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  • AD 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    As one of the chauffeurs for the &Now 2011 festival, I had the opportunity to observe and speak with several of the featured writers. On Friday, Dr. A—this talented writer wishes to remain anonymous—still had not finished his presentation when I picked him up at the airport baggage terminal. Dr. A typed all the way to the hotel, his fingers a veritable blur against the laptop keyboard. He then asked for a last minute pickup so that he could shower and continue to write his presentation, which was due less than two hours later. Although worried about cutting things too close, I fancy myself something of a dragster and so agreed to the almost impossible schedule. Slaloming along Torrey Pines Road in rush hour traffic frayed my nerves, but Dr. A retained his aplomb despite creative weaving and an impromptu U-turn due to a BMW owner’s reluctance to risk his new car on a left. Each time we rounded a corner, Dr. A’s laptop shifted from side to side. Like a pro, he calmly leaned into each curve, the clatter of fingers upon keys never abating. Yes, Dr. A proved himself a veritable James Bond of writers, impervious to threats, never faltering in his goal!

    After careening to a stop in our secret reserved parking space, we exited the car in a rush of limbs, and dashed through several buildings. When we finally skidded to a stop in front of the auditorium, I felt sorely out of breath, but no perspiration marred Dr. A’s noble brow, nor was a stitch out of place on his athletic frame. Needless to say, his presentation proved both professional and highly entertaining. Perhaps we could add a course, LTWR 007, to the creative writing curriculum and lure Dr. A here to teach it.

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  • AD 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    Acting as one of the chauffeurs for the Festival allowed me to meet several wonderful featured writers. One of the feature writers that I met while acting as one of the chauffeurs for the Festival (see my 007 story above) is a talented poet and writer who I call Dr. A, as he wishes to remain anonymous. Although extremely busy, Dr. A took my list of questions with him on his flight, and mailed his answers to me after he returned home. I hope you enjoy his answers and humor as much as I have.

    Q: Are you writing/hoping anyone’s going to read – what’s your relationship to accessibility for larger audiences vs. small nice audiences?
    A: I do not think of audiences with the word “hope” attached, at least in terms of who or what will read the work. I hope to endure and play in the process of writing.

    Q: How do you write for money on a deadline with no inspiration?
    A: I guess one does this–seems strange, really

    Q: Do writers think about demographic as they are writing a novel, in order to make more money?
    A: Who knows? I went to school to develop a complex skill set–to create a path for making work, poetry, etc. Not sure what other writers think.

    Q: Is it easier to get your second piece published than it was to get your first in print?
    A: Who knows? What’s easier? I published two books almost at the same time.

    Q: Does the digital media/internet change or impact your writing?
    A: Yes, as I use many forms of digital media for practical and experimental projects.

    Q: How do you know if you are being cheated out of a decent advance?
    Oh please–this question is strange–not for poets?Maybe– I don’t make poems for $$$

    Q: What do you know now about writing that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    A. That it is crazy to think about a first book while in grad school–usually those first books are too close to the MFA/PhD arc lame.

    Q: What is the biggest mistake or regret about your career?
    A: The process evolves. I hate this question as I am in my career, not after!

    Q: Tell us about themes you prefer to write about and why you feel its important to address them.
    A: See books–Race (look in the mirror), class (smile in the night), sexuality (get twisted in the sack).

    Q: What advice do you give writers about getting an MFA versus other avenues for finding publishers?
    A: Just make great work and real–if you’re seeking a publisher, now, you must be confident or hardheaded.

    Q: Describe strategies of building communities with writers and other innovators. How are you able to work across disciplines?
    A: Find the smart people. I look in many places.

    Q: As a writer, how much time do ou spend writing vs. promoting what you’ve already written?
    A: I don’t promote my work. I write. I teach. I travel and share.

    Q: How do you feel about collaborative work? Do you do it? Do you rule it out? Collaborative novels or poetry books?
    A: See Black Took Collective

    Q: What is the reality of the publishing industry today?
    A: The sky is blue or gray or black or not.

  • AD 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    I had the privilege of meeting Duriel Harris during the festival. She is an extremely talented poet, and a very nice person. I enjoyed both her presentation, and her conversation, and am very grateful that such a busy lady took the time to answer some questions for our blog. I am also including a question that she answered during our ride to the airport. It concerns how she became a poet.

    Q: For Expert writers – are you writing/hoping anyone’s going to read – what’s your relationship to accessibility for larger audience vs. small nice audience.

    A: I write with an imagined present and future public in mind. In the initial phase I compose without the awareness of an outside audience (anyone other than myself). Returning to the work in revision—re envisioning it—I consider how the work might communicate to and/or create experience for others. I generally imagine someone intelligent and thoughtful, someone willing to enter the space of poetry/language art, someone who wants to encounter other human beings.

    Q: What do you know now about writing that you wish you knew when you were starting out?

    A: I wish I had been aware of the degree to which relationships with other poets mattered for my own edification and for publication.

    Q: Would you share some specific techniques and useful habits to “get your writing going” to get inspiration?

    A: I freewrite quite a bit. I also read work by other writers. I’m most inspired by good/great writing so when courting inspiration I read until I find poems, stanzas, lines, phrases that teach me something, that are unexpected and draw me into a way of thinking/experiencing that I did not anticipate, that take me out of myself and encourage me to reconsider what I know and/or believe about a subject or a mode of being. Sometimes (less often than I should) I go for a walk or bike ride and take in the natural (and not so natural world). I often find inspiration from film so at times I Netflix binge.

    Q: How do you feel about collaborative work? Do you do it? Do you rule it out? Collaborative novels and collaborative poetry books?

    A: Collaboration is exciting. I most often like to collaborate across disciplines though as a poet I would like to collaborate with a fiction writer and/or a nonfiction writer to interrogate and push at/against the boundaries of genre. My most recent collaborations have been with a video artist and a master of traditional Japanese music. Thrilling.

    Q: What do you do to self-promote/market your work?

    A: I tend to share my work publicly to market it. I am also now cultivating an email campaign list and updating interested folk via email blasts. A website is also on the “to do” list. I’m on my 5th web designer/developer, though. I need to really focus on that project soon.

    Q: How do you protect your work, do you copyright it or? How and when?

    A: I tend to register copyright for poems closer to manuscript stage. Music and sound recordings, however, I register as soon as they’re reasonably complete/finished.

    Q: How did you decide to become a poet?

    Answer written down after the fact by April Decker: Said she wanted to be an engineer in college, but had a great deal to work through and get out. She started writing and acting, published some poems in a feminist campus paper and one that centered upon Black issues. When it came time to make a choice, Duriel thought that acting would force her to depend upon others and was difficult because of the race factor, not so much in getting jobs afterwards as in the classes and work at college. She felt that writing would give her more control and freedom of expression.

    Duriel received excellent reviews on her first book, and is happy with her decision to wait, and not publish her Master’s thesis, which she wrote at 23. She stated that she is very happy with this decision, as she feels that her work has benefited from added time and experience. This way, she does not have to worry about early pieces floating around that she might not now want to be part of the public record.

    Duriel stated that she became interested in performance art because there is only so much a poet can do with any given poem–only so many times it can be reworked before it starts to become boring. Although that poem might still hold significance for other readers, Duriel feels that the work must also retain immediacy and significance for its creator.

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    Tags: bravado, empathy and tolerance, formal alarm, life for life’s sake, , the new   

    Manifestos-R-Us: The Possibility of Possibility


    Gene Tanta, Vanessa Place, Snežana Žabić, Amy King, Tasha Marren

    I hope my event will change some minds and hearts about the received categories through which we usually experience the new. This event will challenge readers and listeners to reconsider received ideas about our association of the new as the good. Out of this discomfort, I hope empathy and tolerance grow since these practices have never been more needed than now, which of course is forever and in the future. 

