a workshop developed and taught by Jennifer Scappettone at the University of Chicago, Spring 2010 and Winter 2014

Poetry Of & Off the Page

(graduate and undergraduate)

Is there a place for poetry in a society in which reading has been declared dead—where at the very least, reading threatens to be replaced by scanning? In this workshop/laboratory, we will explore material whose response is a delirious yes—poetry that revels in charging the confines of the page and book. Exposure to an archive of modernist visual and sound poetry, artists' books, contemporary installation and performance works, and relevant theories of media dislodgment will help us compose our own answers to the (old) question: what forms are poems obliged or inspired to take as language goes viral, in the face of total information, digitization, and post-literary culture?  Readings and viewings in 20th- and 21st-century poetry and poetics, visits to local writing-arts collections, and class visits by local artists will help us generate our own works.  Students will complete weekly assignments across media, and engage with the writing of their peers formally, while working toward a culminating piece in a medium of their choice: this final piece can take the form of a chapbook, performance, installation, or other pertinent channel.

Books for purchase at Seminary Co-Op:

A Book of the Book, ed. Jerome Rothenberg and Steve Clay

The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945-1985, ed. Kevin Killian and David Brazil

Meddle English, by Caroline Bergvall

TwERK, by LaTasha N. Nevada Diggs

PLUS e-reserves, updated as the quarter progresses, and texts linked to syllabus

Many other reading assignments and links will be posted to the Google groups forum and to Chalk.


STUDENT WEBSITES, ongoing, for Winter 2014:

Lorenzo Conte: http://lorenzopoems.blogspot.com/

Rebecca Elizabeth Edwards: http://rebeccaelizabethedwards.wordpress.com/

Katryce Lassle: http://surrrealisms.tumblr.com/

Cassie Moy: http://cassiemoy.com/blog/

Theodosia Rossi: http://everyphantomwouldbecome.wordpress.com/

Lauren Schachter: http://laschachter.com/

Robert Eric Shoemaker: http://lunargravel.wordpress.com/

Hugh Sillitoe: http://sillitoepoetryofandoffthepage.wordpress.com/