On Saturday 27th May, we hosted our London symposium, featuring a gorgeous mix of poetry readings and talks, loosely themed 'Around and Beyond the New York School'. We heard about Barbara Guest, from two perspectives (Will Montgomery's and Dell Olsen's), about Robert Creeley's ecological thinking from Nick Selby, about Brainard as forgetter-as-well-as-rememberer from Martyna Szot, about John Ashbery's 'creases in forgotten letters' from Heleina Burton, about poetry with an accent and the Newham Poetry Group from Sonia Quintero, about hip hop in the fells and the Kirkby Lonsdale Poetry Festival from Matt Sowerby, and about tentacular poetry-making with Small Birds and Osmosis presses from Briony Hughes and Caroline Harris. Jeremy Over uncorked Kenneth Koch via his music box, Betsy Porritt took off her shoes while reading Bernadette Mayer and visiting Graceland, Rona Cran remembered their sister, Peter Robinson quoted Rilke at the Co-Op, Mark Ford evoked the light attic dust of Jules Laforgue, Agnieszka Studzinska's undeclared kisses blew apart, Robert Hampson bid a ceremonial farewell to Soho, Karenjit Sandhu read documents from the Irritating Archive, confident that this is what Yoko Ono would want, Denise Riley dreamed on revolution and the St. Mark's Seraphim, Charles Bernstein turned topsy-turvy because magic is to poetry what yoga is to birds, and Alice Notley sat on the porch with her baby in the warm autumn light. To make (some!) sense of all this, please enjoy the audio recordings from the day, which you can find on our website and our YouTube channel. There are also some photos on our Twitter account (@NYSSNetwork). Thank you so much to all our wonderful readers, presenters, and audience members. Our New York symposium will be held during the last week of October 2023 (exact date(s) TBC) - more details will follow soon.
Alexandra Gold, author of the brilliant new book The Collaborative Artist’s Book: Evolving Ideas in Contemporary Poetry and Art (University of Iowa Press, 2023), joined us on Zoom for a conversation about belaboring poetry, how friendship happens, pleasure in the material, imagining materiality, why and when we start caring about friendships between poets and artists, sketching as a form of poetry, and taking pop culture (but not ourselves) seriously. You can watch/listen to the interview on our Youtube channel. (And, with thanks to Alexandra, we learned that Marvelous Mrs Maisel creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino are developing a drama series about female abstract artists for Amazon Studios based on Mary Gabriel's great book Ninth Street Women.)
On June 7th , 6-7pm BST, Jess Cotton joins Jeffrey Lependorf, The Flow Chart Foundation's Executive Director, for a conversation about Jess's new biography of John Ashbery, recently published by Reaktion Books as part of their prestigious "Critical Lives" series. Join them on Zoom to hear about creating this work that offers "a legible and accessible map of Ashbery’s work that draws connections between the poetry, the New York art and literary world, and the political climate of the middle decades of the twentieth century." Info and tickets here.
Rachel Schenberg's Certainly (certainly), written with Jordi Infield, will soon be out with no more poetry. The book has come out of a collaborative project where Jordi and Rachel woke nightly at 1:53am throughout October to write in a semi-wakeful state. This idea came from The 3:15 Experiment, where, for several years, a group of poets (including Bernadette Mayer, Lee Ann Brown, Jen Hofer, and Danika Dinsmore) would write every night in August at 3:15am.
On June 9th Matthew Rana is organising an event at the University of Amsterdam celebrating Bernadette Mayer. With presentations by Kay Gabriel, Divya Nadkarni, Matthew Rana, and Mia You followed by a discussion moderated by Marija Cetinić, this roundtable addresses questions of poetic form and experimental writing as well as issues surrounding labour, motherhood, trans and queer desire, and the unconscious.
A Life in Boxes: the Kenneth Koch Archive at the Berg Collection: on June 13th (6pm) NEH Long-Term Fellow Susannah Hollister and scholar Emily Setina discuss their biography-in-progress of Koch and show select items from the Berg's vast and varied holdings. Speaking with the Berg's curator, Carolyn Vega, Hollister and Setina will describe how the archive has helped them discover the charismatic, prolific artist in the fullness of his life and reflect on how we can come to know writers through the records they leave. Details and tickets here.
Nick Sturm's edited cluster of essays on little magazines has just been published at Post45, and features pieces by Rosa Campbell, Sophie Seita, Edric Mesmer, Rona Cran, Stephanie Anderson, and others, as well as an introduction by Nick, in which he presents the cluster as 'an immersive resource for writers and researchers interested in little magazines and periodicals, [essays that] will instigate new conversations about how we approach, write with, and teach these incredible primary sources'. Read and enjoy here.