Q&A with Susana Gardner

Susana Gardner will be teaching Found Poetics, or Appropriation as Textual Intimacy, an exploration of writing through varied utilization and use of found texts and practice; flarf poetics, erasure, lifting, omitting, centos and cut-ups. During the class, students will explore new methods of reading and writing poetry in a muse state thus culled. The class will be encouraged to upcycle vintage books, found texts and other ephemera to create new poems alongside weekly prompts that will explore new forms. Students are encouraged to purchase a used book from Ada Books with which they will creatively omit, erase or cut-up in poetic exercise and craft. The instructor will supply additional texts, in the form of emailed PDFs and paper copies. For examples of course material, check out Michelle Detorie’s Sin in Wilderness or A Humament by Tom Philips. Course runs July 16-August 20, 2015 on Thursdays, 6:30-9:00 pm. Register here.


Ben Williams: How did you decide to teach a class on found texts? What do you hope to accomplish through the course?

Susana Gardner: I love working among other works and ‘found’ poetics. This could be in the form of found text found virtually anywhere and thus be more of a flarfy gesture or through the art of disseminating found literature. This is an exercise that is reliant on process more than output necessarily and invites other mediums and processes than merely staring at a blank page. Dead authors and strange texts alike can aid our process in creation, get the wheels turning and produce strange and wonderfully unexpected creatures/poems.

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by Susana Gardner

BW: How does altering a text, specifically through erasure or censorship, change its meaning? How does the act of re-creation, even destruction, challenge the notion of authorship?

SG: There is so much to be found in existing texts— especially antiquated books hold much possibility in way of creating ‘new’ texts. The experience of working with found texts can be spiritual and meditative as well. One needs to trust and follow a certain level of intuitiveness when omitting the next word. Ultimately, new poems can be salvaged and lifted from the original texts with quite a different meaning. The process is as important as the outcome. The act of re-creation and salvaging alongside disruption and certain destruction of the original into a new work certainly challenges the idea that authorship exists in the singular ‘I’, as writers are constantly writing alongside our poetic influences as much as those forebearers are writing with us thus couching the idea of originality into the manifold and multiplicitous. Whether an original work is noted or not, we are all influenced and the circle thus continues. The art of altering an older poetic text is not new—yet can be bold and experimental in how we choose to altercate a text and this takes an amount of thought and is a gesture, sometimes ironic, sometimes a poetic tip of the hat of the greatest reverence or challenge even.

From EBB PORT by Susana Gardner
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BW: The physical presentation of your work–cutouts, pasting, bracketing, and imagery–seems very important to the experience of the text. How did you develop your style? What were your inspirations?

SG: For me, brackets are a way to measure time. The physical process of creation is definitely important to me. I always suggest that poets learn how to typeset as this gives the page the full possibility—there is so much more to the page than flush left! My ‘style’ continues to change to a certain extent with each project. I have many influences… I am interested in many schools of poetic thought and political art movements: DADA, Futurism, Modernism and the more recently Flarf and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry (my time in DC was well-spent)… but I also adore and return often to the Romantics. K. Lorraine Graham really got my literary heritages in her generous reading of my second book Herso.

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Not By With America by Susana Gardner

BW: What are you working on now? Is there any specific found text that you would really like to work with sometime in the future?

SG: I do have a poetry MS in process—the working title is Somewhere Upon a Time (that gorgeous raw) but lately I have been devoting a lot of time to my publishing pursuits as the editor of Dusie. I have erased Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets to the Portuguese several times, and often find this an interesting work and re-work with as a found poetical matter. I enjoy the process as much as the outcome and the variety the form naturally allows. Will I erase or ‘lift’ certain words similarly or will other words speak to me in the process of finding the new poem within? I enjoy the quiet meditation with Browning, and my reading and rereading of the sonnets adds to my understanding of her work as much as it illuminates meaning for my own. I have created many sound poems with DH Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers. The Victorian vocabulary is intense and thrilling to work with as it is difficult. I never know exactly where I am headed when I begin projects like this one. I never intended to write sound poetry… but the page called for it and perhaps Lawrence calls for it…culls for it. This is a way for me to keep dead writers alive as much as it is to produce new work, to keep the conversation going.

