Literarisches Events (in and around Lawrence KS)

  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Thursday, September 11, 7:00 p.m., Spooner Hall, KU Campus.
  • PATRICIA LOCKWOOD. Lawrence. Friday, September 19, 7:00 p.m. Lawrence Public Library. Sponsored by Raven Bookstore.
  • DENNIS ETZEL, JR. & RACHEL CROSS. Lawrence. Thursday, September 25, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • TONY TRIGILIO. Lawrence. Thursday, Oct. 2, 4:00 p.m., English Room, Kansas Union, KU Campus. FREE.
  • CALEB PUCKETT & JUSTIN RUNGE. Lawrence. Thursday, October 16, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.
  • BEN LERNER. Kansas City, MO. Thursday, October 23, 7:00 p.m., Epperson Auditorium, Vanderslice Hall on the KCAI campus, 4415 Warwick Blvd.
  • KRISTIN LOCKRIDGE & ROBERT DAY. Lawrence. Thursday, December 4, 7:00 p.m., Raven Bookstore, 6 E. 7th St.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Barbaric AWP (?)

Susan M. Schultz recently posted on her blog (Tinfish Editor's Blog) a postmortem of some recent panel proposals for the AWP (Association of Writers and Writing Programs) convention next year. She laments the conservative nature of the AWP, when it comes to innovative writing, and she's issuing a call for "guerilla poetry action," a la the kind of thing described in Jules Boykoff's and Kaia Sand's Landscapes of Dissent: Guerrilla Poetry and the Public Sphere.

I'm reminded of the account, in Paul Lauter's and Louis Kampf's The Politics of Literature: Dissenting Essays on the Teaching of English (Pantheon, 1972), of the left radical takeover of the MLA in 1968. I wonder how many young scholars realize the role that civil disobedience (and just plain "talking back") played in opening up that organization to feminist, historicist, political literary criticism, not to mention study of "ethnic" literatures. And before that, the New Critics took it over from the philologists. Perhaps the AWP is ripe for this kind of thing, just at the moment when a new avant-garde is ascendent in the literary world - and when it is provoking a reaction by the conservators of the style of 50 years ago.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The docupoets panel sounds potentially riveting and very informative ,especially when you put it in the historical context
of someone like Rukeyser. I wonder about the intellectual sophistication of the typical AWP-goer and even that of the selection committee? Especially admire the work of Eleni Sikelianos. You seriously propose civil disobedience and taking the AWP to the streets? It could be a fun and valuable project, but Noam Chomsky advises that "speaking truth to power" is not always that effective--that one's energies are better employed by finding a constructive audience who has something to offer you and you to them. I'm facing my own civil rights and social activism issues right now, being forced "to die into politics before I can be reborn into poetry," so I emphathize. Keep fighting the good fight! 2010 may be your year.

Anonymous said...

What exactly *was* the role of civil disobedience in opening up the MLA to feminist, ethnic and political criticism?

Joseph Harrington said...

". . . the account, in Paul Lauter's and Louis Kampf's _The Politics of Literature: Dissenting Essays on the Teaching of English_ (Pantheon, 1972), of the left radical takeover of the MLA in 1968. "

you can also ask old-timers in African-American and Women's Studies programs to recount how the white male administrators established those programs out of the goodness of their liberal hearts

Anonymous said...

http://www.awpwriter.org/conference/2010sched.php