Saturday, July 17, 2010

Innovative Women's Poetry at Greenwich

Having made some noise of late about not seeing quite enough women's poetry and poetics in the general mix of literary dialogs, it was with pleasure that I spent much of yesterday out at the University of Greenwich listening to women, or a group thusly formed as women, or interested in and/or reflecting in part women's poetry and poetics. Gender aside, the poetry was excellent. North Americans Vanessa Place, David Buuck, Jean Day ( a poet newly introduced and with vigor), and Lisa Robertson were all fabulous. Robertson showed a video made with Allyson Clay in which she reads her work against a back drop of what seemed to be security video. Place read from SOF, and Dies among other pieces and the mix was, as usual, devastatingly powerful. Her erasure piece--consisting of two minutes of silence as she reads, in her head, from Gone With the Wind, wonderfully strange. Her paper on genre is one I'll have to read again. Buuck read as Juliana Spahr which was odd and logical. He read from their joint autobiographical project which is quite fascinating in the way it uses several basic autobiographical tropes, but more as lists than the conventional--or more deliberately. The lists of ailments, for example, which is quite funny as well as disturbing as they accumulate. There is also the tease of narrative, linearity like a fin surfacing now and again. Looking forward to more.

New poets to me: France Kruk, Emily Critchley and Carol Watts: amazing. Definitely on the look out for more from those three. Watts' piece was particularly beautiful. Dense accumulations that she read as a security video looped behind her, the figures blurred. Ekphrastic in nature.

Met several new poets who weren't performing--Jeff Hilson, Michael J. Weller (he read on Tuesday and wow). More to come on all this. Just to say that it IS very powerful to see a line up of strong women--there were more, Caroline Bergvall, Frances Presley, Susanna Gardiner, Lisa Jarnot (not well, alas), Rachel Blau Duplessis, and others, I just missed their performances.

I'll try to embed links at some point...but back to work now.
Frances Kruk
David Buuck
Vanessa Place & Panelists Holly, Elizabeth...names to come.
 Jeff Hilson--finally I have his anthology of sonnets in my hand. More on that as well.

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