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.
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 …
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.
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 …
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.
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.
This Thursday, February 26th at 6pm at Houghton Library, Timothy Donnelly (author of Hymn to Life and The Cloud Corporation) will discuss the rhetorical device known as catachresis–from the Greek katakhrēsthai, meaning ‘misuse’–as it appears in the work of Emily Dickinson (among others), its relation to the poetic generally, and flamingos. Due to the slew of cancelled readings this season, Donnelly has kindly agreed to read a brief selection of poems after his lecture. The lecture is co-sponsored by the Bagley Wright Lecture series and the Woodberry Poetry Room. NOTE: Book sales will be cash and check only.
We are pleased to introduce the Woodberry Poetry Room’s new Assistant Curator Mary Walker Graham, who will begin her role next week. Graham is no stranger to the Poetry Room—that’s her on the left, listening to the 52nd track of an epic 1976 Robert Creeley recording….
From February 2 thru May 1, 2015, the Woodberry Poetry Room will present an informal mini-exhibit featuring a rotating series of selections from “For One Boston,” a collection of 132 works—by 149 artists, writers, designers and printers—published by Pressed Wafer in collaboration with Granary Books to benefit those injured in the April 15, 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. On view this month is a selection of eight items—including poems, essays, epigrams, photographs, paintings & a signed Red Sox card—contributed by Jim Behrle, Don DeLillo, Susan Heideman, Fanny Howe, Vincent Katz, Colleen McCallion, Kayla Mohammadi, Jennifer Tseng & C.D. Wright. The deeply compelling, poignant and provocative materials that converge in the “One for Boston” box reflect a dynamic range of responses, what one of its contributors, Fanny Howe, calls “a collision of histories, local and global. The papers fly, the paintings and signatures mark the trails from Boston to Dagestan.” Of her contribution, “Prayer for Someone,” poet Jennifer Tseng reflects: “I wrote this poem expressly for the box. It took me a long time. […] I began with the impulse to honor the victims; I wanted …