Wednesday, May 28, 2014

My Grunge Update

I have 400 out of the 1040 sentences I will use for my project. Now comes the real work: transcribing.

I have started Gov. Finney's State of the State Address, have my X-Men related comics, and still have to begin my own sentence.

Atlas of the Difficult World and Feminist Utopias are ordered.

And more permissions.

Monday, May 26, 2014

1991 project

Any numbers associated with 1991?

If you add the digits together, they make 20.

I am trying to get a page number between 50 and 75. Why am I drawn to 54?

There are 52 weeks in a year.

Maybe taking 20 times 52 = 1040. No meaning behind this, but it gives a set number.


I am also playing with the idea of a write through based on the sentences I compile for the project.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

I admire transcribers, Kenneth Goldsmith and Kate Durbin

I admire them because it is long, difficult work that pays off in poetic currency.

I am facing this as a transcription, filing for later:

Gov. Joan Finney was an amazing woman. For 1991, as the US went to war with Iraq, she was doing her best on the homefront.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Good news all around!

"Dear Sarah Fox, Danielle Pafunda, Susan M. Schultz, Joseph Harrington, & Dennis Etzel Jr:

After careful consideration, we are pleased to announce that your panel titled The Mother Embodied: Poetic and Hybrid has been accepted for the inaugural [DIS]EMBODIED POETICS CONFERENCE: WRITING/THINKING/BEING. Congratulations!"


"Dear Mr. Etzel,

I don't think I wrote you---I've been rushing around for the past few weeks. You have my permission
to quote as much as you want from my essay.

Good luck with your memoir/poem/collage!

Dana Gioia"

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kate Durbin's E! Entertainment Assignment

Here is what I have so far. I hope to do my own transcriptions and use them as examples, as well as write an essay.

EN101 Freshman Composition

Essay #2 (Television, Gender, and Culture) Assignment Sheet


“All essays should be, not trials, but celebrations.”

—Theodore Roethke


A Cultural Analysis Research Essay


When someone hears about a research paper, they might roll their eyes and sigh with the thought of reading or listening to a dry essay.  However, research essays can be interesting when they have information that goes beyond the expected to a certain audience.  They are especially interesting when the writer is connected to the topic, and has a personal story to how they are connected to what they are presenting as a research paper.


For this assignment, you will write an essay that examines facets of gender in a reality television show. These points will incorporate at least essay we will read, a transcription you will write, and at least one of the documentaries we will watch, along with at least two sources from research. These points may either show negative stereotypes of gender, show ways in which stereo types are challenged, and/or even show how a television show reflects cultural mores as a whole.




This assignment includes several steps:

  • Reading essays from Reading Pop Culture around television, specifically reality TV
  • Viewing documentaries about how women and men are portrayed in media and pop culture.
  • Reading and analyzing Kate Durbin’s E! Entertainment.
  • Brainstorming and selecting possibilities for the essay, including reality television shows.
  • Researching and creating a “working” annotated bibliography.
  • Transcribing via creative writing reality television shows, different than merely what the closed captions are (see Kate Durbin’s E! Entertainment).
  • Writing the essay without research, using your own words with a personal story or connection to the thesis as part of the introduction. 
  • Conducting additional research.
  • Incorporating research into the essay as examples to support your ideas, with elaboration to how the research connects back to each point you are making.



Write an essay with an informative thesis statement with tension. For an example, “Some might think The Bachelor is…; however, it confirms how men on the show perform out negative behaviors and attitudes of masculinity by ….”


Include how you are connected to your topic in the introduction.  You may also want to include a personal story in the conclusion.


Each point should be a unique point to how a person or people portray an aspect of gender. These points can come from the research you conduct and use.


For this assignment, we will define gender to include masculinity, femininity, and gender identity (LGBTQ). Gender also includes traditional roles, like what a husband or wife “does.” It can also include things like “the fairy tale wedding,” rites of passage, etc.


Write your essay with an audience who has not seen the show.  In other words, examples and elaborations should be included.


Include several well-developed examples to support each point, which supports the thesis.  Use research to “back up” your examples.  Include copies of all research in your manila file folder, highlighting the quotes or sections you used.  Xerox or screen print the pages used out of (e)books and (e)magazines, and print out online journal articles and websites.


