A Trans Tasman Symposium at the University of Auckland, 29-30 March 2012
It seems to be made out of elements we recognise,
Titus Books has agreed to sell poets’ books during the symposium. If you have books to sell, please bring them to Bronwyn Lloyd at the book table, clearly marked with prices rounded to $5 or $10 multiples, and with a list of the titles and number of copies you are selling. We are set up for cash sales only. Proceeds and any unsold books will be ready to collect between 12.30 and 1 pm, Friday 30 March.
Jacob Edmond. Long, Wide, Deep, Heavy
In undertaking these measurements, I want to shift attention to the dimensions other than simply length that we might use to think through large-scale poems. I also explore how the language of measurement might be retooled for purposes other than conventional formal analysis (number of lines, foot, measure, etc.) and literary judgement with its ‘weighing up,’ ‘balance,’ and search for the texts of sufficient ‘gravity.’ Equally, I address elements of our embodied or ‘wet’ contact with what are never just texts but are digital screens, weighty reams of paper, or hours and minutes of lived (in recording and listening) time. Through these apparently arbitrary and objective measurements, I want to stress the reiterated, embodied engagements that constitute and extend the dimensions of the long poem.
Jacob Edmond is author of A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Comparative Literature (Fordham UP), and co-editor of Recentring Asia: Histories, Encounters, Identities (Brill) and Unreal City: A Chinese Poet in Auckland (Auckland UP). His articles have appeared in Comparative Literature, Contemporary Literature, Poetics Today, and The China Quarterly. He is currently working on a book entitled After the Original: Iterative Poetics and Global Culture.
Pam Brown. Duckwalking but no guitar
Ya-Wen Ho. | is spliced with |
The last time I wrote a long(ish) poem, I did so by chance. I had set out to write a poem in which each line was to aurally fold into the first utterance of the next, a textual interpretation of the parlour game Exquisite Corpse. Once I discovered that this parameter was rigorous enough to sustain interest yet flexible enough to accommodate an indefinite length, the problem became not how to sustain a non-narrative poem, but rather when to draw to an end.
The encyclopedic freedom of content and the density of aural links drew for me a loose connection between this form and the shape of the internet. Any web page is densely hyperlinked to other pages and it is common for hyperlinks to occur within the body of texts. The back-and-forth motion of following and backtracking from hyperlinks creates changes in browsing rhythm which implicitly delineate clusters of knowledge from the expansiveness of the digital space.
Philip Mead. The poetics of reterritorialisation: John Kinsella's West Australian Commedia
John Tranter. The Anaglyph
John Tranter is a poet, critic and editor who lives in Sydney. He founded Jacket Magazine in 1997 and his most recent book is Starlight: 150 Poems (U of Queensland P, 2011) which won the Melbourne Age Poetry Book of the Year in 2011. He started a new online journal in January 2012.
Susan Schultz, Jaimie Gusman and Evan Nagle. Of Being Numerous 2012
-- The long poem was originally an oral form. While bards had amazing memories for their poems, contemporary readers and listeners do not. So, while getting back in touch with the oral, we are also interested in:
--What gets lost, forgotten, left aside, and why. Each person's brief commentary should help us figure out what is remembered, and why, whether those memories come out of a profound experience with the poem or the whimsy of forgetfulness;
--Oppen was himself a poet of many silences, some quite literal (his two decades of not-writing) and many incorporated into his poems. Later, he developed Alzheimer's disease, which causes forgetting and silence. Our videos will bring out the ways silences are passed on to readers/listeners of the poems.
--We are not going to seek out literary people in large numbers, but mainly friends and local residents who are not poets. This will be a way to test out whether the poem has meaning to those outside the poetic loop. It will also show us, to some extent, whether or not each section of this long sequence has anything to say on its own to its listener/performers.
There will be nothing scientific about this experiment. But we trust that we will come up with a new poem, composed out of pieces of ‘Of Being Numerous,’ and that this poem will be by turns illuminating, funny, and worth our attention.
Susan M. Schultz is Professor of English at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa. She is author of several books of poetry and poetic prose, including most recently Dementia Blog (2008) and Memory Cards: 2010-2011 Series (2011) from Singing Horse Press. Her book of criticism is A Poetics of Impasse in Modern and Contemporary American Poetry (Alabama, 2005). She is publisher of Tinfish Press and blogs at Tinfish Editor’s Blog.
Jaimie Gusman has an MFA from the University of Washington in Seattle. She is working toward her creative PhD in English at the University of Hawai`i-Manoa. She curates the M.I.A. Series of readings in Honolulu, which was recently named the Best Reading Series by the Honolulu Weekly. She has a Tinfish chapbook, One Petal Row.
