Sunday, May 24, 2015

Naropa Summer Conference 2015 is Looking Great!

Disparities, Exigencies, Identity, Lineage

What are the threats to an artistic life? Lack of resources, indifference, the overwhelming dull yet titillating distraction Kulchur? Where is support and inspiration coming from? Where is our primary shelter, within academic/alternative communities only? What are we writing? It is choiceless as Robert Creeley insisted? What are our scholarly practices? Who do we study & admire? What is identity? Is the Y chromosome seriously endangered? Is gender an issue for your writing? How does our writing reflect, engage, ignore, subsume or transcend the speed of our technology? Are we agents only? Is only our work affirmative? Are we the neutral elements of that affirmation?

Guest Faculty: Rosa Alcala, Sherwin Bitsui, Aaron Cohick, Samuel R. Delany, Rachel Blau duPlessis, Noah Eli Gordon, Laird Hunt, Ruth Ellen Kocher, Rachel Levitsky, Selah Saterstrom & Kristen Nelson.

ROSA ALCALA: "Where the Self Loses its Boundaries": Poetry & Identity

Gayatri Spivak writes, "One of the ways to get around the confines of one's 'identity' as one produces expository prose is to work at someone's else's title, as one works with a language that belongs to many others." In this class we will discuss the ways in which the practices of translation, multilingualism, and investigation can allow for a complex engagement with "one's 'identity.'"

Rosa Alcala
Rosa Alcalá is the author of two books of poetry, Undocumentaries (2010) and The Lust of Unsentimental Waters (2012), both from Shearsman Books. Spit Temple: The Selected Performances of Cecilia Vicuña (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2012), edited and translated by Alcalá, was runner-up for the 2013 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation. She is also the recipient of a 2015 NEA Fellowship in Translation.

Poetry Society of America

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 Dine 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.

Poetry Foundation

AARON COHICK: World & Text

Writing and printing situate text in the world. Broadsides, books, and other text-bearing objects/bodies allow that text to interact with public spaces and groups, both specific & locatable, and dispersed & indeterminate. In this class we will learn and deploy the basic skills of typography, lettering design, letterpress printing, and low-tech relief printmaking to discuss and explore the functions & limits of text operating in the world.

Aaron Cohick
Aaron Cohick is the proprietor of the NewLights Press, a small press focused on the intersection of writing and artists’ publishing. He is also the Printer of The Press at Colorado College, a letterpress studio that creates a cross-disciplinary space inside the liberal arts curriculum. He lives in Colorado Springs, where he co-organizes (with Corie Cole, Marina Eckler, and Noel Black) the Say Hello to Your Last Poem! reading/chapbook series.

Author Blog

SAMUEL R. DELANY: The Mirror and the Maze

This is a workshop in which to explore where things come from and where they are now and the disparities between them. We will read each other’s writing. Each person will have an advocate chosen from the class who will lead a question period about the work, directed toward the writer, her or himself. Texts will also be distributed to aid our conversation.

Samuel R. Delany’s stories are available in Aye, and Gomorrah & Other Stories, and Atlantis: Three Tales. His most recent novel is through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. His short story Eclipse recently appeared in an issue of Conjunctions. He was the subject of a documentary, The Polymath and is the author of a book about writing.

The Paris Review


Two tasks. First: to read and discuss essays by poet-critics that speak to poetry and knowledge (study) and genders and writing. Second: to address root modes of poetic practice. These seem to be "forms" or "genres," but they go deeper: sestina (repetition and variation); ballad (selection and inference); haiku (concision and obliqueness). We will read, then study and practice these modes, with respectful curiosity and understanding.

DuPlessis p.c. Robert S. DuPlessis
Rachel Blau DuPlessis Recent work by Rachel Blau DuPlessis includes Surge: Drafts 96-114 (Salt Publishing, 2013), Interstices (Subpress, 2014), and Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson, Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2012), from her trilogy of works about gender and poetics. Forthcoming books are Graphic Novella (Xexoxial Editions) and Days and Works (Ahsahta). DuPlessis edited The Selected Letters of George Oppen (1990) and has written extensively on objectivist poets.

Author Website

NOAH ELI GORDON: The List as Literature: the art & practice of accumulative enumeration.

We will transform the ubiquitous practice of list making (to-do lists, grocery lists) into art. We’ll catalog the kinds of sunlight, number the animals, collect words & worlds. Students will be provided a lengthy reader, including lists from Homer to Bernadette Mayer. We will read Brainard’s I Remember aloud, Viegener’s 2500 Random Things About Me Too silently. In making our lists we will remake the world, cross it all out, begin again.

Noah Eli Gordon lives in Denver, CO, and is an assistant professor in the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he directs Subito Press. His books include The Word Kingdom in the Word Kingdom, The Year of the Rooster, The Source, and many others.

Author Website


In this prose fiction workshop we will take up the notion of writing heroes and elective lineage, drawing inspiration from some of my heroes (Creeley, Stein, Ondaatje, Hawkins, Everett, Auster, Sebald, Notley, Davis et al) and yours (come with a page of something great by a writer you love). We will talk and we will write. And in the meantime, keep in mind: “Hoc Opus, Hic Labor Est”!

Laird Hunt, Proud Naropa Writing and Poetics MFA, Laird Hunt is the author of 6 novels including, most recently, Neverhome (Little, Brown, 2014). His writings have appeared in, among many other places, Bookforum, the New York Times, the Daily Beast, the Wall Street Journal, McSweeney’s and the Brooklyn Rail. He teaches at the University of Denver, where he edits the Denver Quarterly.

