Commentaries

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.

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 held Rare Books Room; evening events held at the Hallwall Arts Center.  PennSound New Coast page.

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.

Samuel R. Delany on Close Listening

Samual R. Delany talks with Charles Bernstein about genres, sex, and dyslexia in this wide-ranging conversation with the polymathic author. Delany addresses the role of fantasy and the bounds of imagination in his works and rebuts assumptions about the nature of genre writing. 

Samuel R. Delany, Chip Delany to his friends, is an American author, professor, and literary critic. His work includes fiction, memoir, criticism, and essays on sexuality and society. After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since January 2001, he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia. For a short time before that he was a core faculty member of the UB Poetics Program. 

(38:01): MP3