. Students are encouraged to bring their own archives—public or
private—to work on.
M. NourbeSe Philip is a poet, essayist, novelist, and playwright living in the space-time
of the City of Toronto. Her most recent work, Zong!, is a genre-breaking poem which
engages with ideas of the law, history, and memory as they relate to the transatlantic
slave trade. Her honours include the Pushcart Prize, the Casa de las Americas prize
for She Tries Her Tongue; Her Silence Softly Breaks, and fellowships from the
Guggenheim and Rockefeller (Bellagio) Foundations.
Michelle Naka Pierce & Chris Pusateri
The Poetics of Ruin
Writers and artists such as Bataille, Abramović, and Mendieta explore how
impermanence acts as a basis for artistic exchange. In a culture that emphasizes
preservation and the myth of lasting value, what is the function of decay, remnant,
absence, or ephemera? What constitutes identity in the performative? The
Poetics of Ruin problematizes the relationship between artist, audience, and art
production and recasts art and its cultural value.
Michelle Naka Pierce is the author of Continuous Frieze Bordering Red (2012),
awarded Fordham University’s Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize; She, A Blueprint
(2011); Beloved Integer (2007); TRI/VIA (2003); and several chapbooks. Pierce has
collaborated with artists, dancers, and filmmakers and performed internationally. Her
work has been translated into French, Spanish, Japanese, and Hebrew. Born in Japan,
Pierce currently teaches in and directs the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at
Chris Pusateri is the author of several books of poetry, most recently Common Time
(Steerage Press, 2012) and Molecularity (Dusie, 2011). His work appears in many
journals in the U.S. and abroad, including Chicago Review, Fence, Jacket, Verse and
others. A librarian by trade, he has lectured on poetry and poetics at The School of the Art
Institute of Chicago, Wittenberg University, University of New Mexico, and the École
Polytechnique in Paris.
Eleni Sikelianos Medley
Roots of mix, according to www .edenics.net:
Ma$eKe(S) is a web (Judges16:13) - a fine source for MESH. MESH is linked to mezg
(to knit); MaZeG is a mixed or blended drink in Songs 7:3.
MISHMASH, MUSIC (mixed sounds) and MUST ANG. Massak in Inupiat means mixed snow
and wa ter. “Together” in Modern Greek is μαζι.
Proverbs 9:2: “She hath prepa red her meat, she hath mingled her wine; she hath also
furnished her table.”
In this workshop, the plan is to try various forms of mingling—we’ll look at texts
by Moroccan writer/filmmaker Bouanani, perhaps read some young Egyptian
poets, “translate” from film to text, maybe try our hand at Cambodian poetic forms
or French Alexandrines, and study/create mini-lingua-culturo-bio-spheres.
Eleni Sikelianos’ next book of poems is The Loving Detail of the Living & the Dead.
Mary Tasillo Tactile Writing: Letterpress, Printing, and Exchange
Experiment with writing from the constraints posed by setting metal type in
the composing stick and on the press. Look to the map, the timeline, and other
diagrams to control or stretch your writing through spatial systems. Look to
posters of Mai 68 and of Spring 2012 to consider the way the visual components
of the letterform reinforce meaning. Examine the potential of the print shop and
the hand-printed to promote community exchange.
Mary Tasillo is an internationally exhibiting artist working in printing, text, zines,
and artist books, with a focus on art in public spaces. She is co-proprietor of The Soapbox:
Independent Publishing Center, a do-it-yourself art space in West Philadelphia featuring
a zine library and community-accessible printing facilities. As half of the collaboration
“Book Bombs,” she creates prints, publications, and interactive art experiences for
distribution in the streets.
all that occurs all that creeps
that sinks that sneaks all that works in broad daylight
in deep night
The Kerouac School’s final SWP week is a concatenation of many voices, seeing that poetry, and
storytelling, and cut up, and vocal play in its many guises are not closed systems. Rather we delight in
the possibilities of an applied poetics, applied in this case to working with others, be it the recording
studio, the letterpress print shop, the meditation hall, the hallwa ys, bywa ys, and hiking trails of our
“experiment” in collaboration. The term “third mind” comes from the collaborations and cut-up and
erasure experiments of William S. Burroughs (former teacher at the JKS ) and Brion Gysin, writer and
visual artist. We will create libretti, music, oral duets, movies, multifa ceted narrations, and innova tions
with montage, and see what emerges “dreaming as one.”
