You are currently browsing the daily archive for June 21, 2011.

What thoughts do you have about the relationship between the body and experimental writing?

For seven years I mentored teenage writers in Boyle Heights in East Los Angeles. These writers included a girl who lived in a remodeled garage, and who usually had so little food available that she regularly suffered dizziness and headaches, and was sent home from school after fainting, even though school offered her her only hot meal of the day. On the few occasions that I was able to give her money, she used it to buy food for her younger siblings. You will never know what a great poet she was, how she transported audiences with her joyful cadences. Writers of her potential are working in kitchens, cleaning offices, fighting in Iraq. If writers with her potential were not censored throughout the inner-cities of America, generation after generation, what is now marginalized “experimental” writing wouldn’t have a marginal significance. Those superficial categories would have been replaced by deeper, more viable literatures.

foto by Ronaldo Oliveira

Here is the publication schedule for the next volume of Christopher Higgs’ ongoing series “What is Experimental Literature? {Five Questions}” which promises to be dynamite, thanks to the amazing contributions from the writers who have graciously joined the conversation. New writers, new questions!

Week of June 6th
Brian Evenson
Dodie Bellamy

Week of June 13th
Eileen Myles
Evan Lavender-Smith

Week of June 20th
Johannes Göransson
Sesshu Foster

Week of June 27th
Dennis Cooper
Selah Saterstrom

Week of July 4th
Vi Khi Nao
Michael Martone

Christopher Higgs is pursing a doctorate in twentieth century literature and critical theory at Florida State University. In his right hand he holds an MFA in Fiction from Ohio State; in his left hand he holds an MA in English from the University of Nebraska. Combined, these degrees amount to a wealth of knowledge in the field of useless things, as well as a strong commitment to poverty. He writes stuff and also curates the online arts journal Bright Stupid Confetti.

What is Experimental Literature? {Recap: Five Questions Vol. 1}

In case you missed any of them, below you’ll find links to each of the 10 writers who participated in the first edition of my [Christopher’s] series of interviews aimed at expanding our understanding of experimental literature. We generated a heap of conversation and interest, not only here but all over the web: from Ron Silliman to The New Yorker and elsewhere. Due to the overwhelmingly positive feedback from this series, I have decided to keep it going. I’m currently in the process of creating the questions for the second round of the series, which I’ve decided to formulate by using the answers given by the writers from the first series. This way, hopefully, it’ll feel like an ongoing conversation. You can expect the next edition to appear in the month of May, and to include ten new writers of experimental literature. My thanks to everybody for participating. This has been a really great experience. I’m looking forward to presenting the next edition!

Bhanu Kapil

Danielle Dutton

Debra Di Blasi

Miranda Mellis

Kate Zambreno

Susan Steinberg

Tantra Bensko

Amelia Gray

Alexandra Chasin

Lidia Yuknavitch

June 2011