Date: Friday, November 21st
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m (reception to follow)
Place: UCLA Humanities Building, Room 193
Blacktop Ecologies: Los Angeles Poetry and Poetics is a one-day symposium of writers active in Los Angeles today. Though largely drawn from the interaction of poetry and teaching, the poets range from highly experimental, even “conceptual,” writers of lyric, narrative and political poetry, as well as translation and performance writing. There is no “subject” for the symposium — it is not concerned with Los Angeles or even its poetical history — but a snapshot of poets in Los Angeles today, how they think and make their work. Each poet will make a short presentation of their recent thinking and read selections of their work; each “lane” will be followed by a question and answer (for passenger loading only) period.
Breakfast will be available starting at 9.
Lunch will be available starting at 12.
Blacktop Ecologies: Los Angeles Poetry and Poetics
10-11:45: Lane 1
Aaron Kunin teaches at Pomona College (Milton, English literature 1500-1800, Poetics). His works include the novel The Mandarin (2008), and three books of poetry, Folding Ruling Star (2005), The Sore Throat & Other Poems (2010) and the forthcoming Cold Genius (2014). Grace Period: Notebooks, 1998-2007, a series of aphorisms, was published in 2013. He is a widely published reviewer of poetry and art.
Maggie Nelson teaches at CalArts (Poetics, Non-fiction) and is the author of five books of nonfiction and four books of poetry. Her most recent book is The Argonauts, a work of “autotheory” about gender, sexuality, sodomitical maternity, queer family, and the limitations and possibilities of language (May 2015). Her nonfiction books include The Art of Cruelty: A Reckoning (2012), Bluets (2009), and Women, the New York School, and Other True Abstractions (2007). Her poetry books include Something Bright, Then Holes (2007); Jane: A Murder (2005), The Latest Winter (2003), and Shiner (2001).
Andrew Maxwell is co-founder and -editor of the poetry journal The Germ (1997-2005) and presently founder and co-curator of the publishing collective and reading series at the Poetic Research Bureau. Long an advocate of local, small run publishing, he is the author of two collections of poetry, the aphoristic Peeping Mot (2013) and the forthcoming Candor is the brightest shield (Dec 2014).
Harryette Mullen teaches at UCLA (African American Literature, Creative Writing) and is the author of Urban Tumbleweed (2013), Muse & Drudge (1995), S*PeRM**K*T (1992), Trimmings (1991), and Tree Tall Woman (1981). Trimmings, S*PeRM**K*T, and Muse & Drudge were collected into Recyclopedia (2006) which received a PEN Beyond Margins Award. In 2002, she published both Blues Baby: Early Poems and the widely acclaimed Sleeping with the Dictionary. Her selected essays and interviews, The Cracks Between What We Are and What We Are Supposed to Be, was published in 2012.
12:45-2:30: Lane 2
Christine Wertheim teaches at CalArts (Image+Text, Feminisms, Aesthetic Theories) and is a poet, performer, artist, critic and curator. Her books are mUtter-bAbel (2013) and +|’me’S-pace (2007), and she has edited the literary anthologies Feminaissance (2010), The n/Oulipean Analects (2007), and Séance (2006), the last two with Matias Viegener. Crochet Coral Reef, with Margaret Wertheim, is forthcoming in 2015. She has a PhD in literature and semiotics from Middlesex University. With her sister Margaret, she co-directs the Institute For Figuring, a non-profit dedicated to the intersections of math, science, art and pedagogy whose solo shows include NYU Abu Dhabi, the Smithsonian, Science Museum Dublin and Hayward Gallery London.
Daniel Tiffany teaches at USC (Modern Poetry and Poetics) and has published several works of important, idiosyncratic literary criticism: My Silver Planet: A Secret History of Poetry and Kitsch (2014), Infidel Poetics: Riddles, Nightlife, Substance (2009), Toy Medium: Materialism and Modern Lyric (2000) and Radio Corpse: Imagism and the Cryptaesthetic of Ezra Pound (1998). HIs most recent book of poetry is Neptune Park (2013), preceded by Privado (2013), The Dandelion Clock (2010) and Puppet Wardrobe (2006). He has also published translations of texts by Sophocles and the Italian poet Cesare Pavese, as well as Georges Bataille’s pornographic tale, Madame Edwarda.
