Commentaries - May 2014

Geomantic riposte: 'Undark'

Sandy Pool hails from Erin, Ontario and is a holder of the prestigious Killam scholarship in poetics at the University of Calgary. Her first book Exploding Into Night was short-listed for the 2010 Governor General’s Award for poetry and Undark: An Oratorio was short-listed for an Alberta Book Award for Poetry and the Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Pool’s impressive background in many areas of theatre performance, creative writing, and libretto crafting lend a Euripidean sensibility and dramatic force to the latter marvel.

Milton Resnick, poet — In memory — An essay & a poem

Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof, circa 1970
Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof, circa 1970

[The following coincides with a major exhibition (May 10 to August 1) of Milton Resnick’s work over a six-decade career, sponsored by Mana Contemporary of Jersey City and the Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation.]

 

Jack Kerouac, 'Belief & Technique for Modern Prose'

  1. Scribbled secret notebooks, and wild typewritten pages, for yr own joy
  2. Submissive to everything, open, listening
  3. Try never get drunk outside yr own house
  4. Be in love with yr life
  5. Something that you feel will find its own form
  6. Be crazy dumbsaint of the mind
  7. Blow as deep as you want to blow
  8. Write what you want bottomless from bottom of mind
  9. The unspeakable visions of the individual
  10. No time for poetry but exactly what is
  11. Visionary tics shivering in the chest
  12. In tranced fixation dreaming upon

Poetry as accountable talk: The cMOOC & conversation theory

An essay by Raymond Maxwell

At left: Raymond Maxwell; at right: a live ModPo webcast.

In a paper by Raymond Maxwell titled "Constructivism, Accountable Talk, Conversation Theory, and Information Literacy Instruction," there is a passage — in the conclusion — mentioning ModPo:

Last year I took a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Modern and Contemporary American Poetry, also called ModPo.  There were over 40,000 students in the course.  It was hosted by University of Pennsylvania, and live webcasts were broadcasted once a week, to which all participants were invited.  The professor used a team-teaching approach, and several videos each week featured close reads of poems with the professor at a table conversing with six teaching assistants.  The conversation was led by various team members at various times.  Each lecture was a conversation between the seven of them, piped out to over 40,000 students around the world.  The course was a grand success.  We learned the material, and a large percentage actually got certificates of completion.  In Washington, a dozen or so of us formed a weekly study group that met on Sundays at Politics and Prose Bookstore.  This year the course is being taught with the addition of some twenty community teaching assistants, embedded throughout the population of online students.  Perhaps such a model of conversation- and team-led instruction might be conceivable for information literacy instruction on a smaller level.

Stephen Burt and Charles Bernstein, On Experiment (Rutgers, April 10, 2014) (audio files)

On Experiment, Rutgers - New Brunswick conference, orgnized by Rachel Feder
April 10, 2014

In which Burt argues for experimental poetry and I argue against it, in an Alice-in-Wonderland-like reversal.