Bhanu Kapil: Spring Notes and Possibilities


A prose chapbook, Treinte Ban: A psychiatric handbook to accompany a work undone, is published by New Herring Press in early Spring.  At about that same time, Bhanu speaks to the “project” and the “animal” at two events at AWP Seattle: on-site and off.  On, also: a Kelsey Street reading, right next to Mei mei Bersenbrugge’s roses et al.  AWP information below.  In Los Angeles, with Spring in full bloom, a festival — pairing vocalists/DJs/musicians from a South Asian background with writers whose work has a spiritual influence: MEHFIL MASSIVE: South Asian Religions Remixed through Poetry and Music: Visions and Voices at the University of Southern California.  In New York, just as the tulips create havoc on the medians of Manhattan, a workshop on palmistry and narrative for Millay Colony of the Arts, co-taught with Melissa Buzzeo.

In Milwaukee, a month before the summer solstice, an invitation to be a writer-in-residence in a sculpture garden at Woodland Pattern!!!!  (I am excited about that and trying to swing it.)  That is the Spring.  I also wanted to go to Casa Libre in Tucson to teach a workshop, but could not manage it due to life/work balance.  I wanted to see the desert shimmer with white flowers against all that red, to glamorize the situation.  I wanted to drink tea with Kristen Nelson next to the turquoise pool. There were many other ideas and destinations, but I am [was] not able to be as wild as I want to be.  Left to my own devices, I would sell all my belongings and start driving around in a Toyota Camry reading in a monotone from abandoned French novels in cafes in Indiana and South Dakota and Maine from February to June 18th.

But there we have it.  The Spring.  It is not shabby.  I will also very much enjoy teaching my Spring classes at Naropa: notes on architecture, innovative non-fiction and the BA thesis, in addition to my advising work with four MFA thesis students.  What is a line?  How far can we take the essay until it decides to lie down on its coat, next to the daffodils, and fall into a dream that doesn’t include us?  How do we complete something that we could not, ever, in another time? How will we possibly begin?

2014 Seattle  AWP Schedule

Kelsey Street Press: 40 Years of Publishing Innovative Writing By Women

Thursday, February 27, 2014

4:30 pm to 5:45 pm

Room LL5, Western New England MFA Annex, Lower Level

(Rena Rosenwasser, Mei-mei Berssenbrugge, Bhanu Kapil, Hazel White, Patricia Dienstfrey) This year marks the 40th anniversary of Kelsey Street Press, which was created to address the marginalization of women writers by small press and mainstream publishers. Join us for a celebratory poetry reading featuring several award-winning Kelsey Street authors as well as founding members of the press.


Animal/Antidote: with Amina Cain, Jennifer Calkins, Doug Nufer, Stacey Levine and Sarah Dowling.

Friday, February 28, 2014

The reading will occur from 8-9 or 9:30, doors opening at 7:30.

The space is the Blindfold Gallery.  It’s a small very sweet gallery space in Capitol Hill and is relatively accessible from the Conference.  (


What Are We Projecting?: American Poetry and Poetics in the Era of the Project

Saturday, March 1, 2014

10:30 am to 11:45 am

Room 606, Washington State Convention Center, Level 6

(Sasha Steensen,  Catherine Wagner,  Rodrigo Toscano,  Ronaldo Wilson,  Bhanu Kapil) Whatever happened to books of poems in which each poem was separate and distinct? Increasingly, American poets with a range of aesthetic sensibilities have begun to describe their writing in terms of the “project.” This panel will investigate the predominance of the “project” poem and examine the social demands to frame poetics as project. By exploring limitations and advantages of projects and critiquing their own “projects,” panelists will propose alternatives to project-modeled inquiry.