Integrate research effectively.  You must have at least two research sources incorporated. Also, you are free to use non-web page sources (books, research articles, magazine articles, etc.)  For web pages, please check with me.


Important notes: These two research sources must be from an electronic database, Google Scholar, or some other scholarly source. If you cannot find one, please talk to me.


Your essay needs to be new, so you can explore this method of doing a research paper. Please DO NOT use a topic you have previously written about, as a fresh topic will allow you to learn the steps we will go through for class.


Use a logical organization that makes the paper easy to follow.


Use MLA format.


Include a Works Cited page using the correct format.


The assignment should have at least seven well-developed paragraphs.


LSH pages covered: 68-92, 93-135 (MLA).


Topic Brainstorming


Use a television show you already have seen. If you have not seen reality television, start online or watch an episode from two or three different shows.


Page 34 in LSH might be handy, too.


Use clustering to brainstorm things about the shows you have in mind.



Informative and Surprising Research Steps


  • Narrow topic and formulate thesis
  • Write and explore research questions
  • Explore possible databases
  • Find possible sources and create “sketch bibliography”
  • Determine kinds and number of sources
  • Take notes on sources
  • Read and analyze sources rhetorically
  • Evaluate sources for credibility
  • Integrate sources into the essay

·         Decide what role the source will play

·         Analyze model essays to demonstrate how research sources are used

·         Decide on whether to paraphrase, summarize, or use a direct quote

·         Attribute the source to the author(s)

·         Use the correct format citation (MLA)

·         Avoid plagiarism

  • Make copies of the sources and indicate where the information came from by highlighting the used information
  • Write Annotated Bibliography
  • Format into a Works Cited page
  • Incorporate research effectively



Quoting and Plagiarism


Use signal phrases for direct quotes, paraphrases, and summaries. With statistics and other facts, a signal phrase may not be needed but should still have parenthetical citing to show where the statistic or fact came from. Citing quotations, borrowed ideas, and paraphrases are important to avoid plagiarism.


The Little Seagull Handbook’s writers Richard Bullock and Francine Weinberg define plagiarism in the back of the book as: “The use of another person’s words, ideas, or even sentence structures without appropriate credit and documentation” (339).  Diana Hacker describes in Rules for Writers the three different acts of plagiarism: “(1) failing to cite quotations and borrowed ideas, (2) failing to enclose borrowed language in quotation marks, and (3) failing to put summaries and paraphrases in your own words" (458). (Note how these quotes are correctly cited, attributing the writers and using page numbers.)


The only time you do not have to cite information is if it is common knowledge or general information that could be found in a large number of different sources. For example, how solar energy works or that an author lives in a certain town would not have to be cited.


All borrowed language, aka direct quotes, must be in quotation marks, even if you have cited the source. When paraphrasing, be sure to use your language to describe the original author’s meaning. Do not simply plug in synonyms or mix the author’s well-chosen phrases into your paraphrase. See The Little Seagull Handbook for further examples.





Possible outline for the essay


Introduction: With a summary of the reality TV show


Point 1: In regards to the show using something from Reading Pop Culture


Point 2: In regards to your transcriptions, themes behind


Point 3: In regards to gender using research


Point 4: In regards to gender using research


Point 5: In regards to gender using research


Conclusion: Your overall final words and analysis about the TV show and gender


Note: Your transcriptions of the show could be used as examples, too.




Assignments leading up to the essay


These assignments are to help reflect on, question, brainstorm, and take a position for Essay #2. Additional requirements for each of these assignments may be discussed in class.


Responses to the essays from Reading Pop Culture around television, specifically reality TV


Include three quotes alongside contextualized paraphrases, one paragraph per quote/paraphrase, where you agree, disagree, question, and/or see two sides to what is discussed in the essay. Include new “lines of thinking” for you. Show reflection on the page. No need for an introduction and conclusion. Please single-space these. No more than one side of a page.


Responses to the documentaries


Include three quotes alongside contextualized paraphrases, one paragraph per quote/paraphrase, where you agree, disagree, question, and/or see two sides to what is discussed in a documentary. Include new “lines of thinking” for you. Show reflection on the page. No need for an introduction and conclusion. Please single-space these. No more than one side of a page.


Let me recommend: if you ever watch anything in a class, please take notes!