Evan Nagle is a poet and a software engineer in Honolulu, HI. He received his MFA at the University of Washington. His work has been published in Fence, Seneca Review, Seattle Review, Mary, 2River, DMQ, and Cranky. Evan is co-creator of inknode.com and co-owner of the tech boutique, mentalpez.com.
Cilla McQueen. Nanoflowers in the Nonce-field
The work is a late offshoot of my short story 'Eggs' in Crikey! (1993) which leads from Aramoana to the Caucasus. From Fabergé eggs, exquisite fabrications of the civilised mind, to the skull of Pierre Curie, crushed like eggshell on the cobblestones of Paris, to Beryl's crystallised violets brushed with egg-white, and Edwin's breakfast boiled egg, eggs are mentioned in some way in every chapter of Serial. Eugene Ionesco, of course, remarked that ‘le futur est dans les oeufs.’
The text is as spare as possible, presenting a partly serendipitous field to play in.
Text preceded image. The narrative rests on a spare framework, with interesting gaps.
The resonant intersection between text and image fields works in the manner of poetry. This area might be called a 'nonce-field.' The idiosyncratic structure sustained by mosaic, harmonic parts is musical in its effect, a product of non-verbal and verbal thinking. The lively fusion of text and image produces a beating of harmonics between visual and verbal meanings.
I will present chapter 7 ‘Nanoflowers’ and its accompanying images, hoping for further fusions of text and image in the event of a performance.
Cilla McQueen lives in Bluff, Southland. She was New Zealand Poet Laureate 2009-11; her most recent book is The Radio Room (Otago UP, 2011) and her story-poem Serial can be found on the National Library of New Zealand's Poet Laureate website.
Stephanie Christie and Alex Taylor. Too big to be settled or said
Stephanie Christie (previously known as Will) is a Hamilton-based writer and performer whose recent collaborations include Worn with video artist Paul Be, live performance with a chaos orchestra, and a current book experiment with another poet and a painter.
Alex Taylor recently completed his Masters in Composition at the University of Auckland. Current projects include commissions for contemporary music ensemble 175 East, NZTrio and the NZSO-National Youth Orchestra. He continues to curate the Intrepid Music Project, a collaborative concert series with musicians, poets and other artists from across Auckland.
Hazel Smith. Film of Sound
Electronic art video and interactive works generally prioritise image over sound; this is also the case in commercial culture at large. For this work, we chose a different approach, in keeping with the central focus of the commissioning ensemble, austraLYSIS. That focus is sound: musical, spoken, electroacoustic and environmental. In Film of Sound, sound was chosen to be the initiator, sometimes even driver, of the text and visual processes at work in the piece. Three collaborators were involved, respectively with focus on the video composition (Luers), the text composition (Smith) and the sonic composition (Dean). In the first stage of creating the piece, two sound compositions were made by Dean, and Luers and Smith began generating responses to them. After considerable exchange of materials, an overall plan for one imagistic narrative layer, to be constructed first in sound, was agreed. After the drafted sound layer was produced, all the ongoing text- and video-generation processes joined into an iterative amalgamation, interaction, and refinement sequence.
Film of Sound is a semiotic surface, a skin of image and text on the body of sound. Through the interweaving of text, sound and image (sometimes complementary, sometimes antithetical) the work explores a number of continua from the pre-verbal to the articulated, from the glimpse to the gaze, from noise to music. It also simultaneously projects both rapidly transforming affective intensities and sustained emotional states. Constructed out of collaborative, indeterminant and remix processes, the layers and juxtapositions of disparate media hint at a narrative trajectory (a sleeping man, an evening in a hotel room, and a journey across vast and challenging spaces. But the incipient narrative constantly breaks down into disordered memories of violence and repression, undefined threats, splintered subjectivities, glitches and raw data.
Hazel Smith is a research professor in the Writing and Society Research Group the University of Western Sydney, and the co-author with Roger Dean of Practice-led Research, Research-led Practice in the Creative Arts (Edinburgh UP, 2009). She is also a poet, performer and new media artist. Her latest volume of creative work, with accompanying CD Rom, is The Erotics of Geography: poetry, performance texts, new media works (Tinfish Press, 2008). Formerly a professional violinist, she is a member of austraLYSIS, the internationally active sound and intermedia arts group. Hazel is co-editor with Roger Dean of soundsRite based at the University of Western Sydney.