Author Website

RUTH ELLEN KOCHER: Hybrid’s Poetic

We’ll focus on hybridity as text, as body, as thing, and as an entity that permeates literatures cross-culturally in texts that defy location in order to make something new. We’ll consider how hybridity might present a locus of denial, a moment where genre is refused. As we encounter the ways hybridity resists location, we’ll also move to animate the concept and consider hybrid’s discourse in our manifest art, text, and compulsive approach to the page.

Kocher p.c. Patricia Colleen Murphy
Ruth Ellen Kocher’s books are Ending in Planes (Noemi Press, 2014), Goodbye Lyric: The Gigans and Lovely Gun (Sheep Meadow Press, 2014), domina Un/blued (Tupelo Press, 2013), One Girl Babylon and When the Moon Knows You’re Wandering, (New Issues Press, 2002 and 2003), and Desdemona’s Fire (Lotus Press 1999). She’s a Contributing Editor for Poets & Writers Magazine and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Author Website

Author Blog

RACHEL LEVITSKY: The Complete Sentence

Can a sentence complete the indeterminate thinking that is the realm of poesis? If so, which one? The fragmentary tapestries of Nourbese Philip, Gail Scott and Bhanu Kapil? the rich language of Leslie Scalapino, Barrett Watten? the locating precision of Renee Gladman, Eileen Myles? the baroque of John Ashbery, Fred Moten? What about Henry James? We will read sentences to find the sentence we need for each of our particular and idiosyncratic practices of writing.

Rachel Levitsky's books include Under the Sun (Futurepoem 2003), NEIGHBOR (UDP 2009), and The Story of My Accident Is Ours (Futurepoem 2013). She is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, an officer of the Office of Recuperative Strategies ( and faculty in the MFA in Creative Writing and Activism at Pratt Institute. She is working on collaborations with Susan Bee, Marcella Durand, Ariel Goldberg and Christian Hawkey.

Woodland Pattern



In this workshop we will consider what conditions must be present in order to best position our multiple selves in the guts of the flux, all while remaining sentient and oriented towards our most pressing work. Through divinatory methods and experiments, we will generate writing and ritual-installations as a way to engage with our biggest questions, as well as deepen our practice and contract with our chosen mediums.

Selah Saterstrom is the author of the novels Slab,The Meat and Spirit Plan, and The Pink Institution, all published by Coffee House Press. Along with HR Hegnauer, she curates Madame Harriet Presents: an occasional performance series. She is the Director of Creative Writing at the University of Denver.

Author Website

Kristen E. Nelson is the author of Write, Dad (Unthinkable Creatures Chapbook Press, 2012). She has recent work in The Feminist Wire, The Volta, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Tarpaulin Sky Journal, Dinosaur Bees, Spiral Orb, Glitter Tongue, Trickhouse, In Posse Review, and Everyday Genius, among others. She is a founder and the Executive Director of Casa Libre en la Solana, a non-profit writing center in Tucson, Arizona.

Author Website


Who Am I When I Dream?:Philo-poetics

It's always been an interesting exchange: philosophy and poetry. Poets were kicked out of Plato’s cave, considered too unreliable. But the “rub” is always there, unstable, generative. Zizek, Agamben, Butler and others open the cave to the rhizomic creative thought of poetry, but as poets we need to reclaim the torch. What is the pedagogy? Poetry is intuitive, philosophy is logical. How can we bring back the intuitive logopoeia? How can we disrupt the logic, meet it, diverge from it, create a discourse within it?

Guest Faculty: Omar Berrada & Sarah Riggs, C.S. Giscombe, Janet Hamill, Vincent Katz, Joanne Kyger, Kyoo Lee, Jennifer Moxley & Steve Evans, Eileen Myles, Julia Seko, Eleni Sikelianos.

OMAR BERRADA & SARAH RIGGS: How can we know the dancer from the dance?

Exploring this ancient question, we dive into the writing of movement and ideas. Films, dance, 9th-century Arabic philosophy, French and North American poetry collaborations, and hybrids of all sorts will be our matter. Al-Jahiz, Claire Denis, Jean-Luc Nancy, Maya Deren, John Cage, Stéphane Bouquet and Aisha Sasha John will be among our intruders. Writers become the choreographers of their dreams. Bodies unapologetically enter our writing. Poetry is not alone.

Omar Berrada-pc Sarah Riggs
Omar Berradaco-directs Dar al-Ma'mûn, a library and residency center for artists and writers in Marrakech. Previously, he hosted shows on French national radio and public programs at the Centre Pompidou, curated Tangier’s International Book Salon, and co-directed Dubai’s Global Art Forum. He has translated numerous texts of poetry and philosophy from English into French, by Avital Ronell, Joan Retallack, Kathleen Fraser, Stanley Cavell, Bob Glück, Jalal Toufic, and Jennifer Moxley, among others.


Sarah Riggs
Sarah Riggs' feature-length film “Six Lives: A Cinepoem” plumbs the depths of understanding between film, the eye, and the body through the work of Virginia Woolf. Her most recent book of poetry is Pomme & Granite (1913 Press). She has translated or co-translated a half dozen books of contemporary French poetry into English. She is a member of Double Change and directs Tamaas.

Author Website

CS GISCOMBE: Dreamscapes & Unreliable Narration.

We’ll start at the most basic point of departure—real world location, which is to say neighborhood with all its social boundaries and stratifications—and attempt from there to take seriously dream (see Brooks’ “Kitchenette Building”), the shapes of unreliable memory, and obsessive image. We’ll write for both page and stage; we’ll study the ghazal form, keep dream journals, take a field trip, etc.


CS Giscombe’s recent poetry books are Prairie Style and Giscombe Road. His prose books are Into and Out of Dislocation and 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.

