[Wgcp-whc] Gizzi visit, 11/6 & other notes

Richard Deming richard.deming at yale.edu
Thu Oct 29 00:01:05 EDT 2009

Dear All--

last Friday the WGCP met for our first discussion of Peter Gizzi's  
Outernationale.  Gizzi will be joining us from 3-5 Friday, Nov 6 to  
take part in our conversation about his work.

Rather than posting minutes from last week's discussion, I'll send  
along the series of questions drawn from our conversation.  These  
questions will be sent to the poet and will serve as prompts for the  
conversation on Nov. 6. They should also provide a sense of the issues  
that arose in thinking about Gizzi's work.  Below the questions I'll  
provide information for the reading Gizzi will give on Thursday, Nov.  
5.  Below that, I'm sending word of PAGE-TURNER: The Asian American  
Literary Festival, which is being run by WGCP-member-at-large Ken Chen.

Remember, the WGCP is open to everyone, so be sure to send word of  
Gizzi's visit to any interested parties.

Finally, I'm attaching an article about Gizzi's work by Olivier  
Brossard. Brossard will be leading our discussion of Keith Waldrop's  
work on 12/5 and so this will be a preview of his concerns, while also  
shedding light on Gizzi's poetics.

Richard Deming, Events Planner


Questions for Gizzi------
Throughout Outernationale, your work moves primarily by way of  
investigating rhetoric and rhetorical tropes—from poetic apostrophes  
to if/then conditionals (though more if than then).  One notices also  
an emphasis on sense experience, particularly sight.  Indeed, light is  
a recurring trope.  In what way, then, is rhetoric connected to the  
body or one’s experience of one—or another’s—body?

There are recurring invocations of landscape in your work.  Given your  
profound investment in lyric traditions and history, what is your  
sense of the pastoral as it applies to your work?

Tied to this question is another one: what is nature or the natural.   
In that there are numerous urban images and references in your work  
alongside these landscapes it would be interesting to have a sense of  
constitutes nature.

Given your own historic moment, coming after various generations that  
questioned lyric subjectivity and the “I,” how do you navigate the  
prevalence of irony that might subvert some of your lyric address?  Is  
this something you consciously take on?  In other words, what are the  
ways that after irony (or in the midst of an ironic age) the lyric is  
not simply nostalgic?

More fundamentally—and since its definition is not a stable one—what  
is the lyric?

In that identity and nationhood is certainly a set of issues that your  
collection takes on, what is “American” about America at least in  
terms of the literary genealogy you draw together.  What are the  
limitations of American-ness (as your work implies that this new yet  
unapproachable America—to borrow Emerson’s phrase—has not been reached)?

In terms of poetics and poetic form, what is the relationship between  
politics and poetic form?  Is the politics best addressed (most  
efficacious, etc) as content or as form?

At times, punctuation in Outernationale becomes idiosyncratic. In  
terms of poetics and form, what and how do you think through the  
functions of punctuation?

You discuss the ideas of assemblage and salvage in regards to West  
Coast artists and filmmakers.  What role does this play in your work?   
And when does something constitute “assemblage”? Is “Vincent,  
Homesick” a form of assemblage in terms of how it rearranges the  
materials of itself (in its palindromic form)?  What is the difference  
between quotation, allusion, homage, and salvage?


Gizzi's Reading

Grad Poets Reading Series
7:00 pm
Thursday, November 5th
Linsly-Chittenden Rm. 317

A reading with poet Peter Gizzi.  Peter Gizzi is one of the most  
talented experimental lyric poets of his generation.  His books  
include The Outernationale,Some Values of Landscape and Weather,  
Artificial Heart, and Periplum and other poems 1987-92.  His many  
honors include the Lavan Younger Poet Award from the Academy of  
American Poets and a Guggenheim Fellowship.   He is also the editor of  
The House That Jack Built: The Collected Lectures of Jack Spicer and,  
with Kevin Killian, of My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected  
Poetry of Jack Spicer.  Currently he teaches at the University of  
Massachusetts, Amherst.

Books will be available to purchase, courtesy of the Yale University  

This event has been generously sponsored by the Yale Graduate and  
Professional Student Senate, the Dean's Fund and the Yale Review.


Ken Chen, Executive Director, The Asian American Writers’ Workshop


The Asian American Writers’ Workshop presents

PAGE TURNER: The Asian American Literary Festival

Friday & Saturday, Nov. 13-14, 2009


Join the Workshop for PAGE TURNER, a two-day literary palooza that’ll
bring together more than thirty writers, including Jhumpa Lahiri,
Michael Ondaatje, David Henry Hwang, Hari Kunzru, Ed Park, and
Porochista Khakpour. This quirky but curated festival will also
feature a former Chinese rocket factory worker, poets making video
art, ukulele-strumming comedian Jen Kwok, Indian crime fiction, panels
on internment and immigration, and a cocktail reception and awards
ceremony. For schedule and tickets, please visit pageturnerfest.org.


Friday, Nov. 13, 2009, 7-10pm


At Vermilion, 480 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY

$50 cocktail reception (7-8pm); $500 gala dinner (8-10pm)

A special cocktail reception and dinner honoring Sonny Mehta, who will
receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from Michael “English Patient”
Ondaatje. For tickets, visit aaww.org/dinner or call (212) 494-0061.

Saturday, Nov. 14, 2009, 11am-7pm

PAGE-TURNER: The Asian American Literary Festival

powerhouse Arena,

$5 per reading; $20 Day Pass; $10 Literary Awards & Reception Only;
$25 All-Day Pass+Awards

A hip all-day reading series that’ll feature more than some of the
most prominent Asian American writers in the country, as well as
stand-up comedians, academics, and the Twelfth Annual Asian American
Literary Awards. The line-up includes: Jhumpa Lahiri, David  Henry
Hwang, Ed Park, Mort Baharloo, Monique Truong, Hari Kunzru, Meera
Nair, Mohan  Sikka, Hirsh  Sawhney, Mae  Ngai, Mitra Kalita, Alexander
Chee, Ron Hogan, Rakesh  Satyal, Jen Kwok, Porochista Khakpour, Ed
Lin, Jennifer Hayashida, Jeff Yang, Sree Sreenivasan, Ravi Shankar,
Hua Hsu, Dennis Lim, Julie Otsuka, Rea Tajiri, Sunaina Maria, Tania
James, Hasanthika Sirisena, V.V. Ganeshananthan, Amitava Kumar, Lijia
Zhang, Alexandra Chang, Purvia Shah, Walter  Lew, Ye Mimi, and others.
For a complete schedule and tickets see http://www.pageturnerfest.org.

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