I met Stacy in the mid-1980s, when I taught for a semester at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. She was my student, as was her future husband, Chet Weiner. The three of us formed a kind of molecule, moving across the snowy Iowa City landscape and into the spring. My sister Jennifer had died the year before, and I was still shaken; their company felt like a kind of blessing.
Stacy was smart, curious, and had a knack for appreciation and effortless kindness; she was beautiful, with an uncanny voice, subtly muted and musical; her intensity created an aura of exotic mystery. Her poems were all phenomenology and oblique shift. She seemed to want to write the wind. We watched Breathless. We were in thrall to the poems of Michael Palmer.From Connecticut, but already traveled, already on a quest, she seemed to be in the process of self-invention. This took will, and wit, and love, and a kind of radical intransigence, all of which she had in quantity. And something else was already in place; an essential joyful appetite, free from acquisitiveness. Objects did not move her; they got in the way of her senses. Her fine intelligence was deeply embedded in a creaturely connection to the natural world; taste, touch, sight.
I. Filiations Jennifer Moxley Dérive-ations: Pierre Joris & the Drift of Tradition Franca Bellarsi On the Road of Nomadic Poetics: Pierre Joris and the Beats in Conversation Christopher Rizzo Essaying the Illiterary: Pierre Joris, Charles Olson and the Event of Writing Dale Smith The Newly American
US – Géographèmes (Joris in response to Cockelbergh)
II. En route Robert Kelly NOMAD: a Meditation on Pierre Joris’ Nomad Poetics Louis Armand NOMAD IS THIS Charles Bernstein in conversation with Pierre Joris Close Listening Corina Ciocârlie Adrift. Travelling with Pierre Joris Allen Fisher Cogent Attention in the Work of Pierre Joris
The following talk was presented at Rex Regina gallery, Bklyn NY this past fall at the invitation of Stacie Johnson.
Before I talk about the poet/live artist/clairvoyant journalist Hannah Weiner today, I would like to talk about a term that I have been using to describe a certain form of autobiography, namely “intense autobiography.” (I have used this term previously in essays about Bhnau Kapil and Jalal Toufic).
Basically, I want to use intense autobiography to describe self-life-writing practices (the literal translation of auto-bio-graphy) that stray from the genre of autobiography, in which one provides the facts of their life, from birth until present, usually late in life. While intense autobiography exists in relation to these forms of self- or person- writing, it is different. And where it differs largely are in two respects: 1. That writing is not a transparent, narrative means of making self or person appear retroactively, but the very means through which the person/self comes into being in relation to a social milieu; 2. Through intense autobiography the “body”— that container demarcating human personhood and rights — becomes a site of experience and experimentation where the limits of the self are related, if not often contested, in relation to a public, community, and/or social discourse.
Intense autobiography can also refer to a series of practices upon the body, much as Foucault spoke of disciplinary practices in terms of a “technology” or “care” of the self. The body-self is a site where subjecthood is negotiated and contracted; where disciplinary boundaries and biological essences are tested; where the body as a territory is both mapped and deterritorialized, as in the many well-known cases outlined by Deleuze and Guattari. What I want to talk about when I talk about intense autobiography is how self-life-writing demarcates social, biopolitical, and geocultural thresholds.