Electronic Poetry Center


JANET HAMILL: The Poet as Lucid Dreamer

As no man[woman], said Coleridge, was ever yet a great poet without being…a great philosopher, when poets muse they combine logic and thought music. They go under and become acquainted with that part of themselves not imprisoned in la cage raisonnable. Following Breton’s world view that the unconscious paints a truer picture of the individual than anything the waking life could “imagine,” this course will employ Surrealist techniques of lucid dreaming and automatic writing to create symbolic revelations made of sound, sense, emotion and image.

Hamill p.c. Bryan Hamill
Janet Hamillis the author six books – five books of poetry and fiction (Troublante, The Temple, Nostalgia of the Infinite, Lost Ceilings and Body of Water. In February 2014, she published her debut collection of short stories, Tales from the Eternal Café. In addition to books, she has released two CD’s in collaboration with the band Lost Ceilings – Flying Nowhere and Genie of the Alphabet. Her MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry is from New England College.

Author Website

VINCENT KATZ: Theogonies — What Do Poets Do When They Write Gods?

How did we get gods and who may they be in our Present Day? We will start by looking at Hesiod's poem of the origin of the gods, with a glance towards the Epic of Gilgamesh to keep us culturally aware, then delve into Plato's Republic, to find out why he banished poets, why the Ring of Gyges is a dangerous thrill, and what Ancient Greeks did for Television. Along the way, we will discuss our own views of the universe and will attempt to craft such beliefs, disbeliefs, doubts, investigations, divagations, and rebellions into verse, with an especial eye toward what makes epic.

Vincent Katzis the editor of Black Mountain College: Experiment in Art (MIT, 2002; reprinted 2013); the author of The Complete Elegies of Sextus Propertius (Princeton, 2004), winner of the 2005 National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association; and author of Swimming Home, a book of poems published in 2015 by Nightboat Books. He lives in New York City, where he curates Readings in Contemporary Poetry at Dia Art Foundation.

Author Website

JOANNE KYGER: Writing in Dream Time

Dreams have a special sense of time. They provide a lookout on present action, and cast a view of the future. All with their own special, language, logic and freedom. We will practice the art of dreaming poetry In daily writing; and also keep a dream journal for the week. Various texts will including Jack Keroac's BOOK OF DREAMS, DREAM YOGA by Namkhai Norbu, and DREAMS FROM ZINACANTAN, Chiapas, Mexico, where dreaming is to see one's soul--"whoever sees, dreams well".

Kyger credit Donald Guravich
Joanne Kyger, a poet from the coast north of San Francisco, is the author of more than 30 books and chapbooks of poetry. ON TIME from City Lights Books will be published in the Spring of 2015. She has taught frequently at Naropa since it first opened in 1974.

Poetry Foundation

Electronic Poetry Center

KYOO LEE: Sleep Furiously, Dream Fabulously: On & On at Noon With & After Rimbaud

Wait, Stop/Start: We start with this “bewitching enigma,” Arthur Rimbaud’s decision to stop writing poetry at his peak, when he was more than capable of producing many other masterpieces; when, where and how would a poet pause “to help man go somewhere, to be more than himself, to see more than he can see, to know what he cannot know." We will draw together such “lines” of philopoetic somnambulism while walking through the passages visited by a host of fellow, dreaming mind-bodies such as Gaston Bachelard, Lewis Carroll, Catherine Clément, Jacques Derrida, René Descartes, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-François Lyotard, René Magritte, Jeffrey Yang, Zhuangzi … as well as the “American Dreamers,” now & then.

Q 2014 - Photo by Margaret Randall
Kyoo Lee is the author of Reading Descartes Otherwise: Blind, Mad, Dreamy, and Bad (2012), and co-editor of WSQ (Women’s Studies Quarterly) on “Safe” (2011) and CPR (Critical Philosophy of Race) on “Xenophobia & Racism” (2014), is a professor of philosophy at the City University of New York, where she teaches a wide range of courses at all levels.

Author Website

JENNIFER MOXLEY AND STEVE EVANS: I Never Said I Loved You: Poetry, Philosophy, and the Language of the Break Up

Like an irritating couple, philosophy and poetry are always breaking up, and then before you know it, they’re back together. Using Roland Barthes’s concept of “coupling” (an intimate, interdependent, but non-sexual relationship) we’ll spend this week reading about and writing through the language of love, betrayal, and breaking up in and between philosophy and poetry. We’ll ask: is the threat of the break up a necessary precondition for love? For philosophy? For poetry? For us?

Jennifer Moxleyis a poet, essayist, memoirist and translator. She studied literature and writing at UC San Diego and the University of Rhode Island and received her MFA from Brown in 1994. Her most recent books are The Open Secret, There Are Things We Live Among: Essays on the Object Word, and Clampdown, all from Flood Editions. She teaches poetry and poetics at the University of Maine.

Author Website

Electronic Poetry Center

Steve Evansis scholar and critic who works on contemporary poetry and poetics, critical theory, modernism, and the avant-garde. He studied literature and philosophy at UC San Diego and received his PhD from Brown in 2000. At present he is working on a book titled "The Poetics of Phonotextuality: Timbre, Text, and Technology in Recorded Poetry." He teaches critical theory and poetics at the University of Maine.

Third Factory

EILEEN MYLES: Gender/Genre

This is a situation that will blur distinctions between male and female straight and gay poetry & prose. We are way post hybrid in all these regards. Be how you are = our room in which we will hopefully make a brilliant mess. Everyone must buy & read in advance Beatriz Preciado’s Testo Junkie & TC Tolbert’s Gephyromania and let’s aim to each write a total work, a long poem prose thing that whispers sings and shouts.

Eileen Mylesmoved to New York from Boston in 1974 to be a poet. She is the author of 18 books including Snowflake /different streets (poems, 2012) and Inferno (a poet’s novel) (2010). Her new & selected poems I Must Be Living Twice will be published by Ecco in fall, 2015. She lives in New York.