The manifesto moment came and went in a blinding flash of bravado just about a century ago. Much given to mimesis, the manifesto wanted to show that not only art for art’s sake was possible, but that life for life’s sake was also possible. Why divide art from life? Who benefits by these divisions of labor? A little later, Walter Benjamin wondered: what is the new without the question of freedom but mere fashion? What kinds of writing become possible after we stop trying to “make it the new”? How do you imagine your freedom?

I want to invite participants to use the has-been manifesto form to tell/show/perform the has-been idea of “make it new”? These brief statements of formal alarm will guide, convince, and convert us to the possibility of possibility in writing today. How can we imagine an affirmative postmodernism in the literary arts? What is your vision for the poetic future or for the future of poetry? How does the tone of the manifesto itself (us versus them) speak to the perpetual crises of form sparked by the death of the agent?

  • vondicher 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    On “we”
    ‎…as space is never homogeneous, people occupying it end up in hierarchical “we”s – this isn’t a manifestation of a mass-mob mentality, but quite the opposite, a sign of difference. Difference between individuals, but also, again, differentiation of groups – such as the “we” of a panel as opposed to the “we” of the audience (and when you walk in an auditorium, you make a decision to opt into one of those groups, and assume the consequences).
    “We” is. The only way to dislocate it is to knowingly mess with it (for instance by sitting in the back of the room even if part of a panel).

    • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      I think you state the problem quite clearly: participation in the herd is not optional for the social animal. However, the category of “we” is a problem for those whose identities get erased by being included or acculturated as a part of the “we” genre.

      It seems to me that the primal question looking to the future is this one: how to be social (not cynical and selfishly misanthropic because it is so easy) and still have agency?

  • bzlatkov 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    Excerpts from Janice Lee and Laura Vena 

    These are a few points I pulled from the lecture: The Mad Science of Narrative

    Janice Lee:
    Experimental narratives are like the voices of many people, like ghosts’ thoughts that are somehow expressed through writing. Sentences have a way of being created on their own and the writer channels the voices of those around us. Whenever we are faced with a difficult text, we are being forced to pull from our personal context in order to interpret that text.

    Laura Vena:
    When we perceive reality as fixed, we get trapped by continuity. One way to escape the constraints of writing is to jump into the fantastic. Fantasy isn’t just things made up by the writer, it is trying to invert the things of this world rather than make up new things. In a way, the fantastic poses alternate truths that may or may not exist. Narratives confront us with our own images of reality and when you discuss something less articulatable you require more participation from the reader.

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    A Quick Chat with Harvey Thomlinson 

    Q: To what extent do you, as a publisher, work with the author on developing his/her work?

    These days most things are done through agents. The author usually sends their material to an agent and the agent will help develop that work. After several drafts, the agents will then contact us and pitch the material for publishing.

    Q: How important is community in getting published?

    I think the United States community is very important. I can’t tell you for certain since I am mainly based in Hong Kong and the UK. Here it seems that going to graduate school or some other type of literary community is very important. Where I’m from, however, we get a lot of writers who have no formal education in writing. They just decide to write something and then they bring it to us.

    Q: It must be very difficult to pick who to publish from so many great authors, how do you choose who gets published and who doesn’t?

    It really depends on what type of press you are and what type of author you’re looking at. A lot of presses now specialize in certain types or genres so that helps narrow down the selection. It is very hard work though since there are so many good authors out there.

    Q: What is the hardest part of being a publisher?

    Distribution, definitely distribution. The biggest hurdle is actually getting bookstores to put your book on their shelves. Reviewing and publishing a book is pretty easy once its written, but then getting it into the stores is very difficult.

    Q: Is it any easier to distribute now that e-books have become so popular?

    We do publish e-books but most people still go to the bookstores to look at books. They’ll look at the book in the store and then if they like it they will go online and buy it electronically, so its still very important to get the book distributed out there.

  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: corporate imagination, dreaming, moral progress, , the possible   

    We is a word that gives you meaning

    Is the possible even still possible today? I don’t even know what you mean! Not as dream, but as practice. To demonstrate the contradictions of Liberal Democratic capitalism, we occupy space and serve as an amplification organ. The beautiful social mess of the People’s Mic permits individual voices to heckle the authority of self expression. We call and respond to the future. We are a high school clique following our leader because she knows how to butter our bread. We are here because we want new words that will set us free from the limits set upon us by corporate imaginations. We is a word that gives our identity a filigree border, without which we don’t even know what you mean. I don’t even know what you mean! We is a word that gives you meaning. Americans with “fuck you” money live in their “fuck you” houses up on the “fuck you” hill. Nonetheless, we may be the most utopian category of all. A blind faith in moral progress is the elephant in every stanza you enter. We question our fashionable obsession with the new because it distracts us from our role in alms-justice. Community is not something you can opt in or out of like some wise barbarian. The commons is inside of you expressing itself through every choice you make or refuse to make. We will not go primitive nor fall through the trapdoor of dreaming. We demand the possible, now!

  • klynnftw 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: lucy corin   

    Words & Advice from Lucy Corin 

    I had the pleasure of talking to Lucy Corin after her panel Saturday afternoon. The darker and somewhat controversial themes that appeared in her reading inspired me to start a conversation that dealt with my own concerns as a writer of more mature (and often deeply personal) material.

    KW: As a writer, are you ever worried about who is going to read your writing and how they’re going to respond to it?

    LC: I think I am thinking about that more now than I ever have before. If you’d asked me that question ten or fifteen years ago, I would have said something to the effect of “That’s they’re problem! Your duty is to art!” And I still believe that to a large extent, but I think that was because I was privileged to have a super supportive family. I mean, even to a strange point where my mother would read an unflattering description of a mother that was sort of like her and not really notice that it wasn’t that flattering. Or she would only see the parts of it that she felt were… At least, she was able to make herself get behind it. And she had the same ideals, that it’s about art. It was really wonderful, but I also think that things change, you know? Families change, and their ideas about your work, for instance, can change over time. Certainly my family’s relationship to me and my work has changed over time. So in some ways, you can almost never make the right decision, because everything might change. You might do just right by your family now, and then fifteen years later, it suddenly was wrong. It’s so personal, and you just have to be… There has to be a confluence between being ethical as a person in the world and being ethical as a writer. Those things are not separate. But you also have to choose the parts of the world that you feel you have to do right by. That may or may not be your family, it depends on you and your family. It may be your family, but it may not be your family.

    (After some back and forth conversation about writing something deeply personal and struggling with the decision of who should or shouldn’t read it.)

    LC: You’re going to write something that you care about and even though it’s beautiful, some people are going to not think so. And even though it came from your heart, they’re not going to see that. You have no control over that. I would say, try really hard to make a sacred space for your writing and then decide later – after you’ve done it in the privacy of your world, writing for the person that can hear you best, some imaginary creature that hears you best and is just as smart as you and just as loving as you – after that, then you decide. Do I publish it? Do I keep it secret? Do I just share it with my friends? Do I publish it under a pseudonym? You have many options, and you don’t have to decide while you’re writing.

  • myinitialsspellrag 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , State of Mind, Vanessa Place, , Writing Communities, Writing Space   

    Q & A with Vanessa Place 

    Snippets from a video interview with Vanessa Place (
    Watch the full video interview at


    RAG: What does your physical work space look like?
    Vanessa: The primary place where I work is a small office. It’s painted a very dark, almost black, green. There’s two computer monitors. Many books and a very small-ish, overstuffed, gold-colored couch, and a red chair that I sit in. And a lot of papers. But I think the primary thing about it is that it’s very dark. For me, the more I can narrow my field of vision, the better.

