Interview with our own Julie Kazimer!

Our very own Julie Kazimer, Finance and Registration Manager for the Summer Writing Program, was interviewed by Boulder Weekly about her forthcoming book. Read the interview here:

Congratulations, Julie!

Staff and Faculty News

Straight Reflection
Straight Reflection

Keith Kumasen Abbott’s two brush paintings, “Straight Reflection” and “Enso Reflection,” appeared in Buddhadharma: The Practitioner’s Quarterly Fall 2011.

Enso Reflection
Enso Reflection

We are delighted to announce that Lisa Birman, SWP Director, became an American citizen on August 24th. Congratulations, Lisa!

Junior Burke co-wrote the screen play American Reel and produced the soundtrack for it as well. It was shown at Director Quentin Tarantino’s New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles on December 8, 2011.

Book cover for Schizophrene

Bhanu Kapil was a featured writer/teacher this summer at the AROHO retreat at Ghost Ranch, New Mexico. She made a sequence of visits to [Jean Genet and the Chrysallis] at UC Santa Cruz. She gave a reading with Claudia Rankine, as part of their collaboration on race: “Stories of Extreme Girlhood.” She read at the Condensary Reading Series in Oakland with David Buuck. Kapil gave a talk on migration and narrative, in response to an exhibit of Jim Goldberg’s photographs, at the San Francisco MOMA; she also performed during that week as a “unicorn” in the Stein exhibit. In Los Angeles, she performed at the MAK Center at the Schindler House as part of a conference on Voyeurism, “Both Sides and Center,” curated by Teresa Carmody and Amina Cain of Les Figues Press. This fall, Kapil was a visiting poet at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a visiting fiction writer at Brown University. She was also a featured speaker at the &NOW conference at the University of California at Sand Diego: a conference on innovative thinking, writing, and art/performance practices. Critical essays were accepted to Almost Island (an experimental writing journal base in India and edited by Vivek Narayan), Conversations in a War-time Cafe (an anthology of responses to the last ten years of U.S. engagement in Iraw and Afghanistan, edited by Sena Labrador y Manzano), and ELN (connected to the conference on “Self” at CU next spring, curated by Julie Carr). Currently, Kapil is interviewing the Bay Area painter Luke Butler for an upcoming issue of SHIFTER magazine and was recently interviewed for a feature on her work in BOMB magazine’s online “Bomblog.” Her fourth book, Schizophrene, was released on September 6th.

Cover Image for "Curses"

Julie Kazimer’s urban fairytale novel, CURSES!  A F**ked-Up Fairytale from Kensington Books will be released in March 2012. In the meantime, Julie is teaching an E-Publishing workshop at the Colorado Gold Conference and continues to work on the second, currently untitled novel in the F**ked Up fairytale series due out in 2013.

Book cover for She, A Blueprint

Michelle Naka Pierce’s third book She, A Blueprint, with art by Sue Hammond West, is now available (BlazeVOX, 2011). Her fourth book, Continuous Frieze Bordering Red, which documents the migratory patterns of the hybrid as she travels the floating borders in Rothko’s Seagram murals, has been awarded the 2010-2011 Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize (Fordham University Press, forthcoming 2012).

Anne Waldman has recently published her magnum opus, The Iovis Trilogy: Colors in the Mechanism of Concealment from Coffee House Press and has numerous reading/performances coming up at various venues: New York University, The Poetry Project, Toronto New School of Writing, The University of California in Berkeley, California College of the Arts, City Lights/San Francisco Poetry Center, the Unitarian Church in San Francisco and at The Rubin Museum, where she will be joined by musicians Ha-Yang Kim and Ambrose Bye. She has recently been appointed a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and was involved with their Poets Forum in October in New York City. Her collaboration Soldatesque (catalogue published by BlazeVOX) with artist Noah Saterstrom was on exhibit at the Poetry Center in Arizona this fall, and she was present for a reading and panel about the work.