Noncredit Course: WRI 054, tuition: $500 per week
Christian Bok Writing from Beyond the Third Mind
Poets in the modern milieu have already begun to question, if not to abandon,
the lyrical mandate of originality in order to explore the readymade potential of
“uncreative” literature—be it automatic, mannerist, aleatoric, or readymade, in its
literary practice. This course traces how the notions of both the accidental and the
procedural have increasingly informed current writing by poets who find inspiration
in stolen texts, random words, forced rules, boring ideas, even cyborg tools.
Christian Bök is the author not only of Crystallography (1994), a pataphysical
encyclopedia nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award, but also of Eunoia
(2001), a bestselling work of experimental literature, which has won the Griffin Prize
for Poetic Excellence. Currently, Bök is working on an unusual project, entitled The
Xenotext—a genetically engineered poem, designed to persist forever in the genome of
an unkillable bacterium. Bök teaches English literature at the University of Calgary.
Ambrose Bye Spontaneous Production
Using the recording studio as a classroom, we will examine the relationships
between sound, noise, word, and song. Drawing inspiration from the ever-noisy
universe (from strings to things), we will develop collaborative poetic collages in
sound. We will also be touching on recording techniques, sound processing, and
analogue/digital technology. Working in conjunction with additional workshops,
we will bring our colleagues into the studio and produce, produce, produce.
Performance poets, musicians, geeks, and luddites all welcome. In the end we will
compile our sonic treasures and give them back.
Ambrose Bye, composer/musician/producer grew up in the environment of the Jack
Kerouac School, 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. Working primarily with poets, he has produced four albums with Anne
Waldman. Most recently he produced, Harry’s House, a compilation from recordings
done at Naropa University, and the soundtrack for Soldiering with jazz artist Daniel
touch you, gossamer,
streaks strands hair filament
splash in raw daylight
signal of gnat-life
and with light
expa nds explodes
to complex va riant
double of the dreamer
who is both author and character (pa rticipa nt?) behind the wa terfa ll
A Poetics of Performance,
Cooperation, and AfFInity
The Alphabets of the Future Are Wormholes: Nu-Languages, Nu-Century
We investigate nu-languages, imaginary languages, and expanded languages while
writing, composing, computing, performing, or collaging our own from the course
materials; anything ambitious goes. We explore nu-languages as nu-poems and
nu-fictions in the nu-century as traversable wormholes, crossed in both directions,
with 2D topological “mouths” and 3D topological “spheres”: from where do they
“begin,” and where are they “going”? The “why”: to travel. And: in what ways
might these U+F+O+L+A+N+G+U+A+G+E+S render us nu?
Amy Catanzano is the author of Multiversal (Fordham University Press), recipient
of the PEN USA Literary Award in Poetry and the POL Prize; iEpiphany (Erudite
Fangs Editions), published by Anne Waldman’s independent imprint; and a forthcoming
volume of cross-genre fiction, Starlight in Two Million: A Neo-Scientific Novella,
recipient of the Noemi Press Book Award for Fiction. She currently teaches at Chatham
University in Pittsburgh. Previously, she taught in Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of
Jack Collom Comedy and Nature
Henri Bergson said that what’s funny is always “something mechanically encrusted
upon the living.” Also, “language is too rigid to be an accurate mirror of an
infinitely fluid universe.” Sounds like a wacky combo biology and physics lecture?
Historically, “The Fool” may well have begun with intoxication. And incongruity
may have been first played as animal heads jammed with human bodies. This
course will explore conjunctions of nature and comedy, and what to do.
Jack Collom was born in Chicago in 1931 and grew up in small town Illinois. Much
walking and bird watching in the woods. Moved to Colorado in 1947, studied Forestry.
Wrote first poems while stationed in Libya. Time in Germany. Twenty years factory
labor, now for nearly forty years a freelance teacher of poetry, all ages. MA University
of Colorado. Twenty five books/chapbooks of poetry, three books on/of children’s writings.
Interested in nature. Thinks the world is funny. Prizes and awards. Married to writer
Jennifer Heath and is the father of four grown children. His book, Second Nature, was
published by Instance Press in 2012.
Erica Hunt & Marty Ehrlich Music and Words
In the right circumstances, a musical phrase can set you off—somewhere between
reverie and roll, a perilous Senegalese rotation on bent and weak knees, a risky
speculation, a wild association word chase into a microcosm found and fashioned.
Sound embodied and word souled in the rise and swerve of notes. Discernible
innovation in the tumble of hierarchy, where top, bottom, interior, exterior, the
entire tool box can be animated, thoughts’ enactment, elements of language that
take the breath away or restore breath to ordinary life. In this class we will listen to
classic and avant recordings and collaborations, and we will listen to and work on
some of our own forays into music and words.
