October 18, 2012:
When I did research papers in middle school, before the internet was the first place anyone went to for information, I remember pulling heavy encyclopedias and informative books that had several volumes in the series. When citing them there would always be several authors, which made sense because there was lot of information to be organized in these books. I never really gave how the informative tomes had come into existence until I attended a lecture about collaboration.
Last Month On November 28th and 29th Emu Students and the extended community invited Dimitri Anastasopoulos, Camille Roy, and Rachel Levitsky to read at the Bathhouse event on campus. The EMU students have written reviews of the event and the blog is only too glad to share this with you. The writers each read from either published works or work in progress. Dimitri read a short excerpt from Farm of Mute due to release soon by Mammoth Books. Camille read from a book of her poetry titled Sherwood Forest published by Future Poem. Rachel Levitsky read from her book, Neighbor, available from Ugly Duckling Presse.
On November the 29th each of the writers gave a short presentation or talk on work that concerned them. Dimitri has given the blog permission to re-post his essay about narrative and finance. Rachel conducted a short presentation on the Office of Recuperative Strategies, a way of intervening in the archive, among other things. Camille gave her opinions on community and what it means to be a part of one; as they may change in ways that are not aligned with the ways you are changing. After all the presentations, there was a Q&A session where the audience was invited to test more readily the various writers’ opinions.
Dimitri’s works are available below the cut.
Hats off to undergrads Sam Schimmel, Eric Corliss, Karen Thompson, Taylor Cyr, and Garret Stralnic from Christine Hume’s “Collaboration and Community Projects” and Linette Lao’s “Mixed Media” classes! Their work has received national attention in the New York Daily News. The members were from the collaborative group known as Operation Mongoose 2012 whose public work urges a remembrance of books and bookstores as a declining animal in our increasingly virtual world of books.
This past week was a big one for both students and faculty. Performers from each echelon exhibited work in the Detroit Metro Area. Both Dr. Christine Hume and CW Grad Student Danielle Etienne were among the artists performing.
On Thursday November 8th at 7:00pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the blog bore witness to both a Reading & Performance of Catherine Wagner & Christine Hume. Christine Hume started the night with a solemn incantation in a piece titled “Speech Talks Back,” afterwards Catherine Wagner performed poems from her new book, Nervous Device (City Lights, 2012).
During Dr. Hume’s piece, the gallery space was plunged into near dark, a single light illuminating the reading space. The audience sat hushed, and distracted. Dr. Hume read as simultaneous audio boomed from several speakers. At times ears were overwhelmed with the recording and at other times one could feel the reading more palpably. The effect was incongruous with the play between the two channels of narration creating a third space where the piece took form. The performance caught the audience in this third space, between the poles of navigation, the reading and the recording.
When Dr. Wagner took the stage, the lights came up and all was visible. She calmed herself using a variety of medieval songs rendered live before the audience. She stood before the audience eschewing the podium for a more intimate relation with the attending crowd. Her poems created laughs, frowns and other expressions as diverse as the material she read. Occasionally a poem would also include sung lyrics. This was not a professional musical performance, but an interaction between an untrained singing voice and a honed reading. Indeed, “the poems of Nervous Device express a self-conscious scepticism about the potential for human connection even as they maintain[ed] an optimistically charged eroticism.”
On Saturday November 10th at 8:00pm, Creative Writing Graduate Student Danielle Etienne read three short fiction pieces at Flip Salon in Ferndale. The exhibition/performance, titled Little Cloud Rising/STRAIGHT TO HELL, also featured artwork from artist Jacqueline Woodrich and live musical accompaniment. The space itself, Flip Salon, is indeed a hair salon. Artwork lined the walls and Ms Etienne read in the “waiting room” while the audience crowded around and watched from a variety of perches. As Ms Etienne read a banjo played on, the aura of white trash hillbilly that Ms Etienne articulates in her piece was brought twanging into the salon space. The audience hooted and hollered throughout the performance as Ms Etienne’s evocative descriptions filled them with laughter or caused them to cringe inwardly.
Each of the events was a remarkable demonstration of the breadth of diversity that is present in the EMU Creative Writing Program and the blog looks forward to more performances of both students and faculty.
One never knows what to expect when they show up to a reading, but you know when it’s a Prof’s house, that the A-game will be brought.
First Wendy Kramer presented, “The Morton Salt Girl Monologue: NaCl and the Meaning of Her Mark” accompanied by collaged trademark images she had created of the changing icon over the years. In a performance including visual and auditory cohesion and dissonance, she read both stage direction and script of a constructed text for the girl. This was followed by David Buuck who presented “We are all Sound: Poetics and Public Space in the Occupy Oakland Movement” which expressed an “on the scene” accounting of the challenges of creating and distributing poetics that can attempt to convey, do justice to, or maybe even not to do too much justice to, the movement.
Lee Abbott will be reading at EMU Student Center Tuesday, January 15th at 5:00 with Yannick Murphy for the third BathHouse reading of the (academic) year. Here is an interview with Abbott on the craft of writing short fiction.
Hope to see you there!
People who like to categorize things often refer to Ron Padgett as a second-generation
No one has contributed more to sustain the liveliness of the writing than Ron Padgett. Since the early 1960s he has been writing a deceptively spare poetry t hat is often quite funny and reveals its very serious playfulness only indirectly. For instance, early in his new book, How to Be Perfect, the poem “Rinso” begins with him doing the dishes but rapidly goes somewhere else entirely before returning to the task at hand:
The slight agitationof pots and pansand a few dishesin sudsy waterinto which handsplunge and fingersoperate like ina magic act in whichbubbles burstinto flowers presentedto the blonde girlwho rotates ona wheel that fliesup through the ceiling anddisappears.The dishes are sparkling.
Yes, it’s funny, but there is something absolutely wonderful about it.
The bravely and absurdly titled poem that gives its name to the whole collection is a long series of sentences that give advice — even though one of the first directions for achieving perfection is “Don’t give advice.” These aphorisms move from the practical (“Keep your windows clean”) to the improbable (“Do not practice cannibalism”). Along the way it includes things – “Don’t stay angry about anything for more that a week, but don’t forget what made you angry. Hold your anger out at arm’s length and look at it, as if it were a glass ball. Then add it to your glass ball collection” — that are weirdly and perfectly wise, and that could be written by no one but Ron Padgett.
It is typical of Padgett that he would choose to read with a younger writer just making his reputation. Ander Monson, who teaches and
The ice in the canalthe faulty floor through which hedescendedblazing on the back of his Arctic Catis black as slatewhich means it’s thinand the boys on the shorethrow aimless stones that yieldricochets with laser sounds.
It will be very interesting to hear how these northern images by Ander Monson play with the