In What Ways Are We Territorialized: Symposium on Territory Workshops

By Angel Dominguez

10-10:45 AM: Craig Santos Perez: Writing from Unincorporated Territories

In what ways are we territorialized?

Craig Santos Perez came all the way from Hawaii to ask these questions; to have this conversation. To tell us of how in Guam families would come to the coast to toss nets and to throw their verses to other families up and down the coast.

Chamorrita: throwing a verse of 4 lines to rhyme off the first person, it must be performed in a communal space.

How can we throw verses to the reader; can they be thrown back, altered?

Where is our family on the coast and can we find them in the unmapped territory of the page? Is this possible?

Together we worked through notions of poetry, it’s anticolonial potential.

To write in excerpts: writing “failures”—fragments

“you don’t have to tell it all in one poem” —CSP

“Jetlag: you’re in a new place, but your body is still where you started.”—CSP

What does it mean to have an unincorporated body? What parts of your life/body are unincorporated (into dominant hegemonic structures); what remains outside the system?                                                                                        How do we write this?

Where are your leakages?

To infiltrate a territory and deterritorialize, we must first understand.

This is how we begin walking backwards into the future.


11-11:45 AM: Kass Fleisher: So You Think You Wrote Your Trauma Narrative: You’re Wrong


“Trauma is not recalled in language but the image.” —KF

There are 400 yards of neural connection between the occipital lobe.

We discussed the “big 4” race class sexuality and ______.

(I am a water snake coyote and do not know how to respond to the remaining three)

“Everyone is part of a collective damage.” —KF

We explored manners of embodying and expressing (through the body) notions of power and trauma. While in a group with Sueyeun Juliette Lee, she asked, “What is the natural gesture of your own being?” Kass mentioned how we may wear traumas phenotypically and Juliet mentioned how all gesture and posture is determined by cultures; cultures are histories.

We struck a pose of power and moved forwards through time.


12-12:45 PM: Juliana Spahr: The Map Is Not the Territory: An Introduction to Contemporary American Poetries and an Attempt to Map Them

Juliana Spahr gave us an in depth overview of the territory of contemporary American Poetries: I learned more than I had in most undergraduate classes.

Retroactive mapping and naming: a reversed taxonomy of “Literature.”

Modernism : Multi Nationalism (Europe and America): Chicken

New Criticism : US Nationalism: Evening Hawk

How do we write into territories of tradition?                      Do we want this?

Who are these New American Poets, and who decides this? Who is making the map?

(Decolonization  movements to affect US literatures)

What happens after?

We are all of us now Chicken Hawks henceforth.


1-1:45 PM: Sueyeun Juliette Lee: Tracings in the Air: Documentary Impulses and Poetic Critique

We moved our chairs closer as Juliette asked our names; we got comfortable and learned the names of the peripheral faces in the room.

We traced psychic coordinates in the air.

Where are we? (Naropa, this body, underground, temporary autonomous zone, earth, digital age, back alley of the milky way.)

How do we know? (Electromagnetic + morphogenic fields)

How do we know that we know?

We had a mind monsoon: flooding locational coordinates and conceptions: how do we know that we know? Where are we?

We received an assignment: to construct psycho-socio-terrographies.

We made a territory, there: in workshops, underground with many, having conversations; discovering the ways we knew and could.


Angel Dominguez writes things. Originally from Los Angeles, he received his BA in Poetry from UC Santa Cruz. He is presently pursuing an MFA in Writing and Poetics at Naropa University. He is the founding editor-in-chief of the Omni Writers collective and press. He is the co-founding editor-in-chief of TRACT / TRACE, an investigative journal. Most recently he was published in Bombay Gin. Now residing in Boulder Colorado, he is exploring the sentence and what it is for.