Events 2008

Events that we organized or co-sponsored in 2008.

David Trinidad: keynote address at the Spring ESA conference.

March 8th: The CUNY GC Poetics Group and Vision Fest presented Jazz Poetry at the Yippie Museum: Steve Dalachinsky performed along with Jazz Poetry ensemble Frantic Turtle, with Jake Marmer, plus, onstage discussion of great recordings of poetry and music featuring Jack Kerouac, The Last Poets, Nikki Giovanni, David Amram, Dizzy Gillespie, Amiri Baraka, and more, led by Hank Williams, Christine Timm, and Corey Frost. Saturday, March 8th, 2008, at 8 pm, at the Yippie Museum (9 Bleecker Street, just west of Bowery, New York, NY).

Carla Harryman: we co-sponsored, with Belladonna Books and the Centre for Humanities, a reading and talk by .

We were involved in a reading and talk by the GC’s own Meena Alexander on the occasion of her new book.

A talk by Wafa’a Muhammed, on nationalism and war in Arab and American women’s poetry.


A Time for Prose: Subjectivity and the Present in Experimental Narrative Writing

In “The Sutured Subject,” a new essay from the acclaimed novelist Gail Scott, we are given a clear sense of the predicament of experimental narrative writing today: “Virginia Woolf said nearly a century ago that new sentences were needed to contain new stories,” we are reminded. But at the same time, Scott says, “so many good stories today seem told in the mode of yesterday’s news.”

Playing a key role in Scott’s essay is Walter Benjamin’s angel of history, forever propelled forward while gazing back at the past, and employed here to illuminate a critical issue for writers of sentences: subjectivity. “The sentence, like the angel, expresses both a glancing back, a summary, and, if allowed to play, to torque, to break, in shape and in relation, a ride over the dynamic present. Crucial to this operation of expressing jetztzeit in prose is the work of subverting the singular writing subject—the angel is both subject and object—allowing in other voices intervening from both the past and the present.”
A Time for Prose, a special event sponsored by the CUNY Graduate Center Poetics Group, will address the present of avant-garde prose, along with essential related questions: why experimental prose seems eternally suspended between narrative and language, between affect and the social, between history and the present. Montreal novelist and essayist Gail Scott will present “The Sutured Subject,” followed by responses from New York writers Douglas A. Martin and Rachel Levitsky. The conversation will address the influences on contemporary prose of such writers as Victor Shklovsky, Kathy Acker, Renée Gladman, Taylor Brady, the New Narrative group (Robert Glück, Camille Roy, Dodie Bellamy and Kevin Killian), and the Language poets.

Friday, November 14th, 6 pm – 8 pm

The CUNY Graduate Center. 365 Fifth Avenue @ 34th Street, New York NY. Room 9206


December 12: Performance of Sylvia Plath’s “Three Women”

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