CW Faculty and Student Performances

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.”

Flip Salon









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.

Kenneth Goldsmith at MOCAD tonight (3/31)

Catch Kenneth Goldsmith at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) tonight, Saturday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m.  Admission to American Deaths and Disasters: The Assassination of John F. Kennedy is free.

Kenneth Goldsmith’s writing has been called “some of the most exhaustive and beautiful collage work yet produced in poetry” by Publishers Weekly. Goldsmith is the author of ten books of poetry, founding editor of the online archive UbuWeb, and the editor of I’ll Be Your Mirror: The Selected Andy Warhol Interviews, which was the basis for the opera Trans-Warhol, that premiered in Geneva in March of 2007. He teaches writing at The University of Pennsylvania, where he is a senior editor ofPennSound, an online poetry archive. In 2011, he co-edited, Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing and published a book of essays, Uncreative Writing: Managing Language in the Digital Age.

Tyrone Williams and Mel Nichols at MOCAD tonight 12/15, 7 p.m.

Catch visiting poets Tyrone Williams and Mel Nichols tonight, December 15, at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). The event is at 7:00 p.m.  It’s free and includes admission to the museum, which is located in an old warehouse space on Woodward Ave.

Find out more here:

Rob Halpern and Peter Markus at MOCAD this Friday, 10/21, 7 p.m.

Don’t miss Rob Halpern and Peter Markus, reading at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) this Friday, Oct. 21, at 7:00 p.m. This is a free reading.

Both Halpern and Markus will be presenting works that touch on and expand on themes and ideas addressed in MOCAD’s two current exhibitions, barely there (part two) and Stéphanie Nava: Considering a Plot (Dig for Victory).

MOCAD is located at 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit, 48201.  Call 313-832-6622 for more info.

MOCAD Reading Series – Mel Nichols and Marie Buck, March 10, 7:00 p.m.

The next session in the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) reading series will be on Thursday, March 10th at 7:00 p.m. and feature Mel Nichols and Marie Buck.  The MOCAD reading series is curated by K. Silem MohammadAdmission is free!

Mel Nichols teaches digital poetry, creative writing, literature, composition, honors courses, and writing for artists at George Mason University. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in numerous magazines, including Fascicle, New Ohio Review, Practice, Van Gough’s Ear, The Tangent, and Gargoyle. She is co-editor of illuminated meat, and an editor of the online journal English Matters. With Rod Smith she curates the Ruthless Grip Poetry Series at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center.

Marie Buck lives in Detroit, where she studies, teaches, and and co-edits the small poetry journal Model Homes. Her first collection of poetry, Life & Style, was published by Patrick Lovelace Editions in 2009, and she is currently working on a new manuscript, “Pwnage.” Her work has recently appeared in Abraham Lincoln, Sustainable Aircraft, and Satellite Telephone.

MOCAD is located at 4454 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, 48201.  Call 313-832-6622 for more info.