Commentaries - April 2014

Geomantic riposte: 'Cartouches'

Lola Lemire Tostevin was born into a French-speaking family in Timmins, Ontario although she writes mainly in English, and wonderfully so. That being the case, her poetry, novels, and essays communicate her interest in “contamination” (over ideologue-ish notions of purity or concepts that limit expressions of the individual), promulgating creative work that combines aspects of one language or culture with another, or for that matter, one genre with another.

The homely space

ModPo as an open course

Jeremy Knox has presented and published a paper on massive open online courses, looking at three in particular. Here is a link to the paper. Here are a few sentences from one of the sections on ModPo:

A salient example of the use of video can be found in the ‘Modern and Contemporary American Poetry’ (known as ModPo) course from the University of Pennsylvania in partnership with Coursera. As part of the introductory material, this course provided a video tour of the Kelly Writers House, a campus building associated with the instructors of the ModPo MOOC and creative writing students at the University of Pennsylvania. As a production of space, this video offers a remarkable enactment of the domestication of the MOOC, involving, I suggest, the production of familiarity and the practice of mapping. Rather than the imposing campus edifices foregrounded by the MOOC platforms, this faculty-level promotion aims at establishing a space of intimacy and community by providing a tour of the building which hosts the ModPo course. Course convenor Al Filreis hosts the tour, providing commentary as he is filmed proceeding through various rooms within the building, in which he interviews each of the ModPo Teaching Assistants (TAs) in turn. Of primary emphasis in this video is the promotion of a community at the Kelly Writers House.

First reading of Sawako Nakayasu's 'Couch' (2)

K. Silem Mohammad

I try instinctually to fit the poem into the literary contexts I’m familiar with, and to ask questions about those contexts: in this case, domestic fiction and its stylistic markers (why the generic anonymity of the couple?), the dream/vision tradition (am I supposed to view this through the same kind of lens, perhaps a psychoanalytic one, through which I would view a report of an actual dream?), and the inescapable implication of allegory (what is the “something else” I am supposed to arrive at via the poem?

Jackson Mac Low: The poem I've been futzing around with for c. 16 days

[The following letter & poem are as found in our email correspondence from 2003.  The Naropii reference is to a question I had raised about using some of Jackson’s aleatory procedures in a workshop at Naropa’s Jack Kerouac school that coming summer, & the initials LP refer of course to Jackson’s Light Poems.  A small portion of the formatting has been modified or distorted in the transfer to blogger, but may be better viewed in the Jacket2 version. (J.R.)]

From: Jackson Mac Low

Entry 9

On Naming Names

John Frederick Peto, The Cup We All Race 4

In my last post, I observed a practice that in Jacket2 may have seemed too sensitive, but which has a long history: I refused to name names. Rather than associate specific people with my own decisions in attending an overseas academic conference at a politically volatile time, I wrote: "The next day, four of us from the conference — whom I will not name until I have their say so, such is the difficulty of this topic — took a cab . . . for the day." The "two scholars and two poet/critics" of the group are otherwise not named; each will have their own senses of what the politics of the moment, or of the present, might be, and they are free to express them (or not) as they wish.