Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Look how I'm staying away from this Blaze VOX conversation.

I've gotten emails! I've gotten facebook posts! I've gotten the reply from Blaze VOX! And still I'm staying very far away from this one. Nope. Nothing to say. Not a peep.

I really just don't have anything of value to add.

10 Comments:

At 9/07/2011 10:07 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

I think this is what they call Nothing to Say and Saying It...

 
At 9/07/2011 10:12 AM, Blogger John Gallaher said...

Indeed. I felt very meta posting that.

 
At 9/08/2011 7:24 AM, Blogger Fuzz Against Junk said...

Do any small presses stay small and successful? Maybe I'm wrong, but unless the publisher continues to receive institutional or grant support, or has a major hit early on (City Lights), isn't this the end game?

 
At 9/08/2011 11:22 AM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

I'm waiting to get more details, but apparently my son Brooks and a group of his poet-artist friends (most of them anarchists and cultural activists) organized a protest action inside the Poetry Foundation Building in Chicago last night. The cops were called. One of the protesters was arrested.

 
At 9/08/2011 12:34 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Better stay away from this one, too, everyone!

 
At 9/08/2011 1:05 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Because you know, Institutions, they have their rules and consequences...

And long live Institution critique.

 
At 9/08/2011 1:15 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

From Jared, under his most recent post (the newest one at top) at Montevidayo blog, responding to my mention of the Poetry Foundation action:

>Jared
September 8th, 2011 on 8:02 pm
Hi Kent, that’s the first I’ve heard of a protest against a cultural entity in these days of protest against government and corporate entities everywhere. Thanks for sharing. Certainly the Poetry Foundation should be considered part of the “establishment,” of that which we take for granted in society.

Maybe it doesn’t, but I think this ties in with the whole BlazeVox thing, which appears to be raging on. It’s interesting to me how counter-cultural a thing like asking authors to take a monetary stake in getting their own work into print has become due to established categorical ways of thinking about the author and publication. Reveals cracks in the system that I guess make people uncomfortable because they are, in fact, accustomed to and committed to that system.

That’s pretty much what I’m about these days, making others uncomfortable by passing along my own discomfort. We ought to have more questions, maybe, less answers. Too many answers (as if solutions to complex problems are simple). What I want is to do things really differently, put so much pressure on settled institutions that they reveal their cracks and the difficulty of any solution.

Kudos to Brooks et al! Would love to hear more details if you care to pass them along…

 
At 9/08/2011 2:54 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Still trying to get the lowdown on what happened. I know at least that a group of activists went to the below event (description under this copied from the recent premier Events brochure put out by the PF) and began a multi-voiced public protest reading, interspersed with shouts about the PF spending tens of millions of dollars on a huge corporate building, instead of using the money for poetry programs and such in the communities. No doubt all the very rich Board Members were there. As I said, the PF called the cops on the rebel poets. One can see it would have been an uncomfortable situation for the wine-tasters and hor d' oeuvres snackers, yes, but so much for the Foundation's promotion of Conceptual Poetry, I guess-- or at least of the kind that isn't merely Museum-tethered... More when I find out--my son's phone is out; I hope he's not in jail. Perhaps those involved will write something about the action. Sounds like the world of American poetry may at last have its version of the Gorilla Art Girls (though I know there were men and women involved in the action)...

>Wednesday, September 7
5:30-8:30 PM

Library Open House: Collection and Cocktails

Celebrate the Library's expanded Fall hours by exploring the collection. Record a public domain poem for our web archive or have your fortune told in poetry. Local poets read from their favorite works in the Library, while complimentary wine and hors d' oeuvres are served.

 
At 9/09/2011 6:49 PM, Blogger Kent Johnson said...

Hey, poetry comrades (even those of you still counting your chances of getting into Poetry Magazine, not that there's anything wrong with that, it's natural):

There will be a first-person account of the doings at the Poetry Foundation wine and hor d' ouevres (if that's how you spell it) event in the next issue of Sous les Paves. A good portion of the issue, interestingly enough, will be taken up with new work by Amiri Baraka, plus lots of other surprise guests.

long live the deep rebellious spirit of poetry, and all that...

 
At 9/10/2011 4:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Teacher says that every time Kent Johnson mentions Sous les Paves, an angel gets its wings!

 

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