Review of the What Where Series: Tina Brown Celona, Bin Ramke, and Miranda Mellis September 16, 2014

By Jennifer van Alstyne

Three completely different readers graced the PAC stage on Tuesday evening, September 16: Tina Brown Celona, Bin Ramke, and Miranda Mellis. All were poets, and all brought new perspectives on craft and subject to the Naropa stage. It was a great opening to the 2014 What Where Series which also coincides with Naropa University’s 40th Anniversary.

Tina Brown Celona’s feminist poetry, also a graduate of Denver University’s Doctorate program in Creative Writing, was a nice segway from Sara Veghlan’s prose, from the inaugural Bombay Gin 2014 reading series at Innisfree, and SWP 2014 faculty member Dodie Bellamy. Her reading of “Sunday Morning Cunt Poem” tended to use the same revision of the pejorative term to achieve it as an ownership, or a reclaiming by the other sex as Bellamy and Acker did before her in a time when Women’s issues in the workplace and at home have been prevalent in national media. The blend of personal, the revisioning of the love poem, and stark language, allowed for suspension of reality through writing: “With the cunt poems I could have orgasms during sex. I had long, luxurious hair, which I wrapped around my throat like a scarf. You could say I was ‘released from my prison.’ My therapist was no longer busy.”

Bin Ramke took us to a realm between mathematics, physics, and etymology–the trisected angle present along with tales of time, space, and personal life. Ramke’s moonscapes tie in closely with his interview with our own assistant professor, J’lyn Chapman, which was published in audio form on The Conversant and in text in the latest issue of Something On Paper. He read from his latest collection, Missing the Moon (Omnidawn, 2014). Ramke’s poem, “After Audubon” on the naming of birds, states, “To be named for the sound you make, Poet, / without intent, without meaning.” This precision with etymology and semantics creates meaning in not only each line, but each word on the page.

Miranda Mellis, the author of The Revisionist, The Spokes, None of This Is Real, The Quarry, and Materialisms, read from an imagined book review, which brought a new perspective of contemplative poetics via a review that fights political injustice and comments on socioeconomics in a world which she has both created and critiqued. It was lovely to have a Naropa alumna return to campus to read and teach a lecture earlier in the day to the MFA program’s Writers in Community course, for which the students read one of her books. Her latest chapbook, The Quarry, is out from Traffiker Press.

Overall, it was a wonderful reading to open the What Where Series, the next installment of which is on September 30, 2014 in the Performing Arts Center (PAC) and will feature Rachel Levitsky, Kurt Gutjahr, and Janice Gould.

For a listing of our other JKS 40th Anniversary Events, please click here.


Jennifer van Alstyne has been published in the Eunoia Review, Crack the Spine, Midwest Literary Magazine, The Monmouth Review, The Foundling Review, Paper Nautilus, Poetry Quarterly, and Whiskey Traveler. Her collection, Scansioned Music: A Glenn Gould Collection, was published in Crossroads 2013 for which she was the winner of the Jane Freed Grant. She is currently an Associate Editor for Something On Paper and Book Reviews Editor for Bombay Gin.

Now Hiring: JKS Administrative Specialist

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Apply Now!
Administrative Specialist-JKS
Position Title: Administrative Specialist
Job Code: AD003
School: Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics (JKS)
Reports to: JKS Dean
FLSA Classification: Non-exempt
Hours per Week: 40
Pay Rate: $18.00-$20.00 per hour DOQ

Job Summary: Provides administrative support to the academic school dean and faculty in areas of budgeting, course scheduling, and other operations of school’s program offerings and community-building activities among faculty, staff and students.

Job Duties:
School Budgets

  • Assist the dean and program coordinators in developing and submitting annual budgets (JKS, Summer Writing Program (SWP), etc.).
  • Reconcile all school budgets monthly (both operational and gift accounts), consulting with Finance and/or Academic Affairs as needed.
  • Track all school credit card purchases, and reconcile monthly statements.
  • Provide the dean and program coordinators monthly or quarterly budget updates as needed (JKS, SWP, AWP, events, etc.); reviewing CX/CARS, receipts, Adaptive Planning system, internal tracking sheets, etc.
  • Coordinate services with vendors based on University policies, procedures and approved vendor lists, and process vendor payments and other paperwork.
  • Submit JKS contracts, guest payments, etc. to appropriate departments.
  • Submit and track documents to Human Resources and/or Academic Affairs for adjunct faculty, visiting artists, stipends, contracts, guest payments, etc.
  • Oversee school purchases, purchase requests, and delivery processes.

