Disinformation Wants to Be Free Believers in the inherent stability of media, regardless of its form, might argue that this phenomenon leads to little more than a tangle of disinformation. But recontextualization has been the basis for innumerable radical works of art. Manipulated audio techniques and track layering build up an increasingly dense surface. The piece reflects its time: think of it as an abstract expressionist canvas. It, too, is Greenbergian: its form is its content.
It was born naked and remained that way—unreleased and without a publisher—until twenty-four years later, when it was put out by a German gallery. The nude poem is now clothed in the garments of leftist politics. In such a landscape, no sound appears to have more meaning than any other. They understand how to create a package that visually approximates their musical practice. Packaging—or, in our terms, dressing—creates a context of value. On it, the one-time rockers rattled their way through cover versions of some of the more difficult works by John Cage and George Maciunas, among others.
Through a curious con- fluence of downtown sensibility and mass marketing, thousands of rock- loving, Lollapalooza-attending Sonic Youth fans bought the disc and were exposed to what until very recently has resided on the fringes of the histori- cal avant-garde. Through gestures such as these, the avant-garde becomes hip and well- marketed.
As soon as these items are purchased, however, they can be recruited as nude media, via peer-to-peer file sharing. In the case of some of this mater- ial, what was originally created as an antiauthoritarian gesture has, thanks to the Internet, been restored to its original radical intentions. Due to the manip- ulative properties of digital media, such artworks are susceptible to remixing and mangling on a mass scale, hence never having the one authoritative version bestowed upon these objects in traditional media.
They are ever-changing works-in-progress operating in the most widespread gift economy yet known. It is a little too early to answer such questions. We are a bridge genera- tion. With the excep- tion of Xeroxing and collaging, remixing texts on the scale of Ulysses was difficult. As a MTV article reports: The art of bootleg remixes, mash-ups or sound clashes take your pick emerged as an Internet phenomenon two years ago but is now scratching its way into the commer- cial music market, especially overseas.
In Europe the pioneers of the movement, such as Kurtis Rush, Soulwax, Osymyso and Freelance Hellraiser, have become household names, headlining popular clubs and spinning their creations on radio shows. But musical examples might hold clues as to how such systems might operate in the future.
As early as , Cage predicted and embraced the idea of unstable electronic texts as potential source texts for remixing: Technology essentially is a way of getting more done with less effort. The publishers, my music publisher, my book pub- lisher—they know that Xerox is a real threat to their continuing; however, they con- tinue. What must be done eventually is the elimination not only of the publication but of the need for xeroxing, and to connect it with the telephone so that anyone can have anything he wishes at any time.
And erase it—so that your copy of Homer, I mean, can become a copy of Shakespeare, mmm? By just quick erasure and quick printing, mmm? Bronzell and Suchomski , 25 While vast libraries containing intact texts are stored online, few offer textual remixes, even the sort that Cage alluded to twenty years ago. While the methodology regarding the computer-generated content is not made apparent, it appears that the manipulation was done by the editor of xStream and posted on the Web site. But unlike peer-to-peer systems, the text stops here. I could imagine another scenario: the computer-generated manipu- lations are available as text files to be downloaded.
Then, in turn, they are rema- nipulated and re-uploaded for further processing by users. Our authority has been undermined by our own process. UbuWeb is now positioned on a two-way street. Imagine these altered files returning back to the source from which they came, clothed and housed momentarily before being sent back out into the world again. Like the files themselves, UbuWeb is becoming less stabilized in its identity as a center. The printed New York Times page is bereft of all ads. Hundermark Gallery, Germany, Bronzell, Sean, and Ann Suchomski. Oakland: Burning Books. Chopin, Henry.
Mary Ellen Solt, 71— Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Greenberg, Clement. Charles Harrison and Paul Wood, Marghen, Alga. MTV Asia News. Nichol, bp. Emmett Williams, n. New York: Something Else Press. Mary Ellen Solt, Solt, Mary Ellen. Mary Ellen Solt, 7— Sonic Youth. Goodbye 20th Century.
Sonic Youth Recordings. SYR 4. Hot Air. Williams, Emmett, ed. An Anthology of Concrete Poetry. Original elements of the design included an unambitious header graphic and a Flash insignia—a vertical cylinder of rotat- ing cogs that, when individually clicked, adopt different angles and sizes, courtesy of the freeware Flash site levitated.
Circulars was housed as a subsite of my Web site www. Indeed, for the first several weeks, www. As many as twelve new stories were posted a day by several contributors around the world; the comments section was active, with several distinct threads running concur- rently. These are all valuable approaches, of course, and not unwelcome on CIRCULARS, but our hope is to create a dynamic, persuasive idiom that can work in a public sphere, mingling elements of rhetoric and stylistics associated with the aforementioned modes— analytical, ironic, or humanistic.
CIRCULARS understands that, in the world of the internet, the link can be as powerful as word of mouth and is itself the prize of an effective rhetorical strategy. In this way, Circulars would stand in contrast to the Web site Poets Against the War PAW , the organization started by Sam Hamill in the wake of the controversy over his being uninvited to a White House reading organized by Laura Bush after he had sent out an email request to other poets for antiwar poems he could read there.
Several poets responded immediately that they were interested in participating and offered valuable feedback on the initial proposal. The number of authors on the blog reached about twenty, but only a handful became regular posters of stories, mostly those people who were already invested in Internet culture for work or other reasons. Darren Wershler-Henry transformed the site with his contributions; he is the author of several books on digital culture, including Commonspace Surman and Wershler-Henry and Free as in Speech and Beer , so this was right up his alley.
A valuable contributor of links to the site was scholar Maria Damon, a tire- less reader of alternative news sources. The poet Scott Pound sent in occasional journal entries from Turkey, where he was teaching. There seemed to be a concern that poets were behind the times in not utilizing the Net for organizing or expressing their views a reprimand usually made, ironically, by writers with little experience in Internet culture.
Poets are often criticized for speaking among themselves in languages that seem esoteric to the public; Circulars would be a place where the detailed critique specific to the poetry community could flour- ish while being channeled to, and challenged by, a nonpoetry readership. I wanted positive, detailed visions that could give confidence to those on the sidelines of the antiwar movement. On that level, the site was a failure, but probably in the way that trying to light a match with a pair of reading glasses is a failure.
What did happen with the site was unanticipated: it became an anthro- pological study of Internet protest culture, a consciously unofficial anthology of poetry from several generations of writers, a sort of warzone for the left and right in the comments sections fueled mostly by nonpoets, and, finally, a staging ground for ephemeral home pages that themselves had a certain poetic charge in the way the stories and images—many exclusive to the site, many merely links—associated with each other and dissociated 6 the reader from main- stream and government media, injecting at moments a spirit of laughter but also a sense of sublimity and possibility in the midst of some very bad news.
My fear is that this chapter will appear self-serving—I hope not. I see it as a way to record the moment, to theorize it a bit, and to think about what to do next. The exact opposite of what raised: So you are making a poem out of a war? One is again tempted to paraphrase here this essay. Not that we should champion a mechan- in an issue of choice so much as partaking in ically aided will to pinpoint precision a military chance: the chance that one link will lead to fiction whose epitome is the imagery from the a more entertaining, substantial, or in game cameras in the noses of U.
