May 18 and 19, 2018
Our inheritance of the open is vast. On the crest of Mallarmé’s “indefinite regions / of the wave” came an invitation to work ‘in the open’. Modernism’s fall into individualism and the palimpsest modeling of the postmodern has encouraged poetry’s relationship to the page to be one of renovation and, as Charles Olson signaled, of activity, setting in place “a whole series of new recognitions.” Here, the open poem’s unfixed nature is ally to forces continually shaped by tensions. And in this, Olson’s open field machinery – the energy of the projective, is still with us.
We might take our cue from Olson’s idea of projection in verse that the line is a discrete unit, a “thing [of] self-existence, without reference to any other thing”; the line is where “the shaping takes place, each moment of the going.” Add to this Olson’s account of parataxis as “the order of all movement” and a projective practice becomes one of one perception leading immediately to another. This impulse toward openness is still seen in the contemporary poem.
We need look no further than to recent anthologies of innovative poetries to get a wide-angle view. To begin to think about methods forecasting the page, consider Susan Howe’s “porous border between visual and verbal” or Rachel Blau DuPlessis’ question, “Who knows about completeness? / That is a fragment. Like everything else.” Is the contemporary projective revealing objects as illuminated by white space, resistant to closure? Is the poem “free to be inarticulate. Even to stutter,” as Peter Quartermain suggests in Disjunctive Poetics? How might we begin to think of the projective contributing to today’s poetics? As restless structures, prolonged hesitations, breakings and wailings? As excesses, inundations, estrangements or ghostings? Consider Marjorie Perloff’s claim towards a contemporary poetics of “nonlinearity or postlinearity,” equally visual and verbal. Her “new exploratory poetry”, where composition still holds a sense of the aleatory, is still influenced by “a kind of ‘after image’ of earlier soundings.” Or Johanna Drucker’s “refusing to stay ‘in line,’ creating instead, a visual field in which all lines are tangential to the whole.”
The structural inheritance of the projective has given way to new experiments of shape, juxtaposition and as yet unnamed forces. What now eclipses or brings forward this important formal work?
Proposals may be guided by one of the following themes:
–the mechanics of gloss
-nuance and interruption
-gestures of space
-hierarchy and the (visual) page
-elusive wastelands / orchestral materials
-hesitation and its phenomena
-the ventriloquized text
-archive and excess
-anatomy of dwelling
–a clearing of/for ground
We invite individuals to submit proposals of 200-250 words towards a 15-minute paper by Monday, March 26, 2018 to firstname.lastname@example.org. Proposals that speak to the idea of Projectivisms are also welcome from filmmakers, artists and musicians.