Monday, January 14, 2008

Martian Poetics Class with Laura Moriarty & Brent Cunningham


Led By

Laura Moriarty (Author of Ultravioleta & 13 other books)


Brent Cunningham (Author of Bird & Forest)

TEN (10) CLASSES for $200
Meets Every Wednesday from 6:30pm-9pm
starting March 5th, 2008 ***Note date change***
Class meets at Small Press Distribution in Berkeley
1341 Seventh Street

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CLASS DESCRIPTION: It's easy to forget how strange poetry is. Whether it's messages from martians, value for the ecstatic (from greek ekstasis, "to be or stand outside oneself"), or frankensteinian borrowings from areas generally believed to be "other" to poetry (science, philosophy, history, logic), we believe this shifty something else to be at the heart of why poetry interests us in the first place. We will look at some of the ways communities of poets have and might cultivate this something else rather than try to dispel or contain it. We will talk about the ways it shows up in scenes, aesthetic principles, and most often specific poems. We will take dispassionate looks at ekstasis, and ecstatic looks at dispassion. We will often write during class. There will be no workshopping, but for interested students there will be opportunities for one-on-one meetings outside of class at (cheap) hourly rates. There will be opportunities to browse the thousands of small press titles at SPD. And there will be a 30% discount for students! Throughout, we will all try to interrupt our own habits and patterns of thought to invite the different, other, and strange into the room.

LAURA MORIARTY'S A Semblance: Selected & New Poetry 1975-2007 is just out from Omnidawn Publishing. Other recent books are Ultravioleta, a novel, from Atelos and Self-Destruction, a book of poetry, from Post-Apollo Press. She has taught at Mills College and Naropa University among other places & is currently Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution. She received a Poetry Center Book Award in 1984 for Persia. She has also been awarded a Gerbode Foundation grant, a residency at the Foundation Royaumont in France, a New Langton Arts Award in Literature and a grant from the Fund for Poetry.

BRENT CUNNINGHAM is a writer, publisher and visual artist currently living in Oakland with his fiancee and new daughter. His first book of poetry, Bird & Forest, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2005. After receiving his MA in English from SUNY Buffalo in 1998, he began working for Small Press Distribution (SPD) in Berkeley, the nation's only not-for-profit distributor of literary books. He currently holds the position of Operations director. A board member of Small Press Traffic since 2001, he was a founding curator of SPT's "Poets Theater Jamboree," an annual ritual of amateur experimental theater. In 2005 he and Neil Alger founded Hooke Press, a chapbook press dedicated to publishing short runs of poetry, criticism, theory, writing and ephemera. Hooke has published four titles so far, with two more on the way.

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