Art can be compelling purely for most cynical sense. Is the U. I aggravates social inequalities. Circulars because of his sexuality. The presence of a private space with the concerns of the world. Too seldom erotics as well as an egalitarian ethos. Though I believe all of the issues it seems to eschew all of the tools that would outlined below are embodied in the site, allow any writer to utilize the unique aspects of there will be no attempt, in this short space, the Web as an environment for writing. In the face American fatwaesque fashion, deemed that I of the semimonopolized state of the most should have a rocket shoved up my ass.
Guardian UK columnist Robert Fisk bureaucracy. I was hoping that some of the was probably one of the most read columnists more frequent poet bloggers who were writing by American antiwar advocates during the political material would send their more con- war, and yet, as far as I know, he has never sidered material for posting to Circulars, but had a regular column in an American publi- most simply posted to their own blogs without cation.
Reappearances on other sites, from telling me. Though hardly in fashion today—the panying forum on the WELL www. It also reappears in hip-hop manager Xeni Jardin presents a combination of lyrics, often in a comic form of macho brag- individual talent and a shared vision. It helps that these two most of what you needed to see was right on are journalists and conceptualize their blogs as the home page, and its perspective was a distinct form of news writing alternative to the clearly antiwar—yet it housed materials mainstream—the individual voice is sharpened created by people in any number of fields by an informed sense of the social arena in which taking any number of angles satirical, it will resonate in which the message will ulti- poetic, pacifistic, Marxist, conservative, and mately become dulled.
Some a link to the [New York] Times story on corpo- materials were outright offensive to some rate blogging—yecch! Perhaps the model form to scroll downward to reach new stories, blog is that which responds to the formal issues click comments links, avoid what they did of other blogs as if they were social issues i.
Endless streams of dialectic, and the engagement between the novelistic prose, no matter how incantatory, are two drew the reader into a questioning of not what I want to read online. William Gibson, motives. I think only becomes implicated by moving in that the paragraph-as-post is the optimal unit deeper and making choices about reading. Haddock has for his large-scale earthworks such as the recently moved to a two-column format: stan- Spiral Jetty and the photos, films, and essays dard blog description-plus-link on the left he used to document them.
It is a contraction rather know it, but some admixture of links, intro para- than an expansion of scale. One is confronted with graphs, pictures, and HTML formatting, that a very ponderous, weighty absence. There is this dialectic between inner ticular interest group.
It just goes on constantly permuting effort [or as short term as the war] that was a itself into this endless doubling, so that you response to what I sensed was or would be [or have the nonsite functioning as a mirror and hoped to be] a moment of crisis in terms of site functioning as a reflection. Smithson , American self-identification. Implicit in this is a critique of lettristic on-screen as on paper.
As someone who works regularly for example. Further, it troubled language and for the past few years, the concept of intellec- narrativity, but in a way that did not require tual property is a relatively recent, regressive idiosyncratic reading strategies promoted by, invention that has nothing to do with the among others, Language poets or the novel- reasons that copyright was established two ists of the Nouveau Roman. The aura of the post- in the exact opposite direction by arguing that modern simulacra was actively dispelled via ideas can and should be owned.
Bring on the hyperlinks, of the Los Angeles Times. Use Your Allusion. Challenging Censorship and Making Dissent Palpable In a climate of threatened civil liberties via the Patriot Act and the looming of its successor, the Patriot Act II, Circulars encouraged association with sites, individuals, and cultural traditions that engaged in nonacceptable, even anti- social, expressivity in a bid to contest the bounds of legal speech and encour- age a discourse around what is permissible in U.
Rhetoric was not being rendered anemic by the conflicting desires of special-interest lobbyists, nor was it being laced with subliminal religious assurances. Circulars encouraged an investigation of these fringe forms of expression and content not merely in an attempt to dissolve adherence to official perspectives and pry open the floodgates of political desire but, additionally, to create new semantic horizons beyond safe, well-worn, politically correct agendas.
The zone between these two, in which pragmatic proposals and irrationality were in close consort, was where I expected the average reader of Circulars to flourish. Even the most mundane inclusions, whether presented in excerpt form on the home page or as a full story once clicked through, contributed to this hypertext poem.
In this egalitarian, psychically charged universe, the blandest Reuters update meshed with the most scur- rilous opining in the comments section, their stylistics foregrounded as some- thing crafted, purposeful, and aesthetically rich. Several American poets since Walt Whitman and E. Such tactics might appear to be appealing to the avant-garde and no one else, but even the decidedly mundane prose stylist Chomsky observed that there is a transcendental beauty in the most pedestrian language. The products of the Propaganda Remix Project and www.
Disorientation—both through time in its play-by-play commentary and through space in its architecture—might very well have been the modus operandi of Circulars, as its many authors contributed at ungoverned, merely opportune moments, thereby contributing in disparate concord to the ludic image of a collapsing social architecture. Carnival A Web site that collects such disparate materials by both marginal and central cultural figures can be seen as a stage on which to enact creative dissent. This snowballing effect, in which information and digitalized personalities some of them salty rub up against each other in dynamic fashion, is the effect of carnival.
For Bakhtin: The basis of laughter which gives form to carnival rituals frees them completely from all religious and ecclesiastic dogmatism, from all mysticism and piety. They are also completely deprived of the character of magic and prayer; they do not command nor do they ask for anything. All these forms are systematically placed outside the Church and religiosity. They belong to an entirely different sphere. The power of writing, rather than being overwhelmed by the very celerity with which text is produced and zinged around the Internet, was often buttressed in its classic qualities by the inher- ent properties of its formal, however relatively antiquated, construction pro- vided it was done well.
Writing, and not Macromedia Flash, was the darkling plain upon which the invisible armies of civic night waged their heated but melancholic debates. Circulars is perhaps best understood as an exploration in genre—where a Web site could figure in relation to pop songs, movies, television, and the novel and poem, but also where it figures in the social realm of opinion and in the dissemination of knowledge. What the site was and how that could be exploited for the future is the big question for me now.
It illustrated, I hope, the potential power of community-created sites in times of crisis to be provocative, popular cultural tools and to put our heritage in avant-garde poetics to the service of a specific cultural effort. But, of course, motives are neither here nor there.
Readers interested in more technical aspects of blogs can refer to www. See Clover and Sharf But at its best, this comments section, with active participation from Watten, was one of the few instances of the spin-off subsites that I anticipated becoming part of Circulars culture in its inception. An example of such a critic is John Lockard. Lockard , Now as then, emergent cyberspace ideologies commonly promote credence in machine- mediated social relations and their benefits, together with mystifications of individual, community, and global relations.
Progressive politics should seek to analyze, clarify, and demystify these relations. Lockard , 8. Let it vary its robes and assume different raiment. Let it take up again in other words what has already been said; let it reiterate, in a number of causes, a single thought. Let one and the same thing be concealed under multiple forms—be varied and yet the same. RSS Rich Site Summary feeds, a method for syndicating news and the content of news-like sites, automatically put these headlines on other sites as well.