    RAG: Do you have to be in a specific state of mind to write?
    Vanessa: I think that I had to learn by force, but I think that if you can skip the “by force” part it’s very useful. Writing to me is…it’s work. And you have a time that you start working and time that you need to stop for whatever reason. Whatever amount of work you do in that work time is fine.

    RAG: Which themes do you prefer to write and why do you feel it’s important to address them?
    Vanessa: I think the question would be: are themes important? If so, what themes are important to you, and how can you write about them without ever mentioning them? Once you figure that out, because those are the themes that are important, not just in your writing, but in your existence, and the more you can work around them without touching them directly as if they’re some great sleeping creatures, some sort of predatory entity that you have to live with, so you don’t actually want to provoke them, but they’re always present, so the more one can decide what those are, because what mine are, are of interest to me, but by in and of themselves, there’s only a fistful of themes that we all have, in and of themselves, they’re not terribly interesting, but what you do with them becomes interesting. So, rather than me saying what mine are, I think the question should become for people to say, “What are my themes? What are my motifs?” If you look at everybody’s writing, or their art practice, as if they’re telling you their dream, which is far more interesting than them actually telling you their dream, then you can sort of see the themes that they’re exploring, and then look at your own practice the same way.

    RAG: How important are writing communities? Should they be important to writers?
    Vanessa: You can never talk about should because they are–they are not important. They appear to be very important to many people; like hats–you feel the need to wear hats, it’s a very important thing. It’s funny to me in that I am considered to be, and consider myself to be, a part of a practice, a certain kind of writing. I don’t look at it particularly as a community, in as much as I look at it as a system of affinities. I like the system of affinities. I’m kind of anti-community in the sense that community is usually used, but I suspect that comes from…it comes from coming from a place from which community has not led to happy things. So my feeling is that, to go back to the idea of what is important to one, if it is important to someone to have community, then by all means they should have it, and they should find it, and if they can’t find it, they should make one. For myself, I prefer to see what happens around me and do what I do in the sense of making bricks, and what people do with the bricks, and what they build with the bricks when I’m done is their business and not mine.

  • myinitialsspellrag 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Steve Tomasula, Themes, ,   

    Q & A with Steve Tomasula 

    Snippets from a video interview with Steve Tomasula (
    Watch the full video interview at


    RAG: Where do you like to work and create?
    Steve: More and more I work at the kitchen table. I do a lot of drafting on the laptop–print out…hundreds of pages and just laying them on the floor, cutting them up and trying to rearrange.

    RAG: Tell us about the themes you prefer to write and why you feel it’s important to address them.
    Steve: I had a poet friend once tell me how lucky novelists were because they only have to come up with one idea every five years. Somehow that resonated because I think in my case I’ve only had to come up with one idea ‘cause they all in a certain sense work with this idea of representation and how we depict each other and the consequences of how we depict each other.

  • myinitialsspellrag 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Advice, Amina Cain, , Tips, ,   

    Q & A with Amina Cain 

    Snippets from a video interview with Amina Cain (
    Watch the full video interview at


    RAG: Where do you like to write?
    Amina: I probably do fifty percent of my writing while in bed, in pajamas. The other fifty percent, either at my desk, at my study, or sometimes in other rooms of the house, sometimes outside.

    RAG: When do you write? What state do you have to be in to write?
    Amina: I don’t really have to be in any state. My favorite time to write is in the evening. There’s something about dusk that I really like and kind of naturally gravitate towards when writing. I don’t have set hours.

    RAG: What do you know now about writing that you didn’t know when you first started?
    Amina: I think sometimes young writers worry like, “Okay, if I can’t write every day, what does this mean about me if I’m not someone who’s writing everyday, of If I don’t have a certain kind of discipline?” And what I’ve found in my own life is just sort of trusting the process and seeing that writing does get done in many different kinds of ways….there are lots of different ways to carve out a writing life.

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    Tags: , publishing, teresa carmody, writing practices   


    My last interview, with Teresa Carmody, was not spontaneous as the others had been. She kindly arranged it with me on Friday of &Now, and when I showed up on Saturday I had a tape recorder ready, because my writing hand and wrist were in pain. Here is a very lightly edited transcription of what she had to say.

    ROSE MIREYA: Well, thank you very much again for taking a few minutes to talk to me. I totally enjoyed your reading. Unfortunately because we get so swamped at UCSD, I hadn’t really heard about it before, but I felt like you were channeling the characters that you were reading, and that just makes me curious about how you go about writing that sort of thing. Can you talk a little bit about your techniques as a writer for characters and stuff?

    TERESA CARMODY: Well, I came to writing thru voice. In other words, it’s been, as I was learning, the point of entry for me as a writer, to learn about what writing might do or text might do was thru voices. And so … this project is a project that I’ve been working on for a very, very, very long time. A very long time. … I say this because it seems that I don’t know what will happen when this book is done. Like I know that I’m more interested, that I’ve become increasingly more interested in narrative, that entry point has not been thru voice, it has been thru oftentimes thru visual imagery. But I think that learning to write takes a really long time, and that oftentimes … it seems that, it seems that some writers, maybe a lot of them … maybe not a lot of them, but enough of them, have whatever projects that they need to write initially to go thru and get out of the way and then they can continue on, thinking about other things. And so, for me, like this project that you heard from today is very—it’s not a memoir but it has a lot of autobiographical—you know, it comes from personal experience. The voices I grew up with.

    R.M.: That’s cool. And do you have any specific technique for recalling those places and making them your own?

    T.C.: No … I think that … sometimes using something, which is not the case in this book, but sometimes using something really arbitrary … can actually help you hone a voice more distinctly. So, it might even be something like using a certain kind of grammatical pattern, or syntax pattern. Or, in … my collection of short stories that came out a few years ago … all of the stories play with voices—starts with a single voice, goes to two, then it’s a polyvocal piece, and they’re kind of monologues, but in the one that has many different voices, one of the layers of editing I did was assign a different vowel sound to each of the characters and go thru and do an edit where I was actually putting … a lot of that vowel sound in, which I then actually ended up taking out some of that—I like, overdid it, and then … did back, but it was like almost as if I saw these things as if you were painting … it’s almost impressionistic, so it’s like you have a figure that’s coming and then maybe you need to put a lot of red, but then maybe the red needs to be covered up. So that’s one of the elements of sound or language that you can do that with …

    R.M.: What is something that’s particularly fun about writing for you?

    T.C.: Already having written. … I’m actually quite serious about that—that, sometimes, the most fun thing is having already done it. … I really like it when you’re at a place in a project where you start seeing all of the little pieces start to connect … there’s little webs that are being made between the kind of imagery, there’s sonic sense that’s happening between different things, and that takes some time to get to in a piece, and so when you get there it “A,” means you’re getting close to being done, which is fun, getting back to my first thing, but that’s just part of the symmetrical delight, or the formal delight, in writing.

    R.M.: If somebody wants to do what you do, with Les Figues, can you talk a little bit about steps they would take to start doing that?

    T.C.: To start actually having a press? Well first of all, I think that … the steps would be figuring out what it is that you want to do, and then trying to articulate a vision, and then coming back a year later after you’ve already started doing it. … I see making a small press as kind of similar to making a piece of writing, where you could have this idea or this dream or this sort of sense, but then once you actually get into the logistics of making it … it’ll start to become increasingly clear what it is that you’re trying to do, as long as you’re reflecting on it. But it’s also really easy to do now. … I mean you can use a POD publisher and make books that way easily. But I think the thing … that we’re really smart about with Les Figues is having a really articulated vision of what we’re trying to do. And again that has been fine-tuned, but coming back to that, over and over again. … And a little bit of insanity. Or a lot of insanity.

