All posts filed under: MEGAPHONE: News & Events

featuring Poetry Room news and announcements

Giving a New Meaning to the Phrase “Open House”

This week, on the very same day that hundreds of incoming students descended upon Lamont for the Freshman Open House, five members of the Harvard/Radcliffe Class of 1955 ventured to the Poetry Room (after meeting with President Drew Faust) to formally donate a chapbook of poems they’d created to the WPR collection. What might have been a brief meet-and-greet evolved into a deeply compelling and memorable hour of sharing and mutual learning. For one of the chapbook contributors, Jean Hardy Little (Radcliffe, ’55), the day marked the first time she had ever entered Lamont Library, which women were largely prohibited from entering until 1967. Harvard Medical School senior lecturer Robert Blacklow (AB ’55, MD ’59), a fellow contributor to the chapbook, recounted how male undergraduates would prop the Lamont door open with a chair and bring female students the books they needed. The women would  “straddle the threshold, with one foot in the library, and one foot out,” and read the texts that they could not otherwise get a hold of. As Little and Blacklow shared their experiences and joined …

The Making of CITIZEN: Claudia Rankine (Monday, April 27, 6:00pm)

We are immensely honored to welcome poet and scholar Claudia Rankine (author of Citizen: An American Lyric, the recipient of this year’s National Book Critics Circle Award) to Houghton Library next week. Rankine will read from Citizen and document the process involved in selecting, “doctoring,” and integrating the artworks throughout the collection. The event will be introduced by Jorie Graham.

Reading Moten in the Cherry Orchard at Noon

Reading “Blackness and Nothingness” by Fred Moten, as per Jackie Wang’s recommendation, in advance of the dizzying prospect of seeing them both this week in a cultural space with a strict perimeter. Well, not that strict if I have been invited. Readers, I am going to be reading at Harvard on Wednesday night. Where is Boston? How do you get from the airport to the float tank? Where is Harvard, exactly? What is the sky? Is there a bus? To prepare for this reading, I am reading Fred and Jackie en tabac. In the orchard. Beneath cherry trees threaded with bright pink wool. The week before I emigrated I saw The Cherry Orchard in Cheltenham with Dranz. Chekhov’s play begins before dawn on a May morning. So that cherry orchards always hold the quality for me of imminent, radical change. What can I do? What can I do to meet and be met in that other rough way? In the pink electricity beneath the trees, documented as string.

ON THE CIRCUIT: Peter Howarth on the Rise of the Modernist Circuit (April 14, 6:00pm)

The Woodberry Poetry Room is pleased to feature an excerpt from Peter Howarth’s upcoming talk, which will take place on Tuesday, April 14th at 6:00pm. Howarth has spent this past year at the Woodberry Poetry Room and at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, researching the rise of the Modernist poetry circuit. Tomorrow’s event will include archival recordings by W.H. Auden, Marianne Moore, T.S. Eliot, and Dylan Thomas. W.H. Auden’s poem “On the Circuit” features the classic description of the bleary, bad-tempered poet on a reading tour, hating it and hating himself for doing it. It begins with defensive scorn: the other passengers going their “lewd pelagian” way are trying to earn their way to the good life, while our poet is apparently the “airborne instrument” of pure grace. But his sense of predestination turns out to mean being trapped in the schedule imposed by his implacable agency. The comparison of himself to St. Paul, sent alike “to Gentiles and to Jews,” is more self-irony.  Auden, we gather by the end, is a travelling evangelist for poetry with a …

Introducing “Be Again: A Screening of Three Short Films by Fanny Howe”

We are here tonight to see and discuss how and in what astonishing ways Fanny’s turn to film extends, illuminates, and crystallizes her poetics, her politics, her attentions and beliefs, and the wondrous philosophical lucidity of her thought.

While tonight is an occasion to see three of Fanny’s films—new iterations of each, incidentally—I do want to emphasize that to think her filmic practice requires us not to consider it as a departure from her essays, her novels, or her poetry, but rather as further evidence of how fully her genius lie in making genres overlap and misbehave. If we imagine genre as a territory, she is the trespass figure at its margins.

Announcing the Recipients of the 2015-2016 WPR Creative Fellowship & Grants

The Woodberry Poetry Room is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2015-2016 WPR Creative Fellowship is Eileen Myles for her proposed project, “About Boston.” Myles will receive a stipend of $4,000 (generously funded by the Dr. Michael and Teresa Anagnostopoulos Fund and the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts) and plans to be present on campus throughout the month of April 2016. Due to the impressive range and number of applications, two additional projects were selected to receive WPR Creative Grants of $1,500, also funded by the Anagnostopoulos family. The 2015-2016 grant recipients are: Dan Beachy-Quick of Fort Collins, Colorado (for his project, “A Quiet Book”) and Chris Mustazza of Philadelphia (for his project, “The Birth of the Poetry Audio Archive: The Vocarium Recordings and The Speech Lab Recordings”). In conjunction with her proposed essay project, “About Boston,” Myles will consider “Boston as a site of poetry (poetry as ‘poetry’ and the poetry of everyday speech).” As a native Bostonian, Myles is particularly interested in exploring the Boston accent, in which Myles herself writes her poetry. During her …

March 12, 6:00pm: BE AGAIN: A Conversation & Film Screening with Fanny Howe

Join us for the first incarnation of the WPR Creative Fellowship, featuring films made by Fanny Howe in collaboration with Sheila Gallagher, John Gianvito, and Maceo Senna, and including voiceovers by Robert Creeley and Patrick Bedford. The event will integrate informal conversation with the screening of the following films: “Brigid of Murroe”; “What Nobody Saw”; and “Be Again.” Introduction by Keith Jones. The event will take place at the Barker Center. For more information, visit the WPR Calendar of Events. The WPR Creative Fellowships are made possible by a generous donation by the Anagnostopoulos Family and a gift made in honor of Teresa and Dr. Michael Anagnostopoulos. The featured photograph shows Fanny Howe and Sheila Gallagher during one of their collaborative sessions, working on one of the films in progress at Houghton Library.

Thursday, March 5th: “The Poetics of Graffiti” with Andrew Zawacki

Poet and translator Andrew Zawacki will read passages and screen images from his prose-photo hybrid project “Paris Photo Graff,” which uses Paris graffiti as an occasion to think associatively about alternative or subaltern poetics, black and white photography, the disappeared body, artistic commodification, and the construction and demolition of public space. The event will take place at the Woodberry Poetry Room, Lamont Library, Room 330, Harvard University. Zawacki is the author of four poetry books, most recently Videotape (Counterpath Press, 2013). His translation from the French of Sébastien Smirou, My Lorenzo, appeared from Burning Deck in 2012. His follow-up translation of Smirou, See About: Bestiary, was awarded an NEA Translation fellowship and is due next year from La Presse. The recipient of a fellowship at la Résidence internationale Ville de Paris / Institut Français aux Récollets, he is the Director of the Creative Writing Program at the University of Georgia.