Jaime Groetsema and Amanda Rybin Koob

Community Praxis in Naropa Audio Archives

How to speak the archive

A cross-pollination with Eleni Sikelianos

Several rows of banker boxes and legal sized boxes set out in rows
Archival processing of a backlog. Photographed by Jaime Groetsema.

We invited all of the panelists from the June 11, 2012 “Archival Poetics and the War on Memory” event at Naropa to respond or expand on their contributions to the panel, as well as to respond to the Naropa archives and their poetic practice. Here are Eleni Sikelianos’s comments.

Jaime Groetsema/Amanda Rybin Koob: How has working with the Naropa Archive changed/influenced your understanding of archives/archival theory/archival practice? 

Archival poetics pt. 3

Building an archive with Eleni Sikelianos: memory, vision, body

Empty shelves, tables, and metal cabinets surrounding a storage space.
Photo of archives storage by Amanda Rybin Koob.

Rybin Koob: Eleni Sikelianos, poet and teacher, follows Steve Dickison’s reflection on archives and naming during the 2012 Naropa Summer Writing Program panel Archival Poetics and the War on Memory:

01:03:02: I want to underline Anne’s call here, to go and listen to the archives here. Amazing, amazing things, available just a few feet away.

Archival poetics at Naropa, part 2

Baraka at the American Poetry Archives

People surround Amiri Baraka who speaks at a table in front of an open window.
Unattributed photo from the Naropa Archives. Photographed in the archive by Jaime Groetsema.

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.” 

Just in case it could last

Archival poetics at Naropa

Columns of copymaster cassette tapes from the Naropa Archives in a drawer
Copymaster cassette tapes in the Naropa audio archives, photographed by Amanda Rybin Koob.

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

'Post-pleistocene relic world'

Alternative communities and writing, part 2

Book opened to copyright pages. Include title, authors, and publisher details.
Photograph by Jaime Groetsema. Courtesy of Naropa University Archives.

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.