[-empyre-] Poetry and Play

Jamika Ajalon jamikaajalon at gmail.com
Fri Oct 11 01:26:08 AEDT 2019

happy to meet fellow poets
comrades in cross disciplinary work
just reaching out into the network     ... think there could be/is  a lot
of crossover in our works

check out www.jamikaajalon.com
and www.lpressl.com

i will be visiting your sites ! excited.

On Thu, Oct 10, 2019 at 4:16 PM Kenji Liu <paramista at gmail.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Hello everyone, glad to be with you all. Many thanks to Margaret for
> inviting me to participate in this forum, I'm looking forward to the
> conversation.
> I'm primarily a poet at this time, but definitely interdisciplinary—I
> also work in graphic design and digital video. My most recent poetry
> collection, Monsters I Have Been (which came out in April), is
> definitely play-oriented in its methodology.
> To write many of the poems in the book, I developed a process called
> "frankenpo" (or frankenstein poetry), which owes its inspiration to
> other techniques such as erasure, collage, and Oulipo's n+7. I was
> interested in finding a way to write that didn't rely solely on me as
> an author generating some kind of personal narrative.
> Frankenpo plays with ideas of composting and taxidermy. As you all
> might know, Frankenstein's monster was a "man" constructed from the
> parts of other men. In this way, frankenpo finds 2 or more source
> texts (news articles, speeches, film scripts, songs, religious texts,
> academic papers, etc), combines them, breaks them down to their
> individual words, uses text manipulation software to randomize, which
> results in a big jumbled block of all words from both sources. I then
> chip away at the block, focusing on finding interesting phrases and
> juxtapositions that emerge from the randomization process. I then take
> the remaining text and arrange them into a final poem.
> The political aspect of this is in the choice of source texts, and how
> one decides what to keep and arrange into a poem. For me, I was
> interested in exploring masculinities—especially toxic masculinity,
> but also un-conventional forms of masculinity. So the source texts I
> chose had something to do with these topics.
> Here is one example of a frankenpo:
> https://apogeejournal.org/2018/01/12/outlast-empire-kenji-liu-frankenpoetry-monsters-toxic-masculinity/
> Some of the other poems in the collection also engage artificial
> intelligence, divination, and google translate in their writing
> process, but I can save that for another email.
> Just to finish this intro, my arts practices also find grounding in
> the community work that I do in the Los Angeles Little Tokyo
> community, directly and indirectly. This comes out of a long personal
> history of being both an artist and community activist.
> These days, I'm increasingly social practice-oriented, due to the
> "creative placekeeping" work that I do in Little Tokyo, where I help
> facilitate creative projects that are community-engaged and social
> justice oriented.
> That's all for now -- looking forward to reading everyone's thoughts.
> Best,
> Kenji Liu
> Monsters I Have Been  |  Alice James Books, April 2019  |  IG:
> @monstersihavebeen
> Craters: A Field Guide  |  Goodmorning Menagerie, 2017
> Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015 Hillary Gravendyk Poetry
> Prize  |  Inlandia Books, 2016
> [he/him/his]  |  kenjiliu.com  |  Graphic Design  |  Manuscript
> Consultations (Poetry/Essay/Hybrid Genre)
> On Wed, Oct 9, 2019 at 10:45 AM Margaret Rhee <mrheeloy at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Hi everyone,
> >
> > Writing again to start a new thread for this week on Poetry and Play.
> Honored to introduce the following poets to this week who play across
> poetry and other artforms; such as the visual art of Truong Tran, textiles
> work of Maria Damon, graphic design interventions of Kenji Liu and
> experimental films by Lynne Sachs and her new collection YEAR BY YEAR POEMS
> just released by Tender Buttons Poetry.
> >
> > The artists this week express a range of practices in conversation with
> poetry. Building upon this notion of play, and other issues that emerged
> such as logics and academic capitalism for example, we’re honored to hear
> further from this week’s participants to share about their work and
> practices of play in multiple genres and poetics. I placed their bios
> below, and the description of the forum. It would be great to hear further
> about your poetry practice and as it intersects with other art forms. Thank
> you Truong, Lynne, Kenji, and Maria for joining us.
> >
> > Bios
> >
> > Truong Tran is a poet and visual artist. He received his MFA from San
> Francisco State University in 1995 in the field of writing. He is the
> author numerous volumes of poetry. He is a self taught visual artist whose
> work has been exhibited in venues including the California Historical
> Society, California Institute of Integral Studies, SOMArts Gallery,
> Telegraph Hill Gallery and The San Francisco International Art Market Art
> Fair, Avenue 12 Gallery and The Peninsula Museum of Art. Truong lives in
> San Francisco and teaches at Mills College.
> >
> > Lynne Sachs makes films and writes poems that explore the intricate
> relationship between personal observations and broader historical
> experiences. Her work embraces hybrid form and combines memoir with
> experimental, documentary, and fictional modes. In recent years, she has
> expanded her practice to include live performance with moving image. Lynne
> was first exposed to poetry by her great aunt as a child in Memphis,
> Tennessee.  Soon she was frequenting workshops at the local library and
> getting a chance to learn from poets like Gwendolyn Brooks and Ethridge
> Knight. As an active member of Brown University’s undergraduate poetry
> community, she shared her early poems with fellow poet Stacy Doris. Lynne
> later discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco where
> she worked with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer,
> Carolee Schneeman, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.  Lynne has made thirty-five films
> which have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film
> Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the
> Walker Art Center, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. Festivals in Buenos
