Category Archives: Staff and Faculty News

Joanne Kyger / in memorial / in celebration / in community

Exercise: pick up a rock. Not any rock, but an ordinary rock. or stone. The more ordinary, the better the transmission.

This was a writing exercise shared from the ’93 journal of Laird Hunt (ever faithful to this thing we call archive) the year he attended one of Joanne Kyger’s SWP workshops.

Two days later we went walking and saw a bird’s nest convex on the ground. Inside was nothing but a bed of soft cottonwood where an avian friend had left the impression of their egg. We pickled it up and continued down the riparian path, over the bridge where a friend was waiting.

He had a collection of things: fruit & cheese, tobacco he was smoking out of a fine pipe, books, and a small, perfectly round speckled rock. When I showed him the nest I’d found, he promptly placed the rock inside. It rolled down, exactly where the egg had sat. `

And thus, a simple, ordinary rock became a simulacra, an infinity of mineral hatching.

 

calligraphic Tara by Phillip Whalen

The evening began with an invocation & prayer from the Tibetan Book of the Dead led by Giovinnina Jobson & Anne Waldman.

post-memorial, Naropa University transition shrine

Archival collage of photos & poetry as well as a film excerpt of her last visit where she talked about Eco-Etho Poetics, were a loving, haunting reminder of the magnetic cool of her voice.

Sixteen tributes to her life manifested in many forms: poems by Joanne they loved, or poems which captured the very essence of Joanne, poems tied to specific memories of Joanne. Others shared work they had written for Joanne as with Jack Collom and his poem “Kyger, Kyger / burning bright”.  And there were songs by Reed Bye accompanied by Ambrose Bye on guitar & Maya Dorn sang a song about love in the digital age which had reduced Joanne to giggles on their last visit.

Bobbie Louise Hawkins read the first story she had ever written & shared w/ Joanne who confirmed it was indeed a story, giving her the encouragement to continue. Later, Joanne would be the first person to invite Bobbie Louise to read publicly.

We were honored by the presence of Donald Guravich, Joanne’s husband, whom she first met at Naropa.

printed in the Harry Smith Printshop

Following the reception we all got a taste of Bolinas, picked up our copies of the beautiful broadside designed and produced by Print-shop Master Julia Seko & Jade Lascelles, printshop assistant.

It was the span of such close kin-ship with friends from California, Naropa, Germany & beyond, that brought her closer to those of us who have only the experience of periphery interactions & lineage. In this way Joanne’s passing on has only heightened the key-stone transmissions of her being: Always give things the dignity of their name. ‘When’ & ‘Where’ is more interesting than ‘What am I’. Do not take for granted the fact that we will have histories.

Margaret Bryant, who attended Joanne’s workshop in 2015 gave us permission to share her poem “Dear Joanne” with you as she continues to write with Joanne on her shoulder.

So thinking back to earlier this week & the stone which became an egg, I know Joanne was with us in this moment. Ordinary, but so not ordinary. It happened instantaneously between us, this reckoning & alchemy of life-forms. It was June 20th, 2017 on the banks of the Boulder Creek.

~Swanee, Administrative Coordinator

Mid-Summer’s Day / New Weathers’ / Review

Summer Writing Program, Review

of Week 1 & 2

 

 

I write to you, a day past midsummer and a day past mid summer-writing program. The anthropocene continues with a heavy geological and social current. Resisting, delaying, we do the good work—learning and writing and loving—along with these rising temperatures. At SWP, we’ve already experienced with all senses the vast counter-patterns these “New Weathers” have subsequently rippled into with poetics and discussion. Last week, Roger Reeves cited Adrienne Rich in her poem “Dreamwood” when discussing how to dismantle the New Weathers of our time: “…poetry isn’t a revolution but a way of knowing why it must come.” And so, as our bubble of deep thinkers meditate on the skeleton of our country, we have all also created—and witnessed—deconstructions, realms of defiance and prediction, and open pockets of awareness for the healing to come through. We have learned from Brenda Coultas how to document our local manifestations of decay in poetry. Azareen Oloomi encouraged us to “read widely and with vigor.” Eileen Myles told the secret to taking care of ourselves is (sometimes) getting a dog. And always, in the gifted eye of each of us, there is the knowing of watching a poet as they work—Mairead, Jeffery, or Anne weaving fibrous tapestries of SWP magic behind a humble curtain—that gives us the wisdom of generosity and dedication—helping us communally return what has been given to us as writers. In other words, we are becoming meteorologists.

Increasingly we are hearing the cutting truth revealed by our teachers—that these Weathers are not actually New. C.A. Conrad spoke to this on his panel: “Things have been fucked up for a long time.” Following up on his own threads of heart-mind activism, Conrad noted that political atrocities against the gay community have not only been happening for too long, but are also on the rise—with over 300 anti-gay and lesbian laws passed in 2017 so far. “Everybody needs to be an activist, and simultaneously creative,” Conrad said as pens flew across the pages in the windy, high vibrational PAC.

There is a lot to be grateful for. Hope is rising up and we become lighter with knowledge and nourishing poetry. Your homework is to tell the people around you that you love them, stay in the now and the unknown, and read to wake up, my dear SWP warriors. Write to wake others.

