Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rachel Zolf @ Evergreen, October 15, 7pm, Seminar II Building, Room A1105

Mark it on your calendars! I'm really pleased to announce that poet and performer Rachel Zolf will be reading @ Evergreen as part of the PRESS Literary-Politics Series, co-sponsored by Evergreen affiliated programs, Wheelhouse Magazine & Press, and my course Experiments in Text. Zolf will read from, among other work, her new, critically acclaimed book,
Neighbour Procedure (Coach House, 2010). Please visit the PRESS Blog in the coming days for room and other, detailed information.

Rachel Zolf
October 15
The Evergreen State College
Sem II Building, Room TBA
Admission is free

Rachel Zolf’s poetic practice explores interrelated materialist questions concerning memory, history, knowledge, subjectivity and the conceptual limits of language and meaning. She is particularly interested in how ethics founders on the shoals of the political. Her fourth full-length book, Neighbour Procedure, was released by Coach House Books in 2010. Previous collections include Human Resources (Coach House), which won the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, Masque (The Mercury Press), Shoot & Weep (Nomados), from Human Resources (Belladonna books) and Her absence, this wanderer (BuschekBooks). Zolf’s work has been translated into French, Spanish and Portuguese and has appeared in anthologies such as Prismatic Publics: Innovative Canadian Women’s Poetry and Poetics (Coach House) and a forthcoming anthology of conceptual writing from Les Figues Press. She was the founding poetry editor for The Walrus magazine and has worked as a documentary film producer and communications consultant. She has received a Chalmers Arts Fellowship and multiple grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. She lives in New York.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New Addition: CA Conrad Interview & Reading

New this week under Audio/Visual (and also by pressing on the title of this post above), a student-conducted interview & reading with CA Conrad on his work in (Soma)tics. Recorded live for KAOS Radio Evergreen. Enjoy.

Debrah Morkun Reading Report

Last night was a treat. A small crowd of us got to hear Debrah Morkun perform work from all three manuscripts she's worked on: Projection Machine, published in April by BlazeVox; Ida Pingala (in-progress and nearly done, Morkun tells us); and Hera Calf (also in-progress). Morkun's reading style is a kind of chanting, the output in lockstep with the input, where the input, or performativity of the text, stems from writing while performing particular breathing exercises--the Ida Pingala one of them. Her intonation approached chant as, with manuscript pages lined up on a long table at which she sat, close to us, she would pick up one excerpt from a manuscript, read, and then with nearly no pause, pick up the next, and read, and so forth. Where again, the reading was/is a kind of chanting, where, noted Morkun "the hope is to reach a kind of trance." A few of us, myself included, noted that we "tranced out." I thought it was the meds plus the really studied, brilliant poetry plus the way Morkun's voice sounds--itself calming--but no, this time it was not the meds

Morkun's work concentrates on the long poem, doesn't stray from the long form: "the short poem is outmoded for what I want to do," she told us, emphasizing "what I want to do," not just here but with each question she would respond to after the beautiful reading. Her presence both calming, that is, AND humble: her founding the really productive/important New Philadelphia Poets "is just us sharing in what we love to do" (no: it's a really successful, vital series that has reached out and formed collaborations with the other collectives/series' in Philly); and her work "just comes out" (Morkun, a Naropa poet, and former coordinator at the Bowery Poetry Club spends hours editing work that is driven by carefully choreographed somatic exercises, the latest performed with CA Conrad and now up at Conrad's (Soma)tic Poetry Exercises blog. 

It was a wonderful and inspiring reading of unique poetry and discussion. My only desire is that next time Morkun read longer--we all, I think, left wanting more. But of course that's often a good sign, and here, a very good sign. Many thanks to Morkun and to the students & faculty who came out for this reading, which unfortunately, landed  on the day that was the 1st day of classes of the new academic year. 

Thursday, September 23, 2010

PRESS EVENT: Debrah Morkun Sept 27 2010

On behalf of Wheelhouse Magazine & Press, The Evergreen State College & its affiliated programs, I'm pleased to announce that our PRESS: Text Arts & Radical Politics Series kicks off with a visit and reading by Philadelphia poet, curator, and professor of writing, Debrah Morkun. Debrah's visit will be followed soon after by Rachel Zolf (October). More on Zolf's visit to come.