Indeed, part of the appeal of blogs is the conventionality of the navigation and the information-laden home pages, which is why they are so popular for public diaries: the screen becomes a window upon the soul, begging to be deeply examined by the viewer purely for the vanity of upping the hits count. This is a point of political philosophy involving dialectics and identity that I can only touch on here but which is important and also runs against common sense. Nothing in his life, as a Jewish youth in pre Poland and subsequent survivor of indescribable privations and losses, might be expected to have conditioned him to welcome the disruptive.
Indeed, multiauthor blogs offer a vision of anarchist syndicalism in action, though I hesitate to make the transference of informational architectures to visions of societal organization as others did during the time of the dot-com bubble. The act of utilizing language ethically is synonymous with being human. A short treatise could be written about the politics of banning or deleting com- ments from a blog. Rabelais and His World. Chomsky, Noam. Christchurch: Cybereditions. Clover, Joshua. Debord, Guy, and Gil J. Ken Knabb, 8— Margaret F. Alex Preminger, O.
Hardison, Jr. New York: Frederick Ungar. Gourmont, Remy de. Hitchens, Christopher. Letters to a Young Contrarian. New York: Basic Books. Joyce, Michael. Knabb, Ken, ed. Situationist International Anthology. Ken Knabb. Lockard, John. David Porter, — New York: Routledge. Poets Against the War. Redirected to Living Poets Society webpage accessed June 28, Schama, Simon. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution. New York: Knopf. Scharf, Michael. The Collected Writings. Berkeley: University of California Press. Voices in the Wilderness. Wershler-Henry, Darren.
New York: Verso. Courtesy of Jennifer Ley. Importantly, Meridian was not intended to be simply a distribution portal for new media literature nor a site offering literary works that could just as easily be distributed on paper as on the Web. Its aim was to explore the myriad ways the mechanics of the Web could be used to create new forms of literary expression. This goal gave the editorial staff a mandate to seek out and promote the work of writers who were choosing to use the Web as an integral part of their creative process.
Two technological issues—Web browser language and the hyperlink—had a strong impact on the development of the online literary community and its publications. Meridian debuted at a moment when many writers from the hypertext community who had previously created stand-alone CD-ROM pub- lications were moving to codework that used Web browser language instead of platform-specific coding software such as StorySpace. The hyperlink, essential to nearly every decision readers make on the Web, was crucial to the construction of the labyrinth of interconnected literary Web sites that exists online today.
Because most literary Web sites do not charge a subscription fee to readers, the economics of Web publishing is complicated. It seems unlikely that the sizable audience for new media work that now exists could have been built if Web sites charged readers for access. However, as any online literary writer, editor, or publisher can tell you, a certain amount of capital is required to keep online publishing sites running. Not least among these is the capital of time. One of the things online publishers most prized about the early Web was its position outside the world of traditional publishing, but now, ten years and counting into this brave new world, outsider status has taken a certain toll.
Carpal tunnel syndrome and repetitive stress injuries affect more early practitioners than many people realize. Early Web writers needed nothing more than a computer, a text editor, an online connection, a free copy of Netscape, and a willingness to learn how to code for the Web. Today, a new generation of Web-content creation software can set a writer back over two thousand dollars, while the housekeeping inherent in keeping thousands of HTML files and their embedded links current has humbled even the most fastidious site editors.
Riding the Meridian is now on hiatus from publishing new work, but I remain committed to maintaining access to the works we have published. I will always be tremendously proud of the creativity so many writers, theo- rists, and editors committed to a project that, though it may have been mine to conceive, was ours to shape, promote, and enjoy. That so many of these people are still part of the new media discussions readers will find in the pages of this book is a great source of satisfaction to me. Any project intent on demonstrating how an analog poetics born out of a relationship to a given production technology continues to affect literary pre- sentation after a move away from that technology and inviting an exploration of current digital production technology with a view to describing a new digital poetics leaves itself open to the charge of technodeterminism.
It is, however, feasible to argue that writers such as William S. Burroughs, who experimented with analog sound technology throughout the mid-twentieth century, hit a kind of technological glass ceiling when their digital imagination of poetry and criticism dramatically outpaced the possi- bilities offered by reel-to-reel tape. Drawing from these earlier projects, the work of contemporary practitioners, and my own literary broadcasting work, I propose a vocabulary and open-ended taxonomy to help develop and evalu- ate a poetics of digital audio editing.
Today it is hardly radical to observe that poetry is—or at least is insepara- ble from—the means by which it is produced and distributed or transmitted. More than a Saussurian study of the unstable or arbitrary nature of the sign, it involves positioning instability not as a moment of anxiety but as a moment of poetic and, in some cases, utopian opportunity.
For the most part, this opportunity has not been taken up by the producers of literary audiocasts. My contention, then, is simple: given that the reception of sounded poetry has been considerably unstopped in recent years, our production and presen- tation of sounded poetry, especially in the digital environment of the Web, should not continue to reproduce the stopped-up presentational modes famil- iar to a radio tradition and the semantics of a disused technology.
The technological shifts that have brought enormous production changes have yet to generate the conceptual changes that have attended other digital literatures and poetics. If our new conceptual model for digital poetics must avoid technodeter- minism, a poetic practice enhanced, encouraged, and even enabled by tech- nological advances must avoid technofetishism. Jacques Attali sounds an even more cautionary note about the excesses of computer music and, we may easily extrapolate, the digital audio editing of speech in a poetic context: An acoustician, a cybernetician, he [the contemporary composer] is transcended by his own tools.
Reminiscences of Donald Hall
This constitutes a radical inversion of the innovator and the machine: instru- ments no longer serve to produce the desired sound forms, conceived in thought before written down, but to monitor unexpected forms. The modern composer. He is sub- jected to its failings, the supervisor of an uncontrolled development. In an arena where anything seems technologically possible, very little engages.
When interest in how digital technology can process speech or music or image completely eclipses the cognitive or semantic work that might be activated through that speech or music or image, we are not likely to get beyond mar- veling at what computers can do. The safeguard for a poetics of digital audio editing is to focus on the relationships that accrue around meaning rather than on gee-whiz pyrotechnics.
The trick is not only to recognize that the techno- logical transposition of language always opens new possibilities for exchange but also to develop, expand, and articulate the parameters of that exchange. Three years earlier, F. Despite this critical lineage and these radio dreams, however, contemporary radio produc- tion theory—the theory taught in courses on radio production, for example— is much more narrowly defined. Interestingly, Crisell borrows a semiological system that predates broadcasting itself.
Following turn-of-the- century pragmatist C. Peirce, Crisell places all radio emanations under three rubrics: the iconic, that which resembles the object it represents; the indexi- cal, that which provides some direct link to its object; and the symbolic, that which has no obvious connection to its object. This plain vanilla, late nineteenth-century semiology poses real problems both for experimental pre- sentation of poetry on radio and for its attendant critical discourse. This temporal emphasis means Crisell interprets radio in terms of continuity and flow, a strategy predisposed to privilege dis- cursivity and narrative.
