Thursday, January 28, 2010

Some Mediations for Untangling,

--Belladonna has a new web page on facebook (the blog is down now, but probably--guessing here--just for remodelling).  Anyhow, go here for news & notes (you need to log in to facebook), such as: 

--New from Belladonna is Carla Harryman's Open Box (Improvisations).  Laura Elrick's write-up:

From one of our most mind- and genre-bending of writers comes a poem. Don’t expect the poem however: “The page will not inflate / lungs do.” Carla Harryman’s startling new improvisations sound the edges between life and word, text and body, presence and a future (“in the hands of a shovel”). Notes that do not sing open the transfiguring “clink between / Thud and shine”… “Between us and a thing / Not yours, not mine / That owns us.” Thus an intense sort of music arises from the “wasting” gratitude of this Open Box. Syntactically figured through doubles and negatives, its “window window” beckons while it cloaks, reveals as it extends, as intimately as that rack of garments (the plush and the frayed) hanging from our mirrored backs.
--Laura Elrick

--From friend & political economy professor (one of the planners of EconVergence) Pete Bohmer regarding the sort of death that seems like a nail in the collective coffin, Howard Zinn (he was due to speak here later this week, for my class as well as others):

Howard Zinn contributed in so many important ways to creating an understanding of  U.S. history that put at the center the struggles of oppressed people for dignity, and for economic and social justice. His classic, A People’s History of the United States, has had a profound effect in this regard. It is my favorite book.   I have probably given away  30 copies as gifts over the last 25 years and used it in countless classes. Howard was a very wise and humane person who relentlessly criticized our unjust capitalist system while believing in and giving us historical examples of individuals and movements who in ways big and small worked and struggled against all injustice and for a just society.   In language and analysis that was simple but not simplistic, radical but accessible, Howard Zinn’s  anti-racism and anti-imperialism and his strong identification with working people stood out. So did his strong anti-war commitment and perspective.  He listened to and respected the non-elites, those usually omitted in the official histories.

While motivated in his writing by his values of the right to self-determination, of the centrality of ending poverty and all forms of oppression such as sexism and racism, and for peace and justice, Howard told the truth and did not exaggerate and omit facts that were uncomfortable to his beliefs. He also acted on them by participating in countless demonstrations and other forms of activism from the 1930’s until the present.

Based on Howard’s  profound  historical understanding of the U.S. history and his respect for people and his understanding of the obscene  inequality and militarism that marks the United States today, Howard Zinn continued to have hope and believed that we, the people, of the United States, could and would transform this society into some form of democratic socialism that lived in harmony with the rest of the world.    We can all learn from this truly outstanding thinker, historian and human being. Howard Zinn presente!

Sadly, Peter Bohmer

--And yet, there are those whose hope & tireless organizing / creative lather causes various little futures to open up here & there.  Such as Jules Boykoff.  And Kaia Sand.  They're reading tonight, discussing where to go from here tonight, so please do come if you are a STUDENT, FACULTY MEMBER, STAFF MEMBER, or OTHER PERSON LIVING IN OR AROUND OLYMPIA.  Both are always on.  

Born in large part out of Elizabeth Williamson's hard work: 

Winter's first  PRESS EVENT:

Join poet/activists Jules Boykoff and Kaia Sand for a tour of their latest work

The Evergreen State College
        Where: Sem II C1105
    When: January 28,7:30pm 

Boykoff and Sand helped organize the recent Econvergence conference in Portland( They are the founders of the Tangent Press and reading series in Portland ( and co-authored a new book on guerrilla poetry entitled Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry and Public Space (Palm Press 2008). 
Boykoff is the author, most recently, of Hegemonic Love Potion (Factory School, 2009) and Once Upon a Neoliberal Rocket Badge (Edge Books, 2006). He has also published and lectured widely on the suppression of dissent in the United States. He is a contributor to scholarly journals like Antipode, Social Movement Studies, andNew Political Science as well as popular publications like the Guardian, Common Dreams, and XCP: Cross Cultural Poetics. He was an  invited speaker at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Nairobi, Kenya (2006), where he presented research he carried out on U.S. media coverage of global warming.  

Sand is the author most recently of Remember to Wave, forthcoming this winter with Tinfish Press. This collection investigates political geography in Portland, Oregon, and contains a poetry walk she guides. Her  collection, interval (Edge Books 2004), was selected as a Small Press Traffic Book of the Year and she is also the author/designer of several chapbooks through the Dusie Kollektiv. She is a contributor to Jim Dine’s Hot Dreams series (Steidl Editions 2008) and recently performed poetry collaged entirely from the North American Free Trade Agreement at the Positions Colloquium of the Kootenay School of Writing in Vancouver, British Columbia. At present, she is at work on The Happy Valley Project, multi-media collaborations investigating housing foreclosures and finance.

Sponsored by: Performing Meaning, Translating Thought; Music and the Environment; The Writing Center; The Office of the Budget Dean 


--Last, on Feb 3 poet Yan Li will be at our Tacoma Campus, hosted by amazing poet (and person) Zhang Er.  From an email invite she sent (more later on this blog regarding the event):

You are Invited to Chinese Poet Yan Li's reading at

The Evergreen State College – Tacoma

1210 – 6th Ave, Tacoma WA 98405, Room 218

February 3, 2010, 2:00-4:00 pm

Yan Li is a well-known poet and painter based in Shanghai. He belonged to the loose organized young poets group active in China in the late 1970s to mid-1980s, which was labeled as the "misty" school. He is the founding editor in chief of the unofficial, yet influential poetry journal First Line since 1987. He exhibited his art works in a 1979 show by a group of avant-garde artists later known as The Stars. His one man show in 1984 at People’s Park in Shanghai was the first one-man Avant-garde art exhibition after 1949 in mainland China . He has held many exhibitions and published numerous books since the 1980s. In his poetry and fiction work, Yan Li pushes the boundary between vernacular and written, capricious and philosophical, transient and historical, private and public, realistic and imaginary, humorous and solemn, contemporary and canonical. He has maintained his intellectual and artistic integrity under the not so subtle inducement of commercialization or propaganda for the party. He has also been an unfailing supporter and magnet for generations of younger poets and artists who seek his advice and help. His poetry has been translated into many languages including English.


The reading is supported in part by the Cycle Makers and Cycle Breakers Program.


No comments:

Post a Comment