> Aires, Beijing and Havana have presented retrospectives of her work. Lynne
> received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship. She lives in Brooklyn. In October,
> Tender Buttons Press, which publishes experimental women's and
> gender-expansive poetry, is releasing Lynne's book YEAR BY YEAR POEMS
> (2019) which is now available through Small Press Distribution.
> >
> > Kenji C. Liu is a visual artist and author of Monsters I Have Been
> (Alice James Books, 2019) and Map of an Onion, national winner of the 2015
> Hillary Gravendyk Poetry Prize (Inlandia Institute). His poetry is in
> numerous journals, anthologies, magazines, and two chapbooks, Craters: A
> Field Guide (2017) and You Left Without Your Shoes (2009). An alumnus of
> Kundiman, VONA/Voices, Djerassi Resident Artist Program, and the Community
> of Writers, he lives in occupied Tongva land, where he lectures in Asian
> American Studies at UCLA, Art at Occidental College, and manages creative
> place-keeping initiatives in Little Tokyo.
> >
> > Maria Damon teaches in the Department of Humanities and Media Studies
> and in the Department of Writing at the Pratt Institute of Art. She holds a
> Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and a B.A.
> from Hampshire College, and taught for many years in the Department of
> English at the University of Minnesota.  She is the author of The Dark End
> of the Street: Margins in American Vanguard Poetry(University of Minnesota
> Press, 1994) and Postliterary America: From Bagel Shop Jazz to
> Micropoetries(University of Iowa Press, 2011), both of which explored the
> edges of “poetry” from alternative canons to subcultural imaginative verbal
> practices. She co-edited (with Ira Livingston) Poetry and Cultural Studies:
> A Reader(University of Illinois Press, 2009). She has published a number of
> online multi-media/poetry projects with mIEKAL aND, which have also been
> published as print books: Literature Nation(Potes & Poets), which was the
> first full-length hypertext poem online; pleasureTEXTpossession(Xexoxial
> Editions); and eros/ion(Ntamo) –all of which (and a few more) can be found
> at http://joglars.org/multidex.html. She has also collaborated with
> Adeena Karasick, Alan Sondheim, Michelle Goldblatt, and Jukka-Pekka
> Kervinen. Her scholarship has been published in American Literary History,
> SAQ, Cultural Studies, Cultural Critique, Postmodern Culture, Modern
> Fiction Studies, jacket2, Xcp: Cross-cultural Poetics, Cybertext Yearbook,
> Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, Electronic Book Review, etc., as well as
> in a number of books of essays on subjects such as performed poetry,
> cultural Jewishness, modernist American poetry, queer beat poetry,
> diasporic avant-gardes, and individual writers such as Bob Kaufman, Jack
> Spicer, Gertrude Stein and (forthcoming) Nathaniel Mackey. She edited a
> special section (focused on the work of Bob Kaufman) for a special issue on
> jazz poetics of Callaloo.
> >
> >
> >
> > She also has a practice as a textile worker in weaving and counted
> cross-stitch, and has produced two chapbooks of “x-stitch vispo”
> (cross-stitch visual poetry): meshwards(Dusie Kollektiv, 2011 and
> http://www.dusie.org/Damon%20Meshwards.pdf) and XXX(nous-zot, 2015). Her
> work has been exhibited in various visual poetry and/or text/textile shows.
> >
> >
> > On Practice and Play: Gestures Across Genres
> >
> > In this month's -empyre- forum, we take up the question of productivity
> and and the politics of play, and how playing across genres, mediums,
> forms, disciplines, and departments, etc. makes for new kinds of innovative
> art, thinking, and community; and in doing so, better intervenes and
> gestures toward transformative futures. The current conspiracy-us versus
> them- culture perhaps exemplifies the problem of singular thinking and the
> need for creative, eclectic, and innovative practices more than ever. We’re
> interested in artists, thinkers, and activists with practices that cross
> over boundaries and intervene in dichotomous logics. With attention to
> justice, we explore how multiple forms of art practices prompt us to
> reimagine different kind of worlds, as strategy and survival. Initially
> inspired by Tony Conrad's work, his practice spans across film, music,
> writing, and sculptures, we playfully ask how play lends itself to more
> libratory ways of creation and practice.
> >
> > We begin with the first week on media and new media art in conversation.
> with Tony Conrad's playful work across mediums, we then move into a second
> week asking questions on poetry and playing across the visual, cinematic,
> and theoretical, the third week is dedicated to the theme of ethnography
> across forms such as photography, film, and poetry, the forth week focuses
> on the ways artists advocate for decolonial and racial resistance through
> playing across genres and forms. While seemingly diverse, we hope the
> loosely organized topics will lend itself to connections between the weeks,
> and across the genres and themes presented. With attention to questions
> such as capital, creativity, institutional critique, and justice, we’re
> honored to have the following artists and thinkers join us for this
> conversation and reflect on the possibilities of practice, gestures, and
> play.
> >
> > We also invite our -empyre- subscribers, whose own work broadly
> resonates with the themes of practice and play, to join the conversation.
> What are the ways your practice has played or plays across genres? Have you
> faced institutional challenges in crossing disciplinary divides, and if so,
> how did you overcome them? Is play and practice productive? We explore this
> topic of play through four loose themes. We welcome our guests and all
> -empyre- subscribers to actively participate and post this month and share
> your practices and experiences of playing across genres and any questions
> that arise. We look forward to the conversation.
> >
> > --
> >
> >
> >
> > Margaret Rhee, Ph.D.
> >
> > College Fellow in Digital Practice (2018 - 2019)
> > Department of English
> > Harvard University
> >
> > Assistant Professor in Media Theory (2019)
> > Department of Media Study
> > SUNY Buffalo
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

www.jamikaajalon.com <http://www.zenzile.com>
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