    R.M.: Are there certain personality traits that are helpful to have?

    T.C.: No, but just like being willing to work really hard, for no money, and just being a little crazy that way.

    R.M.: So on that note then, what keeps you going to work for little or no money? I’m sure a lot of my classmates would be interested to know. I’m interested.

    T.C.: The thing with Les Figues, when Vanessa Place and Pam Ore and I started it, we didn’t really have a writing community, or the writers that we knew were not necessarily the kind of work that we wanted to be engaged with … or we liked their work fine but … there weren’t the kinds of conversations about writing that we wanted to be having, and we found that it was really—like if you go to a cocktail party … and you say like, “Well what are you trying to do with your writing?” people don’t like to answer that question in the context of a party. And so … we were trying to figure out how could we have conversations about that, and … it’s that very thing of having those kinds of conversations, and building the community. And also just—I mean, I really love the work that we publish, and seeing it go out in the world and seeing people, other people read it and get excited about it. I love that.

    R.M.: Do you think it helps or hampers a writer to have an audience or demographic in mind when creating any kind of work?

    T.C.: I think it depends on the writer, and what kind of writer the writer wants to be in the world. So some people want to …write to a certain audience and be a voice representing that group, and other people are a voice representing that group, but they don’t necessarily have the self awareness, because … you know. But I think that … one should be absolutely free to do whatever it is, and if you start writing something and it makes you upset, then that’s a place to continue writing.

    R.M.: I can see that. You’re hitting something—

    T.C.: Yeah, exactly!

    R.M.: You’re hitting some nerve, some hot spot.

    T.C.: Again, some writers want to be the head of a choir that already sings the response they know is gonna be sung when they hit this note. That’s not the kind of writing I’m interested in. I don’t want to be that kind of writer. But I get it that there’s a place in the world for that kind of writer. … The hard thing is that there is no one way, and there is no one right way. And so it’s all about, how do you deal with that anxiety of not knowing how to be, and not knowing like how long it’s gonna take. … When I started my MFA program in 2000, one of the things I kept saying to myself was that, if you practice something for 30 minutes a day, every day, you will become an expert after 10 years. I don’t know if I have reached expert status, but I definitely have more facility with language and writing than I did 10 years ago, and that’s just because of that practice. Like, whatever talent I had didn’t matter. And I’ve seen that over and over again too, if somebody’s talented and they don’t practice.

    R.M.: I think everybody in college sees that at some point …

    T.C.: But I think there’s a lot of anxiety about … what makes a writer a real writer. And so, you also see a lot of people’s bios—people are like, “I’ve been writing since the age of five!” Well that might be true or not true, but it doesn’t make somebody more or less of a writer. But I think it’s like people try to cling onto this idea of what makes a writer … which is fine, it’s just … know that that’s what you’re doing.

    • Danielmn 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

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  • revisionpoetry 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alta Ifland. Vincent Dachy. Christine Wertheim. Writing rituals. LTWR 129 (AnaJoySpringer)   

    Sharing Wisdom: Ifland, Dachy, and Wertheim on Writing Rituals 

    Les Figues authors, Alta Ifland, Vincent Dachy, and Christine Wertheim briefly dialogue with me about their writing rituals.

    Dachy simply shared that he wakes up at 8am every Monday morning to write. He explains that that’s really the only time he can write. As that time and day approaches, he is anxious and excited to be able to write. It is rather a ‘get to’ moment, rather than a ‘have to’ process in his writing.

    Ifland shared that she writes whenever she feels like it. She never forces herself. “I don’t understand those who feel guilty if they don’t write.” She explains that you should only write when you have something to write about. She says she can sometimes go weeks or months without writing anything because she doesn’t have anything to say, and what she wants to say is in the making in her mind. She feels like writers who feel guilty treat writing like a factory. “Writing is not production. The world can survive without your writing.” She advises to write when you have something to say. Otherwise, she asks, is it really writing then?

    Wertheim says, “My poetry writes itself, and I’m the conduit through which it comes.” She writes as it comes. She explained that the voice within her is very insistent, and it has become more manageable over the years. “It’s always there–and it’s never going to go away–so I don’t feel like I have to force it.” Concretely, though, she explains that she works through schematic maps. She feels like she is working on one overall project, but her schematic maps allows her to put it bits the different sectors of her project. The direction of her different sectors may change day to day, and they may be concepts for the next book or the next poem. But they are all related. It allows her to have discipline. She explains that she had the same problems that she sees with her students. She teaches them to focus on the task (bit) at hand instead of the overwhelming whole–no matter how not overwhelming you convince yourself that it is. No one, she says, can lay out in its entirety every part of a project in one sitting. “It’s a skill that needs to be learned.”

    Thank you for sharing! I hope you enjoyed the festival!–Zowie

  • revisionpoetry 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alta Ifland. Vincent Dachy. Christine Wertheim. Becoming a writer. LTWR 129 (AnaJoySpringer)   

    Sharing Wisdom: Ifland, Dachy, and Wertheim on Their Journeys to Becoming the Writers They are Today 

    Les Figues authors, Alta Ifland, Vincent Dachy, and Christine Wertheim, took time out to share with me how they became writers, starting from the question of whether they were student writers.

    Christine Wertheim started the conversation by saying that she did not attend an MFA program, but was actually got her degress in semiotics and literature. She shared that she used to be a painter. She explained that her journey in writing started from a thinking tool that she was using for a research project regarding the nature of language. Someone who looked at her work with this tool suggested that it would be poetry–something that Wertheim never considered. Later, someone suggested that she should perform this poetry; which was a journey in itself for her to appropriate how to perform such poetry. Now she teaches in the MFA program at CalArts (she’s actually the chair of the program!). Considering her journey, she noted that many people in the 60s and 70s who were in the hard sciences were writing as a form of art; and she thinks that, again, many nonartists are starting to become writers now. She became a writer through being an academic. (Wertheim was Australian born, and has lived most of her life in England.)

    Alta Ifland noted that all three of these authors, herself included, are foreign to the States, and thus do not have the “typical American experience” as a writer. Given that, she considers her style atypical in itself. She explained that she is from Romania, and they were no MFA programs there except one which was for journalism; which actually meant that those writers would be writing propoganda for the then-Communist party. People made fun of the program. As for her own journey, she says that she has known that she was a writer since she was 5 years old. Her parents bought her a puppet theatre and she began writing skits for it. From then on, her parents told he that she would be a writer. Later, a teacher would tell her that she will be a writer as well. She noted that she read a lot growing up. After Communism fell in Romania, Ifland left the country for the States. She got her PhD in French, and became quite fluid in the language. When she moved to the states, she says, she felt like she “didn’t have a language anymore”, for left Romania as a kind of exile. Writing in English was an interesting challenge for her, but she didn’t want to write in Romanian. She explains that the first book she wrote for LesFigues press was bilingual in French and English, which she translated herself. As Ifland and Vincent Dachy were reflecting on how many great foreign writers actually write in their native language, Ifland shared a side note: “Great writers do not just become great overnight. It takes many years to become great.” So be patient, and keep cultivating and networking.