Reading and analyzing Kate Durbin’s E! Entertainment


Please use Durbin’s strategies for your own transcriptions. We will look for her commentaries on her work—her artist statements. Think of how you will approach your show via how she approached shows.


Annotated Bibliography


An annotation is a summary and/or evaluation. Therefore, an annotated bibliography includes a summary and/or evaluation of each of the sources. Your annotations will include the following:


  • Summarize: Include a sentence or two which summarizes the article.
  • Assess: Include a sentence or two of assessment. Is it a useful source? Is the information reliable? Is this source biased or objective? What is the goal of this source?
  • Reflect: Include a sentence or two. How can you use this source in your research project? Has it changed how you think about your topic?


Everything double-spaced.

Use citing information from database.

Page 135 (LSH) has an example of how each entry should be formatted.


Canavan, Gerry. "Fighting a war you've already lost: Zombies and zombis in Firefly/Serenity and Dollhouse." Science Fiction Film & Television 4.2 (2011): 173-203.

This article makes several correlations between the zombi culture of Haiti and the zombie culture portrayed in Joss Whedon’s work. In particular, similarities of slave oppression in Haiti with the oppression of governments and economical systems in Whedon’s work, creating a social commentary of today. The article is reliable, as the writer is a well-informed scholar. He uses both historical and the literary criticism of Foucault to analyze the television shows.  This article can further help make connections between how actual slavery in Haiti led to the mythology of zombis, with how many feel oppressed in America today might lead to our current zombie culture.



Transcriptions with your artist statement


Bring in a transcription of a scene. This might take an hour or two to transcribe as you watch the show twice: once to choosing what to transcribe, to get the feel of the show, to notice what elements of the show “speak” to you; then twice to write the transcription paying attention and including those elements you identified.


Include your artist statement, a paragraph about the aesthetic choices you make in your transcription. What do you focus on besides the dialogue? How do you convey the tone of the show and/or what subjective tone are you trying to convey? I recommend brainstorm writing the first part of this paragraph during the first viewing, then finishing after you write your transcription. (Please see my example below.)


Writing the essay without research


This is the bare-bones of the essay, using your own words. Include a personal story or connection to the thesis as part of the introduction, something to come back to in the conclusion. 


First, write without citing research.


            Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s title character, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Geller) portrays an empowered female leader in the series.  Other television shows often have male leaders, or are composed of only men. However, with Summers’ role as “The Slayer,” she is told by her mentor Giles that she…


Second, decide on research questions to further develop your paragraph with.


What are other television shows that have male leaders?

Who played Giles?

In what episode did Giles tell Buffy that she is “The Slayer?”

What other research and articles are there that show Buffy as an empowered female leader?


Third, do additional research to back up what is said.


Suppose I come across this article:


Why chicks dig vampires: sex blood, and Buffy.(Buffy the Vampire Slayer)(girl-power in mass media)(Critical Essay). Alice Rutkowski.

        Iris: A Journal About Women (Fall 2002): p12(7).


However, I begin reading it and it does not explicitly mention anything about the empowerment of women in the series.  However, it gives me another surprising point:


According to Alice Rutlowski, “Nowadays, powerful girls are everywhere on television and in the movies, even in genres previously populated only by men, especially action, science-fiction, and fantasy. Buffy Summers, the protagonist of television's Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-present) (1), was one of the first in a long line of champions of this new breed of girl power. For example, both Max, from the sci-fi post-apocalyptic Dark Angel, and the good-witch sisters of Charmed probably owe more than they'd like to admit to the power and influence of Buffy” (13).


I continue searching for the original topic—women empowered as leaders—and find this brief article:


Brave new girls.(Brief Article).

        Women and Language 23.1 (Spring 2000): p56.


By Debbie Stoller

“Recent television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Xena Warrior Princess, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and The Secret World of Alex Mack arrived on the cultural landscape just as researchers reported that girls undergo a crisis of self-esteem in adolescence from which they never recover. By puberty, a majority report they are unhappy with the way they are and they become 'female impersonators' who start thinking what they must do to please others. The media has been blamed for its share of a girl-hostile culture. Presenting girls in larger-than-life roles has proved popular. They are representatives of a new kind of pop-culture heroine that is at once powerful and girl, two characteristics now presented as not being mutually exclusive.”