 

—Gabriella Reamer, Faculty Liaison

Photos by SWP New Weathers assistants & Director: Erika Hodges, Shawnie Hamer, Garen-Lavender Whitmore, Swanee, & Jeff Pethybridge

ATTN- HIRING!!!:

Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics is looking for an Assistant or Associate Professor – Creative Writing and Poetics!

Minimum Qualifications:
* MFA or PhD in Creative Writing or Literature.
* College-level teaching in creative writing and literary studies.
* One published book of innovative prose.
* Experience in teaching diverse innovative fiction, creative nonfiction, literature, and poetics.
* Computer skills, including Microsoft Office.
* Strong interpersonal and communication skills.
* An understanding of the dynamics of privilege and oppression, and the impact these have on equity, access, and opportunity in higher education/the workplace.
* Commitment to co-create an inclusive community and actively participate in related professional development, including openness to feedback and ongoing self-examination.

from-03-04-cataloghttps://workforcenow.adp.com/jobs/apply/posting.html…

Honoring Bill Berkson

Bill Berkson 1939-2016

 
Bill Berkson passed away yesterday morning, June 16th 2016. He was born August 30, 1939. He was 76 years old. His bibliography of printed work surpasses his age and there are many honorariums under his name from 1959 to 2010. His work has been translated into French, Russian, Hungarian, Dutch, Czechoslovakian, Romanian, Italian, German and Spanish. He is a beloved aspect of the Kerouac School where he was a regular lecturing guest. As we feel the first ripples of his passing, we would like to share his poem,

Clearing the Air:

Simply that you say one thing or another
might give one pause to contradict,
but making it so doesn’t denote your purpose.

You are a lamb, a hayrick, a hat trick, an abutment,
something like an old cartoon, or something that carries
mixed things over unmixed roads–I like that,

I see the way the weight’s set down,
or lots of them, each equal to the other,
and each just as carefully too.

The land sprawls any which way, the buildings sidle,
warp, and that’s useful, good–it keeps them up.
Haven’t you seen how solidity’s a kind of unleashing

of self-containment, pure interaction, and each distance covered
pure, purposeful on the surface? You say: Surely one thing denies its opposite? But this

is an abyss. Knowing, caring, pleasing:
these things exist (what a trio to posses!)
and it is more than you or I can do to argue otherwise.

Issue 3 of Something on Paper

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics presents Something on Paper, an online literary / multimedia poetics journal.

The third issue has dropped and features lectures by Lisa Jarnot and Dorothy Wang; interviews with Kevin Killian and Laura McCullough; a round table discussion on Sewing is Writing is Body is Sewing with Elena Berriolo, Jan Johnson, Jill Magi, and Rachel May; investigations by Teresa Carmody, Jill Darling, Richard Froude, Miranda Mellis, Jai Arun Ravine, Andrea Rexilius, and Matt Wedlock; as well as cover art by Liz Acosta. And so much more!

Please visit the site today! www.somethingonpaper.org

The Sage by Liz Acosta
Much appreciation to our editorial board and the innumerable JKS / Naropa students, faculty, staff, and alumni, who contributed reviews, articles, interviews, transcriptions, tech support, event support, website design, video recording and closed captioning, etc.

Thank you for supporting the journal!

Kerouac School at AWP

Kerouac School Faculty and Staff are currently at this year’s Association of Writers & Writing Programs Conference in Los Angeles. You can meet them at table 228.

AWP is now the largest literary conference in the country. Learn more about the conference and all it has to offer here: https://www.awpwriter.org/

The Lune feat. Anne Waldman

The Lune is proud to announce issue No. 10 featuring Anne Waldman’s Dream Book of Fez, a musical genome, the architecture of a landscape between language and beyond it. In the photopoetic distance between the tomb and womb of Waldman’s “invisible family” we brush up against the fabric of unconsciousness and hear the spectral voice of Jean Genet say: “dreaming is nursed in darkness.” Dream Book of Fez offers “gateways to power going both ways” while reaching for the “impossibly verbal” overlap of cultures. Waldman holds us in language as poet and mother; we return to Earth by her “mystical time,” slowly bound and bonded by love. Read kerouac School professor Serena Chopra‘s transcendent comment here.


Cover art: “Anne Waldman” by Indigo Deany.

 

Since its inception in January 2015, The Lune has published short new collections (monthly) by some of Boulder & Naropa’s most clear-sighted & compassionate poets, including Reed Bye, Jack Collom, Laura Cesarco Eglin, Ella Longpre, and Marielle Grenade-Willis (the list goes on). We are grateful for the experimental ethos of the Front Range community, and devoted to the accessibility and proliferation of mindful poetics therein.  Every month, The Lune opens a number of related spaces (in-print and online) for contemporary thought, including the feature collection, “letters to the moon,” commentary, and essayism. We strongly encourage & appreciate submissions from the Naropa/JKS community (see details here). Upcoming issue, letter, commentary, and essay contributors include Joanna Ruocco, Eric Raanan Fischman, Selah Saterstrom, Brittany Weeks, Stephen Sanders, and more.

Feel free to write to The Lune‘s Joseph Braun anytime: joe@poetsonearth.com.