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Poetry and Empire: Post-Invasion Poetics

Presented by Kelly Writers House and the Creative Writing Program, in association with the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania

Organized by Charles Bernstein, Bob Perelman, and Susan Stewart

Friday, October 17, 2003, Kelly Writers House

Complete Reading (2:12:58): MP3, RealAudio
  1. Jena Osman: Memory Error Theater (4:02): MP3
  2. Charles Bernstein: How Empty Is My Bread Pudding (4:58): MP3
  3. Mei-mei Berssenbrugge: Safety (4:53): MP3
  4. Fanny Howe: Far and Near & 2002 (3:21): MP3
  5. Jennifer Moxley: To Those Who Would Equate the Public with Themselves & The Best American Poetry (4:12): MP3
  6. Peter Middleton: Iraq pronounced Iraq (5:04): MP3
  7. James Sherry: The Environmental View of Humanity in Nature, The Structural View of the Human Environment (3:33): MP3
  8. Gregory Djanikian: The Armenian Question (3:29): MP3, Covenant (1:21): MP3
  9. Rodrigo Toscano: Writing (6:12): MP3
  10. Frank Sherlock: Flunk (3:39): MP3
  11. Tom Devaney: Origami Headphones (5:10): MP3
  12. Jessica Lowenthal: We Are In It, Fear of Bogs (2:54): MP3
  13. Kathy Lou Schultz: Or If She Would Fly Apart (2:44): MP3
  14. Mark McMorris: And so the vehicles came from driveways (4:50): MP3
  15. Rod Smith: from Snips (3:34): MP3
  16. Tim Carmody: On Orwell (6:18): MP3
  17. Saskia Hamilton: One Wiser Says to the Other Unwiser, Year One, Canal, Elegy (4:15): MP3
  18. Susan Stewart: from Columbarium (2:05): MP3
  19. Herman Beavers: Dream - Minstrel with Gun (0:57): MP3, Dream Lubricant (1:14): MP3, Cabal (1:42): MP3
  20. Joshua Schuster: The Poetry Vote (0:49): MP3, The Withering of the State (1:22): MP3, The Photographer Awoke One Day (0:27): MP3
  21. Bob Perelman: Revenge of the Bathwater (3:21): MP3
  22. Ron Silliman: Trouble Ticket (5:32): MP3
  23. John Koethe: small war on the hells of a small / war (4:10): MP3
  24. Michael Fried: The End of History, A Night at the Opera, The Next Bend in the Road (4:48): MP3
  25. Jennifer Snead: Six Studies of Nude or Draped Men (3:34): MP3
  26. Erica Hunt: from Piece Logic, The Great Brains (8:40): MP3
  27. Rachel Blau DuPlessis: from Draft 51: Clay Songs, from Precis (6:27): MP3
  28. Tracie Morris: Dystopic Unity (2:11): MP3
  29. Josephine Park: The Surrounded (Carlos Bulosan) (1:36): MP3

Saturday, October 18, 2003, The Institue for Contemporary Art

NOTE: THIS RECORDING IS LOW-FIDELTY & at times almost inaudible.

Complete Reading (1:58:42): MP3, RealAudio

  1. Introduction by Al Filreis and Bennett Simpson (1:57): MP3
  2. Herman Beavers (5:55): MP3
  3. Charles Bernstein (3:31): MP3
  4. Mei-mei Berssenbrugge (3:04): MP3
  5. Tim Carmody (4:54): MP3
  6. Tom Devaney (4:28): MP3
  7. Rachel Blau DuPlessis (4:28): MP3
  8. Gregory Djanikian (4:07): MP3
  9. Saskia Hamilton (3:55): MP3
  10. Fanny Howe (2:38): MP3
  11. Erica Hunt (3:41): MP3
  12. John Koethe (3:38): MP3
  13. Jessica Lowenthal (2:01): MP3
  14. Mark McMorris (3:44): MP3
  15. Matt Merlino (5:07): MP3
  16. Peter Middleton (3:41): MP3
  17. Tracie Morris (3:29): MP3
  18. Jennifer Moxley (3:14): MP3
  19. Jena Osman (3:33): MP3
  20. Bob Perelman (4:12): MP3
  21. Joshua Schuster (3:16): MP3
  22. Kathy Lou Schultz (3:08): MP3
  23. Frank Sherlock (5:39): MP3
  24. James Sherry (5:29): MP3
  25. Ron Silliman (4:34): MP3
  26. Rod Smith (4:51): MP3
  27. Jennifer Snead (4:17): MP3
  28. Susan Stewart (2:22): MP3
  29. Rodrigo Toscano (6:15): MP3

These readings were presented as part of Poetry and Empire: Post-Invasion Poetics — A Poetics Weekend

October 17-19, 2003

Only the ICA reading on Oct. 19 was public.

Participants were invited to address the following questions (and to
modify the questions if they choose to):

What can a poem do? What is the sphere of consequence for poems today?
Are those consequences limited to established community circuits? Is
public poetic language an oxymoron?

What underlying ethical, social, and political values inform our
practices as poets and poetry teachers? How do we get feedback on these?

How do the structures of poetic communities resist or reinforce
existing categories of power and influence?

To what degree our local actions as poets and teachers affect larger
contexts, including national and international ones?

Do genre models (lyric, pastoral) and other established modes of
practice need to be re-articulated in light of changing modes of
dissemination and the new dynamics of global/transpersonal culture and

Can poetry challenge militarized language and propaganda? Are textual
critique, parody, and satire adequate responses or do they reify these

Herman Beavers, Charles Bernstein, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Tim Carmody, Tom Devaney, Greg Djanikian, Rachel DuPlessis, Al Filreis, Michael Fried, Allen Grossman, Saskia Hamilton, Fanny Howe, Erica Hunt, John Koethe, Jessica Lowenthal, Mark McMorris, Peter Middleton, Tracy Morris, Jennifer Moxley, Jena Osman, Josephine Park, Bob Perelman, Bernie Rhie, Kathy Lou Schultz, Frank Sherlock, James Sherry, Josh Schuster, Jennifer Snead, Ron Silliman, Rod Smith, Susan Stewart, and Rodrigo Toscano

Friday, 17 October:
8 - 10 PM: A reading by participants
10 - 11:30 PM: Reception

Saturday, 18 October:
9:30 AM: House opens; coffee provided
10:00 - 12:30: Round of responses/reflections
1:00 - 2:30 PM: Lunch
3:00 - 5: 00: Round of questions
5 - 6 PM: Break followed by dinner
7:30: meet at the Institute for Contemporary Art to view current shows

8 - 10 PM: Reading by participants at the Institute for Contemporary Arts
10:00 PM: Reception at Kelly Writers House

Sunday, 19 October:
10:00 - 11:00 AM: House opens; brunch
11:00 - 1:00 PM: Wrap-up

Recommended Reading
readings suggested by participants
James Sherry: "Global Environmental Models" (powerpoint) and "Environmental Poetics" (pdf)
Peter Middleton, "Five Ways of Saying 'Poetics' and 'Politics' in the Same Breath"
Josh Schuster, "Notes on War Aesthetics"

© 2005. These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the authors. Used with permission of the authors. Distributed by PennSound.