Al Filreis

Writing "The Structure of Escape": The Linearity of the Arc

by Murat Nemet-Nejat

from left to right: George Economou, Murat Nemet-Nejat, Bob Perelman - January 31, 2012 at the Kelly Writers House

Poet, translator and essayist Murat Nemet-Nejat’s most recent work includes the poem The Spiritual Life of Replicants (Talisman House, 2011), the translation of the Turkish poet Seyhan Erozçelik’s Rosestrikes and Coffee Grinds (Talisman House, 2010), and the memoir/essay “Istanbul Noir” (in Istanbul: Metamorphoses in an Imperial City, Talisman House, 2011). Nemet-Nejat’s translation of the Turkish poet Birhan Keskin’s book Y’ol (Ro(a)de) will be published in 2012. He is currently working on “Things,” part VI of the seven-part poem, “The Structure of Escape,” of which The Spiritual Life of Replicants is part V.

On January 31, 2012, Murat visited the Kelly Writers House and read, in part, from The Spiritual Life of Replicants and spoke about the structure of “The Structure of Escape.” I recommend to readers of this commentary the audio and video recordings of that reading.  After the event, I asked Murat if he would like to write for Jacket2 about his seven-part project, and he agreed.  Here, below, is what he has written. — Al Filreis

Kevin Varrone's emerging book of prose-poems about/from baseball

"Box Score"

I was honored recently to be asked by Kevin Varrone to read and record a section of his emergent long series poem on baseball, Box Score.  Above is the section he asked me to perform, and here is the recording I made for him. I can’t wait to see (and listen to) this book.

Conversation with Ken Lum

Ken Lum is the the new head of Penn’s undergraduate program in Fine Arts (as of Fall 2012). Lum is an artist, curator, editor, writer, and teacher. He has published extensively, and a book of Lum’s writings, edited by Hans Ulrich Obrist, is forthcoming from Walter Koenig Books. In addition to holding faculty positions at University of British Columbia (Vancouver) and Bard College, he has realized several permanent public art commissions including for Vienna, St. Moritz, Leiden, Toronto, Vancouver and Utrecht. He is currently working on public art commissions for the cities of Seattle, St. Louis, and New Orleans. This discussion took place at the Kelly Writers House on January 30, 2013.

Whalen on Stevens

A passage from "Scenes of Life at the Capital"

In August 1971, Philip Whalen performed “Scenes of Life at the Capital,” a 45-minute reading recorded by Robert Creeley who’d brought his tape recorder to the event. In a passage of “Scenes” — it comes to around two minutes of the reading — Whalen responds to Wallace Stevens. Here is that 2-minute passage: MP3.

Collaborative close reading of Stevens's "The Snow Man"

Each January the people of the Kelly Writers House gather for an event called “The Mind of Winter.” The event begins with a group close reading of “The Snow Man.” Here is a link to the audio recording of the entire program.