johntranter.com [»»] Main Site Homepage     [»»] Links to documents   [»»] Links to photos   OFFSITE: [»»] My Journal at johntranter.net

University of Auckland Symposium: “Short Takes on Long Poems”, 28-30 March, 2012
You can read detailed abstracts of all the papers delivered at this symposium here: http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/features/short-takes/symposium.asp

  1. Wednesday evening: lots of short, fast poems
  2. Thursday early: papers
  3. Thursday: John Tranter’s long slow poem “The Anaglyph”
  4. Thursday, later: papers
  5. Friday: On the beach — the longest poem on earth!
  6. Summary: Rachel Blau DuPlessis Wraps it Up

Part Four: Thursday, later

11.00-12.00 am session 2. landing the alien craft. Chair: John Newton.

At the Beach: Rachel Blau DuPlessis, John Adams, Bob DuPlessis, Susan Schultz, photo John Tranter

At the Beach: Rachel Blau DuPlessis, John Adams, Robert DuPlessis, Susan Schultz, photo John Tranter

Susan Schultz, Jaimie Gusman and Evan Nagle. Of Being Numerous 2012

Susan Schultz: “We will make a video in which we ask 40 local people, of various ages and occupations, to recite back sections of George Oppen’s “Of Being Numerous”, and then to comment on what they remembered and why. Each person will hear one section of the poem twice, then attempt to repeat what they heard. By the end, we will have a version of the entire poem, along with commentary on it.”

I recalled reading Dame Frances Yates’ vast book on «The Art of Memory», which began with Simonides of Keos (600 B.C.) asnd came more or less to the present, and included “Ad Herennium”, circa 86-82 B.C., the basic text of memorising by using images and places:

The artificial memory is established from places and images (Constat igitur artificiosa memoria ex locis et imaginibus), the definition to be forever repeated down the ages. A locus is a place easily grasped by the memory, such as a house, an intercolumnar space, a corner, an arch, or the like. Images are forms, marks or simulacra (formae, notae, simulacra) of what we wish to remember. For instance if we wish to recall the genus of a horse, of a lion, of an eagle, we must place their images on definite loci.

12 Noon: Catered Picnic Lunch.
I’ll try to find a photo of people eating their lunch on the lawn… uh… I don’t have one. Does anyone have one to spare? A photo, not a lunch!  — J.T.

1.00-2.00 pm: Session 3. a skin of image and text on the body of sound
Venue: Federation of University Women Suite, Old Government House. Chair: Brian Flaherty

Cilla McQueen

Cilla McQueen

Cilla McQueen. Nanoflowers in the Nonce-field

Cilla McQueen: «Serial» is an ad-hoc construction of text affected by resonant images. Eight short independent poetic texts can be read as interlinked short story-poems about individuals whose lives intersect. It was only after creating Serial that I had a rounded idea of the characters, plot and setting. I found that when the oblique visual imagery was added the characters and their relationships filled out in my mind.

The work is a late offshoot of my short story “Eggs” in «Crikey!» (1993) which leads from Aramoana to the Caucasus. From Fabergé eggs, exquisite fabrications of the civilised mind, to the skull of Pierre Curie, crushed like eggshell on the cobblestones of Paris, to Beryl’s crystallised violets brushed with egg-white, and Edwin’s breakfast boiled egg, eggs are mentioned in some way in every chapter of Serial. Eugene Ionesco, of course, remarked that “le futur est dans les oeufs”.

Stephanie Christie

Stephanie Christie

Stephanie Christie and Alex Taylor. Too big to be settled or said

They say: We propose a collaboration involving music, sound and words, and using the long poem as a jumping off point for an adventure in form. Length gives room for attention to the violent ambivalences that mark our lives at this strange time; room also for attempts at engaging with the reality of global warming and environmental degradation.

Alex Taylor

Alex Taylor

Stephanie Christie (previously known as Will) is a Hamilton-based writer and performer whose recent collaborations include Worn with video artist Paul Be, live performance with a chaos orchestra, and a current book experiment with another poet and a painter.

Alex Taylor recently completed his Masters in Composition at the University of Auckland. Current projects include commissions for contemporary music ensemble 175 East, NZTrio and the NZSO-National Youth Orchestra. He continues to curate the Intrepid Music Project, a collaborative concert series with musicians, poets and other artists from across Auckland.