WHEN: Sept 27, 7pm
WHERE: The Evergreen State College
Building Seminar II
Room B1105

Debrah Morkun’s first book of poem(s), Projection Machine, was released by BlazeVox Books in April 2010. She is a founding member of The New Philadelphia Poets, a group committed to keeping poetry alive in Philadelphia. She is currently at work on two long poem pieces entitled The Ida Pingala and Hera Calf. View some of her work at, and keep up to date with many of her happenings

For more on Debrah Morkun's work, here's one of her recent, fascinating poems. Enjoy. And see you there.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Zolf, Wolach & Shaw for Tangent, Oct 16

I'll be reading in Portland for the really wonderfulTangent reading series, curated by Jules Boykoff, Kaia Sand, & Rodney Koeneke. I'm honored to be reading alonside Rachel Zolf & B.T. Shaw, two fantastic poets who will give me good cover. October 16. Hold the date. Please join us!

The email announcement, from Tangent:

Tangent is pleased to host an investigative poetry extravaganza on SATURDAY, 16 October at 7 PM. All three writers use poetry as a way of investigating on-the-ground political history. New York-based poet and performer RACHEL ZOLF will be joined by Olympia writer and teacher DAVID WOLACH and local poet, editor, and teacher B.T. SHAW. The event will take place at our usual spot, the Clinton Corner Cafe. Admission is free.  

Clinton Corner Cafe, 2633 SE 21st Ave. (@ Clinton), Portland 
Admission is free. 

B.T. SHAW lives in Portland, where she edits the Poetry column for The Oregonian. Her first collection, This Dirty Little Heart (Eastern Washington University Press, 2008), won the 2007 Blue Lynx Prize for Poetry. She teaches atPortland State University and the Independent Publishing Resource Center (despite her wariness of staplers). 

DAVID WOLACH is editor of Wheelhouse Magazine & Press and an active participant in Nonsite Collective. His most recent books are Occultations (Black Radish Books, 2010), the multi-media transliteration plus chapbook, Prefab EulogiesVolume 1: Nothings Houses (BlazeVox [books], 2010), the full-length Hospitalogy (chapbook forth. from Scantily Clad Press, 2010), and book alter(ed) (Ungovernable Press, 2009). A former union organizer and performing artist, Wolach’s work often begins as site-specific and interactive performance and ends up as shaped, written language. Wolach is professor of text arts, poetics, and aesthetics at The Evergreen State College, and visiting professor in Bard College’s Workshop In Language & Thinking. 

RACHEL ZOLF’s poetic practice explores interrelated materialist questions concerning memory, history, knowledge, subjectivity and the conceptual limits of language and meaning. She is particularly interested in how ethics founders on the shoals of the political. Her fourth full-length book, Neighbour Procedure, was released by Coach House Books in 2010. Previous collections include Human Resources (Coach House), which won the 2008 Trillium Book Award for Poetry, Masque (The Mercury Press), Shoot & Weep (Nomados), from Human Resources (Belladonna books) and Her absence, this wanderer (BuschekBooks). Born in Toronto, Canada, she lives in Brooklyn.

Plus, from the ever-colorful blog of Rodney's, "Modern Americans," here's the lineup (I had to include this despite duplication, if simply for the sheer color of it all...):

Sunday, October 3 ROBERT MITTENTHAL & STANDARD SCHAEFER 7:30 PM, Spare Room, Concordia Coffee House, 2909 NE Alberta St.
Saturday,October 16 RACHEL ZOLF & DAVID WOLACH 7 PM,Tangent, Clinton Corner Cafe, SE 21st Ave. & ClintonStreet

PRESS Background & Lineup

Here's Mr. Wolach again, this time presenting his multi-media piece. I love this. If you can't read it, he's listed various forms of poetry for sale. Okay, so that's Round 1 of photos and commentary and it only covers Day 1. So, chew on that and I'll get some more ready for you. --Snapshot of Prefab Eulogies, from Lidsey Boldt's blog slideshow

With poets Debrah Morkun, then Rachel Zolf to kick off our PRESS Series 2010-11 in fall, I decided it was time to take a trip down memory lane, revisiting our large PRESS Conference, as well as listing the PRESS guest artists/activists who have helped make the series hum over the past 3 years. Here's a thank you to the organizers and guests. It's important to note that beyond some facilitation and minor guidance by Elizabeth Williamson and David Wolach, the PRESS lit conference was entirely student-organized, from panels to logistics to cooking lunches for 300.