Author Website

JULIA SEKO: Emerging Texts: The Collaborative Process in Letterpress

Start by setting type letter by letter in a composing stick, working within the strictures of a mechanical art to push your writing into new spaces. Join in thoughtful collaboration to design and print a group project. We’ll discuss choices in typography, image making, materials and structure to develop our visual vocabulary, and we’ll encourage the unexpected and serendipitous.

Letterpress Live Exploring Wood Type Session, 10.6.13, Book Arts
Julia Sekois a letterpress printer, book artist, and proprietor of P.S. Press. 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. Julia also co-founded the Book Arts League, a nonprofit letterpress and book arts organization.

Bombay Gin Literary Magazine

ELENI SIKELIANOS: Hybridity/Between the Seams

We will work where structures rub up against each other, in the generative instability of forms, to handle hot material, focusing on the locavoric and its bleeds: family histories and homegrown reports, local bumps in human, animal, floral and geologic sites. We’ll consider the page and the book as installations, seek intuitive logics in juxtaposition of text and image, and look at writers who have used hybrid forms to document ways of knowing and unknowing.

sikelianos (2)
Eleni Sikelianos is the author of two hybrid memoirs (The Book of Jon and You Animal Machine) and seven books of poetry, most recently The Loving Detail of the Living & the Dead. A graduate of the JKS, she has taught poetry in public schools, homeless shelters, and prisons, and collaborated with musicians (Philip Glass, etc.), filmmakers (Ed Bowes) and visual artists (Mel Chin, etc.). She teaches for the SWP, L’Ecole de Littérature in France and Morocco, and the University of Denver.

Coffee House Press


The Activist Rhizome

Why are we more apt to speak about the end of the world than we are of cultural/political revolution? What is the network of activism within the writing community? Our guests this week have traveled, investigated, agitated, unionized, and occupied. They have used research, and documentary poetics to create fabrics that bring attention, and transcend the world linguistically. Art is a parallel to activism. How we live can become revelatory. We at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics believe that making art is a political act. We need these generative ways to live, to counter, to be outside of and beyond the anthropogenic environmental destruction, political demise, physical & linguistic violence of the everyday.

Guest Faculty: Allison Hedge Coke,Marcella Durand & Rich O’Russa, Bhanu Kapil & Andrea Spain, Mark Nowak, Bernadette Mayer & Philip Good, Thurston Moore, Margaret Randall, Kyle Schlessinger, Jonathan Skinner, Juliana Spahr.

ALLISON HEDGE COKE: Class Action / Reaction

This is a culturally rich workshop based in kinship and literary action. Through examination of our representative personal cultural/social communities, and quick surveys of several poetic/literary kinship and relevant aesthetic samples, we will embrace the opportunity to engage in crafting successful pieces, while strengthening our understanding of activist strategies available in kinships and technologies of our space, time, and place. Be prepared to walk in with a poem and come planning to write tons more.

Allison_Hedge_Coke_pc shane brown-3

Allison Adelle Hedge Coke work includes: Streaming (CD/book, eco-social justice), Off-Season City Pipe (eco-ethos/labor), Dog Road Woman (identity), Blood Run (an encoded verse-play orchestration lobbying for a sacred site), groundbreaking Indigenous western hemispheric anthologies (including multiple Indigenous languages and poetics), Effigies II, Effigies, & Sing: Poetry from the Indigenous Americas, her memoir of growing up as a mixed-racial laborer, heavily involved with the land and waters, and as second daughter of a mother with chronic schizophrenia, Rock, Ghost, Willow, Deer, & Icicles (play, disability), & is currently in-production in a climate change film, Red Dust.

Author Website

MARCELLA DURAND & RICH O’RUSSA: Print Publication Propaganda Poem

Durand p.c. Laird HuntA poem could be, in a sense, considered as a Temporary Autonomous Zone, where a non-capitalistic freely creative linguistic space may be created and inhabited. Poems have the potential additional advantage of portability, particularly when combined with new and old propagandistic techniques, ranging from the human mic to wheat pasting poetry posters of our own design and execution, and alternate modes of publication, which can even include opening a window and speaking poems to random passerby. In this class, we will explore the process of creating these poetic TAZs and continue through how poems can be diversely designed, printed and published to affect/effect the world.

O'Russa p.c.

This class will be co-taught by poet Marcella Durand and letterpress printer and artist Richard O’Russa. Marcella Durand is the author of Deep Eco Pré (with Tina Darragh), AREA, Traffic & Weather and Western Capital Rhapsodies. She is a member of the Belladonna collaborative and has written, taught and spoken about the potential intersections of ecology and poetry. Richard O’Russa is the founder and owner of ITDO Creative, and has printed work by Alice Notley, Julie Patton, Anselm Berrigan, Diane di Prima, and many other poets under his imprints, Erato and Time Release presses. Together, Durand and O’Russa edited and published the (invisible) city, a collection of poetry and art inspired by Italo Calvino’s The Invisible City.

Poetry Society of America - Marcella Durand

Poetry Project - Richard O'Russa

Author Blog - Richard O'Russa

BHANU KAPIL & ANDREA SPAIN: An Ethics of Incarnate Form

To dream: a philosophy of multitudes -- pre-formed yet embodied, imminent [swarming]. Toward: our own attempts to write [imagine] the vulnerable and incarnate: forms: writing might take. To take up: what Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak has called “the permanent operation of an altered normality.” Imaginary 1: Abject figures in U.S. phantasmatic life: refugees, zombies, protesters, Palestinians, migrants. Imaginary 2: What the rhizome risks: the assimilation and appropriation of subaltern lives and artistic processes. That's right. We are going to think through these things together. And we are going to write. We are going to write ourselves out of one life into another. In the space of one intense, radical and deeply felt week. Kapil

Bhanu Kapil is the author of five full-length books, most recently Ban en Banlieue [Nighboat Books, 2014]. She teaches through the monster at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. This year in New Delhi, she gave a performance that engaged earth memory, pilgrimage, nervous system rhythms and a politics of the body, as part of the two year year memorial for Nirbhaya, "The Fearless One."