    Vincent Dachy explained that he is Belgium and French speaking, but he lives in London. He shared that he was no background in literature. He actually studied Lacanian psychoanalysis (search: Jaques Lacan). During his practice, he explains, “I was writing things to clear my mind.” While he was in London, his patients would teach him how to speak English, but we would wonder, “…but how do I write [in English]?” He discovered that he like the challenge of writing in English. He explained that he though he is fluent, English is still a foreign language to him. “I like the foreign intitmateness,” Dachy shares. “I think it’s pretty playful to me.” He says that he likes how it is familiar yet distant. Assessing himself as a writer, he says, “I write to forget.”

    Thank you Ms. Christine, Ms. Alta, and Mr. Vincent for sharing with me.–Zowie

  • umbraeverborum 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: anomaly, carl diehl, creativity, failure, solutions   

    INTERVIEW WITH CARL DIEHL (“Polterzeitgeist”)

    On Thursday of &Now, after watching Carl Diehl’s “Polterzeitgeist” mixed video media presentation, I asked if he could spare a few minutes at some point to chat with me about his work. He graciously met up with me on Friday, 14 Oct. 2011. This is what he had to say, in a conversation that essentially stemmed from the first question I asked him.

    Asked why he addresses the issues or themes that come up in his work, Diehl quickly replied, “I’m fascinated with the subjects, ” and went on to say that he addresses things that he’s curious about and wants to learn more about.

    “Metaphors work well for me,” he continued; they are “a strong way of making sense of things,” for they create spaces where things can make sense. His work involves much research—is driven by research in fact, he said, which “mobilizes” the written parts of the work. This “doesn’t temper the setup” of the work, however; of his video presentations, he said, “It’s not built for maximum coherency.”

    One particular point of interest for Diehl is the “production of obsolescence,” and he challenges the concept of obsolescence in his work, looking at “anomalous ways to re-use technology.” It became clear that Diehl has a thing for “anomaly”—the “wrong” path can often lead to discoveries.

    “It’s important to do things wrong and to make mistakes,” Diehl said, “because that point of failure” is where we see the potential for more and better new solutions than we thought possible before. It is also important to work under many “creative parameters”—deliberately or not—because parameters help create problems, and make us find anomalies, which in turn help inspire solutions. Something he read once struck him, which he summarized as, “Anyone who’s not creating work that could fail is, basically, ‘in the wrong.’”

    Finally I asked him, “How did you get into what you do?” It turned out that from the beginning, Diehl has worked under constraints—parameters set by himself and what equipment is available to him—and benefited from what some would call “failure.” “I wanted to do animation,” he said, “but my camera couldn’t ‘do’ animation. So I [ended up making] videos with friends.” In the process of experimenting with those, he learned what else he could do.

    So maybe we really need to stop freaking out every time something we’re working on goes “wrong,” because it could show us new ways to make it not only right, but better.

  • revisionpoetry 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Harold Abramowitz. Community. LTWR 129 (AnnaJoySpringer)   

    Sharing Wisdom: Harold Abramowitz 

    I asked Abramowitz how he created community as a writer.

    He shared that he went through the MFA program at California Institute of the Arts. He says that motivates him to continue and complete projects that he is working on. He likens establishing community like forming a band; saying that he always wanted to form a band, but it was tricky finding people that matched his vision and tastes. He advises, “It’s good to find people you can jam with.” His experience has taught him that an MFA program can help do just that.

    Thank you, sir, for sharing your time and your wisdom with me.

  • cemcb 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

    Interview Questionaire with an Unattributed Writer 

    • Who are you? What do you specialize in?
    [Sadly unable to attribute as no name was provided]
    Writer & editor/ publisher/ teacher (of creative writing). No real specialization, but concentrate on
    fiction and poetry (currently in that order).
    • How did you get involved in writing?
    Always knew I wanted to write- a desire fueled by my earliest reading experiences.
    • What do you do when you get too many ideas, pick one at a time or work multiple at once?
    I multi-task. I MOVE of in multiple directions simultaneously. The writing time I have available to me
    (scant) demands as much.
    • What are you working towards right now-what is your aspiration?
    Getting one or both novels on which I have been working for some time published. Finishing a
    sequence (100+) of short lyric POEMS.
    • What do you know about writing now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    How many options are actually available to writers (alternative careers, publishing avenues,
    opportunities in collaborating. There was much I failed to take advantage of [because] I thought of
    writing as a solitary pursuit.

    Thank you again for your interview!
    If this is you and you want it to be attributed, please leave a reply under this post.
    (Interviewer: Catrina McBeath)

    • Anonymous 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Writer’s name = Joe Milazzo

  • cemcb 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

    Interview Questionaire with Jon Wagner 

    • Who are you? What do you specialize in?
    Jon Wagner-Cinema/writing/mod. French poetry
    • How did you get involved in writing?
    Director-MFA writing program CalArts
    • What do you do when you get too many ideas, pick one at a time or work multiple at once?
    Multiple-Then attempt at synthesis
    • What are you working towards right now-what is your aspiration?
    Finishing a book on the relationship of Buddhism to the French poets Yves Bonnefoy and
    Saint-John Perse.
    • What do you know about writing now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    How ego destroying it can be.

    Thank you again for your interview!
    (Interviewer: Catrina McBeath)

  • cemcb 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

    Interview Questionaire with Brett Zehner 

    • Who are you? What do you specialize in?
    Jon Wagner-Cinema/writing/mod. French poetry
    • How did you get involved in writing?
    Director-MFA writing program CalArts
    • What do you do when you get too many ideas, pick one at a time or work multiple at once?
    Multiple-Then attempt at synthesis
    • What are you working towards right now-what is your aspiration?
    Finishing a book on the relationship of Buddhism to the French poets Yves Bonnefoy and
    Saint-John Perse.
    • What do you know about writing now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    How ego destroying it can be.

    Thank you again for your interview!
    (Interviewer: Catrina McBeath.)

    • cemcb 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      I’m very sorry but this post was a mistake on my part

  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: commons, Conceptual writing, distraction, fun appropriation techniques   

    I recognize the need for distraction during wartime and Ihope this helps.

    22. Conceptual writing is a distraction.
    1. Fame is a clown.
    19. It is good to be a clown, unless it is bad to be a clown.
    5. We delete the individual.
    19. We need a commons of selves.
    7. You are being distracted from what you are. Stop it.
    5. You must have reliable internet service to be a conceptual poet.
    16. Bluster is not a good solution.
    4. Don’t get hysterical.
    26. Get hysterical.
    3. Do you know of any fun appropriation techniques?
    8. Patriarchy is not a good solution.
    17. Your tone is precision guided expression.
    3. Flatness is the new agency.
    3. This time, it’s personal.
    3. This is a distraction, by any means necessary.

    • Snezana 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Sweet. That does help. Send me your manifesto from the panel when you get a chance.

    • jamespate 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Why is conceptual writing a “distraction”? The implication is that there are types of writing that are not a “distraction.” If so, why is conceptual writing different from these other forms of writing?

      Or are you arguing all types of writing are just a “distraction”? And if so, why read or write at all? “Distraction” itself suggests such things take our attention away from “important” issues…

      To play the devil’s advocate, are your own poems a “distraction”? Why or why not?

      Maybe you should make a list of poems that are a “distraction” and a list of poems that are not, to help clarify what you’re attempting to get at here…

    • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Hey, James, thanks for the questions. I’m happy to respond. Conceptual writing is more of a distraction than say traditional lyrical writing because it is the hot new thing. Conceptual writing thinks it has escaped the self (and the tradition of expression) by employing fun appropriation techniques.