Sam Moginie and Andy Carruthers. Kill The Word Before The Word Kills You’: Jas H. Duke’s Destiny Wood and Australian Experimentalism
Andy Carruthers and Sam Moginie are both doctoral candidates at the University of Sydney, working on contemporary poetry and poetics. Their interests and research areas include the legacy of the Objectivists, musical ekphrasis and collaged scores, deep negativity, textual coast-ing, Australian poetry in the 1970s, the whatever, and entrepôt poetics. They spend their time looking at the underside of noisy planes from their backyard in Marrickville, Sydney. In 2011 they co-authored the Stale Art Manifesto, which you can find on http://sonicexperimental.blogspot.com.au/.
Toby Fitch. Reading Rawshock Reading
Toby Fitch was born in London and raised in Sydney. His chapbook Everyday Static was published by Vagabond Press in 2010. His first full-length book of poems Rawshock is forthcoming in April 2012 from Puncher & Wattmann. He is currently undertaking a creative doctorate on Rimbaud, Mallarmé and various poetic tropes, including mistranslation, concrete and absinthe poetry, at the University of Sydney. He hosts the monthly poetry night at Sappho Books and is the poetry reviews editor for Southerly. To read some poems, go to Rawshock:
Bernadette Hall and Dinah Hawken. A Train of Small Sounds
Bernadette Hall lives at Amberley Beach in the Hurunui district, North Canterbury. In 2011 she was a Teaching Fellow at the International Institute of Modern Letters at Victoria University of Wellington. She is the editor of Best NZ Poems 2011 (IIML, 2012) and recent books include The Ponies (Victoria UP, 2007) and The Lustre Jug (Victoria UP, 2009).
Dinah Hawken lives at Paekakariki on the Kapiti Coast and her recent books include One Shapely Thing (Victoria UP, 2006) and The leaf-ride (Victoria UP, 2011). Dinah also contributed poems to the sculptor John Edgar's publication ballast: bringing the stones home (Aerial Press, 2009).
Jill Jones. Walking, Walking With
I will also look at practice issues that emerge in the dynamic of assembling a collaborative work, including control, structure, commonalities, length/finality, materials and performance, genre, modularity and recycling.
The main examples used will be my own work with photographer Annette Willis, primarily, but also with sound designers and composers Solange Kershaw and Damian Castaldi. I will also refer to the work of English poet, Harriet Tarlo, and her engagement with site-specific exploratory works and collaborations (walks) as modes of the long radical landscape poem.
Jill Jones teaches creative writing and English at the University of Adelaide and is a member of the University’s J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice. Her recent books include Dark Bright Doors (2010) and Broken/Open (2005). She is co-editor, with Michael Farrell, of Out of the Box: Contemporary Australian Gay and Lesbian Poets (2009). A new book Ash Is Here, So Are Stars is forthcoming.
Ann Vickery. Feminist Collaboration, Friendship, and the Contemporary Long and Longish Poem
Ella O’Keefe. Bush Cosmology: John Anderson’s ‘non-Euclidean Eucalypt’ in the forest set out like the night
In Reading the Country (1984), critic Stephen Muecke notes the persistence in linguistics of linear metaphors of trees and roots as a way of defining the origins of a language, and the problems this poses in the study of Aboriginal languages, histories and literature. Muecke, like Anderson, favours a rhizomatic approach suggesting that if a tree remains, it should be viewed from above, ‘with roots and branches fanning out in all directions [...] the roots having no more of the “origin” about them than the leaves.’ I want to extend this thought in light of Anderson’s ‘non-Euclidean Eucalypt’ and the possibilities it opens up for new modes of perception and formal composition.
Ella O’Keefe is a doctoral candidate working on contemporary poetry at Deakin University in Melbourne. She has produced radio pieces for 2SER FM, Fbi Radio and Radio National. Her work has appeared in Steamer, Best Australian Poems 2011 and whenpressed.net
David Howard. Learning to sing Dead Man Blues
Lucas Klein. Ideogrammic Methods: The Space of Writing and Tradition in Contemporary Chinese Long Poetry
Specifically, I will look at the ways in which Yang Lian’s Yi (a poem of sixty-four sections based on the Book of Changes [I Ching or Yijing], named with a character of his own invention) and Xi Chuan’s Thirty Historical Reflections (a sequence that has grown beyond just thirty) read the Chinese past through a Poundian-inspired poetics to simultaneously create and question a new tradition of world literature. Given that time (and space) will be limited, I will focus on the luminous details and ideogrammic moments of Yang Lian’s and Xi Chuan’s poetries, dismantling the epic to the constituent ideogrammic basis upon which it has been built.
