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Conceptual Poetry Conference: now on-line

June 13, 2008

UA Poetry Center-Conceptual Poetry Symposium

from the U of AZ Poetry Center:

Caught on Tape. Conceptual Poetry and Its Others
Conceptual Poetry and Its Others was a smashing success with poets coming from all over the map to explore and define the conceptual modes of some of our sharpest writers in English today. “This symposium is going to be remembered for a very long time,” one survey respondent remarks, “a major literary event!” (The animated graphic to the left is a take-off version of Caroline Bergvall’s Ampersand.)

See & hear the symposium here

or try:
This link offers video of the readings, papers, and various other proceedings as well as links to blog posts and discussions by Vanessa Place, Charles Alexander and Kenneth Goldsmith (but no Art Predator!)


Watch the ampersands…I love those ampersands…

Set aside some time to watch and listen to the featured readings as they are all exceptional (for Christian Bok’s, you might protect your ears)…In addition to the featured poet performances, check out Jonathan Stalling’s Chinglish project: he offers a translation of a Chinese poem into English–which when read with a Chinese accent and heard by a Chinese person sounds like a Chinese poem read in Chinese with an English accent! Also definitely listen in to Laynie Browne’s piece. The papers are posted on-line as well. Hmmn, a cut-up might be in order! And if ideas from my two conceptual poems based on my notes caught your imagination, you should be able to figure out without too much trouble where to go to find the source.
Here’s Vanessa Place’s blog post on the conference in general:

and on what she calls the “sticky wicket” of the male voice dominant UBU web anthology; comments and clarifications include one by publisher Ara Shirinyan

plus a few announcements from participants about a residency and a call for submissions:
from Graca Capinha:
Poets in Residence Programme at the 8-Centuries-Old University of Coimbra, Portugal — Application period open until 30 June 2008 (change of deadline) for January-March 2009 Residencies (1 to 3 months residencies). The 2 selected poets will be hosted at the historical village of Monsanto (sponsorship of the Municipality of Idanha-a-Nova) and are also entitled to travel grants. Please send a letter of application, a CV and a short project on the work you would like to develop with students and professors of the University of Coimbra (lectures, workshops, seminars, etc.) to ou For more information: (Programmme Poets in Residence).
& from Wystan Curnow
READING ROOM. A Journal of Art and Culture.


Art Goes On

We’ll always be eager to find or create a new experience, a new source of exhilaration. But whatever you arrive at will very soon no longer be there. And so you will need to move on, or you will need to move up. And this will have to be your perpetual practice.

Ai Weiwei (Artforum, May 2008)

The editors of Reading Room invite contributors to reflect on the momentum of which Ai Weiwei speaks, to address a range of questions his statement evocatively raises. What is the relation between the contemporary artist’s desire to move on and the appetite of the market for newness? Where does this leave the project of historical reckoning that has traditionally been the task of the critic or art historian? If artists are caught in the effervescence of the now, how do they negotiate the historical legacies within which they are embedded? Is perpetual motion an antidote to history and its teleological ambitions or an impossible fantasy that is itself historically conditioned? Is such optimism a product of a buoyant and expanding art world or a symptom of its amnesia-inducing effects?

Reading Room encourages contributors to explore how art practice is shaped by and shapes current conditions. Equally, we invite submissions which consider the character of our moment to offer diagnoses of the situation for critical discourse.

Expressions of interest or short abstracts relating to this topic are sought by 30 June 2008.

Reading Room is a refereed journal of art and culture published annually by the E.H. McCormick Research Library at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tâmaki. The journal publishes essays of around 5000 words, artists’ projects, and shorter articles of around 1000 words for its archive section. Information for contributors is available at:

The editors of Reading Room are Christina Barton, Natasha Conland and Wystan Curnow. Correspondence should be sent by email to the managing editor, Catherine Hammond:

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