[Wgcp-whc] Working Group/Poetics--Fall 06

richard.deming at yale.edu richard.deming at yale.edu
Tue Aug 29 12:33:18 EDT 2006


Dear Friends of Poetry,

As the summer of 2006 comes to close and a new academic year dawns, the Working
Group in Contemporary Poetics at Yale University wakes from its slumber.  I
wanted to give people some advance notice of when we will begin to meet and
give some sense of what the year holds.  We already have a number of things
lined up for this year.  The meeting dates for the fall semester are the

SEPT 22: First meeting.  Readings: Splay Anthem (poems) and Paracritical Hinge
SEPT 27: (Special session) 4-6.  Room: TBD. Discussion with Nathaniel Mackey
OCT 13: Discussion with Jerome Rothenberg.  Reading: Writing through
NOV 3: Reading?TBD
NOV 17: Reading?TBD
DEC 1: Reading?TBD

As you will notice, we already have two very distinguished poets scheduled to
meet with us to discuss their work informally.  Interestingly, both visitors
are invested in questions of ethnopoetics, translation, and the creation of
anthologies. The first scheduled visitor is Nathaniel Mackey.  Let me provide
an ?official? biography.

Poet and novelist Nathaniel Mackey was born in 1947 in Miami, Florida. He
received a B.A. from Princeton University and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.
His books of poetry include Whatsaid Serif (City Lights Books, 1998); Song of
the Andoumboulou: 18-20 (1994); School of Udhra (1993); Outlantish (1992);
Eroding Witness (1985), which was selected for the National Poetry Series;
Septet for the End of Time (1983); and Four for Trane (1978). His prose
collections include Djbot Baghostus's Run (1993) and Bedouin Hornbook (1986).
Mackey is also the author of Discrepant Engagement: Dissonance,
Cross-Culturality, and Experimental Writing (1993). He is the editor of
American Poetry: The Twentieth Century (2000, with Carolyn Kizer, John
Hollander, Robert Hass, and Marjorie Perloff) and Moment's Notice: Jazz in
Poetry and Prose (1993, with Art Lange). He also edits the magazine Hambone.
Strick: Song of the Andoumboulou 16-25, a compact disc recording of poems read
with musical accompaniment, was released in 1995. Nathaniel Mackey is Professor
of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz and is currently a
Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets. His author page (with links to
poems, interviews, online readings and so forth is available here:
http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/mackey/.  This includes a link to a special
issue of Callaloo devoted to Mackey and his work).  Note that this is a special
session that will meet on Thursday at 4: 00.  The room will be announced
shortly.  Mackey will be reading at Wesleyan University (a short car ride away)
the night before.

We will focus our discussion on Mackey?s two most recent books.  Copies of
each of these books have been ordered (purchased with funds made available to
us by one of our sponsors, The Whitney Humanities Center) and will be made
available to regular members of the Working Group. As soon as the books are
ready, I?ll make an announcement of where they might be picked up.  They
should appear by next week at the latest and our first regular meeting will be
a preliminary discussion of this work.

On Oct. 13, we will be joined by Jerome Rothenberg. Jerome Rothenberg is a poet
and translator of the first rank and one of the world's leading anthologists.
Among his more than sixty books are Technicians of the Sacred: A Range of
Poetries from Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Oceania (1985), Revolution of
the Word: American Avant-Garde Poetry between the Two World Wars (1974), and
Shaking the Pumpkin: Traditional Poetry of the Indian North Americas (1986).
With Pierre Joris he edited the monumental two volume Poems for the Millennium:
The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry (1995 & 1998). 
He is currently assembling Vol. 3 of Poems for the Millennium. His author page
is available here: http://epc.buffalo.edu/authors/rothenberg/
Given that so many members of our group have investments in anthologies and
translation, this is a special event.  Indeed, the first two volumes of Poems
for the Millennium were the first things that we bought for the group?s
library.  Copies of Rothenberg?s Writing Through will be made available
shortly and will be distributed to regular group members.

We will determine the rest of the readings for the semester at the first
meeting. However, since we will be having another noted enthnopoetically minded
poet/scholar/translator join us in February (Nathaniel Tarn) we might consider
shaping the year around this theme/field of poetic inquiry.

In any event, I should mention that Nancy Kuhl has been assembling a new
?Poetry at Yale? website: http://beineckepoetry.wordpress.com/.  This is a
site that everyone ought to consider bookmarking.  It includes dates of various
readings at Yale and also links to other sites and to news and so forth, all of
which anyone on this list would find interesting.  I have also been asked to
circulate some information about a new development of an audio archive at
Yale?s Beinecke Library (one of our group?s co-sponsors). I?ll paste that

Let me say that I hope that everyone?s semester gets off to a terrific,
productive start.  And from myself and the group?s two other
coordinators?Jean-Jacques Poucel and Nancy Kuhl?we?d like to say that
this looks like it will be a very generative year for the Working Group, now
heading into its 8th semester, with a online list of over 100 people located at
Yale and across the U.S. and Europe.  Please do spread the word as we?re
always welcoming new members.

?The Working Group in Contemporary Poetry and Poetics meets every other Friday
at 3.00 PM in room 116 at the Whitney Humanities Center at Yale University to
discuss problems and issues of contemporary poetry within international
alternative and /or avant-garde traditions of lyric poetry. All are welcome to


Richard Deming, Group Secretary, Scribe, and Scrivener


The Maureen Owen Collection of Greenwich Village Poetry & Audio Poetry Archives
at the Beinecke Library

The Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Library is pleased to
announce the launch of its first digitized collection of poetry readings, the
Maureen Owen Collection of Greenwich Village Poetry. The digitizing and
processing of the Owen Collection, the result of broad collaboration between
archivists, systems specialists, and curatorial staff, will serve as a model
for providing access to audio poetry archives at the library.

A recent gift to the collection, the Owen Collection is a rich gathering of
reel-to-reel tape and cassette recordings of poets reading their work at
literary events held by the Poetry Project at St. Mark?s Church-in-the-Bowery
in New York City during the 1970s and 80s. The collection also includes
recordings of the poet Susan Howe?s radio shows on WBAI Radio in New York
from the same period, on which poets can be heard reading and discussing their
work and that of other poets. Poets and writers represented in the Owen
Collection include Russell Banks, Ted Berrigan, Elizabeth Bishop, Barbara
Guest, George Oppen, Ron Padgett, Charles Rezkinoff, Adrienne Rich, Ed Sanders,
Ron Silliman, Jack Spicer, and Virgil Thomson. Digital sound files of the
recordings in the Owen collection are available directly through the collection
finding aid http://webtext.library.yale.edu/xml2html/beinecke.green.con.html;
these files can be accessed from any Yale computer work station or from
off-campus with Yale log in.

Audio poetry archives currently being processed for digital access include
recordings of the Yale Collection of American Literature Readings Series at the
Beinecke Library. In addition to readings by many important American poets, such
as Robert Creeley, Adrienne Rich, Rita Dove, and Sherman Alexie, the collection
includes recordings of the annual Yale Student Poets reading by Yale University
graduate and undergraduate student poets.

Maureen Owen Collection of Greenwich Village Poetry

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