In his micrological analysis of radio language, Crisell argues that words have a dual semiological status: they are symbols of the things they represent but also indices of the person speaking, which means they provide direct access to the object that produces the sound. Words on radio—indeed, all sounds on radio—are not indices of some original voice or authentic sound producer but indices of radio technology.
In other words, what is directly available through radio is a series of receiving, transmitting, editing, and recording devices. Not only are voices and words always created through technological mediation, but plenty of radio is possible through tech- nology that does not depend on a person or musical instrument. For him, sound is almost always referenced to narrative, never to the production of narrative and cer- tainly never to the production of radio. But neither a recording nor even a live broadcast of an actual horse would be as indexical as Crisell imagines because he is unable to recognize the mediating apparatus.
A production theory couched in such a tradition is not capable of dealing with a vast array of radio broadcasts, literary and otherwise, on their own most basic terms. For Crisell, however, activating relationships of interpretation is less important than relating information or telling a story in a manner that does not complicate or problematize the medium. This is not to say that such an activation would be anathema to him, only that his analog sensibility, a sensibility thoroughly orga- nized around time, has not positioned him to explicate or develop it.
Today digital audio recording and editing software is sold as the apex of fidelity, not only better than Memorex but better than the live event because of its ability to remove all extraneous Cagean sounds and allow direct access to the pure voice. When producing a program using tape, in most cases, we record audio onto tape through a tape machine then edit this single linear continuum of sound by using a razor blade to cut out any unde- sired sound. This process creates a seamless, inaudible edit that carves direct speech out of a jumble of David Antin—like talk.
If such a technique does not have what one might call built-in linearity, it nonetheless demonstrates a ten- dency toward linearization. In digital audio editing, by contrast, there is no single line of sound from which offending elements are removed. Digital editing is a technique of addition rather than subtraction.
Because numerous audio tracks are available on the same screen, it is as easy to add sound to multiple tracks as it is to add sound to one track; individual pieces of sound can be cut and layered in over- lapping positions, and visual representations of waveforms that zoom in to a ten-thousandth of a second make enormously complex mixing jobs simple. The use of digital technology to realize an analog aes- thetic extends beyond aspirations for linearity and fidelity. The perception that digital technology has largely accomplished unmediated delivery of the voice means the voice itself now becomes the next obstacle to clear communication.
In an effort to force the voice to articulate meaning without the slippage of the phonotext, an impressive array of digital filters, de-essers, compressors, equal- izers, and other processors—all with analog antecedents—have been devel- oped to cleanse it. Poetry played a crucial role in the development of analog semantics. From the very first experiments in recording and telephony, poetic cadences, forms, and familiarity helped language cross extremely high-resistance technologies by cuing listeners in on what to expect.
The only text capable of penetrating the static and noise of the first primitive recorders was something ingrained. Analog semantics presupposes familiarity as a condition of communication. Even today, it is rightly assumed that one must be familiar with the form of a radio interview program to make sense of it. Our evolving digital audio poetics renegotiates rather than rejects this condition. Indeed, familiarity with language forms is necessary for a digital poetics to succeed.
As I will discuss shortly, a poetics of digital audio editing works best when expectations for a language form are extremely strong or even naturalized to the point of being unacknowledged. Only in such circumstances will disruption or denial of expectation be effective. We might say, then, that a digital audio poetics is a parasite attached to established semantics: it is something that processes a system of meaning rather than just the sound of recorded speech.
Tape allowed sound poetry to surpass the limits of human expression in much the same way that the digital allows a presentation of poetry to exceed the limits of linearity and discursivity, but only when it is conceived outside analog notions of seman- tics and recording. The voice was microphoned so close and hot as to be vir- tually unrecognizable, and the speed changes overwhelmed and degenerated normal speech cadences: the words were lost for the sound. A listener is denied sensible lan- guage but can still hear an unmistakably human voice in very small mouth sounds.
In his Le Corpsbis collection , mouth sounds in speech have been spliced so small as to be arrangeable into natural sounds such as dripping water that become the sole elements in the creation of artificial soundscapes as, e. If this technique were reduced in intensity but enlarged in scale, it might be described as a predecessor of recent experiments in digital audio poetry in which extracted speech fragments are used to create dense, spatial listening experiences.
But rather than using phoneme, word, or phrase frag- ments to punctuate faux soundscapes, contemporary poetic practices often interject them on top of or in the gaps of otherwise normally presented sound bites in order to accentuate or complicate a prevailing idea. In fact, Ticket contains descriptions and sketches for language-tape possibilities that far exceed his own tape art experiments.
In this disruption, Burroughs provides a prototype for our practice and semantics of editing. The aleatory effects enabled by technological mediations of the spoken word activate the kind of engagement previously described as essential to a poetics that aspires to leave the analog behind. They snarled and whined and barked. It was as if the words themselves were called into question and forced to give up their hidden meanings. You can get the same effect by switching a recording on and off at very short intervals.
This is not just an injunction to listen carefully: it is also an injunction to listen digitally, to be prepared to do more than the typical share of semantic work. A digital semantics is like any semantics necessarily bifurcated: here it is a set of techniques for rendering audio speech in con- junction with a mode of listening tuned in to those techniques.
One is a technique that resembles a musical fugue. After a page-and-a-half of dense, overlapping, interwoven, oblique ref- erences to previously unfamiliar themes, orders, and instructions, the prose slows down. When the narrative flow resumes, the lines that appeared as non- sensical fragments in the fugue begin to appear in situ. As we recognize them now, however, they are not just components of the narrative but also echoes of the confusion we experienced in the density of the earlier cut-up collage.
Repetitions such as these point to a second feature in Ticket that might be adopted in a poetics of digital audio editing: the looping of large sections of narrative with slight alterations. Contemporary poetic digital editing uses this technique of altered looping to elicit a slight sense of familiarity with spoken passages while prompting uncertainty about how they should be familiar and what the tiny changes might signify.
Although webcast poetry programming might seem ideal for the elaboration of a digital aesthetic, however, it has generally adopted the presentational framework of its radio predecessors. While it is not my intention to cri- tique the poetry, I am concerned to describe the troubling, anachronistic way in which it is handled. Rather than developing a digital aesthetic, these programs typically use digital technology in an analog fashion. This is evident in all the most popular poetry webcasts listed through major Internet search engines.
The Spoken World Show on Anthology Internet radio is an hour-long weekly program that airs CDs and tapes of recorded poetry readings as well as live readings from poets in the local Phoenix area. Although this program is occasionally quite inter- esting in its efforts to describe local poetry in terms of international and his- torical trends, similar to the programs I discuss later, it functions mainly as an eclectic spoken word jukebox. A third webcast, Vocalized Ink, is driven by pop-up ads that often interfere with the audio player.
Beyond setting spoken-word performances to music, little is done in terms of production. The promos constitute the most ambitious elements of its programming in their attempt to engage with the production technology and emulate techniques common to radio com- mercials. While a number of performances in this collection are undeniably energetic, however, the technology is for the most part blank and quiet.