Operations and General Administrative

  • Assist the dean and faculty in preparing course schedules, and submit to appropriate offices.
  • Support the dean and program coordinators with course revision forms, program proposals, etc., and submit to Academic Affairs.
  • Provide updates and accuracy checks to MyNaropa (or equivalent) system on course scheduling, etc.
  • Transmit new hire packets to newly hired faculty and staff, and submit PAN forms to Academic Affairs for new and terminating staff (JKS, SWP, etc.).
  • Supervise work-study staff, including hiring, scheduling work assignments, and approving and submitting time sheets.
  • Implement School policies and procedures as established by dean and/or faculty (e.g., School-specific practices with regard to library allocations).
  • Submit work order requests to Information Technology, Facilities, etc.
  • Respond to telephone calls and email inquiries from individuals and University offices, and/or direct to appropriate persons.
  • Receive walk-ins to JKS main office (students, faculty, guests, etc.) and assist as necessary.
  • Oversee school faculty and staff mail.
  • Assist the dean in scheduling meetings and appointments.
  • Draft communication as requested.
  • Attend JKS faculty and curriculum working group meetings and take minutes as needed.
  • Assist with additional responsibilities and duties as needed.

Students and Enrollment Management

  • Serve as the initial contact for existing and prospective students and direct them to the appropriate parties and respond to student inquiries about degree programs.
  • Support school efforts and initiatives toward student recruitment and retention, including supporting admissions process.
  • Support the registration process, including facilitation of student enrollments requiring course authorizations, waiver of prerequisites, course capacity increases, etc.
  • Monitor enrollments, class size, potential course cancellations, etc. throughout pre-registration and registration process, and confer with the dean, faculty and/or Academic Affairs regarding appropriate responses.


  • Collect contact information and CVs for all school faculty, including adjunct faculty, and submit updates to Academic Affairs or other offices as requested.
  • Assist faculty in meeting approved disability accommodation requests.
  • Complete standard work requests or documentation to IT, Security, and Student Administrative Services to ensure new and returning faculty access to administrative and technology systems, access to facilities, etc.
  • Provide information to new and returning faculty regarding university systems, polices, and procedures.

Special Projects and Events

  • Coordinate the selection process for the Margaret Randall prize, 4×4 selection process, and AWP awards, JKS scholarships, etc.
  • Assist with SWP events programming for 6 weeks (20 hours per week).
  • Assist with JKS events as needed.
  • Assist with additional responsibilities and duties as they relate to the nuances of each academic program or as requested or required by the university.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in related field and 3 years of administrative work experience or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • 3 years of budgeting experience.
  • Ability to take primary responsibility for a number of diverse projects and to complete them accurately and in a timely manner with limited supervision.
  • Ability to maintain a high level of professionalism in all circumstances.
  • Excellent communication skills (oral, written, listening).
  • Ability to work independently and as a supportive and fully contributing team member.
  • Excellent problem solving skills, meticulous attention to detail, and good organizational abilities.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with students, faculty, and staff from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to understand and support current program requirements, university policies and procedures, and course scheduling.
  • Ability to multitask and work efficiently in a busy environment.
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Microsoft Excel, Word, Outlook, Access, and web browsers.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • 3 years of work experience in administrative support role in a university setting.
  • Familiarity with the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.
  • An appreciation for contemplative education and mission of Naropa University.

Apply Now!

Applications: Application review continues until position is filled. Qualified candidates should apply online and include a letter of interest and resume/CV.

Naropa University is actively engaged in creating an inclusive, diverse community and is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer. In keeping with our diversity initiatives, we encourage applications from persons of historically under-represented groups and those who support diversity.

Cross Worlds: Transcultural Poetics: An Anthology edited by Anne Waldman and Laura Wright


Cross Worlds refers to cultural hybrids, transcultural alliances and associations. Contributors are from a range of places and disciplines and their work reflects the Jack Kerouac School’s unique zone of interaction, which runs parallel to more mainstream academic institutions. This fascinating compendium of documents, in essays, conversations, and Socratic raps, the vital work poets perform when they write across borders.

