Collage by Susana Gardner
Alice Notley is one of the most distinctive and exceptional voices in contemporary American poetry. On 10 May 2008 she came to the Birkbeck Poetics Centre for a symposium shaped around her voice, which aimed to celebrate her extraordinary writing and generate its own creative ‘work’ of discussion in response. She read throughout, alongside short ten-minute talks by a small group of participants – poets and poet-critics – each of whom had chosen one poem or a short part of her work to explore. The remit was open, so what unrolled throughout the day was a record of engagement with the duration of her reading, including personal responses and kinds of negotiation, reflections on practice, questions of interpretation.
Constellation: Alice Notley is both a record of that exchange, revised for a new format, and a wider communal collaboration. It brings together the participants from the day with a more extensive network of connections and voices. It includes essays and poems, notes and reflections, and video footage from the day, with links for other material available. It is curated in and across three spaces online – the Birkbeck Centre for Poetics, “Intercapillary Space”, and Openned – by Carol Watts, Edmund Hardy, Steve Willey and Alex Davies. It is a celebration of the work of a major poet, whose writing offers a powerfully attentive engagement with our times.
Symposium participants: Jon Clay, John Hall, Edmund Hardy, Lynne Hjelmgaard, Piers Hugill, Elizabeth James, Peter Middleton, Stephen Mooney, Sophie Robinson, Zoe Skoulding, Carol Watts, Steve Willey.
Joined by: Tim Allen, Caroline Bergvall, Elizabeth Bryant, Jennifer Cooke, Jen Currin, Ian Davidson, Melissa Flores-Bórquez, Susana Gardner, Ralph Hawkins, Amy Hollowell, Sarah Hopkins, Claudia Keelan, David Kennedy, Pansy Maurer-Alvarez, Redell Olsen, Michael Peverett, Will Rowe, Lisa Samuels, Elizabeth Treadwell, Catherine Wagner, Steven Waling, Dana Ward
essays and poems, notes and reflections, curated by Carol Watts & Edmund Hardy.
a video record of Alice Notley’s Birkbeck reading
(filmed by Stephen Willey, page design and blog design by Alex Davies & Stephen Willey, special thanks to Adrian Tribe at Birkbeck).
New work by Alice Notley
Ten poems from Negativity's Kiss.
The Contemporary Poetics Research Centre in conjunction with Colin’s Still’s Optic Nerve has produced a CD of Alice Notley reading as part of the Rockdrill series.
For further details of the Rockdrill series, and news of a release date see http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc/publications/
Alice Notley's Above the Leaders (London: Veer, 2008) was published to coincide with the symposium, and is available from Veer Books at http://www.bbk.ac.uk/cprc/publications/veer-books or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
011 Alice Notley - 'Above the leaders'
Veer Publication 011 [ISBN: 978-0-9558763-1-8]
Above the Leaders, written in 2006, is a set of Paris poems -- almost-adventures, visitations, paranoias, the exquisite, outrageous language of l'étrangère. A complicated relation of identity to the city, this is a book of loneliness and encounter that refuses to solidify into inaction.
A5 size. 68 pages. May 2008. £4.00
New work by Alice Notley, 'Four Poems from Negativity’s Kiss' will also appear in the new Veer journal veer off (October 2008), alongside that of over 60 other leading poets.
015 Veer Journal 2 – 'veer off'
Veer Publication 015 [ISSN: 1758-4140]
The second in the occasional Veer journal series focussing on unconforming writing, veer off collects current writing from a selection of outstanding contemporary authors.
A4 size. 232 pages. October 2008. £5.50