BARGE: Detouring the Everyday a Talk/Performance/Workshop with David Buuck

Thursday, March 24, 2011
5:00PM to 8:30PM
Room 5417

@ CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue (@ 34th Street)
free! open to the public!

BARGE – the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics – has organized several (de)tours, actions, and installations in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, investigating regional sites and spaces that are underrepresented and overlooked in more conventional touristic, commercial, & socio-political notions of place and publicspace. BARGE’s various projects draw from artistic domains such as performance art, experimental poetry, site-specific art, and psychogeography, in order to investigate the pressing political issues of environmentalism, surveillance, gentrification, and ongoing struggles over public space. Using photographs, performance documentations, writing, and performance, Buuck’s talk will guide usthrough a wide range of artistic tactics for writers, artists, and activists to think critically about the politics of contemporary space and writing.

Workshop: For the workshop, Buuck will lead an intensive seminar of collaborative writing, using a wide range of methods to help participants critically and creatively engage the urban environments we live in. Working with techniques drawn form the fields of documentary poetics, geography, conceptual and site-specific art, and
others, participants will work together to move from creating a set of inquiries to the investigative modes of research and writing that might help extend their work off the page and out of the classroom, into more direct encounters with urban histories, politics, and the experience of everyday life.

David Buuck is a writer and artist who lives in Oakland, CA. He isthe founder of BARGE, the Bay Area Research Group in Enviro-aesthetics, the author of The Shunt (Palm Press 2009), and the editor of Tripwire, a journal of poetics. From 2003-2009 he was contributing editor at Artweek, and since 2007 has been board president of Small Press Traffic, a literary arts nonprofit based in San Francisco. He teaches writing at Mills College and Bard College, and works as a freelance editor and critic.

Conversation: Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch

March 23, Wednesday, 7pm, Martin E. Segal Theatre

co-sponsored by AELLA, the Doctoral Students’ Council, the Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages, and the Poetics Group


Federico García Lorca’s poetry and poetics have been translated and creatively reimagined by generations of American poets. How can we begin to account for his legacy? Join Professor Jonathan Mayhew (Spanish and Portuguese, University of Kansas), author of the study Apocryphal Lorca: Translation, Parody, Kitsch (2009), poet David Shapiro, and poet and translator Mark Statman for a discussion of Lorca’s work and his impact on American literature.

Spring Events – Planned to Date

Events Spring 2011

February 24: Chris Kraus : Where Art Belongs 6:30 in the James Gallery
February 25: Susan Howe in conversation with Stefania Heim – at 5:30 in the
James Gallery
March 23: Jonathan Mayhew, David Shapiro and Mark Statman in conversation about
Federico García Lorca’s poetic afterlife in English translation. 7:00 in the
Segal Theater
March 24: Workshop with David Buuck
April 29: Joan Richardson and Joan Retallack in conversation
May: Revels Reading by GC students and faculty

*  *  *

TENDENCIES: Poetics & Practice

This series of talks on queer poetics, curated by Tim Peterson (Trace) and titled in honor of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, explores the relationship between queer theory, poetic manifesto, poetic practice, and pedagogy. For more information, visit the Tendencies website.

Spring 2011 Schedule:

March 9 – Christopher Nealon, Ana Bozicevic, Gregory Laynor & Astrid Lorange
March 28 – Barbara Hammer, Maggie Nelson, and Janlori Goldman
April 4 – Jack Halberstam, Rob Halpern, and Brenda Iijima
May 9 – Mary Baine Campbell, Ronaldo Wilson, and Paul Foster Johnson


The Poetics Group is looking forward to this event tomorrow night, sponsored by the Center for Humanities:
October 15, Friday, 6:00pm, Martin E. Segal Theatre
Diane di Prima
Join the iconic poet and activist Diane di Prima for a rare New York City appearance. Graduate Center Professor Ammiel Alcalay will engage her in a conversation about her work and life after her reading. Over the span of her remarkable career, di Prima has published 43 books of poetry and prose and, as per Allen Ginsberg, “broke barriers of race-class identity and delivered a major body of verse brilliant in its particularity.” She is presently the Poet Laureate of San Francisco. A two-volume Lost & Found chapbook selection of her lectures on poets H.D. and Robert Duncan will be available for purchase on the night of the event.