Lucas Klein is Assistant Professor in the Department of Chinese, Translation & Linguistics at the City University of Hong Kong. He is the co-editor, with Haun Saussy and Jonathan Stalling, of The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry: A Critical Edition, by Ernest Fenollosa and Ezra Pound (Fordham UP, 2008), and the translator of Notes on the Mosquito, the selected poems of Xi Chuan (New Directions, 2012).
Jack Ross. Digitising Leicester Kyle
I’d also like to compare my conservatively edited e-text with the more readable version of the poem, which has recently appeared in book form: Koroneho: Joyful News Out Of The New Found World. Edited by Jack Ross. Preface by Ian St George. Auckland: The Leicester Kyle Literary Estate / Wellington: The Colenso Society, 2011 (a joint publication with the Colenso Society, for William Colenso’s Bicentennial).
The focus of the presentation will therefore be twofold. First, the practical (and theoretical) difficulties of transferring the main texts of Kyle’s oeuvre, twenty-odd eccentrically printed book-length poems, to a website both cheaply and efficiently. Second, the fascinating tale of Koroneho itself: a poem which initially appeared in part in Alan Loney’s A Brief Description of the Whole World in 1996-97, but whose complete text did not become available to me until early 2011. Taking as his subject matter the life and explorations of pioneer missionary, printer, and naturalist William Colenso (1811-1899) (whose Māori name was “Koroneho”) Kyle expertly weaves letters, historical details, and the language of botanical description to create an epic about orchids: a long poem “containing history”, like Pound’s Cantos, but with a style more consciously modelled on the linguistic experimentation of Zukofsky’s 80 Flowers.
Jack Ross is a poet, editor and critic who teaches at Massey University's Albany Campus in Auckland. His recent books include Scenes from the Puppet Oresteia (NY: Narcissus Press, 2011), Kingdom of Alt (Titus Books, 2010) and The Return of the Vanishing New Zealander (Kilmog Press, 2009). He runs a blog called The Imaginary Museum.
Jessica Wilkinson. marionette: Animating the Hidden Subject through Textual Play
While there are countless biographies, factual and fictional, of Hearst, there are very few accounts of Marion Davies’ life. Indeed, in some of Hearst’s biographies, she is barely mentioned despite being a prominent figure in his life. As a woman who lived the prime of her life in the early 20th century on the Great White Way (itself an erasure machine), Marion Davies is waiting to be spoken. Rachel Blau DuPlessis says in The Pink Guitar that such a gap in discourse cannot simply be ‘filled by a mechanism of reversal’; rather, we must ‘pull into textuality […] the elements of its almost effaced stories in all their residual, fragmentary quality.’
marionette, then, is an attempt to pull together the stutters, fragments and strings of Marion’s story.
Jessica Wilkinson holds a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Melbourne. She is Lecturer in Creative and Professional Writing at RMIT University, Melbourne. She is the founding editor of RABBIT: a journal for poetry. Excerpts from her long poem marionette were published by Vagabond in January 2012. She is developing marionette with a composer and chamber ensemble for live performance in mid-2012.
Robert Sullivan and John Adams. Grey interstices
Robert Sullivan (Nga Puhi / Kai Tahu / Irish) is the head of the School of Creative Writing at Manukau Institute of Technology, Auckland. His books include Shout Ha! to the Sky (Salt, 2010), and the long poems Cassino: City of Martyrs (Huia, 2010) and Star Waka (Auckland UP, 1999) and Captain Cook in the Underworld (Auckland UP, 2002). Last year his poem 'Kawe Reo / Voices Carry' was engraved on the front steps of Auckland City Central Library with a text sculpture that composed for the site.
John Adams first collection of poetry, Briefcase (AUP) was published last year. His poems have appeared injacket2 and other publications. He graduated MCW at Auckland University (2010) and is a post-graduate student at Auckland University. He works as a judge, part-time.
Rachel Blau DuPlessis. Practice, practise, praxis
Rachel Blau DuPlessis, currently in residence at the University of Auckland as a Distinguished Visitor, is the author of the long poem Drafts, begun in 1986, and collected most recently in two books from Salt Publishing: Pitch: Drafts 77-95 (2010) and The Collage Poems of Drafts (2011). Her newest critical book (2012) is Purple Passages: Pound, Eliot, Zukofsky, Olson Creeley and the Ends of Patriarchal Poetry from University of Iowa Press. Her work in poetry is the subject of Drafting beyond the ending, an on-line colloquium and set of essays published in Jacket2 in December 2011.