Unfortunately, as any recording technician could tell you, writer Stephanie Christie’s light, uninflected and evidently untrained voice was no match for the walls of loud sound from the saxophone and violin wielded by her partner, no matter how quietly he tried to play, because of the simple fact that both violin and saxophone had been specifically designed to amplify the thin sound which the bow or the reed produced, with a large brass bell in the case of the saxophone, or a hollow sounding-board body, in the case of the violin. These amplifying devices have been perfected over centuries and do their job very well; the solo human voice has no such aid.

When the instruments were silent, Stephanie Christie’s voice could be heard speaking interestingly, though in the acoustically absorbent environment of the room (high ceiling, carpets, drapes, a hundred chairs and human bodies) it seemed weak and tonally monochrome to me. When the instruments played, her words were inaudible. This presented a conflicted double portrait of the two creators and their aesthetic engagement. She seemed to lack a microphone and amplifier and varied intonation; he needed to mute his instruments; as a duo act they practically begged for a producer experienced in balancing voice and musical instruments. Interesting and instructive.

Hazel Smith, Brian Flaherty, Tim Page with laptop, photo John Tranter.

Hazel Smith, Brian Flaherty, Tim Page with laptop,
photo John Tranter.

Hazel Smith. Film of Sound

Film of Sound is a semiotic surface, a skin of image and text on the body of sound. Through the interweaving of text, sound and image (sometimes complementary, sometimes antithetical) the work explores a number of continua from the pre-verbal to the articulated, from the glimpse to the gaze, from noise to music. It also simultaneously projects both rapidly transforming affective intensities and sustained emotional states. Constructed out of collaborative, indeterminant and remix processes, the layers and juxtapositions of disparate media hint at a narrative trajectory (a sleeping man, an evening in a hotel room, and a journey across vast and challenging spaces. But the incipient narrative constantly breaks down into disordered memories of violence and repression, undefined threats, splintered subjectivities, glitches and raw data.

A video piece that fitted cleverly into the genre of early 1970s “experimental videos”, even going so far as to feature loud, echoing footsteps on stone, possibly borrowed from the introductory sound effects that announce the ABC’s weekly “Poetica” programs; an effect that calls to mind grim detectives in some film noir movie, pacing back and forth in a back alley under a dim streetlamp while waiting to be shot by the villain. Interesting fragments of text appeared and disappeared, usually at an angle and oddly coloured. At the conclusion Wystan Curnow had a few questions about the provenance of the ideas behind the piece, questions which I feel he had dipped in a mordant solution beforehand.

2 pm: Break

Sadly I had to miss the afternoon sessions; they sound varied and interesting.

2.30-3.30 pm: session 4. intervention insurrection reinvention

Venue: Federation of University Women Suite, Old Government House. Chair: Murray Edmond

Sam Moginie and Andy Carruthers

Sam Moginie and Andy Carruthers

Sam Moginie and Andy Carruthers. “Kill The Word Before The Word Kills You”: Jas H. Duke’s «Destiny Wood» and Australian Experimentalism.

This presentation is a response to Jas Duke’s experimental novel-poem-text Destiny Wood (WAC, 1978). While Duke’s performance pieces have circulated in other mediums, most notably as recordings on on UbuWeb, very few attempts have been made to critically engage with his work. Alternating between performance and critical analysis, we aim to interrogate this long text in its relation to experimentalism in Australian poetry of the 1970s, and its relation to the concept of experimental form in general.

Toby Fitch, Jessica Wilkinson, photo John Tranter

Toby Fitch, Jessica Wilkinson,
photo John Tranter

Toby Fitch. Reading Rawshock Reading

“Rawshock” is a long poem in ten parts, a reshaping of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth, an experiment in pattern using the original ten Rorschach inkblots as templates, and a bad pun to boot. The poem manipulates the voices of O, E, U and I (A is Absence) in a fragmented love song that explores the naturally split personalities of the two main protagonists, and of the author. The Orpheus myth has been so done to death in poetry that it has become its own inkblot, open to apparently endless interpretation. This presentation will take the form of a reading/performance with colourful pictures but no lyres. Sorry, Orph.

