Steve Dickison, writer, teacher, and Director of the Poetry Center and American Poetry Archives at San Francisco State, manages a large collection of audio recordings dating back to 1954. He begins his contribution to the 2012 Naropa Summer Writing Program panel “Archival Poetics and the War on Memory” by discussing the difficulty of cataloging recordings so listeners don’t have to just “wade in unknowingly.”
It would be a worthy metaproject to attempt to trace instances of this concept of “archives” in the JKS SWP audio and video archive — patterns, evolutions, and contradictions — but here, we look just briefly at one potent recording, the 2012 JKS SWP opening panel “Archival Poetics and the War on Memory” (this panel takes its name from Steven Taylor’s June 2007 essay “Remember the Future: Archival Poetics and the War on Memory” published in Beats at Naropa (Coffee House Press, 2009).
Recording (Naropa’s archive): Archival Poetics and the War on Memory Date: June 11, 2012 Featured panelists: Anne Waldman, Stacy Szymaszek, E. Tracy Grinnell, Steve Dickison, Eleni Sikelianos, and Steven Taylor
Is it necessary to think about community from an ecological point of view? If so, would our depicted world community be more populated with trees than our current ecological moment?
Naropa archive recording title: Alternative Communities and Writing Date of recording: June 09, 2003 Panelists: Anne Waldman (Chair), Eleni Sikelianos, Peter Warshall, Ed Sanders, Marcella Durand, Robin Blaser.
Are archives necessarily institutional? Is an archive simply a collection of things representing something? Does it matter if the collection of things is metaphorical, commercial, or virtual? Must the materials of the archive represent an event and must they include a nod to the longevity of narrative and the pursuit of preservation? Is an archive still an archive if it is inaccessible? (I’ve written more specifically about archives and language over at Reconfigurations.)
Jaime Groetsema: Whenever I think about archives or the material culture that could possibly constitute them, I try to define what an archive is.
The Summer Writing Program came out of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (JKS) at Naropa University. JKS was officially established in 1974 along with what has been called the Visiting Poetic Academy, the Summer Institute, amongst other conventions, and now the Summer Writing Program (SWP).