Erica Hunt is a poet, essayist, and author of Local History, Arcade, as well as two
poem chapbooks, Piece Logic and Time Flies Right Before the Eyes. Publications
include BOMB, Boundary 2, Conjunctions, Poetics Journal, Tripwire, Recluse,
various anthologies and the Politics of Poetic Form. Hunt has received awards from the
Foundation for Contemporary Art, the Fund for Poetry, and the Djerassi Foundation.
Marty Ehrlich is a multi-instrumentalist and is considered one of the leading figures in
experimental or avant-garde jazz. He has performed with a who’s who of contemporary
composers, including Muhal Richard Abrams, Bobby Bradford, Anthony Braxton,
Andrew Cyrille, Jack DeJohnette, Anthony Davis, Mark Dresser, Marianne Faithful,
Don Grolnick, Julius Hemphill, and John Zorn. He appears on more than one hundred
recordings with these and other composers. As an ensemble leader, he has made twentyfive
recordings of his compositions for ensembles. Recent projects include a work for large
ensemble, “Trumpet in the Morning.”
Laird Hunt Histories
Historical figures like Herodotus, Hannibal, Billy the Kid, and Calamity Jane
have all served as energy nodes around which writers have built significant works.
In this workshop we will examine texts like Michael Ondaatje’s Coming Through
Slaughter, Toni Morrison’s Beloved, and W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz as part of an
exploration of that prose which, if we can kick awake that poor overworked pearl,
posits the historical as its grain of sand. Come prepared to write.
Laird Hunt is the author of five novels. His fiction, translations, reviews, and essays
have appeared in The Believer, Bookforum, the Wall Street Journal, McSweeney’s
among many other places. He is currently on faculty in the creative writing program at
the University of Denver and is the editor of The Denver Quarterly. 15
Thurston Moore OMFUG ’77 “The decidedly not-Dylan language &
lyric writing of the CBGB/Max’s punk era axis.”
This course will investigate the lit language of the progenitors of punk music:
Richard Hell, Tom Verlaine, Patti Smith, David Byrne, Johnny Rotten. And
with focus on the marginalized: Lydia Lunch, Sumner Crane, Arto Lindsay, and
contempo outliers Lou Reed, Brian Eno, Captain Beefheart. Discussion and
practice will reference the intentional and accidental relationships betwixt poetry,
confessional and language, and lyrics as defined by musical context.
Thurston Moore was the founder in 1980, of the New York City rock group, Sonic Youth.
He records and performs as a solo artist as well and has worked collaboratively with
Merce Cunningham, Cecil Taylor, Lydia Lunch, and Glen Branca. His writing has been
published through various imprints. He runs the Ecstatic Peace records + tapes label,
edits the Ecstatic Peace Poetry Journal, and is chief editor of the poetry imprint
Flowers & Cream.
Brad O’Sullivan Listening with Your Fingers
Letterpress 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.
Steven Taylor Song Works
In this class, you belong to a band for a week. At our first meeting we use the
Smithsonian Folkways Anthology of American Folk Music to model various song
genres. The class then becomes an ensemble where we collaborate on one another’s
performance pieces. No previous experience required. All you need is a willingness
to sing. Please bring whatever instruments you have, the more diverse the ensemble
Steven Taylor is a musician and writer based in Brooklyn. For twenty years he was Allen
Ginsberg’s principal musical collaborator. He has been a member of The Fugs since 1984.
His account of touring the European underground rock scene, False Prophet: Field Notes
from the Punk Underground, was published by Wesleyan University Press in 2003.
Cecilia VicuNa Spoken Through
Listening to what the Earth needs, as spoken through us, we hear the voice of the
commons. Collaboration emerges from the exchange. It is created in the moment,
sharp and fuzzy, wave and particle. It knows what it wants, and we are in its service.
In this course, we’ll create a collaborative performance from the notes gathered from
the previous three weeks; a new composition, a cooperation with the enlightened
words heard throughout the SWP.
Cecilia Vicuña is a poet, artist, and filmmaker from Chile. She performs and exhibits her
work internationally. The author of twenty poetry books, she co-edited The Oxford Book
of Latin American Poetry, 2009. Her most recent books are: Spit Temple, Selected Oral
Perfomances by Cecilia Vicuña, edited by Rosa Alcalá (UDP, 2012). Chanccani Quipu
(Granary Books, 2012), Sabor a Mí (Chain Links, 2011).
