The 95 Cent Skool is a 6 day long experimental seminar that will be offered in Oakland, California, July 26-31, 2010. It is convened by Joshua Clover and Juliana Spahr. It will explore the possibilities of poetry writing as part of a larger social practice, at a distance from the economic and professional expectations of institutions. We believe a dozen people sitting around a table can’t ruin poetry, but that costs, professional context, mythologies of individual genius, and client/service-based models can — and in our own experiences teaching in pay-to-play writing programs, often do.
Our concerns in these six days begin with the assumption that poetry has a role to play in the larger political and intellectual sphere of contemporary culture, and that any poetry which subtracts itself from such engagements is no longer of interest. “Social poetics” is not a settled category, and does not necessarily refer to poetry espousing a social vision. It simply assumes that the basis of poetry is not personal expression or the truth of any given individual, but shared social struggle.
The 6 days will feature:
• Morning discussion groups lead by Juliana and Joshua
• Two guest speakers: one on the political economy and one on ecology
• Afternoon group and/or collaborative writing sessions
• Dinners and drinks at a nearby bar
The 6 days will not feature:
• Workshops led by a “master poet”
• Agents or editors who will advise your work into publication
• A Richard Wilbur Celebration Night
• Instruction in reciting poetry to bring out the emotional content of the poem
The final program will be available later in the Spring.
Each participant will be asked to contribute up to 1% of annual gross income as their 95 cents exclusively towards operating expenses. The workshop leaders and as many other organizers as possible will donate their time. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Email us if you’ve got questions about how much you can pay. We will also help in finding free housing for any participants in need.
The program is open to any interested participant with any level of prior engagement with poetry. This program is not affiliated with any institution of higher education and no transferrable institutional credit will be offered. There is no application fee, but space is limited. Please send a note indicating interest and experience to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please feel encouraged to re/post this listing to your blog or otherwise redistribute. If you would like to receive further information about the 95 Cent Skool, please email the address above, or join the 95 Cent Skool facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=300963159304&ref=mf
The 95 Cent Skool will happen with the support of Small Press Traffic and ‘A ‘A Arts.
Thank you very much,
the 95¢ Skoolers —
Poetic Practice Reading Group
6.15 – 7.30 pm
International Building, Egham
Monday 1st February 2010
‘writing nonlocation location’ : creating queer space in poetic
I’m going to begin by talking about Bruce Boone’s essay ‘Gay Language
as Political Praxis: The Poetry of Frank O’Hara’. I want to examine
Boone’s reading of O’Hara – particularly concepts of ‘competing
language-cultural codes’, marginalised communities, proximity and
low/derided culture – and discuss the function of ‘gay language’ in
I want to use these concepts as a starting point for thinking about
contemporary uses of ‘queer language’ by looking at a recent issue of
EOAGH dedicated to the subject. I will be looking closely at kari
edwards’ editorial statement, and the poetry of Abigail Child and Amy
King included in the issue.
I then want to present some of my own recent work, and discuss my
practice in relation to the ideas raised. I particularly want to focus
on forms of queer space (proximity, disorientation, liminality,
occupation, subculture) which both influence and are produced by queer
texts, and will be contextualising this by referring to extracts from
Sara Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology.
The Bruce Boone essay is here:
And the EOAGH Queering Language issue is here:
Extracts from Ahmed’s Queer Phenomenology are here:
Biography: Sophie Robinson has an MA in Poetic Practice from Royal
Holloway. She is currently completing a practice-based PhD on queer
time and space in experimental poetic practice. Her poetry has
appeared in the anthologies The Reality Street Book of Sonnets (Reality
Street, 2008) and Voice Recognition: 21 Poets for the 21st Century
(Bloodaxe, 2009). Her first book, a, was published by Les Figues press
in 2009, and she has a chapbook forthcoming from Oystercatcher in
Spring 2010. She currently lives and works in London.
Here it is!
We have finally put press free press activities onto a website.
It would be great if you could have a look and let people know!
We will be updating regularly. Feedback welcome!
press free press
Several points I touched on in the lectures are covered here.
