Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I was feeling a bit stronger the next morning and made it back to Kelly Writers House in time to catch Adeena Karasick's preview of her new mashup, "All The Lingual Ladies (Put a Frame on It)," complete with an Adeena/Beyonce photoshopped illustration. (We are assured there will be a video.) Fred Wah's talk came around to one of the more poignant moments of the symposium when, during Q&A, he talked about his long-ago response to Nicole Brossard's reading of her poem "Ma Continent." Hearing him wrestle with his own earlier comprehensions with Brossard there in the audience was one of the highlights of the two days for me. a. rawlings spent a few moments recalling her early intorduction to sound poetry, then moved to a performance with Maja Jantar of a sound piece based on a line drawing/score by Jantar. I had never met Jordan Scott before, but knew of him through his book Blert, and was intrigued by his critical overview of his work. In my estimation, Jeff Derksen's talk was the best critical encounter with contemporary conceptualism to date. I had not known of the earlier Concepualists from the Eastern bloc nations whose work Derksen referenced late in his paper, so this was yet another revelation for me. In the exchange following Derksen's talk, Christian Bok said twice that he was being "probative," but he was not. I have no idea what that was about. Bok's reading of his own manifestoes later, though, was certainly probing. You'll want to give that a listen once these events are up at Penn Sound.

The evening readings included a couple poets I'd never heard before: Jordan Scott and Stephen Collis. And the evening closed with poetry I had never heard in public before: M. Norbese Philip producing a veritable hauntology with her reading from Zong! My own sense was that the emphasis on sound throughout the day had the effect of making us attend to the sounds of poets like Wah and Brossard in ways we might not have otherwise. The sound of the single voice giving voice to text is still something well worth exploring.

No comments: