Poetry Off the Page Schedule

Friday, May 18, 2012

3:00–5:30 p.m. Welcome/Registration
Location: Poetry Center Breezeway
Check in, pick up your badge and program, and explore exhibits.

5:30–7:00 p.m. Reception and Screening of The Situation Series by Claudia Rankine and John Lucas
Join us for wine and hors d’oeuvres and walk through four rooms in the Poetry Center to view The Situation series by Claudia Rankine and John Lucas. These video essays speak to national and international moments in contemporary culture and address our visually saturated culture by bringing language to the images we consume. The series attempts to juxtapose temporal memory alongside historical critique through the layering of sound and image. Each film runs close to five minutes.

  • Situation One is in dialogue with Zinedine Zidane.
  • Situation Two is in dialogue with 9/11.
  • Situation Three is in dialogue with Katrina.
  • Situation Five is in dialogue with Michelle Alexander's “The New Jim Crow.”

7:00–9:30 p.m. Sonic Lens
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room

Poets explore possibilities of visual and aural (poetic) sampling.

7:00–7:15 p.m. Welcome by Gail Browne, Executive Director, Poetry Center, and Introduction by Annie Guthrie, Curator, Poetry Off the Page symposium.

7:15–7:45 p.m. “Speech Talks Back”: Audio Show by Christine Hume
An audio show that plays the revoicings, manipulations, arrangements, and displacements of recorded nonpoetic, nonliterary speech, in a performance of audio documentary poetics that refigures poetry's classic oral qualities. As the pieces play, Hume will offer a voiceover of playful theoretical riffs and expanded contexts for understanding.

7:45–8:15 p.m. "Undocumented and Here": Film by Claudia Rankine and John Lucas
This film by Claudia Rankine and John Lucas is a Situation in process that enters the continuing dialogue regarding what it means to be black and male in the United States.

8:15–8:30 p.m. Intermission

8:30–9:00 p.m. Improvisatory Oral Performance by Cecilia Vicuña
Cecilia Vicuña presents an improvisatory oral performance in response to place and time

9:00–9:30 p.m. Q & A with Christine Hume, Claudia Rankine, and Cecilia Vicuña


Saturday, May 19

9:00–4:30 p.m. Registration
Location: Poetry Center Breezeway
Registration will be open Saturday for most of the day. Check in and pick up your badge and program.

9:00–10:15 a.m. “Off the Pageness”: Class with Dan Waber
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room
A macro and a micro view of contemporary poetic production:

  • Macro: Pecha Kucha Tucson (60 different ways of making poetry off the page today). A way to focus wide-ranging enthusiasms for unusual contemporary poetic practices.
  • Micro: A look at the very fat line between the visual and the textual, in 31 examples. If you see the difference between

fair princess


no fair

you understand that text has a signifying visual component. A poem on a page in a book is possibly purely textual. A painting of a figure is possibly purely visual. And between these two extremes lives a very wide expanse of exploration which blends the two. The examples we'll see and discuss were selected specifically for how difficult they are to pigeon-hole as either textual or visual.

10:15–10:30 a.m. Break

10:30–11:45 a.m. Tiny Gallery Talks with Cecilia Vicuña, Wendy Burk, Danielle Vogel, and Amaranth Borsuk
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room and Library
Cecilia Vicuña will continue her weaving of the Poetry Center by taking her weft across the warp before and after talks by Wendy Burk, Danielle Vogel, and Amaranth Borsuk.

  • Cecilia Vicuña will weave us through site-specific installation, specially created for the Poetry Center.
  • Wendy Burk, Senior Library Supervisor at the Poetry Center, will discuss the exhibit “Artistexts” by Johanna Drucker.
  • Danielle Vogel will discuss her exhibit, "Narrative Nests."
  • Amaranth Borsuk will discuss her exhibit, "Between Page and Screen," produced in collaboration with programmer Brad Bouse.