Last, incorporate the research with additional explanation.


I can use this as a source to quote and back up my surprising point:


Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s title character, Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Geller) portrays an empowered female leader in the series.  Other television shows often have male leaders, or are composed of only men, like the A-Team and The Unit.  However, with Summers’ role as “The Slayer,” she is reminded by her mentor Rupert Giles (Anthony Head) that she must continue with her special duty in the first episode “Welcome to the Hellmouth”: “You are the Slayer. Into each generation a Slayer is born, one girl in all the world, a Chosen One, one born with the strength and skill to hunt the vampires” (Whedon 1). Giles’ words remind the audience only a “girl” can be The Slayer—“a Chosen One.”  This special girl has both “strength and skill,” something that television rarely shows.  According to Debbie Stoller, the timing for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, along with many recent television shows that portray young women as leaders, could not have been better.  Stoller explains how many girls develop “a crisis of self-esteem in adolescence from which they never recover” (56).  Stoller continues to describe the cultural dilemma, and adds how Buffy the Vampire Slayer provides a positive role model:

By puberty, a majority report they are unhappy with the way they are and they become 'female impersonators' who start thinking what they must do to please others. The media has been blamed for its share of a girl-hostile culture. Presenting girls in larger than life roles has proved popular. They are representatives of a new kind of pop-culture heroine that is at once powerful and girl, two characteristics now presented as not being mutually exclusive. (56)

Just as this generation of girls and young women may look up to Buffy as being both “powerful” and “girl,” as Buffy is the leader of the “Scooby Gang,” they may grow up to become leaders themselves, identifying with Buffy as she both endures the hardships of growing up as a girl in this “girl-hostile culture” (Stoller 56). Buffy represents an empowered young woman who relies on her inner strength to be a leader while facing the same personal trials many young women go through.


Annotated Bibliography / Works Cited


My first suggestion is to copy and paste the entry at the end of the electronic database file if you are using one. (Isn’t it nice that they provide one?) Also, visit the EasyBib website: There are several internet websites that help with the MLA format of a Works Cited page.

After the semester

I always get hits of inspiration at the end of every semester for what I can do differently in the next semester.

I am excited about how Kate Durbin's E! Entertainment will go over in my Freshman Comp class: transcriptions, then essay.

I am trying to pitch a Poetic Memoir class. If you go to Washburn or would audit a class, would you please take my survey?

There will be random drawings to win a copy of my book The Sum of Two Mothers or another book choice.


Thursday, May 15, 2014

Interview with Melissa Studdard

I finally met Melissa at AWP last February, and she is an amazing poet and soul! Check out her wonderful interview here:

"Art is about discovery and sharing. Inside each of us, crashing against the shore of ego, are waves of truth trying to push their way onto land."

Every response is heart-treasure!

Poem of Survival Deck Prompt

This is a prompt following an initial poem. Take ten index cards. Write a word on a card:

Two places you feel safe
Two verbs for love
Two words from the poem you wrote
Two random nouns
Two verbs of action

Then you can either pull a card to begin with, pulling a card for each time you are "stuck." Another strategy: pull four cards and write a line out of them.

bird by bird by bird by bird

If I ever had animals follow me, if animals were ever in me, they were birds. I am a birder making my own names for each bird, which become sentences if I follow each flight. This is NO bird by bird, Anne Lamont. THIS IS REAL!

Memoir Writing Prompt using Mary Austin Speaker's Ceremony

1) Get yourself a copy of Mary Austin Speaker's Ceremony
2) Begin reading
3) Stop when your attention is caught
4) Begin writing based on that attention-grabber
5) Write until you are released
6) Continue reading
7) Repeat steps 3 through 7 until finished

Mary Austin Speaker's Ceremony

"Only the movies delivered us / from a winter of no color." YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS! You need this book! I need this book!

She captures the non-human world within mythos, poetry as survival. Or does she release these?

The code in these poems speak to what could be "sentimentalized subjects," as Anna Moschovakis observes, "without apology or preciousness."

This kind of honesty is what captures me, releases me.

Kristin Prevallet and memoir

I did a search on this topic and, funny enough, the words I used to describe her book Trance Poetics came up in the search return.

