Archive for February, 2010

Bios of presenters for the Robert Duncan Symposium are listed alphabetically by last name, below.
(For all things related to this event, please click on the “Duncan Symposium” category link on the right side of this webpage)

Faith Barrett-Faith Barrett is an associate professor of English at Lawrence University, where she teaches courses in American poetry and creative writing. She is currently completing a book project that analyzes how poets position themselves in relation to the construct of the nation during the American Civil War; examining a cross-section of literary and popular poets as well as unpublished soldier-poets, this study argues that poetry plays a vital role in defining new versions of American identity in the late nineteenth century. With Cristanne Miller, she coedited /Words for the Hour: A New Anthology of American Civil War Poetry/ (U Mass 2005). Her chapbook of poems, /Invisible Axis/, was published by Etherdome in 2001. With Karl Gartung, she is currently working on a collaboratively written sequence of poems responding to the Vietnam-era correspondence of Denise Levertov and Robert Duncan.

Stephen Collis- Stephen Collis is the author of four books of poetry, Mine (New Star 2001), Anarchive (New Star 2005), which was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, The Commons (Talonbooks 2008)– the latter two forming parts of the on-going “Barricades Project”– and On the Material (Talonbooks 2010).  He is also the author of two book-length studies, Phyllis Webb and the Common Good (Talonbooks 2007) and Through Words of Others: Susan Howe and Anarcho-Scholasticism (ELS Editions 2006).  A member of the Kootenay School of Writing, he teaches American literature, poetry, and poetics at Simon Fraser University.

Amy Evans- Amy Evans co-edited The Unruly Garden: Robert Duncan and Eric Mottram, Letters & Essays (Peter Lang: 2007). Her art-work, which is collagist responses to twentieth-century poetry, has featured in Jacket magazine (Issue 38, Late 2009) and her poetry has been published and performed as part of a film by the Openned Series in London (2008).
Amy’s work on Robert Duncan and H.D. has appeared in The Wolf magazine (Issue 17, April 2008), the Journal of Cultural and Religious Theory (Issue 10.2, Spring 2010) and the London Beyond Text: Spiritualism and Technology (2009) series. She is currently completing a PhD entitled ‘“And to Her-Without-Bounds”: Robert Duncan, the Female Poet and the Divine Feminine’ at King’s College London, where she was a Teaching Fellow, 2007-2008. Alongside academic work, she works in London as a classical singer. Amy is excited to be part of this symposium and visiting both the Chicago Poetry Project and Chicago for the first time.

Norman Finkelstein- Norman Finkelstein is a poet and literary critic.  His books of poetry include Restless Messengers (Georgia, 1992), Passing Over (Marsh Hawk, 2007), Scribe (Dos Madres, 2009) and the three-volume serial poem Track (Spuyten Duyvil 1999, 2002, 2005).  His most recent collection, Inside the Ghost Factory will be published by Marsh Hawk in the fall of 2010.  He has written extensively about modern and postmodern poetry and about Jewish American literature; the most recent of his five books of criticism is On Mt. Vision: Forms of the Sacred in Contemporary American Poetry (University of Iowa Press, 2010).  Recent poems, essays and reviews have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Cincinnati Review, Contemporary Literature, Colorado Review and on the website of the Cultural Society.

Finkelstein was born in New York City in 1954.  He received his B.A. from Binghamton University and his Ph.D. from Emory University.  He is a Professor of English at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he has taught since 1980.

Stephen Fredman– Stephen Fredman is Professor of English, University of Notre Dame. His first book, Poet’s Prose: The Crisis in American Verse (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1983; 2nd ed. 1990), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His second study, The Grounding of American Poetry: Charles Olson and the Emersonian Tradition (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1993), contains a long chapter on Robert Duncan. His third book, A Menorah for Athena:  Charles Reznikoff and the Jewish Dilemmas of Objectivist Poetry (Univ. of Chicago Press, 2001), looks at Objectivist poetry in relation to modern Jewish identity. He has just published a new book, Contextual Practice: Assemblage and the Erotic in Postwar Poetry and Art (Stanford Univ. Press, 2010), in which Robert Duncan is a central figure. He has edited A Concise Companion to Twentieth-Century American Poetry (Blackwell, 2005) and, with Steve McCaffery, the newly released Form, Power, and Person in Robert Creeley’s Life and Work (Univ. of Iowa press, 2010).