Anne Waldman Myth, Allegory: The Map, The Performance
The pre-utterance of muthos (mouth) plus logos (word) will guide us. How do you
document destructive events? How do you testify, how are you tested. And how does
imagination locate your own symbiotic cosmology? What is the allegory of your life
in “relation”? “By Myth I mean the arrangements of the incidents”—Aristotle by way
of Jane Harrison by way of Artaud. We will write our own myths/allegories and work
collaboratively to shape, perform, and record in The Harry Smith recording studio.
Anne Waldman is a poet, performer, professor, editor, cultural activist. Author of more than
forty publications of poetry, her most recent books include The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in
the Mechanism of Concealment (Coffee House Press, 2011), which won the PEN USA
2012 Award for Poetry, Soldatesque/Soldiering (Blaze [Vox], 2012) and Gossamurmur
(Penguin Poets, 2013). She has worked extensively with video movie writer and director
Ed Bowes, and producer/musician Ambrose Bye. She is a recipient of the Shelley Memorial
Award for Poetry and has been deemed a “counter-cultural giant” by Publisher’s Weekly.
She is a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. www.annewaldman.org
Amiri Baraka was born Everett LeRoi Jones in 1934 in Newark, New
Jersey. His reputation as a playwright was established with the production of
Dutchman at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York on March 24, 1964. The
controversial play consequently won an Obie Award and was made into a film. The
Autobiography of LeRoi Jones/Amiri Baraka was published in 1984. Other publications
include Y’s/Why’s/Wise (3rd World, 1992), Funk Lore (Littoral, 1993), Eulogies
(Marsilio 1994), Transbluesency (Marsilio, 1996), and Somebody Blew Up America &
Other Poems (Nehesi, 2002). His recent book of short stories, Tales of the Out & The
Gone (Akashic Books) was published in late 2007. Home, his book of social essays,
was re-released by Akashic Books in early 2009. Digging: The Afro American Soul
of Music (Univ. of California) was also released in 2009. His latest book RAZOR:
Revolutionary Art for Cultural Revolution (3rd World) will be out soon.
Baraka will deliver a lecture and participate in a reading on July 11.
Bill Berkson is a poet, critic, and professor emeritus at the San Francisco
Art Institute. His most recent books include Portrait and Dream: New & Selected
Poems; a collection of art writings, For the Ordinary Artist; Not an Exit, with
drawings by Léonie Guyer; and another words-and-images collaboration, Repeat
After Me, with watercolors by John Zurier. He is a contributing editor (poetry)
for artcritical.com, and a corresponding editor for Art in America. He was the
Paul Mellon Distinguished Fellow at the Skowhegan School of Painting and
Sculpture for 2006 and awarded the Goldie for Literature by the San Francisco
Bay Guardian in 2009.
Berkson will deliver a lecture on July 5 and participate in a reading on July 6.
Anne Carson & Robert Currie]
Anne Carson was born in Canada and teaches ancient Greek for a living,
sometimes at New York University.
Robert Currie is an artist and sometime randomizer living and working in New
York City and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Carson & Currie will host a special workshop and deliver a slide lecture on
July 23, and give a reading on July 24.
Jerome Rothenberg is an internationally known poet with more
than eighty books of poetry and several assemblages of traditional and avantgarde
poetry such as Technicians of the Sacred and, with Pierre Joris and Jeffrey
Robinson, Poems for the Millennium, volumes 1–3. Recent books of poems include
Triptych, Gematria Complete, Concealments & Caprichos, and Retrievals: Uncollected
& New Poems 1955-2010. He is now working on a global anthology of “outsider
and subterranean poetry” and, with Heriberto Yépez, Eye of Witness: A Jerome
Rothenberg Reader for Black Widow Press.
Rothenberg will deliver a lecture and participate in a reading on July 2. 17
more Ronaldo V. Wilson Show & Tell: Subjectivity Performances
This course will revolve around shared objects, fetishes, charms, art/ artifacts,
real or imagined to explore the relationship between material and materiality,
and how these categories are articulated through our mutual and/or contrasting
subjectivities. Participants will bring in objects for “show and tell,” exchanging
with one another, and looking to visual artists, theorists, and poets such as Adrian
Piper, William Pope.L, Coco Fusco, Torkwase Dyson, Truong Tran, Wayne
Koestenbaum, and Eve Sedgwick in our efforts.
Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the
White Man (University of Pittsburgh, 2008), winner of the Cave Canem Poetry
Prize, and Poems of the Black Object (Futurepoem Books, 2009), winner of the
Thom Gunn Award and the Asian American Literary Award in Poetry. Co-founder of
the Black Took Collective, Wilson is also a visiting assistant professor in the Literature
Department at University of California, Santa Cruz.