Here is what I had to say about it:

This is a fantastic book, written by a poetic practitioner for sure! I admire Prevallet's poetry, and this work is a fantastic complement to it. For those interested in mystical traditions, neuroscience, or how to move past those "writer's blocks," Prevallet has done the practice and research around these fields of study. I am in awe of her examination of the body, language, neurology, history, poetic and religious traditions, memoir, and biofeedback--and how they relate writing to life, to open up creativity and "write without self-judgment." As practical as it is scholarly, I personally can vouch for this book. As a conceptual writer, this book helped me to reconnect with my lyric roots with the "Automatic Writing Process" section and other creative inspirations this book evokes. Really, stay away from those "how-to" books and give this one a try. This is the real deal.

I still stand by this review. Her method is an amazing strategy to try--that works!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Grunge of 1991: Memoir

I realize 1991 is one of those pivotal years for me, full of strife and happiness, one of those years where many choices were available, but I did not have the mind-awareness to take them. I know this is how (it seems) everyone looks at the past, how one is glad not to have to live with what one did before. So why are there memoirs? Is it to heal? Remember?

This project will be similar to My Secret Wars of 1984, as I seek out texts to "remember" for me. I have a rough draft of what I need. I just need to send out permissions.


Star Trek TNG episodes from 1991

Data's Day
The Wounded
Devil's Due
First Contact
Galaxy's Child
Night Terrors
Identity Crisis
The Nth Degree
The Drumhead
Half a Life
The Host
The Mind's Eye
In Theory
Redemption I
Redemption II
Ensign Ro
Silicon Avatar
The Game
Unification I
Unification II
A Matter of Time


Grunge releases

Babes in Toyland To Mother Twin/Tone
Skin Yard 1000 Smiling Knuckles Cruz
Hammerbox Hammerbox C/Z Debut release
Hole Pretty on the Inside Caroline Debut release
Melvins Bullhead Boner
Mudhoney Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge Sub Pop
Nirvana Nevermind DGC Mainstream hit
Pearl Jam Ten Epic Debut release; Mainstream hit
Seaweed Despised Sub Pop
Screaming Trees Uncle Anesthesia Epic
Screaming Trees Anthology: SST Years 1985–1989 SST Compilation album
Soundgarden Badmotorfinger A&M Mainstream
Tad 8-Way Santa Sub Pop
Temple of the Dog Temple of the Dog A&M Sole release
Davy Jones Locker ST GGO / Atypeek Music Debut release
Various Artists The Grunge Years Sub Pop Compilation album
Deadpool as metaphor
"Can Poetry Matter?" by Dana Gioia
Anita Hill
still need movies
Linda McCarrister Eva-Mary
An Atlas of the Difficult World Adrienne Rich
Marilyn Nelson Waniek The Homeplace
Rebecca Walker essay about Anita Hill
Pres,. Bush
Gov of Kansas

Friday, May 9, 2014

July 2014 Project

Dana Ward's The Crisis of Infinite Worlds
Mary Austin Speaker's Ceremony
and still looking for one more book of poetry

for a project I am slating for July
My overarching method has the conceptual approach for the need for poetry in Topeka--the reliance on poetry to survive being in Topeka. My two mothers often appear in my work, so it is also a way for resistance against anti-LGBT forces here.
For this project, I am looking at fatherhood--being a father of three boys in Topeka. Themes of comic books, place (tall grass vs city), and binary views also will be a part of it.

The books above seem to connect. Plus, they were in my book bag at the time I thought of this project.
My approach to write-throughs are: I write a poem, but when stuck I glance at a page of a selected book for the most resonant word for my emotional psyche at that point in the poem.
I'm looking forward to this project tentatively titled BINARY TRILOGY.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Writing the Memoir

Last night, one of my facebook alerts (which rings out on my phone as a doorbell, saying "I'm here") was that a student from a class two years ago mentioned me in a comment. It was around a video, and here it is:

She said: "Can't stop watching this video...every night I've watched it before I go to bed and makes me smile n cry n think. I was asked once by my professor Dennis EtzelJr if I were ever interested in writing my memoir...I believe I'm ready to start it if you're still willing to mentor me."

I said "yes," with exhilaration. This is what I love about having so much creative writing experience: I can give others starting-out shortcuts, so they can avoid the pitfalls and deadends (think Writer's Digest) to get to the writing.

