Al Filreis

Gregory Djanikian, 'Dear Gravity' (2014)

The man in the middle, in the book The Man in the Middle, published thirty years ago this year (1984—a year before I first met this man in the middle), is a guy who managed to find his way out of the tower of Babel, despite the Babel of languages, French, Arabic, Armenian, broken English, buzzing in his ears from his immigrant refugee-ish elders.

Dahlen's psychoanalytic reading of 'A Reading'

In Natomas, on a day in 1983, Beverly Dahlen read one of the poems in her epic A Reading, and then, remarkably, offered a close psychoanalytic reading of the poem that lasted an hour and twenty minutes. She describes it as “a self-analysis of a piece of writing,” which she wrote first for herself but then felt willing to share the notes. “The framework for this is psychoanalytic. I'm assuming a kind of psychoanalytic stance toward what's going on.” The notes had been composed in 1981.

Mel Bochner at the Jewish Museum

Mel Bochner, “Strong Language,” at the Jewish Museum: link to information about the exhibit.

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.