11:45 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Lunch Break

1:00–2:00 p.m. “Into the Labyrinth: Guerrilla Writing”: Workshop with Ander Monson
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room
Monson guides writers in creating projects networked across multiple websites. Why do our poems have to be so self-contained? With the plethora of spaces that the web offers for users to post text or image or something in between (as in Amazon reviews, Craigslist ads, comment boards, personal websites, Facebook walls, eBay listings, okcupid.com ads, etc.) why not, like the hackers or graffiti artists we are all at heart, make work that asks the reader to bounce from one site to another, even not neglecting the physical codex page that we still love deep inside. We will start projects that require—nay, invite and compel—our readers to interact with the architecture of the web, essentially a labyrinth. Monson presents some of his own labyrinthine work in this direction and direct writers in writing and remaking these connections.

2:00–2:15 p.m. Break

2:15–3:15 p.m. “Your Avatar & You”: Panel with Ander Monson, Brent Cunningham, and Dan Waber
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room
Topics covered in this panel on virtual writerhood include:

  • How ebooks are changing or might change poetry publishing, how the internet has altered the traditional publication and distribution models for printed poetry books, what changes to print culture could mean for poets already allied with a long history of interrupting fixed ideas and identities.
  • How the website presents one avatar for the self, in the way that books present another avatar for the self. Considering how self-publishing means self-publishing the self's work, ideas about how we constantly publish the self …and how the whole authorial persona/avatar/self is self-publishing, a series of decisions (and accidents) in the self and how it is made public.
  • What it means to be "published" today. What it means to be "well-published,” how what all of us really want is to be read, how most people don't even necessarily want to be widely read, but want to be well-read… opportunities created by digital outlets have all but solved the problem of how to be published, even how to be well-published (good design imparts credibility), but it has not solved the problem of how to be read, and well-read.
  • The problem of distribution. How do I get my work read by the people who can most connect with it? Publishers that use digital technology to help make possible some analog things that current models of publishing don't really support and the problems of digital archiving and archiving the digital.

3:15-3:30 p.m. Break

3:30–4:30 p.m. “Embodying Poetics”: Workshop with Julie Carr and K.J. Holmes
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room
Words are a map to the body’s landscape. Movement writes us back to language. In this class we will play with tone, horizon, scale and transition through writing and movement patterns that will support and open up our senses and perceptions, finding a kinetic base for an embodied poetics.

4:30–6:30 p.m. Dinner Break

6:30–10:00 p.m. Poets Theater
Location: The Rogue Theatre at 300 East University Boulevard, Tucson

6:306:35 p.m. Welcome by Annie Guthrie

6:35–7:20 p.m. Three Short Plays by Brent Cunningham
Brent Cunningham presents three short plays: “The Event,” “Time's Machinery,” and “The Gunfight.” These works tend to create strict limits and strict tasks for themselves, in one case blacking out a key piece of dramatic information, in another restricting itself to a common aphorism. In addition, each play utilizes a different formal strategy for selecting and training its non-professional actors, frequently taking them directly from the audience. Audience members, get ready for your closeup...

7:25–7:55 p.m. “See Here" by Julie Patton with Paul Van Curen
"My presentation will be composed on the train moving to words/sounds/back words evoking past journeys/migrations from collective unconscious south coast to north, or east to west (4 corners). The rhythms of trains... as a drum, round, circle, cycles of time, earth, life, will inform the air zones Paul Van Curen (musician) and I will be staging in Arizona "Off the Page" and on." --Julie Patton

8:008:30 p.m. "This is where we are (or take arms against a sea of troubles), an excerpt" by Julie Carr and K.J. Holmes
A writing/dance performance

8:30–8:45 p.m. Intermission

8:45–9:45 p.m. “Betraying Blackness” by The Black Took Collective
Black Took Collective presents a multi-media performance exploring interrogations of a black unconscious. Using written and aural language, sound, video, and images, the members of the collective enact poetries of inquiry that engage (and challenge) the psyche's making of racial consciousness by conceptualizing unconsciousness. In so doing, the members of BTC expose their poetic processes and poetries-in-the-making, moving through poetries predicated on the conditions of blackness into meditations on the multiple factors that inspire our imaginations.


Sunday, May 20

10:00–11:00 a.m. “Writing the Body”: Panel with Dawn Lundy Martin, Julie Carr, K.J. Holmes, Douglas Kearney, and Julie Patton
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room

Panelists discuss props, spontaneity, immediacy, improv as poetic diction, and more. Moderated by Elizabeth Frankie Rollins.

