Friday, September 17, 2010

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

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