In fact, in one instance, a performer seems readier to cultivate a digital semantics than Holman, Skiff, and their production engineers. Here, the performer interpolates digital production values in a way that the CD pro- ducers have not yet managed. Rage, David Huberman, Jill Rappaport, and Barbara Henning two recordings are overlapped, but little thought seems to have been given to how these simultaneous readings might be sculpted in order to interact with or comment on each other, let alone invite a different, digital mode of listening.
The complications of voice and listening Oswald instantiates here prolif- erate in the better-known plunderphonic musical works in which he takes a familiar song, splices it into microsonic pieces, then rearranges the pieces to create a new song. What is most interesting about these pieces is not the tech- nological resampling so much as the sampling and morphing of the cultural context of his sources.
His interpretations of these pop songs always conflate, confuse, or tease sentiments the originals intended to invoke. In keeping with a digital semantics, they are plays on expectation. The work of Scanner and DJ Spooky individually and in collaboration moves beyond the keyboard sampler and single pop song, yielding a wider range of cultural resonances and a greater complexity in their pieces. This two- minute morphing is flagged along by warbling sine waves, feedback, distor- tion, and early synthesizer noise, giving the whole a kitschy, sci-fi quality punctuated by outbursts that pass so quickly as to be indecipherable.
These curious and inter- rupted pairings force us to struggle to remember what we were just listening to. His narratives, mono- logues, and dialogues, often composed with Burroughs-esque cut-up tech- niques, are designed to fade into the background while subtly changing the environment in which they are played. His ambient piece Blodder provides a good example of this austerity. The flow of the monologue is often extremely simple and the voicings neutral or nonexpressive; the pieces sound like overly familiar stories even if a forced close listening reveals formal experimentation.
As soon as this state of vacant attention—hearing but not listening—is established, it is jostled by a wildly disjointed insertion or overlay. In this antislam model, the cultivated expectation of boredom and alienation is disrupted by an editing practice that exalts in its role as technological mediator of the voice.
This process exposes and inverts traditional analog semantics. Left and right channel overlap significantly, each carrying a phrase of the story, but the effect is one of near incomprehensibility, of pure wordplay. Ultimately, then, his work might be seen to comment on our need to have expectations met. Christof Migone is the contemporary artist who has done the most to synthesize and extend the digital practices and aesthetics developed by his contemporaries and their modernist predecessors. This electrocution of spoken language is perceptible only in relation to the normative conversation that surrounds it.
Numerous additional edits might be gleaned from studying contemporary television, early film, and other media that have made a broad range of editing strategies part of their semantics.
Related books and articles
This nod to film and television, however, also reminds us that the aesthetic and critical potential of the digital edit is necessarily short-lived. If it succeeds in modi- fying the code, it loses its status as noise. In contrast then to the seamless analog edit, we might describe the digital edit as spangled.
The span- gled edit undoes the temporal nature of radio assumed by Crisell and invites a spatial or sculptural appreciation. In such an edit, elements of voice are removed from their linear flow and built into highly considered patterns that invite new modes of listening. Debates about innovative arts often describe the attempt to insert a sign of the apparatus of communication into the message it carries in political terms.
Although this formulation captures the ideology of digital audio poetics, however, it presents two problems: first, the difficulty of making physical materiality invoke social materiality—not an automatic function by any stretch of the imagination20—and second, the implication or hope that obser- vations promoted through these techniques will lead to a change in social rela- tions. Systems of incorporation seem to appropriate an aesthetics only after purging it of its unsettling politics.
After nearly one hundred years in the wallpaper business, radio has devel- oped many delightful patterns for flattening out both the information it conveys and its own material presence. This issue has been usefully addressed by other critics with slightly different emphases. For useful recent contributions to the study of sounded literature, see in addition to Sound States and Close Listening Douglas Kahn and Allen Weiss , Vinyl, in particular, etches in its grooves the vibrations of the original sound. Electronic recording and reproduction tape and radio add a stage of mediation by transform- ing these vibrations into electricity, while the digital DAT, hard drive, CD, etc.
While this line of argument complicates claims for digital fidelity, it is not directly useful in efforts to elaborate a digital poetics because of its participation in the fetishization of the real. Recognizing that semantic change is inherent to translation allows the further step of experimenting with those changes to activate the play of relationships central to an evolving digital poetics. These effects would have been extremely difficult to realize in the analog technology of his day. McCaffery notes that Bob Cobbing used early tape recorders in a similar manner to expand his vocal repertoire for performance.
Cobbing would speed up, slow down, and amplify recordings of his performances in order to discover new soundings to use in subsequent performances. To my ears, work in this tradition typically flattens out everything that is distinctive in an individual voice. The fact is, we cannot find our voice just by using it: we must be willing to cut it out of our throats, put it on the autopsy table, isolate and savor the various quirks and pathologies, then stitch it back together and see what happens.
The voice, then, not as something which is found, but as something which is written. See Belgum The notion of radio wallpaper is borrowed from David Moss, who is quoted in Migone , Works Cited Attali, Jacques. Noise: The Political Economy of Music. Brian Massumi. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Basinski, Michael. Belgum, Erik.
Smart Noise CO Innova Recordings CD Interview by Dan Warburton. September Harry Zohn, — New York: Schocken Books. Charles Bernstein, 3— New York: Oxford University Press. Burroughs, William S. The Ticket That Exploded. London: Paladin Books. Chopin, Henri. Le Corpsbis. Audio recording. Crisell, Andrew. Understanding Radio. London: Methuen. Paul Marris and Sue Thornham, — DJ Spooky [Paul Miller]. DJ Spooky, and Scanner. The Quick and the Dead. Sulfur Records. Feldman, Morton. Peter Gizzi, — Boston: Exact Change. Gould, Glenn. The Idea of North. Adalaide Morris, 74— Holman, Bob, and Paul Skiff.
Nuyorican Poets Symphony. Knitting Factory. Audio CD Kahn, Douglas. Stephen Sartarelli. Douglas Kahn and Gregory Whitehead, — McCaffery, Steve. Adalaide Morris, — Migone, Christof. Allen S.
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Weiss, 42— Hole in the Head. Morris, Adalaide. Adalaide Morris, 1— Spinelli, Martin, prod. Radio Radio. Radio series. Sterne, Jonathan. The Audible Past. Weiss, Allen S.
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Phantasmic Radio. Whitehead, Gregory. Weiss, 89— The best answer may be: you need more time than you have to teach it. Start with that assumption. Poetry that goes where it needs to go, rather than where we—in a fifty-minute or hour-and-twenty-minute session—need it to go, toward some fixed state, arrived-at destination. Somewhere here is what the poem is saying about modern culture. Its kineticism, its interactivity. You want to say to your students: think about it, and come back again next year when culture has again changed.
You want them to under- stand the digressive act of language, over time and across real space, and you cannot easily convey that in a room in a semester, given the task of teaching and learning the poem right there and then. Its purpose was to bring together university scholars, experimentalist poets, and teachers of poetry from secondary schools to grapple with possible new rela- tions between innovative poetry and teaching. I decided to explore a lectureless poetics—poetics at the end of the lecture—and thus to discern the extent to which Diana Laurillard was right when she suggested what for me was an implicit analogue to digital writing: print is similar to the lecture.