I'm thinking about my own memoir writing, how poetry seemed the natural fit for mine. Also, how I used "Masculinity as Homophobia" as a starting point to insert my story, to speak to and alongside that critical essay with my own experiences.

Kim Stafford discussed in his keynote speech at Washburn University last month how he wrote his memoir around his brother taking his life. He wasn't sure how to piece together, how to arrange, his writing. Then it came to him, to write the Table of Contents first: how did he want the book to be arranged, and what to put in it. Then another epiphany came: to use the four things that he and his brother said to each other before going to sleep every night: "Good night. God bless you. Have sweet dreams. See you tomorrow." You can get a feel for the way the small vignettes are placed together by looking through the book (on amazon).

I am thinking about this student, someone who is a Nurse, and wondered what could be used for her book. I don't know a lot about her story, or what special phrases are important to her, but I found this in my searches:

Nurses have their own oath. Modern oathtakers sometimes remove the words "God" and "purity", but there could be something in it. How about this for leading prompts?

"I solemnly pledge myself before God" (Faith, religion, epiphanies)

"In the presence of this assembly" (Community, mentors)

"To pass my life in purity" (This could be juxtaposed in many ways: how purity is harmful, how one tries to guard one's self from others)

"To practice my profession faithfully" (Work ethics, too?)

"I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous" (Lots of opportunities, including witnessing unethical activities)

"I will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug" (This could also speak to how alcohol and drugs has affected others and one's life)

Well, you get the picture.

I know everyone has her or his own approach to writing a book. Mine happens to be with writing small doses--flash non-fiction pieces. Out of one piece of flash non-fiction (or flash fiction or poetry), one can find another piece to reflect and write about. When stuck, simply consult your Table of Contents.

Here are books I highly recommend:
The Rose Metal Press Trilogy

The Next American Essay by John D'Agata

Also, a plethora of books by others. That will be coming soon.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Transcriptions and Such

Out of my facebook conversation about Reality TV, I have several leads for my next project slated for June. I'm hoping Carrie will be understanding with me need to start-and-stop reality television shows. Maybe I will get her to join in with transcriptions!


Academics, scholars, transcriptionists, and poets: Would you please help? I am planning to use Kate Durbin's E! Entertainment for an essay/writing project in my Freshman Composition course in the fall. With assignments, I include my own writing as an example. However, I do not watch reality television shows.

This is where I need your advice, please. Can you name reality television shows which portray [negative] masculinity? I am thinking Tough Guise 2 kinda stuff.

I need to watch some TV!

Thank you for your help!


Lisa :Jersey shore

Courtney :You mean like Jersey Shore? Wife Swap?

Dennis : Okay! Thanks. I'm SO needing cable or some kind of television time. Thanks again!

Michael : Tool School etc.

Monique :What was that horrible "dating advice" show that popularized the concept of negging? The Playa?


The Pick Up Artist is what is was called.

Dennis : Hmm. I'll have to check these out.

April : Anything real housewives maybe?

April : How about some duck dynasty?

Dan : Surbivoreman. What a winer.

Dan : I hate spell correct.


Kate : Duck Dynasty would be good, I think.

Michelle : The Bachelor, The Challenge (MTV),

Don : The Bachelor. That show is all about negative masculinity portrayed as positive far as I can tell.

Darren : Bravo's Southern Charm.

Dennis : Thanks, all! I might go with Duck Dynasty, although the last three semesters I have taught television in pop culture I have two to three students write about their FONDNESS for the show. It might be interesting. It might inform my approach to describing the people in the show--with distance? I haven't seen it yet. I might try to find the controversial episode. Is it in an episode in which Si (is that the person) said that thing he did?

Dennis : The Bachelor could be great, but how many seasons have there been? Is there such a thing as a good season, and what makes it good?

Dennis : I'll have to look up these other shows. I guess the TV is rarely on in in the house.

Kate : The last season with Juan Pablo might work.

Dennis : Thanks, Kate!

Patrick : Nope, the controversy was from a comment in an interview. I haven't seen DD, but from what I've heard it it'll be more of a counterpoint to the other shows mentioned. very different sort of masculinity then we'll see in Jersey shore, the bachelor, etc.

Dennis : Okay.

Michelle : Unfortunately, there have been like 16 seasons of The Bachelor/Bachelorette. (My opinion that this is unfortunate.)

