Bill Berkson Naropa Lecture Published

tbr4-berkson-stein-and-with-toklasBill Berkson’s lecture “What Are Masterpiece’s And Why Are There So Many,” given at Naropa University’s 2013 Summer Writing Program has been published in its entirety in Battersea Review.

Read it here!

BILL BERKSON’s recent books include Expect Delays; Portrait and Dream: New & Selected Poems; a collection of art writings, For the Ordinary Artist; Not an Exit, with drawings by Léonie Guyer; and another words-and-images collaboration, Repeat After Me, with watercolors by John Zurier. He is Professor Emeritus at the San Francisco Art Institute, a contributing editor for, and a corresponding editor for Art in America. He is working on a collection of autobiographical writings entitled Since When: Memoirs in Pieces.

New Books from JKS Faculty!

Congratulations to JKS Core Faculty Anne Waldman, Andrea Rexilius, and Bhanu Kapil  on the release of their latest books!


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.

Waldman pc Anne SteirAnne Waldman is an internationally renowned poet, performer, and Distinguished Professor of Poetics at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. She is the co-editor of Civil Disobediences: Poetics and Politics in Action and the author of over forty books, including In the Room of Never Grieve and Vow to Poetry: Essays, Interviews, & Manifestos.

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I am a girl, and what does it feel like to be a girl. It feels like a hand over your mouth. A hand over your mouth and on your thighs. Some say it is the sound of a rabbit before it is caught. It is the sound of the sky before it comes crashing down.

pic-arexilius-300x225Andrea Rexilius is the author of Half of What They Carried Flew Away (Letter Machine, 2012), To Be Human Is To Be A Conversation (Rescue Press, 2011) and Séance (Coconut Books, 2014). She teaches Writing & Poetics at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

New Organism: Essais


Ban en Banlieue follows a brown (black) girl as she walks home from school in the first moments of a riot. An April night in London, in 1979, is the axis of this startling work of overlapping arcs and varying approaches. By the end of the night, Ban moves into an incarnate and untethered presence, becoming all matter— soot, meat, diesel oil and force—as she loops the city with the energy of global weather. Derived from performances in India, England and throughout the U.S., Ban en Banlieue is written at the limit of somatic and civic aims.

nightboat books.

KapilBhanu Kapil is a British-Indian emigrant to the United States. She is the author of five full-length works of poetry/prose: The Vertical Interrogation of Strangers (2001), Incubation: a space for monsters (2006), humanimal [a project for future children] (2009), Schizophrene (2011), and Ban en Banlieue (2015). Since 2007, she has been incubating “Ban” through performances, talks, and collaborations in the U.S., India, and the U.K. She maintains a widely read blog on social incubation, prose experiments, and dogs: Was Jack Kerouac A Punjabi? She lives in Colorado where she teaches writing (through the monster, architecture, and memory) at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics.

New Work From JKS Alumna Elyse Brownell


Elyse Brownell’s Sinkhole is an exploration of vulnerability, a journey into the depths of the soul through songs of mourning and loss. Follow her into (w)hole(ness). Here is gravity. There is light.

Here’s what’s being said about Sinkhole:

“Elyse Brownell’s Sinkhole is a poem-study of loss and the holes that define it (and us, more than we might like to admit). The poem moves in branching directions simultaneously and feels its way as present becomes past and remains an ache of absence in the next present. As the poem looks further into these holes, time opens, and the assumption that ‘there is a bottom to memory’ becomes questionable.”

— Reed Bye, author of Catching On

“There is a kind of writing or writer that is about living on the edge of what wants to be written: without reserve. Elyse Brownell went to the perimeter or brink of a sinkhole, for example, and lay down. What happens when you touch the inside of something that has no outside? How do you return? Jack Kerouac would have loved this book, I think. I did. It is a book from the heart, for you—and anyone else who wants to live wildly and all at once.”

— Bhanu Kapil, author of Ban en Banlieue and Schizophrene

For a free preview, click here: Sinkhole

2014-2015 Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow Kevin Killian

We are pleased to announce our 2014-2015 Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow, Kevin Killian.

Photo_Kevin Killian

Lecture: The Color in Darkness, Friday, February 6 at 7:30 PM

Reading:  Monday, February 9 at 7:30 PM

Where: Performing Arts Center, 2130 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, CO 80302

Cost: Free

Reserve a seat:

Contact:; 303-546-3581

2015 JKS Killian

Kevin Killian’s visit will begin on Friday, February 6 with a lecture titled The Color in Darkness. The following Monday, February 9, Killian’s events will continue with a reading, and a book signing will follow, during which his limited edition signed broadside and books will be for sale. The broadsides will be sold for $10 each, and all sales for the broadsides and books will be cash only. Both events are free and open to public.

Kevin Killian is one of the original members of the New Narrative movement as well as a queer scholar, the editor and biographer of the American poet Jack Spicer (1925-1965), the head of the San Francisco Poets Theater since the late 80s, and an accomplished poet, novelist, art writer, and critic in his own right. Group formations, however, are his specialty. He has taught writing at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco for the past decade, and he is in the Hall of Fame of people who write reviews for Amazon, having completed over 2,500 of them in recent years.

The Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellowship is distinguished from other visiting programs because of its intensive nature. The Fellow’s visit includes a reading, instruction, and direct contact with students, who are given access to the writer’s expertise, including a weekend practicum. Community-wide events are incorporated into the Fellow’s stay, including a reading, a lecture relating to the development of poetry/prose in the 20th and 21st centuries, and a book signing. The Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellowship is made possible by the generous support of the Committee on Poetry, founded by the late Allen Ginsberg.

Naropa University welcomes participants with disabilities. Please contact Jen Szabo at or 303-245-4622 to inquire about accessibility and discuss disability accommodations needed to participate fully in this event.

Forthcoming work from JKS Alumna Megan Marsnik

lhertzel_1418403833_Meg-1It is with great pleasure that we announce the winner of the Star Tribune’s search for their third summer serial–Megan Marsnik, JKS alumna, St. Paul resident, English teacher at Southwest High, proud daughter of the Iron Range, and a lovely, strong, lyrical writer.

Her first novel (working title: “Underground”) will be published in daily installments in the Star Tribune over the course of the summer of 2015. It will also be available as an e-book.

Learn more here.

New Work from JKS Faculty in Dusie


Congratulations to JKS school dean Michelle Naka Pierce, whose work appears in the latest edition of Dusie, an online poetry journal featuring the work of emerging as well as established poets (or translations of) from around the world. Dusie features what can only be loosely defined as modern poetics with a penchant for the experimental on a somewhat bi-annual basis.

Read the new edition here!

Award winning poet Michelle Naka Pierce is the author of eight titles, including Continuous Frieze Bordering Red (Fordham, 2012), awarded the Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize, and She, A Blueprint (BlazeVOX, 2011), with art by Sue Hammond West. She is the editor of Something on Paper, the online poetics/multimedia journal and curated the inaugural [DIS]EMBODIED POETICS conference. Pierce is professor and dean of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University. Born in Tokyo, Japan, she has lived in Albuquerque, Austin, Yokohama, London, and currently lives outside of Boulder with the poet Chris Pusateri.

Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Announces Fellowship Recipients

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December 2, 2014 (Boulder, CO)—Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics announces the recipients of its Anne Waldman, Allen Ginsberg, and Anselm Hollo Graduate Fellowships. Awarded annually to incoming MFA Creative Writing & Poetics students, the fellowships fully cover tuition and fees for the two-year program and provide an $8,000 stipend and graduate instructor position.

Naropa University also announces that it is accepting applications for its 2015 fellowships. To be considered for these fellowships, applicants must submit an application to the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics program, as well as a three-page cover letter, and a ten-page critical writing sample. The fellowship application is included within the admissions application for the MFA Creative Writing & Poetics program. These materials must be submitted by the priority deadline of December 15, 2014. Apply to Naropa’s MFA Creative Writing & Poetics program online at

“The fellowships of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics provide a unique opportunity to honor our founders, Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman, as well as beloved faculty member Anselm Hollo, whose fellowship was made possible by the generous donation of Jane Dalrymple-Hollo,” said Dean of the Jack Kerouac School, Michelle Naka Pierce. “In addition, they elevate the profile of the MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics. We are delighted to support promising writers such as Cait, Heather, and Alex and upcoming writers in the future, as these fellowships are awarded annually. JKS is ‘the academy of the future,’ as Anne Waldman calls it. Our program not only nourishes writers creatively and intellectually, it also fosters awareness of embodied writing/life practices that extend beyond the degree.”

The recipient of the Anne Waldman Graduate Fellowship is Caitlin Turner. She is interested in the intersection between politics, poetics, and pedagogy. Other research areas of interest include democracy and pedagogy, activist writing, and proletarian literature. When not writing or studying, Turner enjoys arguing about geopolitics with strangers on the Internet, preferably while listening to a really good record.

The recipient of the Allen Ginsberg Graduate Fellowship is Heather Sweeney. Her poetry and book reviews have been published in Dusie, Cutbank, Shampoo, and canwehaveourballback?. When she is not in Boulder, Sweeney lives in San Diego with her husband and beloved dog, Dexter.

The recipient of the Anselm Hollo Graduate Fellowship is Alexandra Thompson. With a background in the arts and in business, Thompson’s work has been published in magazines, websites, and other publications, both in print and online. She is a graduate of Temple University and a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honors society. Thompson is currently working on completing a book of poetry. In her spare time, she enjoys learning how to code and exploring the outdoors.

The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics was founded in 1974 by Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman and offers a BA in Creative Writing & Literature, an MFA in Creative Writing & Poetics, a low-residency MFA in Creative Writing, as well as the internationally renowned Summer Writing Program (SWP). Emphasizing innovative approaches to the literary arts, the Jack Kerouac School’s programs problematize genre while cultivating contemplative and experimental writing practices. Each year the school invites more than sixty guest writers and artists, including the Allen Ginsberg Visiting Fellow and the Leslie Scalapino Lecturer in Innovative Poetics.

About Naropa University ( Located in Boulder, Colorado, Naropa University is a private liberal arts institution offering undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2014–2015, Naropa University is a leader in contemplative education, an approach to learning and teaching that integrates Eastern wisdom studies with traditional Western scholarship. Naropa University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.