Faculty and Staff, we want your buzzworthy news! If you’ve published a book, won an award, or done something else you’d like to share with our community, send updates to

December 2011 Alumni Updates

Jim Cohn’s book Sutras & Bardos: Essays & Interviews on Allen Ginsberg, The Kerouac School, Anne Waldman, The Postbeat Poets & The New Demotics, published in April 2011 by the Museum of American Poetics Publications, has been reviewed by Jonah Raskin. “Perhaps no one in the United States today understands and appreciates the poetic durability and the cultural elasticity of the Beats better than Jim Cohn,” Raskin writes. Cohn’s book provides insights into the private lives of Ginsberg, Waldman, Berrigan, and others, as teachers and as poets, and revelations about the intimate world of poetry at Naropa.

John Oughton, who attended the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in summers around 1979-1980, has now published five books of poetry (most recently Time Slip from Guernica Editions), and over 400 articles, reviews, blogs and interviews.  He is now Professor of Learning and Teaching at Centennial College in Toronto.  He recently reunited with Anne Waldman, for whom he acted as a graduate assistant, during her visit to Toronto.  Interviews they co-conducted with William Burroughs and Robert Duncan have been published as chapbooks and chapters in anthologies.

Karl Schmieder, founder of Messaging Lab and co-founder of Brudge 6, recently had his book, The Columbus Circle of Time (authored as Karlos Laws), chosen as an Editor’s Choice by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Online Writer’s Workshop. He has also been awarded the Mercury Silver Award and the Big Apple Award for professional writing in health care.

If you’ve got news, we’d love to hear from you! The Kerouac School cherishes its familial connections. Keeping in touch with students and alumni strengthens our ties to our community. Send updates to

not enough night

not enough night, the Kerouac School’s online zine, launched its 14th issue on November 21st! This Fall 2011 issue is dedicated in memory of New York poet Paul Violi and features Allen Andre, recipient of Naropa’s annual Margaret Randall Poetry Prize from the Academy of American Poets, Monica Antonie’s photographs of poets, works by Cheryl Fish, poems from Shane Clements, Kate Greenstreet’s poetry videos, recent works by Julia Carr, work by Caitlin Scholl, and poetry from Jasper Lotus Hawkins. Audio versions accompany several of the text pieces. An issue not to be missed! Earlier issues are archived and available at the zine website:

Bombay Gin 38.1

Bombay Gin heads into a very exciting 38th year in print! We are thrilled to announce that the new Editor-in-Chief of Bombay Gin for the 2011-2012 school year is J’Lyn Chapman, former JKS advisor and current adjunct faculty member. This year’s editorial board consists of graduate students Heather Goodrich, Jade Lascelles, Stephani Nola, Jess Hagemann, Kristen Park, Alice Virginia McClain, and Katie Ingegneri. Undergraduate Rachel Palmateer has signed on to be the newest addition to the Bombay Gin family as a staff assistant. Please email Katie Ingegneri, the Graduate Assistant for Publications, at with any questions, ideas, or submissions you may have.

The theme for 38.1 is “threshold,” a concept implemented by featuring different kinds of work from the same person (such as an interview and poetry, poetry and art, etc.), in addition to exploring the ideas of transition, borders, space, and transformation. It has been very exciting for the editors to solicit many of the visiting faculty from the 2011 Summer Writing Program for this issue, and some of the confirmed featured authors will include Ana Božičevič, Thurston Moore, and Vanessa Place.

Bombay Gin’s spring issue (38.2) will be open to general submissions. Submissions may be dropped off in the JKS office. Due February 15, 2012. For more info, click here.

Look for us at the JKS readings, where we will be selling recent issues and giving away bundles of our abundant supply of historical back issues. Please contact Katie if you are interested in obtaining back issues for yourself or students.

Follow us on Facebook and at our new blog site, to stay updated on exciting upcoming events and submission guidelines!