Leah : A couple of other shows that might be a bit more complicated to use are Swamp People and Deadliest Catch. Both define masculinity in what I consider to be traditional way, but that definition is represented favorably. You're supposed to mock the cast of Jersey Shore. You're supposed to admire the hard working men who make a difficult living fishing the Bering Sea.

Dennis : I'll look into those too. Yes, Reality TV is more about the reality of what people do in front of a camera. However, it's always more complicated, isn't it?

Kate : Juan Pablo's season of the Bachelor is interesting because his misogyny is more overt than the misogyny of previous seasons. Plus it deals with the whole mythology of the fairy tale wedding and our courtship rituals, which is really fascinating. There's a scene in one of the final episodes where he tells one of the final girls (off camera) that he doesn't really know her, and he loves f-ing her. It caused a huge controversy. He's also the first Latin American bachelor, but he's also blond and blue eyed.

Dennis : Are The Bachelor's producers thinking the more misogyny, the better the ratings? Thanks for the info, Kate!

Callista : Roxanne Gay has done a lot of writing on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

Dennis : Summer is TV time!

Dennis : Oh, fantastic! The students will use research too. Thanks, Callista.

Dennis : I will be just as interested to see if I can pull off a completely profeminist course in Freshman Comp using pop cultural examinations with a mostly conservative class.

Dennis : On the other hand, I've shown Killing Us Softly 3 before and the students were really open to its ideas.

Dennis : Thanks again, everyone! This is a lot to begin with.

Dennis : Everyone should order Kate's book. It's amazing!

Dennis : I'm not just blowing sunshine!

Kate : Thanks, Dennis!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Making New Poems Out of the Old

A friend and poet talked about not liking her poems as she read through them. It spurred my energy on, so here is a list of things I came up with:

  • Rewrite the poems beginning with the last line first, moving upward line by line.
  • Cut poems down their middles, then reassemble different halves together.
  • Go N+7 Oullipo-Style with them!
  • Send them to Governor Brownback. If he doesn't like them, it's a victory!
  • Cut out "the" and replace "be" with other verbs.
  • Make your poems into paper airplanes and let them fly off of Shunganunga Bluff.
  • Write shadow poems from them. In other words, read a poem, put it away, meditate on the now, then attempt to rewrite. You will get new poems to look at!
  • Call up any news station. When someone answers, begin reading your poem. If she or he say or don't say anything, hang up after you are done. then write whatever comes to mind in that moment.
  • Take your middle school poems and insert new lines into them!
  • Rewrite poems word-for-word going backwards, starting with the last word.
  • Take your poems, flip the page around, hold it to a light to see through to the words in reverse. However, retype what you think you see going from left to right.
  • Try taking the last part of one line away, then the first part of the next line away. Make a new line out of the first part/first line, last part/last line.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Another Universal Word Deck Idea

The more I work with write-throughs and other means of experimental collaboration, I realize one could build her deck with words while reading. Why didn't I think of this before? However, it also feels like context/connections are important.

I'm thinking: Have different decks from different poets? Or specific decks which work as a group? Or a noun deck separate from a verb deck?

I never stopped buying cards. It was a pleasure as a boy to buy Star Wars, baseball, and other Sci-Fi cards, the era before VCRs or quick access to films. I could go through my Star Wars cards and relive the film through image. Is this what poetry is, reliving through images?

Which brings me to the image. Could cards in this deck be actual cards from Sci-Fi, etc? Or with selected images? Instead of "cardinal," to see the actual cardinal and draw on all of the possibilities?

I found such sketch cards at Tuesday Morning for cheap. I might do a CA Conrad thing by drawing on them, thinking about my hair clippings on a balloon.

Or simply use them for the words.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

CA Conrad is the best!

CA gave me blessings and permission to use A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon for my next project. Based on the (soma)tic instruction on page 11, one should read the favorite book of poetry backwards, word-for-word. Even the titles. However, when I read line-by-line, I thought of the different metaphorical things one might find. For example: "blackberries / homeless on the park's blue" (Amy King, p87).  With permission, this could be another write-through exploration, finding how forced metaphor via line-by-line going upward can create new surprises. Then try word-by-word in reverse.

Anyway, the new project is underway. Thanks, CA! You are awesome!