First, the conference: in late 2008 300 of us crammed into various buildings on Evergreen's campus, and in a semi-abandoned 4-story structure downtown for the reclamation of public space public readings & performances. It was the first of what we hope to be several such anti-conference conferences over the next X years that explore various intersections between aesthetic and political practices. The 2008 conference was generative, and so hats off to the student organizers, who really made the whole thing go, spending their summer planning the conference instead of doing more sexy things.

Here's Lindsey Boldt's blog slideshow of the conference. Nice write-up, giving one the sense of what we did.
There are several other slideshows online, including a very comprehensive one by Tom Orange on Flickr. You need to log in to see that slideshow.

And here's one of two websites for PRESS, this one for guest info, list of panels, readings, etc. Photos by Shaun Johnson, website by Chris Hoard, now both graduated.

A year later the PRESS: Activism & The Avant-Garde Anthology was published thru Wheelhouse Press (one of the main sponsors of the event). All guest poets/writers contributed work to the anthology, as did many--but not all--of the activists and/or students.

Several nice reviews of both the conference and the anthology appear online and in print, but here is one that was published just recently in the journal Prick of the Spindle (interview and review).

After the conference, we got down to work on continuing the series. And now we're back in the conference planning stages, rethinking it, both in terms of thematics and finances. How will this recession both negatively impact the conference and be a major site of resistance/excavation? Since this is your conference too, feel free to send ideas for workshops, performances, and panels, here as blog comments.

For writeups on most of these events, visit David Wolach's blog HERE

Press Lit Conference 2009, photo by Tom Orange
K. Lorraine Graham, photo by Tom Orange

PRESS Guest Participants (by year):


Debrah Morkun (Sept 17)
Rachel Zolf (Oct 17)
Sarah Mangold (TBA)
Eleni Stecop
oulos (TBA)
David Abel (TBA)
Maryrose Larkin (TBA)
Sam Truitt (TBA)
Catherine Taylor (TBA)
Stephen Cope (TBA)


Rob Halpern (poetry, workshop)
David Buuck (poetry/performance)
Kaia Sand (workshop/reading)
Jules Boykoff (workshop/reading)
Chris Mann (reading/discussion)
CA Conrad (Soma(tic) workshop/public reading)
David Abel (reading/discussion)
Chris Daniels (reading/discussion on translation)

Cara Benson (performance/reading)
Robert Mittenthal (reading/talk)

Link to Robert Mittenthal's PRESS talk, given in 2009


Rodgrio Toscano (poetry/poetics theater/panel discussion)
Kristin Prevallet (poetry)
Lindsey Boldt (poetry/panel discussion)
Mark Wallace (poetry/panel discussion)
Jessica Baron (poetry/panel discussion)
K. Lorraine Graham (poetry/panel discussion)
Holly Melgard (poetry/sound art)
Jules Boykoff (poetry/panel discussion)
Tom Orange (poetry/panel discussion/poetics theater)
Jennifer Bartlett (poetry/panel discussion)
Alice Templeton (poetry/talk)
Jais Brohinsky (Agit-Prop Theater)
Nicholas Hayes (poetry/panel discussion)
Steven Hendricks (prose/book arts workshop)
Zhang Er (poetry)
Leonard Schwartz (poetry)
Kaia Sand (poetry/panel discussion)
Tung Hui-Hu (poetry/panel discussion)
Laura Elrick (poetry/panel discussion)
Sarah Mangold (poetry, talk on Bird Dog Magazine)
Jessica Balsam (TACO founder, installation art)
Bill PortDisaster Suiteser (translator, Chinese poetry)
Erica Lord (installation art)
Zhang Er (poetry, translation)
Julia Zay (film, experimental critical writing)
Jeffrey Silverthorne (photography)

Rob Halpern's Disaster Suites, Palm Press, 2009