Dialogues with M. NourbeSe Philip

M. NourbeSe Philip. Photograph by A. L. Nielsen.

Recently the Canadian Caribbean poet M. NourbeSe Philip has begun to experiment with collaborative public readings of her book-length poem Zong!

Discourses on vocality

Vanessa Place, Kim Rosenfield, Rachel Zolf, and Myung Mi Kim

l-r: Divya Victor, Vanessa Place, Kim Rosenfield, Rachel Zolf, Myung Mi Kim.

The discourses with the poets Vanessa Place, Kim Rosenfield, Rachel Zolf, and Myung Mi Kim are records of developing notions of performance, composition, and authorial agency. We center on the work of the “voice” in its many, glossolalic manifestations, asking how the poetic “voice” (through speech, performance, ventriloquy, enunciation) witnesses the contemporary moment. These discourses hover around the opening in the lower part of the human face, surrounded by the lips, through which the discourses are taken in and from which interviews and other views are emitted.

On Myung Mi Kim

Myung Mi Kim at the Kelly Writers House, 2010. Photo by Arielle Brousse.

In a discussion with Divya Victor included as part of this feature, Myung Mi Kim quickly arrives at the following problem: “I can’t quite imagine a relationship with a poem, the fact of writing or reading a poem, that would be permanently inscribed.” The sentence reads like an aphorism.