Contributors include:
Allen Ginsberg
Eileen Myles
Joanne Kyger
Nicole Brossard
Monica de la Torre
Sherwin Bitsui
Bei Dao
Anselm Hollo

“There are serious riches on hand in this latest marvel-filled gleaning from the Kerouac School’s indispensable yearly summertime transcultural poetic vortex.  Equally attentive to the voices of those who have left us and those still around to “put fire on this crazy world,” Editors Anne Waldman and Laura Wright have herein beautifully gathered a host of high-voltage talks, panels, interviews and razor-sharp asides whose collective brilliance out burns anything this side of the sun.”—Laird Hunt

Order through

JKS alumnus Rowland Saifi’s new book The Minotaur’s Daughter


JKS alumnus Rowland Saifi’s new book The Minotaur’s Daughter has just been published by Spuyten Duyvil Publishing!

Order copies here!

This book of beautiful sentences and powerful mysteries, of hard-hitting subtleties and curious deceptions, this The Minotaur’s Daughter by Rowland Saifi is a gem, the many-faceted, glass-carving, frighteningly, bracingly intricate kind.

Laird Hunt, author of Neverhome

There’s great pleasure in getting lost inside Rowland Saifi’s labyrinth. How will you find your way out? ‘You a you, but not all at once.’ I think the best thing to do is surrender; let yourself be swept along by his rhythmical, probing prose.

Danielle Dutton, author of S p r a w l

Rowland Saifi attended Naropa University and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His also the author of Karner Blue Estates, a novella (Black Lodge Press, 2009) and his work has appeared in Fact-Simile, Marginalia, Bombay Gin, Livestock Review, Kneejerk Magazine, and HTML Giant. He is the co-founder of Pinball Editions and teaches writing and literature in Chicago.

What Where Series: Readings by Rachel Levitsky, Kurt Gutjahr, and Janice Gould

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We are pleased to announce our second What Where Series of the semester! This event is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

What Where Series: Readings by Rachel Levitsky, Kurt Gutjahr, and Janice Gould

Tuesday, September 30

7:30 PM

PAC (Performing Arts Center)

Followed by a book signing

Guests’ books will be for sale at the reading—CASH ONLY!



Rachel Levitsky is the author of a novel, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013), two books of poetry, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003) NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009) and a number of chapbooks including Renoemos (Delete, 2010) and 2(1+1) (a+bend, 1999). She is a frequent collaborator and has recently worked with the artists Susan Bee, and the poets Marcella Durand, Christian Hawkey and Simone Kearney. She is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, a feminist avant-garde hub for interventions in writing, reading, engaged discourse and activism. In 2010 with Christian Hawkey, she started The Office of Recuperative Strategies (, a mobile research unit variously located in Amsterdam, Berlin, Boulder, Brooklyn, Cambridge, Governors Island and The Holland Tunnel in NYC and The University of Leipszig in Leipzig. She teaches at Pratt Institute where she is a core faculty member at a new MFA program in Writing Activism.


Kurt Gutjahr holds an MFA from The Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and an MA in Creative Writing, University of New Mexico. His stories have won the D.H. Lawrence Award for Short Fiction and he has been a finalist in numerous nationwide contests. He is currently working on two projects: a Novel which takes place in central New Mexico called, La Luz, and a memoir that uses the architecture of a home as the organizational construct for interpreting his life.  Kurt teaches at Naropa University and runs an Academic Non-Profit called Center of the American West.

 Gould, Janice

Janice Gould grew up in Berkeley, California. Her tribal affiliation is Koyoonk’auwi (Concow). Named the Pike’s Peak Poet Laureate for 2014-2016, Janice was recently recognized with a “Spirit of the Springs” Award. Her poetry has also been honored by National Endowment for the Arts, the Astraea Foundation, the Pikes Peak Arts Council and the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, where she was the Native American writer in residence in 2012. Her most recent book of poetry, Doubters and Dreamers, was a Colorado Book Award Finalist and a Milt Kessler Book Award Finalist. Her other books include Earthquake Weather, Beneath My Heart, and Alphabet, an artbook/chapbook. She is the co-editor of Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry. Janice is an Associate Professor in Women’s and Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, where she coordinates the certificate in Native American Studies.

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Please contact Ariella Ruth at 303-546-3581 or to inquire about accessibility and discuss disability accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.