Author Blog

Poetry Foundation

Andrea Spain
Andrea Spain’s work investigates philosophies of time, materiality, and becoming in the postcolonial present. Focusing on contemporary global apartheids, she teaches literature and cultural theory at Mississippi State University. In 2014, she gave a talk on temporality and encounter at the African Literature Association Annual Conference in Johannesburg, South Africa. Bhanu and Andrea have been in symbiotic conversation about multitudes, cultural appropriation, resistance and the form a book might take [never take] since 1995. They co-taught a class on Francis Bacon, Deleuze, and Triptych Forms and another, Writing the Event, in prior Summer Writing Programs.


MARK NOWAK: Insurgent Poetics

This workshop will examine the intersections of poetry and insurgency in poem-making and community-based creative writing workshop facilitation. Using texts as varied as Paulo Freire, Roque Dalton, anti-apartheid worker poets from South Africa, and contemporary global worker poets, students will learn to cultivate what labor historian Kim Moody dubbed “imaginative militancy” and look for ways to articulate this to poetic and social practices in the larger world.

Mark Nowak, a 2010 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Coal Mountain Elementary (Coffee House Press, 2009) and Shut Up Shut Down (Coffee House Press, 2004), a New York Times “Editor’s Choice.” He has facilitated creative writing workshops with autoworkers, domestic workers, farm workers, & others across the USA, EU, and South Africa. A native of Buffalo, Nowak currently directs the MFA program at Manhattanville College in Purchase, New York.

Poetry Foundation

BERNADETTE MAYER & PHILIP GOOD: Don’t get mad, write a poem

May the guy who bought the field fall into a bramble bush. – Bernadette Mayer This workshop is designed to introduce students to the Insult Poem. The class will examine the origins of insult poetry and discover work from various poets who have used this form throughout history. Participants will complete a number of original insult poems and discuss their poems in a workshop setting.

Mayer p.c. Max Warsh
Bernadette Mayer is the recipient of the 2014 Poetry Society of America’s Shelley Memorial Award. For many years Mayer lived and worked on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. She was the Director of St. Mark’s Poetry Project from 1980 to 1984. She continues to write progressive poetry from her home in East Nassau, New York. Recent publications include, The Helens of Troy, NY and Sonnets Expanded 25th Anniversary Edition.

Poetry Foundation

Good p.c. John Sarsgard

Philip Good is a graduate of The School Visual Arts in Manhattan. In the 80s Good co-edited with Bill DeNoyelles Blue Smoke, the last of the mimeo poetry magazines. Good’s poetry can be found online with BigBridge, Exquisite Corpse, and The Volta. Good’s book UNTITLED WRITINGS FROM A MEMBER OF THE BLANK GENERATION released in 2011 by Trembling Pillow Press, New Orleans, was praised by Lisa Jarnot and Michael Gizzi.

Poetry Foundation


The class becomes a band for a week. We spend a session discussing various approaches to song writing, using the Anthology of American Folk Music as a model. Then each student brings in a lyric or a melody or an idea and we collaborate on developing and arranging the material. Bring an instrument (any instrument) if you have one. Otherwise, all you need is a willingness to sing and collaborate. At the end of the week we put on a concert.

Taylor p.c.  Lauren at

Steven Taylor toured and performed with Allen Ginsberg 1976-96. His music for Ginsberg’s poems has been played by the Mondriaan Quartet and the Pro Arte Quartet. Since 1984 he has been a member of the seminal underground rock band the Fugs. He has collaborated on theater works with librettist Kenward Elmslie and has performed with numerous poets in the U.S. and Europe. His False Prophet: Field Notes from the Punk Underground was published by Wesleyan UP in 2003. In 1988 he composed music for The Eye & Ear Theater’s revival of Ginsberg’s Tony-Award-winning play Kaddish and his setting of “Footnote to Howl” was featured at the Howl festival in 2005. His commissioned work on a text by Jack Kerouac premiered at the Barber Institute of Fine Arts at Birmingham University in 2008 at the opening of the On the Road manuscript exhibition.

MARGARET RANDALL: Writing from Global Consciousness and Personal Experience

In this course we will go into deep exploration of creativity and activism. We will make our weeklong communal experience more than the sum of what each of us brings to it. What, if any, is the writer’s responsibility to effecting profound social change? Can art change the world? In what ways can art and activism move together without either limiting or distorting the other? How can we translate our frustration at the state of the world and/or within our communities into compelling creative work? We will read great works by writers who have been involved in social change, and produce and critique work of our own.

Randall credit Albuquerque The Magazine

Margaret Randall (New York 1936) is fortunate to have accompanied great social change with her activism. From 1961 to 1984 she lived in Mexico, where she founded and edited an important bilingual literary magazine and was active in the 1968 Student Movement; in Cuba during its revolution’s second decade; and in Nicaragua following the Sandinista takeover. Upon her return to the US, the government ordered her deported, based on opinions expressed in some of her books. She won her case in 1989. Among her recent books are The Rhizome as a Field of Broken Bones, About Little Charlie Lindberg (both poetry), and Che on My Mind (essay).