Such conditions—more time and space—do exist. I invite others to teach it for me and join them here and there as they do so. The problem of a digressive or disjunctive writing is not well learned at any given moment: my students and other learners and practitioners who join us have to learn it synchronously and asynchronously at once, in time and over time. The session would be webcast live from the Writers House. I invited anyone, anywhere to join us at the appointed time. I also invited people who were in Philadelphia or could easily travel to the Kelly Writers House to join us in that space, a synchronous, in- person audience.
There were also those who viewed the recording of the webcast at any later moment, an actu- ally quite vast asynchronous audience that continues to grow to this day. These five audiences continue to interact; my email inbox alone testifies to this daily. I have long forgotten which of these people were once classified as students.
When we in turn discussed the poem, I invited several of the poets and teach- ers who had participated in the webcast to join us virtually and in the room. What the new discussion added to the earlier discussion I posted to the course Web page so that students taking the course in subsequent semesters could benefit from that too, as well as anyone else who came across that material.
It is widely linked. Forty-nine participants were situated everywhere. They ranged from a high school junior in Texas to a sixty-two-year-old psycholinguistic therapist in Michigan and a businessman traveling in Asia, and included several young poets and two experienced teachers of poetry. Class sessions were held asynchronously discussions by way of listservs but also, about once per week, by way of a live webcast, with far-flung learners participating via tele- phone, chat room, and email. These people in effect helped me teach the poem, but so, in specific ways, did others who had participated before.
Consider the point in purely pedagogical terms: to accomplish this in the conventional univer- sity setting, one would have to describe what previous learners had learned— not typically an auspicious way of enticing new students into a discussion. The new live webcast was also recorded and became available as an additional resource.
Problems of Conversion Associated with digital poetics at the university is an incidental categorical problem that can soon become a prohibitive institutional problem. No necessarily positive connection inheres between digital poets and the academy; many—if not, arguably, most—important contributors to the digital poetry scene are productively unaffiliated with the academy. This extradisciplinary social fact in itself affords us a chance to press for changes in the way we read, interpret, teach, and write poetry. Yet for many reasons, such change has not come.
One is disciplinary fit. Where within the curriculum does digital poetry belong? Is it, as many imply through curricula, a component of the study of literature to be listed in the English department, along with the rest of poetry? The most compelling of these seemingly superficial categorical questions is this: Is digital poetry part of the newly developing and relatively well-funded IT curriculum? One way around these questions is to assert the claim that digital poetics is a new medium within an old subject matter—but that, as it turns out, marks it out as a territory nonetheless within English or literature.
The moment a set of taxonomic decisions is made arbitrary but necessary according to the way universities as institutions are budgeted , another oppor- tunity for innovation is easily lost. Funds flow most freely through connec- tions to traditional curricular structures, such as the for-credit course. These ought to be new kinds of courses, but, alas, typically, they are not. Courses in digital poetics have taken insufficient advantage of the revolu- tions in reading and learning and community-building practices that are in fact the radical basis of this aesthetic medium.
Again, a college or university course that includes digital poetry is not by any means the necessary condi- tion for the server space, Web design, keyboarding assistance, and network speed that digital poets need and crave, but the tie is advantageously real and can be reckoned creatively. This reckoning has not been as formally inventive as the digital poetry produced from the relationship.
I undertook this project with the modest—if not also conservative—notion that what we produced, after the live or synchronous interactive session was fin- ished and uploaded into a world-viewable recording, would become, like most of the literary writing on the Web, a fixed record, just there, interesting, locat- able, and possibly useful—certainly more widely available than poetry and discussions of experimental writing have been, but sufficient, done, perma- nent, and rather unkinetic.
My assumption was founded on the institutional reality I have begun to describe. Indeed, if I did alter the kind of course I was teaching, I risked formal decertification by a committee of colleagues that oversees all curricular expansion. That standard presumed I would meet with all the readers of the poetry in person, in the same physical space. Challenging the definition would require an entirely new set of proce- dures and a discrete political strategy. So for public consumption, the medium would change but not much else.
I found that I had partially liberated the reading and discussion of the poetry from categorical constraints. Although if I had to get further funding, I would have to gesture back toward the curriculum and do the dance of being inside and outside a constituted writing commu- nity at once. My modest experience with all this has taught me to want something from digital poetics that might help realize its implicit promise to resituate poetry within an institution where all pedagogical structures and most research struc- tures have derived from centuries of naturalization of the technology of the book.
Obviously there are models other than the synchronous-asynchronous, present-distant webcast interanimations hosted by the Writers House. All of these are, aesthetically and pedagogically, gift and giving spaces. Writers within universities have all along written mostly for readers who are outside the space created for the isolated community of non- readers or neophyte readers who are tuition payers. Yet teachers of the same work, including those very writers acting in their roles as teachers in the for- credit curriculum, have taught this work restrictively.
The animated redefin- ition of readerships augured by digital poetry has not extended to the pedagogical relationships that many contend the new modes of writing make possible. The interaction that I used to call teaching can extend outward in much the same way as the writing. Kinetic is as kinetic does. To get to that animated outward extension we must subject ourselves to higher standards—or at least better definitions—of what constitutes this interactivity in or through the writing.
What this means in terms of writing programming code and literal networking others are in a better position to say than I, but I would insist that there is indeed an aspect of this problem being adequately addressed through innovative programs and wider net- works. Lan- guage is generated off the page but by the time we see it, it may be back on it, the point being that, to be effective, digital poetics must be much more than transcribing an already written poem from one medium to another.
Much will depend on how and why the digitizing gets done. We must first get past the hype. We must bohemianize the electronic classroom to the extent possible. We must concede that the university might never be a haven for this work. She works for St. Martin's University.
Her poems have also appeared in many poetry journals. Her five chapbooks were published in recent years. Verses on Bird, Ms. She has read and lectured at international festivals, conferences, reading series around the world. She currently teaches at The Evergreen State College. Tim Kelly was born and bred in the Midwest, but has been an Olympian since He works in Olympia as a physical therapist, and teaches occasionally at the Evergreen State College.
Lyn Coffin is currently a Writer in the Schools for Seattle Arts and Lectures, an actor with EffectiveArts, and an experienced certified social worker. She is the author of seven books, three of original poetry, four of translation from Russian and Czech. August 17, Don Frease is an Olympia poet, writer, artist, and craftsman — specializing in woodwork and furniture design. Check out his website. The winners will each read several poems, including the winning poems.
April 20, March 16, Carolyn Maddux left her post as managing editor of the Shelton-Mason County Journal two and a half years ago and has since been teaching, editing, traveling a bit and selling antiques. A hand-printed, limited-edition letterpress chapbook, Voluntary on a Flight of Angels, was published in by Hypatia Press. Libby Wagner was born in Madrid, Spain, and grew up with her military family traveling the United States.
In , she directed the Vagina Monologues production in Port Angeles, and currently, she lives in Olympia where she continues her work as an educator. Like This, Like That is her first collection of poems. She lives in Olympia, Washington. Bring your favorite mid-winter poem as we celebrate short days, the chill, a range of religious traditions and the promise of eventual sun. Bethany Reid teaches literature, poetry, and composition at Everett Community College and is a co-winner of the Lohmann Poetry Prize.