Karl Gartung-Karl Gartung is the author of Now That Memory Has Become So Important (2008, MWPH) and co-author of Speak! (a privately printed collaboration with Elizabeth Robinson, 2009). Thirty years ago he co-founded, with Karl Young and Anne Kingsbury, the Woodland Pattern Book Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Robert Duncan once visited and read there.

Siobhan Scarry– Siobhán Scarry is currently pursuing her PhD at SUNY Buffalo. She has just embarked on her dissertation project, which focuses on intersubjectivity and visions of community in American experimental poetry. She holds an MFA in creative writing and an MA in
English from the University of Montana. Her creative work has appeared in “The Greensboro Review,” “jubilat,” “Mid-American Review,” “Five
Fingers Review,” “P-Queue,” and “Sentence,” among other journals. Her manuscript “Levering Light” was named finalist in the 2009 May Swenson
first book award. Scholarly articles on the work of Robert Duncan and George Oppen are forthcoming.

Brian Teare- The recipient of Stegner, National Endowment for the Arts, and MacDowell Colony poetry fellowships, Brian Teare is the author of three books of poetry, most recently Sight Map and the forthcoming Pleasure. He’s also published three chapbooks, including Transcendental Grammar Crown and [ up arrow ], which won the 2009 Pavement Saw Press Chapbook Award. His poetry and criticism have appeared in American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Denver Quarterly, HOW2, Ploughshares, St. Mark’s Poetry Project Newsletter, Verse and VOLT, as well as in the anthologies Legitimate Dangers: American Poets of the New Century and At the Barriers: The Poetry of Thom Gunn. He lives in San Francisco, where he teaches and makes books by hand for his micropress, Albion Books.


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As locations become confirmed for the Robert Duncan Symposium, they will be added to the schedule list.  Final locations are HIGHLIGHTED IN RED.

Directions (to be added as locations are confirmed):
Columbus Auditorium, SAIC– Entrance behind the Art Institute of Chicago on Columbus Drive, corner of Jackson.
Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection-37 S. Wabash Ave, 5th Floor (School of the Art Institute of Chicago)

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“The Truth and Life of Myth”
A Robert Duncan Symposium

april 22-24, 2010 : Chicago


Presentations are to be formatted in a creative manner, encouraging openness in hopes of preventing a strictly academic tone.  Questions and conversation are encouraged.

Keynote speakers
Nathaniel Mackey
Michael Palmer

Faith Barrett
Stephen Collis
Joseph Donahue
Amy Evans
Norman Finkelstein
Stephen Fredman
Karl Gartung
Siobhan Scarry
Margaret Sloan
Brian Teare


Thursday, April 22

Evening performance
Duncan play. Medea at Kolchis.
Directed by John Beer.

Venue to be determined.
Players to be determined.

Friday, April 23
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Morning panel.
Columbus Auditorium
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
280 S. Columbus Drive

Presenters: Stephen Collis; Stephen Fredman; Siobhán Scarry.

Lunch 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon panel.
Joan Flasch Artists’ Book Collection
5th Floor, 37 S. Wabash Ave.

Presenters: Joseph Donahue; Amy Evans; Norman Finkelstein

5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Columbus Auditorium
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
280 S. Columbus Drive

Nathaniel Mackey, reading.
Michael Palmer, Keynote Address:
“Robert Duncan and the Invention of Childhood.”

8:00 p.m.
Group poetry reading w/food.
Green Lantern Gallery
1511 N. Milwaukee Ave., 2nd floor.
{Green Lantern is above the Singer Sewing Machine shop; the doorbell doesn’t work but
the door will be open.}

Stephen Collis
Joseph Donahue
Siobhán Scarry
Brian Teare

Saturday, April 24
All events held in the Columbus Auditorium, School of the Art Institute of Chicago

12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Afternoon panel.
Presenters: Margaret Sloan; Brian Teare; Faith Barrett & Karl Gartung.

2:30 – 4:30
Michael Palmer, reading.
Nathaniel Mackey,
in conversation with Joseph Donahue and Peter O’Leary

**Presentation descriptions, final venue locations, and schedules will be posted as determined.

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