3.30 pm: Afternoon tea

 

4.00-5.00 pm: session 5. walking, walking with

Bernadette Hall, Bob DuPlessis, photo John Tranter

Bernadette Hall, Robert DuPlessis, photo John Tranter

Venue: Federation of University Women Suite, Old Government House. Chair: Marcia Russell

Bernadette Hall and Dinah Hawken. A Train of Small Sounds

We propose a shared session in the form of a conversation based on sonnet sequences each of us has written: Dinah’s «Building Sonnets» from The leaf-ride (Victoria UP, 2011) and Bernadette’s «Tomahawk Sonnets» from «Still Talking» (Victoria UP, 1997). What interests us is what happens when short, technically disciplined texts accumulate. Is the resulting long poem a coherent work, flexible, expansive and satisfying in ways we ourselves might not have anticipated? We will read each other’s work for small sounds and big diesels, hoping to discover more about the relationship between components and sequencing as we go.

Jill Jones

Jill Jones

Jill Jones. Walking, Walking With

The complex of writing/ saying at length and/ or breadth can be worked through in many ways, one of those being through intersects with other art practices, other modalities. Having worked with other artists in composing site-specific works (both works about place/ locality, and placed works), I am interested in how these pieces work (walk) with place as experience, either as the generative impetus or the space/s of performance.

I will also look at practice issues that emerge in the dynamic of assembling a collaborative work, including control, structure, commonalities, length/ finality, materials and performance, genre, modularity and recycling.

The main examples used will be my own work with photographer Annette Willis, primarily, but also with sound designers and composers Solange Kershaw and Damian Castaldi. I will also refer to the work of English poet, Harriet Tarlo, and her engagement with site-specific exploratory works and collaborations (walks) as modes of the long radical landscape poem.

Ann Vickery, wearing a short-sleeved dark top, talking to Annette Willis, photo John Tranter

Ann Vickery, wearing a short-sleeved dark top, talking to Annette Willis, photo John Tranter

Ann Vickery. Feminist Collaboration, Friendship, and the Contemporary Long and Longish Poem

This talk explores poetic collaboration as a way of crossing boundaries of authorship and subjectivity, enabling what Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian call a “fickle freedom”. As Carey Kaplan and Ellen Cronin Rose note in “Strange Bedfellows: Feminist Collaborations”, ‘She and I metamorphose into we, hypothetical, invisible, yet nonetheless articulate. We emerges from the space between our individual different voices, its meaning elusive, dispersed, always deferred, never unitary.’

I will focus on a series of collaborative longish poems written and performed by Australian poets Pam Brown, Carol Christie, Jane McKemmish and Amanda Stewart that began with “the return of the dead I. Modes of Goo.” These occurred between 1986 and 1988 and, as primarily performance pieces, have been rarely anthologised. Time permitting, I will contextualise these Australian collaborations with those occurring contemporaneously in North America, including Harryman and Hejinian’s «The Wide Road» which was written over more than two decades and was recently published as a whole in 2011.


5.00-6.30 pm: Symposium drinks: Venue: Old Government House Lounge

A pleasant pizza dinner with Philip Mead at a bistro in the suburb of Ponsonby. Why do New Zealand place-names sound odd to an Australian? I once visited an area north of Auckland called “Rodney”. I guess the name of the NSW town of “Collarenebri” sounds odd to a British person brought up in the London suburb of Crutched Friar.


University of Auckland Symposium: “Short Takes on Long Poems”, 28-30 March, 2012
You can read detailed abstracts of all the papers delivered at this symposium here: http://www.nzepc.auckland.ac.nz/features/short-takes/symposium.asp

  1. Wednesday evening: lots of short, fast poems
  2. Thursday early: papers
  3. Thursday: John Tranter’s long slow poem “The Anaglyph”
  4. Thursday, later: papers
  5. Friday: On the beach — the longest poem on earth!
  6. Summary: Rachel Blau DuPlessis Wraps it Up

The Internet address of this page is
http://johntranter.com/notebook/auckland-4.shtml

Copyright Notice: Please respect the fact that all material in the johntranter.net site is copyright © John Tranter and the individual authors 1997 et seq. and is made available here without charge for personal use only, and it may not be stored, displayed, published, or reproduced for group or class use or for any other purpose.