Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thursday Is Just Sick!

Tonight, I'll get to listen to some of my favorite poets read in a very small intimate environment. I am excited! Alas, some of my other favorite people also appear to be reading or talking today so whatever you do PLEASE ATTEND ONE OF THESE EVENTS:

09/16 - 8:00pm - LITTORAL: Jared Hohl + Shelley Jackson

Issue Project Room at the Old American Can Factory

3rd ave and 3rd st, Brooklyn NY 11215

NO COVER plus a little free wine

Lily Ladewig & Leigh Stein are two founding members of a group I have just now created, The Poetry Resistance. According to Wikipedia, The Poetry Resistance is a defiant front, united against boring bullshit & bad poems. Lily Ladewig & Leigh Stein write poems both gorgeously disobedient & hilariously dangerous, in addition to providing first-hand intelligence information and maintaining escape networks that help those who have become trapped by obligation at never-ending readings.

& so, mon peu d'orge sucres, join the movement on Thursday, September 16, at 7 PM, when Lily “Le Lapin Audacieux Jacques” Ladewig & Leigh “La Licorne Courageux” Stein lead a thrilling revolt against apathy & goodfornothings, terrible verse & snoozy old literary regimes.
A Series of Panel Discussions on Poetics in the Arts
curated by Vincent Katz & Tim Peterson

Discussion #1
Not Nature Poems: Current Trends in Ecopoetics

Introducing QUIPS & CRANKS: A Series of Panel Discussions on Poetics in the Arts, curated by Vincent Katz & Tim Peterson, at the School of Visual Arts. We aim to create an engaging, We aim to create an engaging, unpredictable, and free-flowing space of discussion about pressing issues in the arts that can't or won't happen anywhere else. Based on such precedents as The Club and the Cedar Tavern, QUIPS & CRANKS is set to shake things up.

Our first discussion this season, is "Not Nature Poems: Current Trends in Ecopoetics" and features:

painter Rackstraw Downes
poet Brenda Iijima
critic/scholar Joan Richardson
poet Jonathan Skinner

on Thursday, September 16
at 6:30 PM
at The School of Visual Arts
133/141 West 21 Street, room 101C

Admission: Free and open to the public.

Ecopoetics : how are artists reconceiving their work in respect to nature? Poets Brenda Ijima and Jonathan Skinner join painter Rackstraw Downes and critic/scholar Joan Richardson to discuss recent developments in their work regarding how to make art in relation to devastating human-engendered changes in the natural environment. As more artists respond to the condition of climate change, ecopoetics asks how we can begin to have a new understanding of our volatile world. How can and should we reimagine the way we conceive our relationship to nature? Is language "just talk" in the face of the current environmental crisis? Have our traditional ways of articulating ecological awareness - through either elegy or Chicken Little pronouncements that the sky is falling - become outdated ideas that rely upon problematic assumptions? What can our active roles be, given the increasingly unstable world in which we live and participate?

Two of the jumping-off points for our discussion will be recent publications by panel participants, including Jonathan Skinner's ongoing journal, titled ecopoetics and Brenda Iijima's eco language reader, published by Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs in collaboration with Nightboat Books.

Presented by the MFA Art Criticism and Writing Department at SVA.

* * *

Painter Rackstraw Downeswas awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2009. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, and the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, among others. Downes has published two books of his own writings: In Relation to the Whole: Three Essays from Three Decades, 1973, 1981, and l996. (New York: Edgewise Press, 2000) and Under the Gowanus and Razor-Wire Journal: The Making of Two Paintings, 5.9.99 - 11.15.99, (New York: Turning the Head Press, 2000). In 2005, a monograph on Rackstraw Downes was published by Princeton University Press with essays by Robert Storr, Sanford Schwartz and Downes. Downes is also the editor of Art In Its Own Terms, the collected writings of painter and critic Fairfield Porter. His MacArthur citation reads in part, "Rackstraw Downes is a painter whose minutely detailed, oil-on-canvas landscapes invite viewers to reconsider the intersection between the natural world and man-made objects. Rejecting picturesque views...his landscapes depict scenes generally overlooked or dismissed for lack of a traditional aesthetic appeal. His subjects range from the roadways, urban detritus, and industrial backyards of the East Coast to the oil fields and vast, empty terrain of Texas. In painting the American landscape as it is, not as it has been idealized, Downes imbues seemingly ordinary subjects with extraordinary power."

Brenda Iijima was born in the hilly town of North Adams, Massachusetts. She is the author of Around Sea(O Books), Animate, Inanimate Aims (Litmus Press),'ll-ution (Displaced Press) and If Not Metamorphic (Ahsahta Press) as well as numerous chapbooks and artist's books. She is also the editor of the eco language reader (Nightboat Books and PP@YYL). Currently she is working on a body of work titled Some Simple Things Said by and About Humans- a chronicle of how humans have used animals as surrogates. She is also choreographing site-specific dances surrounding issues of environmental toxicity and human engagement in her hometown together with videographer Tammy Fortin. She is the editor of Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs (

Joan Richardson is Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and American Studies at The Graduate Center. Author of a two-volume biography of the poet Wallace Stevens, she coedited, with Frank Kermode, Wallace Stevens: Collected Poetry and Prose (Library of America, 1997). Her essays on Stevens, on Ralph Waldo Emerson, on Jonathan Edwards have been published in the Wallace Stevens Journal, in Raritan, and elsewhere, and essays on Alfred North Whitehead, William James, and pragmatism have appeared in the journals Configurations and The Hopkins Review. Review essays have appeared in Bookforum and other journals. Her study A Natural History of Pragmatism: The Fact of Feeling from Jonathan Edwards to Gertrude Stein was published by Cambridge University Press in 2007, and has been nominated for the 2011 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. She is currently at work on another volume for Cambridge, Pragmatism and American Culture as well as a book-length study, The Return of the Repressed: Stanley Cavell and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Joan Richardson has been the recipient of several awards and fellowships including a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and a Senior Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Her work reflects an abiding interest in the way that philosophy, natural history, and science intersect with literature.

Jonathan Skinner's poetry collections include With Naked Foot (Little Scratch Pad, 2008) and Political Cactus Poems (Palm Press, 2005). Skinner founded and edits the journal ecopoetics, which features creative-critical intersections between writing and ecology. His most recent essay, "Thoughts on Things: Poetics of the Third Landscape," appears in the eco language reader (Portable Press at Yo-yo Labs and Nightboat Books, 2010). Skinner teaches in the Environmental Studies Program at Bates College in Central Maine, where he makes his home.

Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, and publisher. He is the author of ten books of poetry, including Alcuni Telefonini, a collaboration with painter Francesco Clemente published by Granary Books. He is the publisher and editor of the poetry and arts journal VANITAS and of Libellum books.

Tim Peterson is a poet, critic, and editor. The author of Since I Moved In (Chax Press), Peterson currently edits EOAGH: A Journal of the Arts and curates readings and events throughout NYC including the TENDENCIES: Poetics and Practice series at CUNY Graduate Center.

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