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Saturday, October 6 • 2:35pm - 3:50pm
The Book As Lyric Medium

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In “Experiment as a Claim of the Book: Twenty Different Fruits on One Different Tree,” from his 2004 monograph Syncopations: The Stress of Innovation in Contemporary American Poetry, Jed Rasula argues that “the vast bulk of poetry fails to take up the challenge of the book as medium.” He then celebrates some feminist pioneers of the book-length experiment—Kimiko Hahn, Ann Lauterbach, Ann Carson, Lyn Hejinian, Joan Retallack, Harryette Mullen and fourteen others—for the political and aesthetic implications of their work in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. The ambition of this reading and panel is to expand that field to include women poets working from other traditions, to widen the scope of what’s at stake when a woman poet embarks on a long-form project, and to explore the book-length poem as an important form of literary and social activism. My ambition is that an international panel of female poets will talk about taking on the challenge of the book as lyric medium in the twenty-first century. After reading from their own book-length projects, panelists will address questions like: what provocations and urgencies are suited to the book-length sequence and what techniques are necessary to sustain a long-form project? What’s at stake, personally, politically and aesthetically? What do we gain by compounding the method of the lyric with
the narrative structure of the book? How does the long-form poem redefine notions of story and story-teller? I imagine ten-minute readings by five authors, followed by fifteen minutes of moderated conversation and ten minutes of general Q&A.


Emily Carr

Emily Carr writes murder mysteries that turn into love poems that are sometimes (by her McSweeney’s editors, for example) called divorce poems. After she got an MFA in poetry from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, she took a doctorate in ecopoetics at the University of... Read More →
avatar for Shanna Compton

Shanna Compton

Shanna Compton is the author of Brink (Bloof, 2013), For Girls & Others (Bloof, 2008), Down Spooky (Open Book Award Winner, Winnow, 2005), and several chapbooks. Current projects include The Hazard Cycle, a book-length speculative poem, and Creature Sounds Fade, a poetry collection... Read More →

Jennifer Firestone

Assistant Professor of Literary Studies, Eugene Lang College
Jennifer Firestone is the author of five books of poetry and four chapbooks including Story (UDP), Ten, (BlazeVOX [books]), Gates & Fields (Belladonna* Collaborative), Swimming Pool (DoubleCross Press), Flashes (Shearsman Books), Holiday (Shearsman Books), Waves (Portable Press at... Read More →

Catie Rosemurgy

College of New Jersey
Catie Rosemurgy’s poetry collections include The Stranger Manual (2010) and My Favorite Apocalypse (2001). Her poems have been featured in the anthologies Isn’t It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Young American Poets (2004), Poetry 30 (2005), and Best American Poetry (1997).Her... Read More →

Sandra Simonds

Associate Professor of English and Humanities, Thomas University
Sandra Simonds is the author of six books of poetry: Orlando, (Wave Books, forthcoming in 2018), Further Problems with Pleasure, winner of the 2015 Akron Poetry Prize from the University of Akron Press, Steal It Back (Saturnalia Books, 2015), The Sonnets (Bloof Books, 2014), Mother... Read More →

Saturday October 6, 2018 2:35pm - 3:50pm EDT
131 DeBartolo Hall