      Your second question is harder to field but I’ll try. Aesthetics CAN be a distraction, when it (its maker, reader, critical reception, etc.) assumes it is outside of political space. This is a complex claim because whether a thing is art or propaganda depends on multiple factors such as authorial intentionality, the cultural object in-and-of-itself (however frail such an essential ontology may be), the intention of the reader, the social construction of the moment, the institutional mediation of the moment, the geist or fashion of the moment, and so on and so on. For instance, a painter like Picasso or Bacon may intend to shock his viewer into becoming modern by shattering the figure but instead his viewer may take only aesthetic pleasure in the experience of viewing the artwork.

      This question bedevils formal purists (who demand that writers be allowed “to just make art without thinking about history”) and moralists (who demand “to hold cultural producers responsible through a kind of censorship by ethical consensus”). The best response would have to take into account the various radical horizons in directions such as authorial intentionality, the cultural object in-and-of-itself, the readers’ intentionality, the social, the institutional, and the fashion of the moment, among any other directions one might be able to imagine.

      Whether my work (the imagist ghost sonnets in Unusual Woods or the minimalist sound poems in the abecedarian Pastoral Emergency or my prose poem collection which attempts to resist the use to which the absurd (evacuated of the grotesque and the political) as been put to by fashionable surrealist writers)) is a distraction from what I am or a didactic attempt to draw a line between the wrong and the right side of history must be left up to the say so of the reader.

      As anthology editor, I plan to include work that is both formally innovative and conscious of its ethical position in the moment. I have begun editing two poetry anthologies. Immigrant Poetry: Biography and Innovation gathers the work of first-generation American immigrant poets. Biography After the Fall: Romanian Poetry After 1989 is a bilingual anthology of contemporary Romanian poetry carrying forward my scholarship on the Romanian moment in the European Avant-garde.

      Thanks for your collegial questions. I hope I wasn’t too long-winded.

      • Snezana 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

        I assumed (and, as my fave corny saying goes, assuming makes an ass out of you and me) that conceptual writing is a literary application of conceptual art (visual) and plunderphonics going back to the 20th century (60s, 70s, 80s…), so not new, though possibly hot. I gotta hit some books.

  • Scott McFarland 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

  • corinnegoria 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    Thanks everyone for coming to the Documenting Tomorrow panel yesterday. Here is the link to the narrative site styled after the NY Times: We’ll be adding to the narrative over the next few months. Feel free to visit. — Corinne & Russell

  • xizhan 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    Interviews by Dennis Zhan 

    On Friday afternoon at the &Now festival, I was able to interview three very cool people for their thoughts on writing and publishing. Carl Diehl, Teresa Carmody, and Tantra Bensko. I have summed up their answers in this post.


    Q: What do you know about writing and video producing now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    A: Mainly the technical aspects of producing video, such as where all the wires connect and making sure that video and audio feedback do not occur. Setting parameters for one’s work, such as limits on the location of a place to shoot video can actually produce interesting results that one may not have gotten otherwise.

    Q: How did you get started with what you do?
    A: Father was an English professor who was really into wordplay, and mother was a textbook editor. Always been interested with video, so ended up producing videos as opposed to writing. These videos ended up incorporating language and wordplay into them.

    Q: How much time do you spend producing your work versus promoting it?
    A: A great deal of promotion is spent during festivals, specifically festivals where the work can be well received and appreciated. Festivals also create a natural deadline which allows the work to be pushed forward and completed, so it is a fair balance. Blogging with collaborators for these works also takes up time, but is very rewarding because of the flow of ideas, which can overcome writer’s block.


    Q: What do you know about writing now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    A: That ingrained writing talent is not all there is to being able to write well. The mechanics of writing and how it works can be learned and mastered with a great deal of practice. That is the most important thing.

    Q: For new writers, what is the best way to get published?
    A: New writers should not necessary feel a rush or anxiety to get published. Instead, they should first hone their craft and make sure they can write whatever it is that they want to write. Then afterwards they can find a way to get published, either by looking at online journals or other places to submit their writing.

    Q: Has your work ever been publicly criticized and how did you deal with it?
    A: Yes, and you deal with it by growing thick skin and learning to accept differences among people.

    Q: What are you working towards right now, what are your aspirations?
    A: Finishing a novel, and getting ready to publish it. It is called “If I Could Be Her, This Would Be Be: A Novel”


    Q: What sort of message or feeling are you trying to convey to your audience with your works?
    A: These works are experimental fiction pieces, and they are about getting on touch with oneself, going beyond what is physical and entering into the more spiritual aspects of being.

    Q: What do you know about writing now that you wish you knew when you were starting out?
    A: The understanding of where books were headed in the future, with all the new formats and features now being considered literature.

    Q: As a writer, how much time do you spend writing vs. promoting what you’ve already written?
    A: More time is spent on promoting, but in an indirect way. Most of it is spent online, and promoting other people’s works, which redirects it back to promoting personal works.

    Q: What do you do to support yourself and your writing?
    A: Teaching college courses in experimental fiction.

    Q: Has your work ever been publicly and how do you deal with it?
    A: Yes, and just simply laugh it off.

    Q: What are you working towards right now, what are your aspirations?
    A: On a couple of manuscripts and spreading lucid fiction. Expansive writing into consciousness, spirituality, and questioning existing perceived truths.

  • a3oh 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

    Interviews and Conversations 

    I had some lovely conversations with &NOW attendees and would like to share them:

    Writer Robin Morrissey’s &Now project is a “critical and creative” piece which transposes the fictional character Molly Bloom from James Joyce’s Ulysses (1922) with the case study of Mollie P., a real-life woman living in the early 1900’s at a reformatory. Morrissey found Mollie P. in a nonfiction book titled An Experimental Study on Psychopath Delinquent Adolescent Women, and wanted to create a work that explores the “inner and outer,” the inner life of a fictional character created by James Joyce and the outer life of a real-life woman whose perspective is given through a doctor’s observations. This exploration is told by a narrator who has woken up to find that her “skin wasn’t her own.” The piece is about “divergence,” a “brain on overload with lots of synapses going off in different directions.”
    Morrissey waited a year before getting her MFA. One of the main inspirations for her writings are the books on her bookshelves at home, nonfiction and fiction texts whose characters she combines in her own writing, like Molly/ie.

    Kim Koga, a recent graduate of the MFA program at The University of Notre Dame, advised undergraduate writers seeking MFA programs to search within prospective schools “people who you want to work with and who will help you grow.” When choosing a school, the decision will be between “who you’re going to work with versus the prestige of the school.” Notre Dame was not Koga’s first choice, but when she visited the campus and got a feel for the school, she liked that it was “not elitist,” but “supportive” and not just focused on experimental writing or a specific form of writing. In workshops the “comments I got back were more useful and helpful since I was getting perspectives coming from different aesthetics instead of just my own.” Koga suggests as a starting point for undergraduates searching for an MFA program.
    Koga is currently sending out her poetry & lyrics essay-thesis to contests while designing and writing for an online magazine.

    Lori Emerson creates digital poetry and electronic literature, that is, poetry accompanied by all that a computer can do, whether making the poetry “interactive or animated and kinetic.” Emerson started off a poet herself and became interested in visual poetry. Now, she’s an artist who uses the computer’s many capabilities to display other people’s poetry in a new, electronic, and crucial way.
    Emerson is currently a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder, teaching digital poetry.

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    Tags: &NOW PARIS   

    SATURDAY 5:00-6:20PM “This is not a panel.” 

    TODAY! SATURDAY! 5:00-6:20PM. Room 4004 ATKINSON HALL. “This is not a panel.” Post from your laptops and smartphones in a real-world public space, sitting in blessed silence as you interact with your fellow participant observers via video projector and internet connection… until someone insists on real-world interaction!

