While modern readers typically associate poets with strait-laced “bookishness,” erasing, cutting, and reworking the medium on which poems are published has been a longstanding if elusive tradition in creative practice. This course is about what happens when poets experiment with techniques borrowed from visual art, digital texts, and performance to explore the limits of poetry’s materials. Starting with the printed page itself—artist’s books, stitched books, hand-erased works—we’ll chart a novel history of avant-garde poetry that has located its object somewhere between page and screen, material and immaterial. We’ll also attend two unusual performances at UMS along the way, including one using 3D immersive audio, to see how experiments in other media can influence the forms and structures of poetry.
Readings may include works by Jen Bervin, Claudia Rankine, Amaranth Borsuk, Srikanth Reddy, Mary Ruefle, Marcel Broodthaers, Amy Sara Carroll, and others.
Two short papers, and one longer final paper (may be partially creative in nature); periodic book reports and other exercises; attendance at UMS off-site events; active discussion.
Some experience with ‘traditional’ literary analysis or the craft of writing may be helpful.
Two seminar sessions a week.