Staging Elizabeth Bishop’s Letters: Performance Workshop

In anticipation of the centenary celebrations of Bishop’s birth in 1911 and in connection with the upcoming publication of Elizabeth Bishop and The New Yorker: The Complete Correspondence (forthcoming in 2011 by Farrar Strauss Giroux), editor and poet Joelle Biele is developing a staged theatrical performance of Bishop’s letters. Biele and performers will present the script at the Grad Center on OCTOBER 5 as a work-in-progress. Following the performance, moderator Leah Souffrant will invite audience members to evaluate the translation of the epistolary to the performed, letter writing as performance, and the relationships between writers, editors, and their audience.

Herrera y Reissig, one century after

This year 2010 we commemorate the centennial of the death of Julio Herrera y Reissig, an Uruguayan Modernista poet who became an inspiration for several generations of Hispanic writers. His work was admired by authors such as Pablo Neruda, César Vallejo or Vicente Huidobro in Latin America, and by Miguel Hernández, Villaespesa and Cansinos-Assens in Spain, among others. His book Los peregrinos de piedra, published in 1914 by Garnier in Paris, circulated widely in both Spain and Latin America. This book was a reference for decadent style, and early critics of Herrera y Reissig emphasized his personality of damned poet. He was an early explorer of the use of drugs for literary creation in Latin America, and crafted a language that exerted a great deal of influence in Hispanic poetry during the 20th century.

Since the pioneer criticism of Guillermo de Torre early in the twenties, Herrera y Reissig was considered an innovator in the field of poetry; someone whose work on the poetic image contributed to the emergency of the Latin American avant-garde.   De Torre argued that Julio Herrera y Reissig was the first to achieve the “extra-radial metaphor” (as this critic called the avant-gardist image in the Ultraista jargon that he himself had coined to describe the new poetic reality during the first half of the 20th century).  Gwen Kirkpatrick in The Dissonant Legacy of Modernismo situated Herrera y Reissig as an introducer of the poetic practice of dissonance, leaving a legacy that radically transformed the poetic expression in Spanish during the 20th century.  Attention has also being paid recently to Herrera y Reissig’s erotic  prose —long time neglected by the literary criticism— in the work of recovery and analysis by Carla Giaudrone, Nilo Berriel and Aldo Mazzucchelli.

Homage to Julio Herrera y Reissig

Download Program

The Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages will make an homage to Julio Herrera y Reissig on October 15, 2010 from 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in room 5414. This event will gather a group of scholars who have recently focused on different aspects of Herrera y Reissig’s works: Gwen Kirkpatrick (Georgetown University), Óscar Montero (The Graduate Center, CUNY),  Eduardo Espina (Texas A & M University), Aldo Mazzucchelli (Brown University), Carla Giaudrone (Rutgers University), Ernesto Estrella (Yale University), Marcos Wasem (The Graduate Center, CUNY) and Dr. Roger Santivañez (Bennington College).

Visit the photo set at Flickr

Forrest Gander has generously provided us with the most recent version of his translations of Julio Herrera y Reissig.  Below you can read some excerpts from “Lunatic Tertulia”, and the sonnet “Sad Soul”:

Lunatic Tertulia

Jam sol recedit igneus…


In this gold crypt, somewhat shot,
A cataleptic fakir
In twilight sleep could partake here
Of a blessed Nirvana, somewhat shot. . .
Objectify an ill-wrought
Execution of thought,
And muffled rumor is begot
Like deaf remorse
From some extrorse
Diffusion of the music of a garrot.

Skies loosen their grimace, green,
And the disequilibrium
Of scorn’s satire hums,
Sick on absinthe, green . . .
Hypothetically, the sheen
In the moving horizon is spent,
And the pensive settlement
Is swarmed, they say, by a squall
As if, in the World’s thrall,
All was tenebrescent.