Summer Writing Program 2012

Hello, Camp Kerouacers! Thank you for a beautiful Summer Writing Program in 2011. We had a blast, and we’re busy constructing the Temporary Autonomous Zone of SWP 2012, for June 11-July 8.

In the first week, we’ll focus on Archival Poetics and the War on Memory. Guests that week include Stacy Szymaszek, E. Tracy Grinnell, Prageeta Sharma, and Charles Alexander. Archivapoeia is a deeply engrained ethos of the Kerouac School, and co-founder Allen Ginsberg saw it as an antidote to memory loss perpetuated by the oligarchs and plutocrats. We will focus this week on our “memory banks” as writers. What are the sources and texts and ideas we cherish? How do we work with rescuing the work of others as well, and consider the technologies for future preservation?

For the second week, we’ll turn our attention to Cultural Rhizomes and Intentional Communities, with guest faculty Margaret Randall, Pierre Joris, Nicole Peyrafitte, Stephen Motika, Vincent Katz, Sherwin Bitsui, CA Conrad, and Julia Seko. Our work this week will seek inspiration from intentional communities such as Black Mountain College, diasporas of the Middle East and South America, and Native American praxis.

In the third week, we’ll dive into Science, Sanity, and Evolution, with Anne Waldman, Ambrose Bye, Tisa Bryant, Julie Carr, Samuel R. Delany, Selah Saterstrom, HR Hegnauer, and Karen Randall. Let’s rescue language from the pundits and politicians and shine a light on the inspiring and scintillating glories and minute particulars of the symbiotic biosphere!

In our final week, Performance Week, we’ll storm the stage with luminaries Laurie Anderson, Thurston Moore, Amiri Baraka, Caroline Bergvall, Tracie Morris, Claudia Rankine, Roberto Tejada, and Jena Osman. We’ll also honor the collaborative work of the ever-expanding poetics sangha in the realms of letterpress and digital printing, recording studio and small press publication, all elements of our study and passion at the Kerouac School.

We’re also excited to be reintroducing the SWP Scholarship in memory of kari edwards. More information about this and other scholarships will be available on the website,

Gary Snyder @ Naropa

Notable Utterances: “Language that has been saved rather than forgotten”–Gary Snyder

Pulitzer Prize Winner Gary Snyder visited the Jack Kerouac School on November 16th and 17th, as the Frederick P. Lenz Distinguished Lecturer in Buddhist Studies and American Culture and Values. A lecture, a chat, a reading. With more than 1000 in attendance over the course of two days, Snyder left numerous “notable utterances.” His web-like lecture reminded me of Silko’s notion on storytelling: “unpremeditated and unrehearsed,” creating a structure of new patterns in thought. After the lecture, a devoted fan gave me a small jar of Rocky Mountain honey to give him. For a moment I thought, how trustworthy is random honey from a random person…

His chat included a departure on Japanese syllabary and Duncan’s statement that “poetry must have music and magic.” When asked if he could explain the magic, Snyder said: “The magic is a big topic; that’s why I was talking about the music”; then laughed. As it turns out, Duncan’s magic is an amalgam of traditional magic and the metaphoric, that which is unpredictable and surprising.

On two occasions, I picked up Snyder from his hotel to drive him to and fro. Both times, he was in the lobby, partaking in the free coffee and cookies. Prior to the reading, we sat in oversized faux leather chairs and discussed “Axe Handles”–its pedagogical significance. The way the text creates a through line from Ezra Pound to Shih-hsiang Chen, from his son Kai to himself. The poem is both precise in the present moment of shaping the axe handle and expansive in its historical movements. He thumbed through the index of one of his books, then marked the page. When he read the poem during the reading, a murmur spread through the darkened room:

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
“When making an axe handle
the pattem is not far off.”
And I say this to Kai
“Look: We’ll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with-”
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It’s in Lu Ji’s Wen Fu, fourth century
A.D. “Essay on Literature”-in the
Preface: “In making the handle Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand.-
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

FOR MORE ON THE VISIT, click here.