Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A gathering alternative? (Note)

Taking the academic conference model as a foil, I would work deliberately against this model to provide a forum that not only offered possibilities for rethinking poetics, but for rethinking the ways through which poets gather and model their relationship to other sites of cultural production. Such a conference, while part of it may take place at academic halls and classrooms, I am hoping could just as much take place through an “open house” style format a la late-60s experiments in group process and community-based art exhibition. The conferences would allow participants and presenters to explore the following questions, among others: What would it mean to gather at an academic hall in tandem with someone’s work or living space, community gardens, and public libraries? Would poets behave differently, which is to say make different kinds of work, if they were provided with different conditions under which to work? How could rethinking architecture or somatics (the bodily interaction with built environments) also contribute to the making of a different kind of poem, a more lived form of poetic practice? If poetics does not begin or end with the poem per se—since poetics literally refers to an active making—how can we think about gathering as a type of poetics and community as a living body for which various forms of gathering provide care?

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