She holds degrees in poetry and American Literature from the University of Washington. She is currently at work on a book about life in Puritan America. Judith Skillman is a teacher, widely published poet, and co-editor of Fine Madness — the Seattle-based literary magazine. She has worked in collaboration with visual artists and the Seattle Art Commission to install a suite of salmon poems at the Chittendon Locks the "Salmon in the City" project , and is Literary Arts Director for the Bumbershoot Festival. Note that this is a change of date! Christopher Howell is the author of eight collections of poems, including Memory and Heaven and Just Waking His work has made three appearances in the annual Pushcart Prize publication, most recently in , and may be found also in many journals and anthologies.
Since he has been director and principal editor for Lynx House Press and is now also senior editor at Easter Washington University Press. Howell lives in Spokane with his wife, Barbara, and son, Evan. His most recent book is Light's Ladder. Poets will read several poems, including the winning poems. These poets of the past come alive when their work is read. For the past fourteen years, Sharon Hashimoto has been a literature and writing instructor at Highline Community College. Her chapbook, Reparations, was published in by Brooding Heron Press. Deeply involved in the early second wave of feminism in the Pacific Northwest, she continues to work for justice and against war.
Her poems, stories, articles, essays, reviews and songs are found in national periodicals, anthologies and recordings and have earned grants and awards including a literary fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. Currently she serves as contributing editor for The Raven Chronicles and directs the PCC Farmland Fund, a non-profit land trust saving farmland from development. Tacoma Old Town poet Kevin Miller is halfway through his thirty-second year in public education in Washington.
December 17, This year we are inviting local poet-authors to bring their books for sale after this reading. Alice Derry writes fine and unflinching poetry. Craig Oare was completely unknown until , when he was born. Since moving to Olympia in '81, he has produced three chapbooks, including the recent Mechanical Horse Poems. He has been a frequent contributor to the poetry page of the Earth First Journal, was included in the anthology Earth First Campfire Songs, and has also been known to appear in the 4th Street Poetry Bimonthly.
His proudest literary distinction, however, is to be the brother of noted Olympia poet and artist Bonnie Jo Jones. He works eight days a week at Orca Books, and spends the rest of his time hiding in the Olympics. Her poems have appeared in several art exhibits, journals and anthologies. We hope she will be able to reschedule. Skillman teaches humanities courses at City University in Bellevue, Washington. July 23, She worked as a fulltime journalist and now writes occassionally as a freelance correspondent. She served as contributing editor in Kampala, Uganda for the newspaper Saba Saba.
Her non-fiction and poetry have been published extensively in literary journals, newspapers and magazines including Hipmama, Poetry Magazine. Jeanne Gordner has retired from teaching and parenting, with time now for poetry and life in woods and garden. Her formal education in poetry began In college. After mundane studies of Longfellow and Whittier in public school, she was stunned by the writing of T.
Eliot, Ezra Pound, and other innovators, while earning a degree in political science. Later, earning advanced degrees, she studied Shakespeare and Donne, and contemporary writers. She is grateful for workshops that make continued study possible. The challenge of poetry, she believes, is to understand and convey ones own world in language worth the reading.
A Northwest writer, storyteller, and educator, Rebecca Chamberlain holds an M. She teaches interdisciplinary courses at the Evergreen State College in literature, storytelling, and writing. She grew up on the beaches and in the forests of Whidby Island. Her poetry reflects an interest in natural history, dreaming , native cultural traditions, and the arts. May 23, Dorianne Laux is the author of three collections of poetry. Joseph Millar now earns a living in academia, but before that he spent time working in blue-collar jobs.
His poems come out of the American landscape like freight cars, carrying the voices that poetry in English has mostly ignored: the poetry of work, dignity, pain, pathos and oppression. Experience dead poets - they come alive when their work is read. Katie also writes non-fiction columns about social and health services for state and local publications.
February 19, David D. Horowitz earned bachelor's degrees in English and philosophy from the University of Washington and a master's in English from Vanderbilt University. He taught English at Vanderbilt and Seattle Central Community College, and presently works at a Seattle-based law firm as a conference room attendant.
In his spare time he manages Rose Alley Press, which primarily publishes books of formal poetry, including his own latest collections: Streetlamp, Treetop , Star and Resin from the Rain January 15, Warn recently retired from Microsoft, where she was in charge of editorially programming the Microsoft. November 20, Tacoma Old Town poet Kevin Miller has recently become the assistant principal at Washington Middle School here in Olympia - a new career after thirty years of teaching high school English. October 16, John Burgess. He has reported for weekly newspapers in Montana and Washington and taught English in Japan for three years.
He currently works in corporate communications for an insurance company. September 18, Luke Warm Water. He has been a featured poet at venues across the United States, England and one blurry gig at the Cafe Pollux in Amsterdam. Luke currently lives in Portland, Oregon where he works as an epidemiologist in the Public Health field for the urban Indian Community. August 21, Michael Shohan is a teacher and poet who thinks that listening is one of the great gifts given to us. To him, when you listen what you hear is singing.
He fled the East Coast because it was too noisy to hear. It has been important to him to find the space and silence in which to be attentive to the songs around him. July 10, Gayle grew up on the Olympic Peninsula where her father was a high school English teacher. It was from him that she learned her love of words and language. For Gayle, creating poetry is using words to create "fields of energy.
Barbara grew up in Normal, Illinois, which is, she thinks, ironic. She taught writing and women's studies at several colleges before becoming a mental health councelor at Evergreen. Now she's retired, living with her partener, Carol, their many books, and two fat cats.
June 19, Jim Bill, having set out early in life to cross the vast deserts of fiction, was soon lured into the oasis of poetry. Not only the tangible boundaries of a poem, but its music and imagery brought him to his senses. Some of us would rather dance than ramble. And so he's been reading, gabbing about, and writing poetry for 30 years. His poems have appeared around the country, and he's played a part in bringing poetry from around the country to Olympia, through radio, television, teaching, and the OPN reading series which he helped keep going for a number of years.
Figuring ten years work in support of poetry venues has been his fair dues, he's now retired from OPN to concentrate once more on reading, gabbing about, and writing poems. May 15, Don Frease began writing poetry in the late eighties and earned an MFA in creative writing and literature from Bennington College in Don has published poems in literary magazines across the country, including Rosebud, The Asheville Poetry Review, and has work pending in an upcoming issue of Sulphur River.
He has developed writing workshops that use writing and poetry to explore the self. Don is also a book designer and bookbinder, and has published three chapbooks of his own poems: Stones, Bones and Lovemaking , In Creation , and Natural History April 17, March 20, Recently, she wrote her first lyrics for a musical work commissioned by the North American Welsh Choir. Carolyn has one book in print, Remembering Water, and a chapbook on the way, entitled Voluntary on a Flight of Angels.
Originally from Indiana, Valerie Berry is a physician living in the San francisco Bay area, where she practices medicine and teaches at Stanford. Her first collection of poetry, difficult news is published by 16 Rivers Press, which was profiled in the September-October issue of Poets and Writers. Jeanne Lohmann says, "[Valerie's] poems refuse the temptation of medicine's easy drama and lead us instead to gratitude and respect for the rigorous possibilities in these humane arts.