11:00–11:15 a.m. Break

11:15–12:00 p.m. Talk/Reading by Douglas Kearney
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room

Part talk and part reading, Kearney will mess with notions of poetic distortion, trope-mapping, raw-chopped samples, and the carnally ecstatic soul singer’s wail.

12:00-1:30 p.m. Lunch Break

1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m. Visual Poetry/Video Essay Screening
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room

A screening of new works by Eula Biss and John Bresland, John Gallaher, Forrest Gander, Kate Greenstreet, Sawako Nakayasu, Deborah Poe, Robyn Schiff and Nick Twemlow, Zachary Schomburg, and Joshua Marie Wilkinson. Introduced by Annie Guthrie.

3:00-3:15 p.m. Break

3:15-3:30 p.m. Remarks by Joshua Marie Wilkinson
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room

3:30–4:30 p.m. Community response forum
Location: Poetry Center Rubel Room

Community members can take the mic and ask questions or present their ideas for discussion. Moderated by Joshua Marie Wilkinson.


Location: Poetry Center Library
The following exhibitions will be on display throughout the entire symposium weekend. Be sure to check them out!

Internationally renowned author, book artist, and visual theorist Johanna Drucker has selected more than 20 artist books created in a deliberate dialogue between design and writing. These artistexts explore how poetics and production change across the spaces of a distributed textual system, emerging as palimpsests, recombinations, excisions, swarms, unfoldings, and turnings. The University of Arizona Poetry Center Library is proud to present works by legendary artists such as Tom Phillips, Walter Hamady, Emmett Williams, Dick Higgins, Madeline Gins, Johanna Drucker, John Crombie, and many others.

Between Page and Screen
Produced by Amaranth Borsuk in collaboration with programmer Brad Bouse, “Between Page and Screen” draws on the traditions of the artist's book and concrete and digital poetry to explore the place of books as objects in an era of increasingly screen-based reading. The pages of the book contain no text, only black and white geometric shapes and a web address leading to betweenpageandscreen.com, where the reader follows instructions to display the book in front of his or her webcam. Doing so releases the text, which leaps off the page and into three-dimensional space. The poems, a series of cryptic letters between two lovers struggling to define their relationship, only appear in this augmented space where paper meets pixel, a between-space opened up by the reader.

"Pillowtalk (Covers): a Sonic Insomnia" by Christine Hume
Audience members will be invited to lie their heads on pillows imbedded with speakers playing original sonic versions of the work from Hume's book of poems Shot, an investigation of night, insomnia, and its inextricable dialogue with a selfhood that cannot settle down. From this position, poetry and music enters the mind of the listener, inviting revery, embodiment, terror, and that relies on our capacities to "hear things" at night.

Cecilia Vicuña’s Site-Specific Installation
Vicuña’s multidimensional works begin as a poem, an image or a line that morphs into a film, a song, a sculpture or a collective performance. She calls this impermanent, participatory work “lo precario” (the precarious), transformative acts or “metaphors in space” which bridge the gap between art and life, the ancestral and the avant-garde. The precarios began in the 60s in Chile, as unannounced works that disappeared without a trace.

Jeff Clark’s  “Ruins”
“It took me twenty-one years to discover that I wasn’t a poet. The discovery came after I’d finished designing Ruins, and when it occurred to me that it might be my last book, I called the printer and asked if they’d save for me all the make-ready (the large, unfolded sheets—”signatures” —that are printed and then discarded as the printing-press is being set up and prepared for a final, complete print run). I picked up the make-ready sheets from them, and then had a friend silkscreen in metallic silver a photograph of my daughter over the signatures. In liberating myself from a past in poetry, the posters signify that I nonetheless have a future of art and craft ahead of me: fatherhood, design, community activism, and many other things.” --Jeff Clark

Danielle Vogel’s “Narrative Nests” (pictured above)
Danielle Vogel’s textile scroll-works and ceramic book artifacts, which explore the ceremonial gestation of a manuscript as it is written, have been exhibited in galleries across the country. Her most recent collection will be exhibited at Abecedarian Gallery in Denver, Colorado, January 2012. The exhibit will be composed of ceramic swallow nests, pods, and hives in which “failed” excerpts from her manuscripts-in-progress will be homaged.

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