Commentaries - April 2014

Writing from the New Coast Festival at 21: audio files of the Buffalo Poetics Program event

via PennSound

Organized by Peter Gizzi and Juliana Spahr for the Poetics Program, SUNY-Buffalo (thanks also to Chris Funkhouser for recordings). All day-time events were held in the Rare Books Room; evening events were held at the Hallwall Arts Center.  PennSound New Coast page.

In audio practice III

Pre-Web network(s)

misc. poetry publications on cassette, ca. early 1990s
misc. poetry publications on cassette, ca. early 1990s

My previous entry should have acknowledged We Press as one among many independent and often disconnected DIY publishers of fringe literary audio. Over time, some of us got to know each other from afar, making contact through common friends via the mail or perhaps by chance at a performance. The pre-Web era, for those working in the no-commercial-potential realms, involved relying on grassroots, word of mouth micro networking to make productions known to a wider audience.

Susan Bee on The Nude Formalism and Fool's Gold

Susan Bee, "Design Elements in Nude Formalism and Fool's Gold": pdf
from Talking the Boundless Book: Art, Language, and the Books Arts, ed. Charles Alexander (Minneapolis: Minnesota Center for Book Arts, 1995)
pdf of The Nude Formalism (Sun & Moon, 1989)
(recommended that you read pdf in facing pages, 2-up)

Physics of the impossible

Lorentzian wormhole, courtesy of wikipedia, with text I added to the image.
Lorentzian wormhole, courtesy of wikipedia, with text I added to the image.

If a poem could exist on a rocket ship traveling at the speed of light where, in Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, space compresses, mass increases, and time slows, what kind of poem might it be? According to Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which applies at cosmological scales in contrast to his earlier theory of special relativity that applies at local scales such as the solar system, profound distortions of spacetime would have to occur in a universe where the speed of light is constant.

In M. NourbeSe Philip’s Zong! (Wesleyan University Press, 2008), created from the legal decision about the African slave ship named Zong where some 150 slaves were murdered by drowning so that the ship’s owners could collect the insurance money, the arrangements of text units in many sections of the book-length poem seem to inhabit aspects of Einstein’s conceptions of the universe.