From HyperPhantasie Constructs (Dusie) by Susana Gardner

 

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Susana Gardner is the author of the full-length poetry collections HERSO (Black Radish Books, 2011) andsusana [ LAPSED INSEL WEARY ] (The Tangent Press, 2008). Her third book, CADDISH also from Black Radish Books. She has published several chapbooks, including Hyper-Phantasie Constructs (Dusie Kollektiv, 2010) and Herso (University of Theory and Memorabilia Press, 2009). Her poetry has appeared in many online and print publications including Jacket, How2, Puerto Del Sol, and Cambridge Literary Review among others. Her work has also been featured in several anthologies, including 131.839 slög með bilum (131,839 keystrokes with spaces) (Ntamo, Finland, 2007) and NOT FOR MOTHERS ONLY: CONTEMPORARY POEMS ON CHILD-GETTING AND CHILD-REARING (Fence Books, United States, 2007). She lives in Rhode Island, where she also teaches, freelances and edits the online poetics journal and experimental kollektiv press, Dusie.

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Frequency is Hosting a Fiction Craft Session!

It’s Time To Write

http://enversdudecor.tumblr.com/post/43021463376

Making Fiction: a craft studio

This class will explore nontraditional approaches to writing fiction. During the first part of the day, we will discuss craft through the work of writers including John Cage, WG Sebald, and Matthew Goulish. We will also examine some unusual journals, such as one documenting, with illustrations, the writer’s favorite kinds of light. We will look to other forms–such as the lecture, the catalog, the formula, the homage–and practice turning these forms into containers for fiction. Before taking a short break for lunch, we will watch several brief videos by physicist Richard Feynman illustrating the importance of curiosity and investigation to any creative endeavor. During the second part of the day, we will generate new writing through several short writing exercises. Besides creating new work, one of the goals of this studio is to emphasize that fiction can take an endless variety of forms.


This one-day studio is geared towards drafting new work and finding new ways to approach your craft. The pieces you’ll be drafting will be about, or inspired by, readings and prompts the instructor will share.
Instructor: Evelyn Hampton
Dec. 6, 10:30am-2:30pm
Location: 186 Carpenter Street Providence RI 02903
$25-$50, sliding scale

Sign up at: Making Fiction

writer

Meet and Greet Frequency’s Fall Teachers

186 Carpenter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join us for a chance to meet Frequency’s talented writers: Kate Colby, Kate Schapira, V.H. Wildman, and Darcie Dennigan. These writers will give short readings and talk about their upcoming fall courses. This event runs from 3-5pm September 14th at 186 Carpenter Street. There will be refreshments and a chance to mingle. There is no charge and writers of all levels and interests are welcome!

July writing classes start next week

Word Makes World: Writing for Theater and Performance

casey 1 with mic

Instructor Casey Llewellyn

This is a six-week introductory class for anyone interested in writing plays or text for performance.

Each play is a blueprint for an event and posits a world. The playwright writes language to be swallowed, absorbed by bodies and released back into space on breath, the new world enacted. In this class, we will explore the potential of text as nutrition for the transformative theatrical encounter. We will read plays by writers who have pushed the form, do in class exercises and weekly assignments, and read and respond to each other’s work with the goal of engaging in a wide variety of techniques one can to use to approach playwriting from any direction.

Dates: Mondays, 6:30-9pm from July 8-August 12
Location: Ada Books, 717 Westminster St. Providence
Register

 

What Presses Most

Instructor Kate Schapira

Instructor Kate Schapira

This is a class for students who are ready to be braver in their writing practice and presentation. Writers will challenge themselves on two fronts: by writing in ways or under circumstances that are strange but important to them, and by exploring ways to arrange meetings between their work and the world. Plan for in-class writing, mini field trips, and the design and making of three chapbooks in six weeks. Writers in any genre are welcome; we will be reading and writing mainly short-form pieces.

Instructor: Kate Schapira
Dates: Tuesdays, 6:30-9pm from July 9-August 13
Location: Ada Books, 717 Westminster St. Providence
Register

 

Summer reading recs from local authors; or, Who is Mark Baumer?

Welcome to the second installment of our summer reading recs from local writers. This time, fiction writer Mark Baumer has three reading experiences to recommend to you.

We're not sure if this is Mark Baumer.

We’re not sure if this is Mark Baumer.

