Commentaries - August 2013

Pablo Tac: On the 'Dance of the Indians' (1840)

Translation from Spanish by Lisbeth Haas

 [From L. Haas, Pablo Tac, Indigenous Scholar, with art by James Luna, University of California Press, 2011.]

 [NOTE.  In a too short life, Pablo Tac (1820-1841) produced a rare work for his time: a completely indigenous study of Luiseño language & culture -- much more than what can be shown here.  Writes Lisbeth Haas in her introduction about a work never translated or published before now: “As a historian and scholar, PabloTac defied the dominant ideas expressed about Luiseño and other indigenous people under Spanish colonialism.  His work used categories of analysis such as ‘dance’ that offered an indigenous way of understanding Luiseño society during the colonial and Mexican eras in California, from 1769 to 1848.  Born in Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in 1820, Tac devised a way to write Luiseño from his study of Latin grammar and Spanish, and in so doing he captured many of the relationships that existed between Luiseños during his youth.  Drawing on local knowledge, traditions, and ideas, his writing leaves traces of Luiseño spiritual practice and thought, while also revealing the relations of power and authority that existed within his indigenous community.”]

We are / climbing / Jacob's ladders

view from Carrolll Gardens garden

Nicole O’Driscoll: Two poems on traveller themes, with the editor’s commentary

Photo Credit: Alen MacWeeney, in Irish Travellers,Tinkers No More
Photo Credit: Alen MacWeeney, in Irish Travellers,Tinkers No More



I tried to outrun the steepening slope

But slipped and burned my hands in the blood of half-beings

Plotted along a crippling hill.

Their faces hissed their sibilant indictments

Against my unmindful bid for escape,

ModPo fall '13 live webcast schedule

Below is a list of the live webcast sessions for ModPo fall '13. At the time of the webcast, participants can click here and join the discussion. The origination is the Arts Cafe of the Kelly Writers House at 3805 Locust Walk, Philadephia USA; those who can join in person are welcome to do so. ModPo is a free, non-credit course and is open to all; enroll here. We begin on 9/7/13.

The conceptual artist's book

Are all artists' books conceptual?

Twentysix Gasoline Stations by Ed Ruscha
Twentysix Gasoline Stations by Ed Ruscha (1962), image via Franciselliott, Wikipedia.

This fall I am co-organizing a symposium through the Simpson Center for the Humanities at the University of Washington called “Affect and Audience in the Digital Age.” A collaboration between researchers in poetics from the Bothell and Seattle campuses of UW, our event explores the impact of digital mediation on contemporary poetry. Here is how my co-organizers Sarah Dowling, Brian Reed, and Gregory Laynor and I describe it on the conference website:

Audience in the Digital Age is a one-day symposium exploring emergent modes of creative public scholarship. Specifically, we are interested in scholarly, pedagogical, curatorial, and creative practices that attend to the digitally mediated character of contemporary poetry.