What we did on summer vacation…

Students, alums, and faculty were busy making us proud this summer and into September:

Joe Sacksteder‘s sound poems were published at textsound: http://textsound.org/index.php?ISSUE=13.  Joe also had a story published in Booth (Sept 7): http://booth.butler.edu

Peter Markus was named a Kresge Arts Fellow for 2012.

Elizabeth Mikesch, Gerard Breitenbeck, and Ned Randolph spent two weeks on a  cultural exchange and workshop in Lisbon, Portugal.

Brynne Barnes‘ children’s book, Colors of Me, won its third award: The Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award for First Published Work: http://www.gelettburgesscenter.com/2012_honors.php.

Kudos to everyone for their awesome achievements!

Elizabeth Mikesch reviews Christian Bök

EMU student Elizabeth Mikesch reviews Christian Bök’s recent BathHouse reading:

To open a reading with a speed metal version of “Ursonate” is a bold and impressionable way to wake engage an audience, despite the fact that it is not written in English. Luckily, Christian Bök’s reading given at the Sponberg theater October 19th was a lively and engaging trip through the mind of a mad scientist/ lingual genius hybrid. Bök’s work begs to be read aloud and by him. The energy that he brings to the stage translates the complexity of his often conceptual writing into a mode that educates the listener instead of baffling them.

When reading Eunoia, the author’s 2001 novel written using in chapters using only one vowel sound at a time, my eyes fought the page and I tended to be frustrated by retaining the work’s valuable sonic qualities. Bök having read the “naughty bits” of each vowel made for a clearer interpretation for what was birthed from his process of sorting through and making sense of words that fit in each vowel pile. He employed different voices and tones for each vowel, U probably being the most memorable because of its base and primal vocabulary. Each vowel representing a character gives a new meaning to what language can do when constraints are placed upon it.

Bök’s nature as a writer can be deemed as hybrid because he is seemingly as interested in mathematics and science as he is language. He is combining these disciplines by injecting a germ with a poem that he wrote. This bacteria will respond by rearranging the letters and creating new words, thus making the poem alive and responsive, alien even.

As a post-modernist, his approach to the page is one that is equal parts passion and detachment. His work reads and is heard as a well-built machine. The detail-oriented precision and almost hypothetical approach to the page makes for a truly singular experience when encountering the work and processing its bizarre and other-worldly nature.