David Lloyd teaches at UCR (English) and is the author of numerous books of criticism including Nationalism and Minor Literature: James Clarence Mangan and the Emergence of Irish Cultural Nationalism (1987), Anomalous States: Irish Writing and the Postcolonial Moment (1993), Culture and the State (co-authored with Paul Thomas, 1997), Ireland After History (2000) and Irish Times: Temporalities of Modernity (2008). His most recent book is Irish Culture and Colonial Modernity, 1800-2000: Transformations of Oral Space (2011). Arc & Sill: Poems 1979-2009 appeared in 2012 from Shearsman Books, a collection of his many chapbook publications. A new sequence, Kodalith, appeared with the online press Smithereens in 2014. He has long been the organizer of the Effie Street Reading series.
Diane Ward, early associated with the Language poets, is the author of numerous books and chapbooks including: Theory of Emotion (1979), Never without One (1984), Relation (1989), Human Ceiling (1995), Imaginary Movie (1992), Exhibition (1995), Portrait As If Through My Own Voice (2001), Flim-Yoked Scrim (2006) and No List (No List) (2008). Her work is anthologized in Out of Everywhere: linguistically innovative poetry by women in North America & the UK (1996) and Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women (1998). She is presently pursuing a degree in geography at UCLA.
2:45-4:30: Lane 3
Sesshu Foster has taught composition and literature in East LA since 1985. He is the author of the book-length poetry sequences City Terrace Field Manual (1996) and World Ball Notebook (2008) as well as American Loneliness: Selected Poems (2006). He co-edited, with Michelle T. Clinton and Naomi Quinonez, the anthology Invocation L.A.: Urban Multicultural Poetry (1989) and is the author of the novel Atomik Aztex published by City Lights Publishing in 2005.
Jen Hofer is adjunct faculty in the MFA Writing Program at CalArts and teaches part-time in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis, and is a poet, translator, bookmaker, social justice interpreter, public letter-writer, knitter, urban cyclist, and co-founder (with John Pluecker) of the language justice and literary activism collaborative Antena, which recently had an installation at the Blaffer Art Museum at University of Houston. Her latest translations include the chapbook En las maravillas/In Wonder (2012); Ivory Black, a translation of Negro marfil by Myriam Moscona (2011); sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (2008); and lip wolf, a translation of Laura Solórzano’s lobo de labio (2007). Her most recent poetry books include the chapbooks “The Missing Link” (2014), “all at once and one at a time” (2013), and “Front Page News” (2013), and a book-length sequence of anti-war poem-manifestos, one (2009).
Will Alexander is an incredibly prolific poet often associated with Surrealism and the Negritude but a native of Los Angeles. His books of poetry include: Vertical Rainbow Climber (1987), Arcane Lavender Morals (1994), The Stratospheric Canticles (1995), Asia & Haiti (1995), Above the Human Nerve Domain (1998), The Sri Lankan Loxodrome (2009), Compression and Purity (2011) and The Brimstone Boat (2012). In addition, he’s published the essay collections Towards the Primeval Lightning Field (1998) and Mirach Speaks to his Grammatical Transparents (2011) as well as works of fiction and theater.
Paul Vangelisti is the Chair of Creative Writing at Otis College and has long been a staple — as writer, editor, curator of radio plays and publisher — of the Los Angeles Poetry community. He was co-editor of the literary magazine Invisible City from 1971-82, editor of Ribot, the annual publication of the College of Neglected Science from 1992-2002, and presently editor of or, a journal of poetry and translation. He is the author of twenty books of poetry, including Alphabets: 1986-1996 (1999), Days Shadows Pass (2007), Two (2010) and his selected poems Embarrassment of Survival (2001). His editing activities include Specimen ’73, Abandoned Lattitudes (including work by John Thomas and Robert Crosson, 1983) and Los Angeles Poetry, Place as Purpose: Poetry from the Western States (with Martha Ronk, 2002). He is currently editing, with Luigi Ballerini, a five-volume anthology of contemporary American poetry from 1960 to the present, Nuova Poesia Americana, for Mondadori publishing, Milan. He is also editor of Transbluesency: The Selected Poetry of Amiri Baraka/LeRoi Jones (1961-1995) and the forthcoming selection of Baraka’s poetry, S O S: Poems, 1961-2013.
for more information: https://blacktopecologies.wordpress.com/