Tracie Morris

Samuel R. Delany's worlds: An introduction

One of the great joys, if you’re lucky, of being in academia is being able to thank people and an even greater pleasure to be able to thank the mentors of your mentors.

When Charles Bernstein approached me about organizing this text-based raising of the glass to Samuel R. Delany (aka “Chip” Delany) I was nervous, humbled, and grateful for the chance. This came on the heels of the passing of two other people I looked up to, José Muñoz and Amiri Baraka, whose work Chip also admired. The magnitude of thanks takes on this bigger quality when the air is suffused with the ephemera of those who aren’t corporal, those who inhabit the same space in your heartspace that great art pervades. 

One of the great joys, if you’re lucky, of being in academia is being able to thank people and an even greater pleasure to be able to thank the mentors of your mentors.

Foreman and Morris at Zinc opening 36th season

photo ©2014 Charles Bernstien / PennSound

RICHARD FOREMAN
Old-Fashioned Prosistutes (43:35) MP3
Foreman read the full script of his recent play at NY's Public Theater.

A few words on Tracie Morris

A thought today on the way in which Tracie Morris looks forward and back simultaneously. Morris takes us into a future in which the various arts become indistinct not just programmatically (and disciplinarily) but in every single art piece, wherein the piece is a convergence of  imagination, throat, song, history, movement, and improvised word-signifying – and somehow at the same time she returns to a past of the poem as a fundamental song of human culture as it emerged before the mere page did its dominating and excluding.

Additional notes on Will Alexander's 'Compound Hibernation'

Erica Hunt sets this reading up by calling Alexander a metaphysician. One of her students said “like Jimi Hendrix.” Hunt says yes and also Aimé Césaire, Jayne Cortez. How are they all metaphysicians? What permutation of Black Magic is this political postmodern grimoire? What is it evoking?

Just before reading my bullet points and notes on Will Alexander’s poem, I read a story, saw a video that speculated on how Mars looked before it lost its atmosphere. There are speculations about how this happened, how it lost its magnetic poles, but it went from earthlike with seas and air and clouds to a rusty tomb, where our small land robots search for evidence of microfossils from billions of years ago. I thought about this kind of sifting from a whole to atomic, from the big bang’s busting to dust.

Strange galvanics (PoemTalk #75)

Will Alexander, 'Compound Hibernation'

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

Tracie Morris, Kristen Gallagher, and Michael Magee gathered together in PoemTalk’s garrett studio to discuss a poem by Will Alexander: “Compound Hibernation,” published in Zen Monster, then performed at least once at a reading (Alexander’s Segue Series performance at the Bowery Poetry Club in March of 2007), and then collected in the book Compression & Purity (City Lights, 2011).

Panorama Reading at the Queens Museum of Art

Cecilia VIcuna drapes a fabric near the World Trade Center.

Queens poet laureate Paolo Javier created a day of poetry at the Queens Museum of Art, bringing poets and presses into the newly renovated museum for "Eterniday." Exhibited presses included Ugly Ducklng, Tender Button, Litmus, Nightboat, and Futurepoem. I curated a reading in the spectacular Panorama, with Cecilia Vicuan (top), Tracie Morris, Julia Patton, Shelley Hirsch, Tracie Morris, Tan Lin, and me. 

A winter afternoon of surrealist writing and music

Tracie Morris, Kenneth Goldsmith, and Marina Rosenfeld

The event was called “What Oozed Through the Staircase: A Winter Afternoon of Surrealist Writing and Music,” held in the middle of the surrealist exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Sunday, January 26, 2014. Surprised that the event wasn't being recorded, I brought out my smart phone and captured the audio as best I could from the fourth row. I also made a video recording of the final performance — a surrealist game. All this is now available at a special PennSound page.

  1. introduction (3:51): MP3
  2. Kenneth Goldsmith: Hans Bellmar, from “What Oozed Through the Staircase” (1:48): MP3
  3. Kenneth Goldsmith: Andre Breton, from “Manifesto of Surrealism” (2:35): MP3
  4. Kenneth Goldsmith: Robert Desnos, “Awakenings” and “Ideal Mistress” (3:21): MP3
  5. Marina Rosenfeld: Mise en scene en scene #1 (Daily Bul, etc.) (4:51): MP3
  6. Kenneth Goldsmith: Joyce Mansour, “Poemshots” (1:57): MP3
  7. Kenneth Goldsmith: Salvador Dali, “The Great Masturbator” (1:46): MP3
  8. Kenneth Goldsmith: Mina Loy, “Auto-Facial-Construction” (4:14): MP3

An afternoon of surrealist writing

Sunday, January 26, 2014, starting at 2 PM, in the Special Exhibitions Gallery of the Perelman Building, Philadelphia Museum of Art (free after Museum admission). Kenneth Goldsmith, Tracie Morris, and Marina Rosenfeld.

What is a question?

Image by Eric Baus

This playlist is comprised of recordings related to questions. Bhanu Kapil, in her recent post on Harriet, Notes on Mutation, asks: “What is a question? How do questions work in your writing?  What do they perform?  What happens when you ask them?”  Today’s commentary might be considered an appendix to Kapil’s post, paying particular attention to the relationship between composition strategies, recording technology, and public performance. I’m also interested in grouping these recordings together in a playlist so that the questions from one piece might circulate through the others.

I’ll begin by quoting more from Kapil’s notes: “A question: Literally, it’s a way of gathering information but not of processing it.  As a mode of enquiry that’s also, linguistically, founded on doubt, on not having the words for what happens at the end of a relationship, the question seals space*.” I have excerpted a portion of Kapil’s comments contextualizing her own book of questions, The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers, from her Kelsey Street Press audio page. At one point in her discussion, Kapil describes the weaving together of the disparate material she has gathered from interviews as well as from her own answers to her questions as “a shared space for voices.”  On PennSound, you can listen to an excerpt from The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers recorded in 1999 at the Left Hand reading series in Boulder.

Riffing on Afro-Shakespearean

Tracie Morris

Tracie Morris

At the recent gathering on conceptual poetry in Tucson, Tracie Morris performed a piece based on a single sentence she heard spoken in a stentorian, didactic-pedagogical "Afro-Shakespearean voice" - "It all started when we were brought here as slaves from Africa." She creates a sound poem of the line in her unique way of singing-uttering. You can watch a video of the whole reading at which this piece is the final performance. Better yet, listen to the audio-only mp3 I created from the video, which is now linked to Tracie Morris's PennSound page.

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