The website has more:
Once we get back from Frankfurt, we’d like to see you on morning talk shows like the “Today” show and “The View,” so please get yourself booked on them and keep us “in the loop.” If I’m not here—which I won’t be, since after the book fair I go on vacation for two weeks—just tell Jenni, my assistant, when she gets back from jury duty.
Remember in your blog to tabskim your readers’ comments. You can use Twitter, Chitt-chaTT, or Nit-Pickr. When you reply to comments, try to post at least one photo per hour of you doing everyday tasks around the house, such as answering comments and posting photos. Please make sure they’re pre-scorched. Let me know, when I get back from Retreat a week after my vacation, if self-surging is a problem.
Very funny. In a painful way. [AR]
There’s an interesting new blog called Daily Routines that sets out just how writers (living and dead, plus other artists and ‘interesting people’) go about the business of organising their working days. Here’s Kafka‘s punishing routine:
Promoted to the position of chief clerk at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute, [Kafka] was now on the one-shift system, 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM. And then what? Lunch until 3:30, then sleep until 7:30, then exercises, then a family dinner. After which he started work around 11 PM (letter- and diary-writing took up at least an hour a day, and more usually two), and then “depending on my strength, inclination, and luck, until one, two, or three o’clock, once even till six in the morning.” Then “every imaginable effort to go to sleep,” as he fitfully rested before leaving to go to the office once more. This routine left him permanently on the verge of collapse
Makes me tired just to read it. Toni Morrison got into the habit of starting writing before dawn when she had small children, and has stuck with it. It helped her net a Nobel prize, after all, so there may be something in it. She has some specific advice for creative writing students.
I tell my students one of the most important things they need to know is when they are at their best, creatively. They need to ask themselves, What does the ideal room look like? Is there music? Is there silence? Is there chaos outside or is there serenity outside? What do I need in order to release my imagination?
And here’s John Updike answering questions about his writing routine, and confessing his inability to get off the horse:
You’ve said that it was fairly easy to write the Rabbit books. Do you write methodically? Do you have a schedule that you stick to?
Since I’ve gone to some trouble not to teach, and not to have any other employment, I have no reason not to go to my desk after breakfast and work there until lunch. So I work three or four hours in the morning, and it’s not all covering blank paper with beautiful phrases. You begin by answering a letter or two. There’s a lot of junk in your life. There’s a letter. And most people have junk in their lives but I try to give about three hours to the project at hand and to move it along. There’s a danger if you don’t move it along steadily that you’re going to forget what it’s about, so you must keep in touch with it I figure. So once embarked, yes, I do try to stick to a schedule. I’ve been maintaining this schedule off and on — well, really since I moved up to Ipswich in ’57. It’s a long time to be doing one thing. I don’t know how to retire. I don’t know how to get off the horse, though. I still like to do it. I still love books coming out. I love the smell of glue and the shiny look of the jacket and the type, and to see your own scribbles turned into more or less impeccable type. It’s still a great thrill for me, so I will probably persevere a little longer, but I do think maybe the time has come for me to be a little less compulsive, and maybe the book-a-year technique which has been basically the way I’ve operated.
We’ve spoken to a number of writers who said they wrote a certain number of pages every day. There’s a lot to be said for having a routine you can’t run away from.
Right. It saves you from giving up.
Wise words there: don’t give up. [AR]
Dear third year creative writers,
Just a reminder that you need to contact us to arrange a tutorial to discuss your essay and also your potential plans for next term. The groups have been assigned and you should contact the member of staff named for your group (see below). If you have already spoken to one of us then that is fine …otherwise check to see when our office hours are. Mine (Dell) is 2-3 on Monday and I saw some of you yesterday. There is a sign up sheet on my door for other times.
I will also be running two short seminars this week and next to discuss plans for next term.
Week 10 : 10am – 11am – Seminar to Discuss Term 2 Projects — Group 1, 2
Week 11; 10am – 11am – Seminar to Discuss Term 2 Projects — Group 3, 4
Tutorials (Weeks 10-11)
This is advance warning that there won’t be a lecture on the CW3100 Creative Industries course this coming Wednesday … although there will still be the seminar (if you’re in that group) and presentations. [AR]