Author Website

KYLE SCHLESINGER: A Poetics of the Book

What is a book and how does it mean? Sure, a book is an embodiment of knowledge, but what does the book itself as an object and subject teach us about the history of people, ideas, technology, commerce, art, and the environment? We will be learning the foundational elements of letterpress printing, and will be encouraged to make your own words, images, concepts, and materials—like Stéphane Mallarmé says, ‘Everything in the world exists in order to end up as a book.’


Kyle Schlesinger is the author of PARTS OF SPEECH (Chax Press, 2014), THE DO HOW (with James Yeary, Great Fainting Spells, 2014), and other works. He is proprietor of Cuneiform Press and Associate Professor of Publishing at UHV.

Author Website

JONATHAN SKINNER: Communication in the Seismic Channel: Placing Ecopoetics

Taking a cue from infrasonic communicators—whales, elephants, tectonic plates—let’s explore gaps, between disciplines, global north and south, political ideologies, cultures and languages, for the deep channel of language change poets might effect. This work extends beyond play with words. Where do we place poetry? What assumptions do we challenge? How do we activate the ecotone between language art and the myriad species of endeavor critical to environmental communication? Let’s write earth magnitude into micropolitics.


Jonathan Skinner founded the journal ecopoetics, featuring creative-critical intersections between writing and ecology. Skinner has published essays on Charles Olson, Ronald Johnson, Lorine Niedecker, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Bernadette Mayer, translations of French poetry and garden theory, essays on bird song from the perspective of ethnopoetics, and on horizontal concepts such as the Third Landscape. His poetry publications include Birds of Tifft (BlazeVOX, 2011), Warblers (Albion, 2010) and Political Cactus Poems (Palm Press, 2005).

Poetry Foundation

JULIANA SPAHR: Networks of Activism

A discussion based class and an historical survey that attempts to understand the "network of activism within the writing community," its possibilities and its limitations. Readings may include Shelley's Mask of Anarchy, McKay's If We Must Die, some Cesaire, Rukeyser's "Book of the Dead," some essays by and/or about Brecht, Lenin, Mao, US movement poetries, Badiou. I'm interested in trying to locate what allows literature to at moments feel so crucial to various sorts of resistance and at other moments (as in today) not.


Juliana Spahr edits the book series Chain Links with Jena Osman and the collectively funded Subpress with nineteen other people and Commune Editions with Joshua Clover and Jasper Bernes. With David Buuck she wrote Army of Lovers. She has edited with Stephanie Young A Megaphone: Some Enactments, Some Numbers, and Some Essays about the Continued Usefulness of Crotchless-pants-and-a-machine-gun Feminism (Chain Links, 2011), with Joan Retallack Poetry & Pedagogy: the Challenge of the Contemporary (Palgrave, 2006), and with Claudia Rankine American Women Poets in the 21st Century (Wesleyan U P, 2002).


Sangha, Cross Worlds Common Ground

Sangha is a Sanskrit term meaning “association,” “assembly,” “community.” One thinks of Walt Whitman’s “adhesiveness.” And “Common ground” was a phrase Amiri Baraka used frequently when he taught at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and invoked the idea of a serious cultural revolution. Through countercultural influences of punk rock, experimental music, and performance art the artists this week have pushed the boundaries as word workers, utilizing the artistic means of writing in parallel with performance, film, music, architecture, book-arts, small press editing, soundscapes, and other cross-disciplinary methods.

Guest Faculty: Kameron Bashi, Clark Coolidge,LaTasha Diggs, Thomas Sayers Ellis & James Brandon Lewis, Lydia Lunch, Fred Moten, Brad O’Sullivan, Steven Taylor, Anne Waldman, Ronaldo V. Wilson.

KAMERON BASHI: The Interior Community

Some questions: What is our sangha, and how do we take refuge in it? How do we, as individuals, connect to our various communities through creative activity? What is the relationship between the virtual space in which the work is born and the actual space in which it participates? How do we reconfigure the relationships we know in order to nourish a dynamic, unknown, and collective freedom?

Kameron Bashi was born in 1982 in the middle of America and has since lived on both coasts and in semi-rural Germany. He returned to study writing at the University of Maryland and Brown University, and is currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver. His first novel, tentatively titled The Following March, explores the magical qualities of intergenerational love, passenger airlines, queerness, whiteness, death, and dogs."

BOMB Magazine

LATASHA DIGGS: Action. Score. Medicine.

Ways in which we cleanse/heal: Goat milk in your bath water. Oregano oil. Bush tea from Ayití. Smudge. Slapping the walls with Bay leaves and Florida water. Dancing in your living room. Rituals are often passed down from elders and through chance encounters for reasons only the cosmos knows. Some rituals cannot be shared. But what about those that can? Examining the works of artists like Ben Patterson and Paloma McGregor, we will activate the ‘ritual’ through our writing, sonic adventures and movements. As an assembly of histories and tongues, we will consider our creative practices as medicine.

LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs is the author of TwERK. She has been published widely and her performance work has been featured at The Kitchen, Brooklyn Museum, The Whitney, MoMa and The Walker Center. An independent curator/director, she has staged events at El Museo del Barrio, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Symphony Space and BAM Café. A recipient of several awards, LaTasha is the co-founders and co-editor of Coon Bidness and SO4.Author Blog

Poetry Foundation

THOMAS SAYERS ELLIS & JAMES BRANDON LEWIS: Locating the Percussive Lyric Pocket that Changes Prose to Prosody

In GoGo Music, the vernacular of Washington, D.C., a pocket of percussive grammar consisting of cowbells, drums, tambourines, congas and voice (Lead Talk not Rap) form a foundation of interruptions, breaks, and shifting subjects. In writing, a pocket of nuanced text can make the linear behavior of prose a lyric reading experience. full of music and meaning. We will identify forms of the pocket, infusing drafts with lyric patterns, and consider Collaboration and the uses of internal and external sound. Students will write a poem a day and work with a visiting musician.