Whether responding to a question from Rumi, a line from Neruda, or learning from Rodin's fallen caryatids, Berry makes honest poems. OPN's 6th annual legendary poetry workshop. Call Chris Dahl for details. January 23, November 28, Note, this the fourth Wednesday of November. Born in Helena, Montana, she now lives in Seattle, where she teaches high school biology at Seattle Academy. Poets in Masks, In keeping with the spirit of the month, we plan to create an environment where poets are free to explore alternate personas.
So - get in the spirit and wear a mask, and participate in the Open Mike. Poems about masks, costumes, trading places, changlings or transformations are appropriate. Greg Darms, editor and publisher of the literary magazine convolvulus now in its tenth year , has recently returned to live in the Northwest after six years teaching teaching in California. He currently finds himself on a houseboat a hundred-year-old fishing shack near Astoria, in the lower Columbia River estuary. Tomas Gayton was born and raised in Seattle, the grandson of black pioneers.
- 20th-Century Poetry!
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- Tod Marshall reflects on two years behind the wheel as Washington State Poet Laureate.
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He attended the University of Washington and besides being a civil rights attorney and poet, Tomas is a world traveler. As his "life in verse," his poetry is filled with colorful people and places. July 25, She has lived in Olympia for the past three years, studying writing at the Evergreen State College. Alissa has been writing "as long as I can remember," and gravitated to performance poetry in recent years.
She has performed in Seattle on numerous occasions, winning poetry slams three times. Her passions are politics and women's issues, and her poetry explores these themes. To substitute we will be reading summer poems - please bring some. She grew up on Hood Canal, and is rooted in the local area. Much of her work reflects her relationship with place: the Northwest landscape, and the its living creatures. She was recently commissioned to write lyrics for a new work with music by Winnipeg composer Victor Davies.
She lives and works with her husband and youngest of three sons on a third generation dry land farm in the Horse Heaven Hills. She has recent poems in the journals Calyx and Atlanta Review. April 18, On Wednesday April 18, six Evergreen students will read their poems. The readers will be Darsie R. Their work has been variously described by their teacher, Kate Crowe, as "hot and tasty," "saucy," "timeless and timely and mostly provocative," and "under the influence of Rumi. Rich recently returned from South Africa where she was a Fulbright Fellow investigating the intersection of poetry and human rights.
Currently, she is teaching private poetry classes, writing a literary arts column for the Eugene Weekly and is on the job market. Formerly a tree planter and freight hopper, he currently teaches English and philosophy at Mt. Vernon Highschool. Short reading to follow. Books will be available. Please RSVP here by email. November 15, Chris Dahl. Since receiving her first publishing credit in second grade, Chris Dahl has advanced to magazines such as Poetry Northwest, Seattle Review and Fine Madness. In her chapbook, Mrs. Dahl in the Season of Cub Scouts, was published after winning the national Women in Words competition.
A graduate of the creative writing program at the University of Washington, she returned to the northwest after living in England and Florida. She's married, has a grown son, and a malamute who still lives at home. October 18, Judith Skillman is author of three books of poetry, including Beethoven and the Birds and Storm , both from Blue Begonia Press. September 20, Barbara Drake. Barbara and her husband live on a small farm in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range, where they raise wine grapes and Romney sheep.
She has published five books of poetry including What We Say to Strangers. She has also written a number of textbooks on poetry and literature, including Writing Poetry. She is a full professor in the English department. Her teaching specialties include creative writing, Irish literature, American women writers, and environmental literature. Don Freas has worked as a carpenter, furniture designer, sculptor, workshop leader, poet-in-residence, hands-on healer and ghost writer.
Don has two chapbooks in print, In Creation, a collection of poems, and Poetic Origins, an essay about creativity and learning. The mystery guests are great poets but slightly shy. July 19, Tom Hunley teaches poetry writing to prisoners, children, and college students. In Stronger, Kelly writes about his work, his family, his memories growing up and Henderson Inlet, where he lives and hikes.
He grew up in Cleveland and contemplated careers in medicine and rock music before settling on his double vocation as poet and physical therapist. He got his master's in physical therapy from the University of Washington. May 17, [Unfortunately Micael Daley took ill flu and had to cancel. We hope he will be able to reschedule. What better celebration of April - Poetry Month?
Scofield has been a poet and essayist for thirty years. His work has been published throughout the United States in such prestigious literary journals as Ploughshares and the Iowa Review. His work has been published in England, Canada, France and India. In Dr. He will share poems about Ireland, the West Indies, and classical literary themes.
January 29, Dead of Winter Workshop. OPN's 5th annual legendary poetry workshop. November 17, Allen Braden was of the forth and last generation to work on his family's farm in the lower Yakima Valley. His poetry often strives to record the magical qualities of rural folklore, the hardships of earning a living off the land the experiences of growing up on the Yakima Indian reservation or the durable power of the family.
It was been published alongside Robert Frost's in Meridian.
Past Readers Archive
Currently he lives in Puyallup, Washington, and teaches at several colleges around Puget Sound. She has published two volumes of poetry, Beneath My Heartand Earthquake Weather, and is widely anthologized. She is currently completing her Ph. She moved from Chicago to the woods of Kentucky as an older child and has lived in Olympia for the past six years. Her work has appeared in Appalachian Heritage and Wordsmiths. She has performed her work in five states and has been reading and writing poetry for nearly thirty years.
August 18, Sharon Carter received her medical degree from the Cambridge and imigrated to the United States in She recently won cash awards in all three categories of the Washington Poet's Association's annual contest. A native of the Puget Sound region, he currently lives and teaches in Seattle. She teaches at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. April 21, Marjorie Power is the author of two poetry chapbooks and one full length collection.
Her poems appear in many journals and anthologies. Her interests include ballroom dance, knitting, furniture painting,camping and hiking, and attending the theater, especially the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He has been a public school teacher for 27 years. Everywhere Was Far was published in October February 17, Bonnie J. Nelson "Born on the Quillayute Prairie at the foot of the Olympics, who could help but write poetry?
She has published in many small press magazines. Widely read, philosophical, and wickedly funny,Bonnie also sculpts in polymer clay, plays guitar and sings. January 23, Dead of Winter Workshop. OPN's 4th annual legendary poetry workshop. Call Jeanne Gordner for details. January 20, Tim McNulty Tim McNulty is a poet, conservationist, and nature writer long active in Northwest literary and environmental communities. His poems have appeared in magazines and anthologies in the U. Tim has also published a number of natural-history-oriented books.
Mark the date. Bring your favorite mid-winter poem as we celebrate short days, the chill and the promise of eventual sun. November 18, Bill Yake. OPN's own. Recent 1st Prize Shoreline Art Festival. He's promising one new blues lyric. October 21, Joanne Riley Clarkson. Author of three chapbooks of poetry, including Crossing Without Daughters. She has been published in over 80 magazines and journals. She currently works as a librarian in Aberdeen. Donate to OPN.