    This also is not a panel:

  • Scott McFarland 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

    TWITTER Results for #&nowfestival SATURDAY 11:30 jdcalkins2001 JenC… 


    Results for #&nowfestival

    SATURDAY 11:30

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Thankyou Amina Cain & Anna Joy Springer #&nowfestival
    2 hours ago

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    The #&nowfestival Tomorrowland Forever has been one of the best conferences in science or literature that I’ve attended.
    2 hours ago

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Am sadly missing the last day of #&nowfestival & presentations by folks like Julie Carr, Laynie Browne, Janice Lee, Mathew Timmons.
    2 hours ago

    superlaura22 Laura Goldstein
    up early in la jolla for yoga at the pool. #&nowfestival
    4 hours ago

    mdetorie Michelle Detorie
    if my notebook could be a pet with whiskers and a twitching tail, I could not lose it. #&nowfestival
    13 hours ago

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    They like quail, they really like quail! #&nowfestival
    14 hours ago

    mdetorie Michelle Detorie
    I left my notebook in the atkinson theater at &now. It’s shiny and black and precious. If you find it, let me know! #&nowfestival
    14 hours ago

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    JP asks “what is the text being subjected to?” In transit/translation. #&nowfestival
    17 hours ago

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    Context is so moveable (re: translation) in space & time. #&nowfestival
    17 hours ago

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    In transit at #&nowfestival
    17 hours ago

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Last panel I had to leave because the evolutionary thinking was imprecise #&nowfestival
    19 hours ago

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Les Figues authors rocked it!! #&nowfestival
    22 hours ago

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    Very “cabinet of curiosities” / retro-future happening aesthetically: Collaborative Communities, Documenting Tomorrow #&nowfestival
    23 hours ago

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Mathew Timmons & Adam just did an AMAZING performance from Credit #&nowfestival
    14 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham Wendy Walker talking about Morbid Anatomy & collaborative communities at #&nowfestival
    14 Oct

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Also presenting mini Quail Diaries mixed media piece at 4:30 #&nowfestival #quail
    14 Oct

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Reading with a fabulous group of Les Figers at 10 #&nowfestival
    14 Oct

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    If only #simultaneity included the body in two physical places at the same moment #&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    jdcalkins2001 JenC
    Will sadly miss the puppet tomorrow as I will be presenting my piece at the same time–#&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    I think postmodernism might be over. But I don’t think it’s because of simultaneity. #&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    It always blows my mind to think of Kathy Acker as a student on the UCSD campus. #&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    “person as activity” #&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    person and landscape in flux (i.e. neither as foreground nor background) #&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    Landscapes frames meaning and makes it. #&nowfestival
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    Here at #&nowfestival Mark Wallace talking about landscape and the end of America.
    13 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    @anathematas talk to Jeannine Webb about #OccupySD. She’s been down there and will talk about it at our 11:30 panel tomorrow #&nowfestival.
    12 Oct

    klorrainegraham K. Lorraine Graham
    @birdsoflace thanks for the shoutout. I’m super excited about #&nowfestival.
    12 Oct

    endofdying Kari Larsen
    La Jolla is radiant! I am so thrilled for &Now to erupt tomorrow!!! #&Nowfestival
    12 Oct

    birdsoflace Birds of Lace
    k. lorraine graham (@klorrainegraham) presents on a panel about san diego/lit. at 11.30 in the decerteau room, lit. building #&nowfestival
    12 Oct

    birdsoflace Birds of Lace
    niina pollari (@heartbarf) presents on tytti heikinnen on saturday at 10am in room 4004 of atkinson hall #&nowfestival
    12 Oct

    birdsoflace Birds of Lace
    a panel on emily dickinson takes place tomorrow at 5pm in room 4004 in atkinson hall #&nowfestival
    12 Oct

    birdsoflace Birds of Lace
    the kates (durbin & zambreno) are on a panel on excess at 10am friday in the decerteau room in the lit. building #&nowfestival
    12 Oct

    birdsoflace Birds of Lace
    ariel goldberg gives a slide lecture on photography saturday morning at 8.30am in room 4004 in atkinson hall #&nowfestival

  • Joe Milazzo 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: curation, design, electronic publishing, futurity, online communities   

    Electronic Literary Journals At The Limits And Beyond: The Possibilities Of The Digital (TH, 10/13 10 AM) 

    Electronic Literary Journals At The Limits And Beyond: The Possibilities Of The Digital (TH, 10/13 10 AM)

    Kiki Benzon, Joe Milazzo, Jason Snyder, Mathew Timmons

    This panel will bring together representatives of several electronic literary journals, all of which acknowledge both the limits and possibilities of working within a digital environment, and all of which share a common aesthetic concern: how to incorporate, exploit or otherwise make use of Internet form(s) in connecting readers to innovative literature. Topics to be covered include (but shall not be limited to): digital literature in the context of print culture; literature’s relationship to information; the curation of immaterial objects; code and other forms of digital text (legible, illegible) as media; the Internet as a navigable space; online culture, online subcultures and their intersections with notions of online community; economies of scale and the proliferation of electronic literary journals; beauty, usability and perceived seriousness of intent.

    While it is exceedingly difficult and even a bit foolhardy to single out any given moment with respect to a phenomenon as turbulent in its evolution as this one, we very well may now be entering a critical phase in the history of the Internet. For one thing, we now reside in a era in which the Internet has become a historical entity. Moreover, electronic literary, possessed of it own traditions and theories of production, is being subjected to increased scrutiny. Traditional publishing houses, acting as much out of financial desperation as creative bankruptcy, are scanning the Internet for “solutions” and “ideas” with a keenness unimaginable just half a decade ago. In the process, those traditional purveyors of literature are less adapting to the Internet than they are attempting to re-engineer the Internet for the purposes of monetization, market growth, and brand extension. An official history of Internet literature is shortly to be written, and there is every risk that it will be as narrow as these established interests, and that much of what has been vital and truly exploratory about digital experiments in publishing will be written out of that chronicle. (And this in spite of the fact that the Internet is itself the chief repository of its own history.) Simultaneously, and as nearly all technologies have in the past, the Internet is miniaturizing and becoming much more oriented towards personalization. (Are we or re we not in the age of a new common-place “book?”) In other words, the Internet is no longer bound to the computer. And while some electronic journals have made efforts to creatively address this trend, many remain tied to original conceptions primarily concerned with and oriented towards the desktop “box.” Our hope, via this conversation, is both to document how electronic literary journals have contributed to our understanding of what it means both to speak and to be online, and to propose new strategies of truly aesthetic engagement with what the Internet, language and reading are becoming.

    Please feel free to extend the scope and content of this conversation in this forum.

  • junghoikim 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

    Jung H. Kim: Interviews 

    On Thursday Night, I was able to interview three, very kind, literates by the name of Lily Rumberger, Roberto Tejada, and Katherine Tillman. Here are some of the things that they had to say.

    These are the four questions I asked: (All in numerical order)

    1. What do you think is the most Lucrative market?

    2. Waht do you do to self-promote/Market your work?

    3. Has your work been criticized publicly and how did you deal with it?

    4. What’s the ideal legacy you’d leave behind as a writer?

    Interview with Lily Rumberger

    1. ” I think fastest developing market is computer engineering and computer science. It’s the artificial new frontier. Before, it used to be factories and space (NASA) now, its more about computers”

    2. ” The best way to market yourself is to at like you already know everything. I rely more heavily on the feedback that I receive from outside of the academic loop rather than from my peers.”