Ellis p.c. Rachel Eliza GriffithsPoet and photographer Thomas Sayers Ellis is the author of The Maverick Room and Skin, Inc. His poems have recently appeared in The Nation, The Paris Review, Poetry and Best American Poetry (1997, 2001 and 2010). He is a former GoGo percussionist and recently worked for UFCW Local 342 as photographer of meat packers and slaughterhouses. He recently taught in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Montana.

Author Website

James Brandon Lewis is a saxophonist and composer earning a Bachelors from Howard University, and Master of Fine arts degree from California Institute of the Arts. Ebony Magazine hailed james as one of seven jazz musicians to watch in today's scene. His second Album "Divine Travels " was released by historic imprint Okeh records via Sony and features William Parker , Gerald Cleaver ,and poet Thomas Sayers Ellis.

Artist Website

LYDIA LUNCH: Nomadic Transformation

As a writer and a musician I am constantly seeking new environments that inspire creative collaborations. I have lived in NYC, Los Angeles, London, New Orleans, San Francisco, Pittsburgh and Barcelona. Each city and the projects created there were unique, but as a shape shifting gypsy troubadour with an unquenchable wanderlust, even after almost four decades of touring, the road is still where I feel most at home. This workshop will discuss the transformative benefits and life changing experiences gained by having the courage to leave everything behind.

Lydia Lunch p.c. Jasmine Hirst_4
Lydia Lunch refused the confines of a formal education, opting instead to establish herself as a No Wave musician in New York City in 1976. An independent artist prolific in music, literature, film and photography, she has performed and taught workshops at numerous Universities, Museums and Art Festivals and continues to explore new mediums in which to express her passion and creativity. She was voted by Timeout New York as one of the most influential performers originating from NYC.

Artist Website

CLARK COOLIDGE: Allen Ginsberg, Poet

Time to take a close look at the life’s work of one of the founders of the Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. His influences, his evolving fascinations and procedures, his innovations in the long line and the long poem. We’ll consider all his major works, plus many others unsung but deserving. A chance to engage with the overall poetic accomplishment of one of the last century’s great poetic forces.

Coolidge credit John Sarsgard
Clark Coolidge is the author of more than forty books of poetry and other, including Space, Solution Passage, The Crystal Text, At Egypt, Now It’s Jazz: Writings on Kerouac & The Sounds, The Act of Providence and most recently 88 Sonnets and A Book Beginning What And Ending Away. Forthcoming, Selected Poems 1962-1985, Station Hill Press. In 2011 he edited a collection of Philip Guston’s writings and talks for U Cal Press. Initially a drummer, he was a member of David Meltzer’s Serpent Power in 1967 and Mix group in 1993-1994. He traveled to Paris September 2013 where his work was the subject of a symposium at Universite d’ Est. Currently he has returned to active drumming in duos with Thurston Moore and the on-going free jazz band Ouroboros.

Poetry Foundation

Electronic Poetry Center

FRED MOTEN: Under Common Ground

In this class we’ll think, read and talk about old-new assemblages of destruction and rebuilding, repurposing and disavowal, disruptions of proper publicness, histories of submergence, non-states of emergency, and the double edges of various refusals of burial. We’ll try to engage work by Amiri Baraka, Judith Butler, Sophocles, Ana Mendieta, Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Hazel Dickens, Öykü Potouğlo-Cook, the people of Gaza and the people of Ferguson.

Fred Moten
Fred Moten is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Hughson’s Tavern, B. Jenkins, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (with Stefano Harney), The Feel Trio and The Little Edges. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

Poetry Society of America

BRAD O’SULLIVAN: Shadowcasting & the Language of Machinery

Letterpress printing allows writers to physically interact with readers by forcing language into the page, a tactile sensibility not possible with more contemporary printing methods. It’s intimate and immediate, born of a syncopated, stubborn process. So, sleeves up & fingerdeep in the stuff of language, we’ll use the press as a compositional tool in the production of a collaborative printed piece.

Brad O’Sullivan collects meaningless objects and is the sole member of Underscore, a typewriter band. He’s a letterpress printer, writer, teacher, vinyl enthusiast, and proprietor of Smokeproof Press, letterpress workshop in Boulder. He likes pencils and lives with his family in downtown Boulder.

Artist Website

THURSTON MOORE: Composed On The Tongue

When Allen Ginsberg first heard Bob Dylan in song he rejoiced for the music employing the visionary poetics he had been practicing with Beat brothers and sisters Gregory Corso, Diane Di Prima, Philip Whalen et al. During his incredible life Allen inspired and commiserated with musicians from the free love 60s to the urban poet 70s to the punk rock 80s while continually expressing Blakeian wonder in his own harmonium and finger bell mantra love calls on stage at CBGB and poet events worldwide. We will LISTEN to the RECORDS and investigate the social and activist dynamics of Ginsberg the Bard.

Thurtson Moore is the founder of the NYC rock group Sonic Youth. He has worked collaboratively with Yoko Ono, Merce Cunningham, Cecil Taylo, Lydia Lunch, John Zorn, and Glen Branco. He has composed music for films by Oliver Assayas, Gus Van Sant, and Allison Anders. 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 Ecstatic Peace Library and the poetry imprint Flowers & Cream.

Artist Website

ANNE WALDMAN: Entanglement: Co-Existence in a Dark Time

Quantum entanglement is a physical phenomena occurring when groups of particles interact in ways such that each particle cannot be described independently but rather as a whole. We will emulate the worlds of particles and particulars as they form radical force fields for progress in writing and life. We will embark on long messy works apart and together to shift frequencies of media control and war culture. We will record our words with the help of Ambrose Bye’s studio class. We will dedicate the merit of what we accomplish and create a community for the next 100 years.