 

Mark Baumer once taught a class on mathematics at Hudson City Community College, but his formulas were so abstract that no students signed up for the class. To make up for the emptiness in the classroom, Mark drew human shapes on a brick wall and stood three inches from the brick wall while he gave his lectures. A few of his lectures have been archived at: fiftynovels.com.

 

from Mark:

  • My favorite “novel” ever is one that I actually read yesterday. It is called “The Survivors”. I’m not sure who it’s by, but from what I can tell a bunch of children wrote it. One of the children is named “Bear Paradise.” Some people might not believe me when I say it’s the greatest novel ever written, but it is…so there’s nothing to not believe. Here is the opening paragraph: “At11:30am, central standard time something happened. It’s not clear what it really was. The human world just kind of ended. No one floated away or acted crazy with signs about the end. No one even died. Not immediately. They all just fell asleep. Like millions of bears in winter. Except that it was summer…” From there it went to glowing purple bears to farting trees and smoking peaches.
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  • The third greatest book ever written is “Ghost” by Sarah Tourjee. This book is like a beautiful, high-powered racing horse that never dies because after its racing career ends it begins a secondary career as an economic consultant on a spaceship orbiting a distant planet thousands of years after earth melted. ***
 
vision quest

  • If I was only allowed to read one book the rest of my life I would probably read “Vision Quest” by Terry Davis because it is the only book I’ve read that was better than the movie version while also existing in a world where the movie version was also better than the book version. The movie and book versions of Vision Quest both exist in equal parallel universes of greatness in my own brain. 

Thanks, Mark!

***Note– we did not pay Mark to recommend Sarah Tourjee’s book. It just so happens that Frequency has the author of “the third greatest book ever written” teaching a class for us this summer. Coincidence.

 

 

Three lit events this Thursday!

Providence has lots going on in the literary world this Thursday.

Unknown-1At Books on the Square, Amy Brill will read from her first novel, The Movement of Stars.

 

 

 

 

Frequency’s workshop, Genre-Defying Prose, starts at the wonderful Ada Books.

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And over at the Providence Public Library, it’s a literary Gala– info below:

New England Poetry & Art Gala

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Providence Public Library Grand Hall, Providence, RI

Please join us for a special evening of Poetry, Paintings & Music, on Thursday, June 6, at 5:00 PM – 9:00 PM in the Library’s newly renovated Grand Hall and Ship Room.  Meet and be inspired by the poetry of Fred Marchant, Stephen Dobyns, Rick Benjamin, Wendy Mnookin, Richard Hoffman, Alan Feldman, Alice B. Fogel, Jennifer Militello, Vivian Shipley, and others!  A buffet and refreshments will be served. Doors open at 5 PM for registration, appetizers and art exhibits.

Featuring Guest Poets from throughout New England, the Gala celebrates the contributors of The Loft Anthology: New England Poetry and Art.  Winners of the 2013 Loft Prize for Poetry, judged by nationally acclaimed poet Denise Duhamel, will be announced live at the Gala.

Tickets: $15 by June 1. To reserve seats, please send a check with names and emails of attendees to:  The Poetry Loft, PO Box 8235, Cranston, RI 02920.  A confirmation will be sent to you with program details and additional information.

We welcome your questions at info@thepoetryloft.org

 http://theloftanthology.com/

The Last Couscous Evah

Whether you’re a writer wanting to try out new stuff, a performance poetry aficionado, a literary groupie, or just a person looking for free & good entertainment, you’d going to wanna be at this event on TUESDAY NIGHT, 5/28, from 9:30 – 11:00 pm (yes, that’s way past Frequency’s bedtime too, but people– exceptions must be made), at AS220, 115 Empire Street, Prov.

tumblr_inline_mn5h6pbOMl1qz4rgpThe celestial pearl of RI poetry, Mairead Byrne, is hosting her last Couscous reading ever.

Mairead’s emceeing alone is worth seeing, but she’s got a great line-up of short readings/performances by people like the inscrutable Mark Baumer, the strangely funny Ric Royer, and Frequency’s own Tina Cane.tumblr_inline_mn2ehoeOGO1qz4rgp

ric royerAnd, there’s an open mic that starts at 10pm. You can read short stories, plays, strange rants, poems, etc. Let’s all go & read something at it. Come on.

http://couscous220.tumblr.com