Author: Christina Davis

HARVARD SQUARE LITERARY MAP: A Walk-in-Progress

The Woodberry Poetry Room is teaming up with the Harvard Map Collection and our colleague Lynn Sayers to explore the possibility of creating a digital version of a popular Lamont Library map exhibit—produced several years ago by Chris Lenney and Lynn Sayers. But first, we need your help! Please assist us in expanding the literary map of Harvard Square by suggesting names and past addresses of writers (and historic literary venues) that could be added to the list below. You can share your ideas via the Comments section at the base of this Blog, or by emailing poetryrm@fas.harvard.edu. If all goes well, we will aim to complete the more in-depth map (using StoryMaps technology) during this upcoming academic year. In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy using the preliminary info below to explore Cambridge (socially-distantly) this summer and what Lyn Hejinian has called “the presence of a plurality of times….” In creating this map, we wish to acknowledge the  Massachusett, Pequot, Wampanoag, and other Indigenous peoples, who have long inhabited this land—with their profound histories, cultures, and voices. Note: …

Boston Renaissance

BOSTON RENAISSANCE: A Creative For(u)m

“Ones all speaking together….”—Alice Notley In an effort to foster community at a time of social-distancing, the Woodberry Poetry Room is launching an informal poetry exchange that will randomly pair poets from the Greater Boston area to create collaborative works. This is the first event in our “Boston Renaissance” series, which will also include a collaborative Zoom forum about the literary history—and future—of Boston and the crowd-sourced creation of a series of literary maps (or, so we hope)! How to Participate: Please send us an email at poetryrm@fas.harvard.edu, with your name and preferred contact information & “Boston Renaissance” in the subject header. Registration Deadline: June 1, 2020. How Do We Define “Boston-Area”: We don’t…. ! As you can tell from our Boston Originals series, we include poets from as far afield as Providence and Amherst under this moniker (as well as MFA and grad students who reside here for several years). Perhaps you might say: poets for whom the Boston area is either a dwelling-place or serves as a literary forum and cultural/educational nexus in …

Terma installation by Stanley and Farooq

WPR CREATIVE FELLOWSHIP & GRANTS: Announcing the 2020-2021 Recipients

The Woodberry Poetry Room is pleased to announce that the recipients of this year’s WPR Creative Fellowship are Jared Stanley and Sameer Farooq for their collaborative project, “A Lip Smack, Laughter, Paper Rustles.” It also gives us great pleasure to announce that Harmony Holiday has been selected as the recipient of this year’s WPR Creative Grant for her project, “Griot : Ghost” The Poetry Room’s fellowship and grants program offers stipends to poets,artists, and scholars to undertake creative projects that would benefit fromthe resources available at the WPR archive, as well as from time spent atHarvard University as a whole. Past fellowship recipients have included Sawako Nakayasu, Tracie Morris, Kate Colby, Dan Beachy-Quick, Erin Moure, Eileen Myles, and Fanny Howe. Poet Jared Stanley and interdisciplinary artist Sameer Farooq‘s project explores the incidental, non-poetic sounds an archive of literary readings collects—the rustling of paper, the clearing of a throat, authors’ ad-libbed banter, um‘s and pauses, intermittent laughter, and sounds and sirens from the outside world—all of which work in concert with the writer’s voice to create …

Handing reaching toward Dickinson book

THE LAYING ON OF HANDS: On “Physical Distancing” as an Ethics of the Archive

In these intangible, at times untenable days—the duration of which keeps extending its parenthesis—days in which we’re instructed not to touch, or greet within six feet, in which we’re made increasingly cognizant of what Amichai called “the circumference of the bomb,” or at the very least the consequential perimeter of our being, days of the necessarily distant and of griefs behind glass, days of the digital (though digital has its very root in “hands”), I’ve begun to reflect on what I, as a curator, have most longed to touch, materials I’m privileged to work among but must necessarily refrain from—a kind of “discipline of vicinity.” It’s a strange favor the fingers do by being far, the noli me tangere of an archivist’s career.   But, somewhere in the molecules of Massachusetts what I haven’t handled persists because I—and others—have cared enough not to touch it. ______ Over the past few weeks, removed from the physical archives, I’ve had a chance to reflect on the fact that I have never in my entire time at Houghton …

Announcing the 2019-2020 WPR Creative Fellowship & Grant Recipients

The Woodberry Poetry Room is pleased to announce that the recipient of this year’s WPR Creative Fellowship is Sawako Nakayasu for her project, “Sounds of War and Not-War, 1941-1945.” Three WPR Creative Grants are also being given this year. The recipients are Jasmine Dreame Wagner, Brian Teare, and Tongo Eisen-Martin. The Poetry Room’s fellowship and grants program offers stipends to artists and scholars to undertake creative projects that would benefit from the resources available at the WPR archive, as well as time spent at Harvard University as a whole. Past fellowship and grant recipients have included Dan Beachy-Quick, Fanny Howe, Kate Colby, Christine Finn, Tracie Morris, Erin Moure, Eileen Myles, Tess Taylor, and Lindsay Turner. Some grants are selected through the fellowship application process; others are the result of a direct commission from the WPR curatorial staff. SAWAKO NAKAYASU | SOUNDS OF WAR AND NOT-WAR, 1941-1945 During her WPR Creative Fellowship, Nakayasu will work on an ongoing book project that encompasses a range of her multilingual writing practices. This work will be based on the …