Already fireflies—witches
With jewels from Salambo—
Wink the “marche aux flambeaux”
Of a Sabbath of witches . . .
The velvet cypresses
Suggest a Carthusian ardor
Which wafts from your collar
In fragrant confidences,
Interjections of absences
And ring-eyed ritornellos of languor.

It’s all posthumous and abstract
And the spirit ideologues
Intimate monologues
Of the Unknowable Abstract . . .
The stupefied forest is ablaze
In an ecstasy of malaise,
And they light up that hirsute
Labyrinth of the proscenium
With a struck match from
The dark genie of the Absolute.

Its saddle hung up, the somnambulistic
Windmill metaphorizes that
A Don Quixote comes to combat,
On horseback and somnambulistic . . .
The smoke is vexed by an equilibrist,
Guignol of Kaleidoscope,
And in the heady night of dope
Savants tear open a lens
Of the eye of the conscience,
How deep! of a spectroscope.

On the watchtower, enigmatical,
The owl with eyes of brimstone
Suffers its morbid hoot-moan
Like a muezzin, enigmatical . . .
Before the omen—lunatic
Captious, spectral, denuded,
Velvety and muted—
It descends in stirless dress
Like a spider of death:
The immense night of the Buddha . . .

“Tertulia Lunática” by Julio Herrera y Reissig
Translated by Forrest Gander

Sad Soul

Everything was just so.  A lilac malaise
stirred up the illusion of tomorrow
and onto its absurd page, a callow
heron drum-stroked choppy waves.

An enormous shuddering of Sybyls
epilepsied now and again the window,
when, whoosh, an addlepated myth rolled
through the dark behind my eyeballs.

“Bye, bye!” I screamed and into the sky,
the grey sarcasm of your svelte
glove rose with my red jealousy.

A jackdaw Wagnered through wind,
and at that instant the forest felt
an infinite and complex collision.

“Alba Triste” by Julio Herrera y Reissig
Translated by Forrest Gander


This activity is possible thanks to the generous support of:

The Graduate School and University Center, CUNY
The Ph.D. Program in Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Literatures and Languages
Doctoral Students Council
Asociación de Estudiantes Latinos y Latinoamericanos (AELLA)
The Poetics Group
Grupo de Estudios Colombianos
Consulado General del Uruguay en Nueva York

May Revels Reading

This spring’s semi-annual end-of-semester poetry reading to kick off the Revels celebration was a multi-genre, multi-lingual romp, hosted by MC John Harkey. Featuring:
Ashley Dawson
Leah Souffrant
Sara Jane Stoner
Corey Frost
Margaret Carson
Nikolina Nedeljkov
Livia Woods
Rowena Kennedy-Epstein

A (Soma)tic Writing Workshop with CAConrad

Tuesday, May 4, 2010
5:00PM to 7:30PM
Room 5414
open to the public

Join the GC Poetics Group for a [creative] writing workshop!
No advance reading or preparation required.

“In this frantic, routine-driven world we need freedom from regimented (poetry) writing, and a healthy dose of walking the space between Soma (spirit) and Somatic (body). Using gemstones, trees, and the city itself, we will create deliberate, sustained physical manipulations to generate language to write.”

This workshop will begin with a short talk by CAConrad on the process of (Soma)tic writing, followed by a reading of some of his (soma)tic works. Conrad will then lead us through our own (soma)tic exercise, and by the end of the session, all participants will have a new draft of a piece of writing to work with, and time to consult with Conrad and participate in a collective rendering of the afternoon’s work.

CAConrad is the recipient of The Gil Ott Book Award for The Book of Frank (Chax Press, 2009). He is also the author of Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull Press, 2009), (Soma)tic Midge (Faux Press, 2008), Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006), and a collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined (Factory School, 2010). Conrad has taught (Soma)tic Writing Workshops at the Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery, Small Press Traffic in San Francisco, CA, and locally in and around the Philadelphia area.