Waldman pc Anne Steir
Anne Waldman has been a prolific and active poet, performer, editor and teacher many years, a founder of the Jack Kerouac School and Artistic Director of its celebrated Summer Writing Program. She is the author most recently of Gossamurmur(Penguin Poets 2013), Jaguar Harmonics(Post-Apollo 2014), and co-edited (with Laura Wright) the anthology Cross Worlds: Transcultural Poetics (Coffee House Press 2014). Waldman has been deemed a “counter-cultural giant” by Publisher’s Weekly, is a Guggenheim fellow for 2013-14, and a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets

Author Website

Fast Speaking Music

RONALDO V. WILSON: Tacky Identities and Other Self-Plays

This workshop invites participants to heartily experiment with notions of their most intimate and outrageous self-assigned and world-imposed identities, assembled selves that slide beyond who they are, and what they wish to become. All known identities (blAck, Blu, why(te), Cis-Trans-Am, Br|OWN and Query) shall be engaged, held, evacuated, destroyed, reposed and/or/but re-invented and recast to alert us to the importance of discovery and possibility.

Ronaldo V. Wilson is the author of Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man (2008), Poems of the Black Object (2009), Farther Traveler: Poetry, Prose, Other (2015), and Lucy 72 (2015). A recent Artist-in-Residence at the Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Center for Art and Thought (CA+T), Wilson is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing and Literature at U.C. Santa Cruz.

Poetry Foundation

The Conversant




Cedar Sigo was raised on the Suquamish Reservation in the Pacific Northwest and studied at The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at the Naropa Institute. He is the author of eight books and pamphlets of poetry, including Language Arts (Wave Books, 2014), Stranger In Town(City Lights, 2010), Expensive Magic (House Press, 2008), and two editions of Selected Writings(Ugly Duckling Presse, 2003 and 2005). He has taught at The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe and will be the visiting writer at St Mary's College in Spring 2015. He lives in San Francisco.

Lecture: Tuesday June 16: 3:00-4:00pm
Reading: Tueday June 16: 7:30pm



Mei-mei Berssenbrugge was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of 12 books of poetry, including Empathy, Four Year Old Girl, I Love Artists: New and Selected Poems, and Hello, the Roses. She has collaborated with many artists, including Kiki Smith and her husband, Richard Tuttle. She lives home in northern New Mexico and New York City.

Writer’s Chat: Thursday June 25: 4:30-5:30pm
Reading: Thursday June 25: 7:30pm


Richard Tuttle is an American postminimalist artist known for his small, subtle, intimate works. His art makes use of scale and line. His works span a range of media, from sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking , and artist’s books to installation and furniture. He lives and works in New York City, Abiquiú, New Mexico, and Mount Desert, Maine.

Lecture: Thursday June 25: 1:00-2:30pm, “What Sanskrit Means to Me”


James Sherry is the author of 10 books of poetry and prose. He is editor of Roof Books and president of the Segue Foundation, Inc. in New York City. In 2011 he joined the Occupy Alternative Bank subgroup and remains active in that group. He lives in New York City with his wife, Deborah Thomas, publisher of Extra!, the magazine of Fairness And Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).

Reading: Thursday June 25: 7:30pm


Jack Collom is an American poet, teacher and essayist. His twenty-five books include Blue Heron & IBC, The Fox, Arguing with Something Plato Said, Red Car Goes By: Selected Poems 1955-2000, Exchanges of Earth and Sky and Situation Sings (with Lyn Hejinian). His latest book of poems, Second Nature, won the 2013 Colorado Book Award for Poetry. He has been anthologized in countless magazines and collections in the United States and abroad, from Best Poems of 1963 to The Best American Poetry 2004.

Panel: Monday June 22nd, 1-2:30pm
Reading: Wednesday July 1st, 7:30-9:30pm

Special Film Events: Sunday June 28th

Cine-Poet ics
Naropa University’s Performing Arts Center

FREE and open to the community

A special event with three films relating to the dance between

language (often endangered) and image

12:00–2:30 p.m.: "Language Matters" by Bob Holman


3:00–5:00 p.m.: "Gold Hill" by Ed Bowes & "Six Lives: A Cinepoem" by Sarah Riggs

Q & A with filmmakers Ed Bowes & Sarah Riggs



Eliot Weinberger is the primary translator of Octavio Paz into English. His anthology American Poetry Since 1950: Innovators and Outsiders (1993) was a bestseller in Mexico, and his edition of Jorge Luis Borges’s Selected Non-Fictions (1999) received the National Book Critics Circle prize for criticism. His publications include the collection of essays Karmic Traces: 1993-1999 and a translation of Bei Dao’s Unlock (with Iona Man-Cheong), both published by New Directions in 2000. He is the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry (2003).

Lecture: Thursday July 2: 1:00-2:30pm
Reading: Thursday July 2: 7:30-10pm



Tom Hayden is an American social and political activist, author, and politician, who is director of the Peace and Justice Resource Center in Culver City, California.

Lecture: Thursday July 9: 12:45-2:30pm Followed by a short reception in the Student Lounge (2:45-3:15pm

Additional Guests

Dharma Arts Presenters: Reed Bye, Judith Lief, Robert Spellman, and Giovannina Jobson

MFA Lecturers: Eric Baus, J’Lyn Chapman, Richard Froude, and Sara Veglahn

Meditation Instructor: Giovannia Jobson

Recording Studio: Ambrose Bye & Max Davies

SWP Textbook: CrossWorlds: Transcultural Poetics (Coffee House Press, 2014)

No comments:

Post a Comment