    3. ” Yes, of course. I try to take everything with, not to be cliche, grain and salt. Every opinion is valuable. my writing is not to please others or myself to be liked, it’s to please myself or be satisfied with my work.”

    4. “I’m stealing this, but I would love to be like Kurt Vonngurt. Not because of his writing or style but because when I read his work, he’s writing has a purpose. It is to instill a purpose, poetical importance, and instills change.”

    Interview with Roberto Tejada

    1. Advertising, you get to work with language and it has a creative element. Not so different from what I do and it has more pay!”

    2. I had suggested that his book covers were very elegantly done, he replied, “Thank you, I hand picked the photographs for the cover of my novels. I also work with the designer, pitch my idea for the cover, and tell them what it is that I

    3.”Not poetry. However my scholarship work has been criticized before. I advice is to take it elegantly with philosophy.”

    4. “Life of complexity, both in terms of richness in mind & imagination. Political presence as a social actor I have to live.”

    Interview with Katherine Tillman

    1. “Technology, I have a friend with program degree and he makes a lot of money. He has time to write and at the same time, earn money.”

    2. “I’ll use the internet, I post things on blogs & social networking sites. Blogspot and tumblr is a good example.”

    3. “Not in a public sphere, but I have dealt with rejection. Not every good with dealing with criticism..”

    4. “I think ideal is someone who reads your work and feels understood by it and somewhat of their life is captured.”

    Thank you again everyone for the wonderful interview. Hope to see you guys again during the festival.

  • genetanta 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Poetry Itentity Form Trouple Reception National Excess Immigrant Aesthetics   

    ImmigrantPoetics: National Excess Theater, Atkinson Hall *SAT. 11:30 AM-12:45 PM

    GeneTanta, Radu Dicher, Chris Tanasescu, Raluca Tanasescu, Larissa (Lars) Heinrich

    This reading event will challengeattendees and participants to move back and forth between the usualpoetry-world binaries of form and identity.

    Radu Dicher studied Physics (BA) and Comparative European Studies (MA) atBabes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, then moved to Budapest for anMA in History at Central European University.

    Gene Tanta (Unusual Woods: BlazeVOX, 2010) lives in Chicago from where hespreads the microbe of the identity crisis called poetry.

    Chris Tanasescu is a Romanian poet, author of four poetry collections andrecipient of the International Library of Poetry Award (2001), and the RonaldGasparic Poetry Prize (1996) among other distinctions.

    Raluca Tanasescu is a Romanian assistantprofessor of English at Tan Tao University (Vietnam) and a translator offiction and poetry from and into English, whose main research interest istravel writing and media.

    Larissa(Lars) Heinrich teaches Chinese Literature and Culture Studies at UCSD, and hasjust completed a translation of an important experimental memoir by the Taiwaneseauthor Qiu Miaojin (1969-1995).

    The program is now up and availableto download on the website at

    I hope my event will change someminds and hearts about the received categories through which we usuallyexperience poetry. Poetry experienced between formal innovation andbiographical politics invites its readers and listeners to live in thatuncomfortable liminal space by feeling empathy with and tolerance for theother. This reading event will challenge readers and participants to interactbetween the usual poetry-world binaries of form and identity. Out of thisdiscomfort, I hope empathy and tolerance grow since these practices have neverbeen more needed than now, which of course is forever in thefuture.

    This poetry reading will offer avenue for immigrant poets (however defined) to read their poems and thenbriefly summarize what poetry means to their status as national excess. Usingtolerance as a shock tactic, I want to frame this occasion as a discussionabout both innovative form and about the everyday living that immigrants dobetween languages. On the one hand, my frame assumes that formalexperimentation in/with language does not take place outside of place, history,or the fabric of social interaction. On the other hand, this event will notserve as platform for unchallenged claims to sincere stereotypes and essences.By introducing each reader and allowing for a generous amount of time for discussionafter the readings, I plan to spotlight the space between formal innovation andbiographical politics. How do first-generation hyphenated Americans play withtheir use of the English language in light of their bifurcated identities? Howdo immigrant writers experiment with the English language? Do elements such assound, idioms, and habits of syntax differ for non-native Englishexperimenters? How might those differences be both aesthetical andpolitical?

  • slfox117 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

    An Interview with Tasha Marren 

    Who are you? What are your specialties?

    I’m a poet. I did my undergraduate work at Long Beach State, where I focused on more narrative aspects. During my MFA experience, I was encouraged to and spent more time on sound. I’m currently getting my PhD in English with an emphasis in poetry at the University of Illinois-Chicago. I feel that my poetry really comes from these two backgrounds, narrative and sound.

    Are narrative and sound things you still work with? Have you rejected one?

    I haven’t really rejected anything. I feel that I’m better at one than the other. I appreciate the narrative style, but I think I’m better at sound and tonality.

    Do you work with any major themes?

    I often have recurring images, particularly of nature, that are at play in my work. In particular, the image of a carved turtle often recurs. I think I’m more tonally consistent in that I’m usually working with a dark and frightening tone.

    How do you stay motivated to write?

    My husband and my friends, such as Snezana [Zabie] encourage me. I also have to meet deadlines for my dissertation.

    What has been your biggest regret or mistake thus far in your career?

    As far as my writing, I don’t really have any regrets. But I wish I had thought more seriously about what I want out of a PhD program.

  • slfox117 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Interview with Snezana Zabie 

    Who are you? What are your specialties?

    I’m from Croatia. I write fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and do translation work. I got my MFA in poetry from UNC-Willmington(?). I’m currently in a PhD program for writers. I’m working on a creative dissertation exploring the break-up of Yugoslavia and the refugee experience.

    Do you work within a writing community?

    I don’t work in a formal group. I have some writing friends and I’ve collaborated on projects in the past. I was part of a group in Belgrade, Serbia during which we wrote a book together. I’ve also been involved with creative writing stemming from participation in feminist or activist groups.

    What do you to support yourself and your writing?

    I’m a teaching assistant at the university where I’m getting my PhD. I also taught throughout my time in the MFA program.

    Do you work on many projects at a time or try and stay focused on one?

    I work on multiple projects at once. I’ve always done it like that. Sometimes I just wake up with ideas for one particular project or another. I work with deadlines sometimes.

    With so many varied interests, do you do mixed-genre work?

    Not all of my work is mixed-genre. The dissertation I’m working in the largest mixed-media project I’ve done. I’m using aspects of fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. The reason being that I thought it important to deal with more voices than just my own. I used some found text about other peoples experience during the break-up of Yugoslavia. I’m also interested in the unreliability of memory and artifice of writing. There’s some fiction pretending to be non-fiction.

    • Snezana 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry, I should have pronounced my name when we talked . It’s Zabic (zha-bitch). :-)

  • slfox117 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    An Interview with Tina Cabrera 

    Who are you and what are your specialties?

    I have an MFA from San Diego State in Fiction. I’m currently applying to PhD programs right now. I write mostly short stories about dark themes.

    What do you do to support yourself and your writing?

    I teach English part-time at different college in San Diego.

    Why are you interested in getting a Ph. after the MFA?

    I love academia and being in those environments. I also enjoy teaching. Going through the PhD program will also give me more space to grow as a writer.

    What themes do you prefer to write about and why?

    Dark themes that dwell on some of the existential questions of life. Recently, I’ve been getting into more surreal work.

    Whose work do you enjoy/admire?

    Lance Olson, Borges, Beckett, Virginia Woolf.

    How do you stay motivated to keep writing?

    I try to make it a practice to write something everyday, even if it’s just one line. If it means that much to you, you’ll make time.

  • Scott McFarland 000 on 000 Permalink | Reply  

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