Friday, March 28, 2008

The Jack Kerouac Writer in Residence Project presents:
The 2008 Central Florida Book & Music Festival
Friday and Saturday, March 28th and 29th

Friday, March 28th, be part of the scene at Uptown Altamonte
Eddie Rose Waterfront Amphitheater at Cranes Roost Park and enjoy a
FREE live concert featuring the David Amram Jazz Quartet, 7:00pm until 9:00pm,
and special guest Ben Alba, author of Inventing Late Night.

Venue Information:
Eddie Rose Waterfront
Amphitheater at Cranes Roost Park
247 Cranes Roost Blvd.
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701

Saturday, March 29th, re-live the NYC of the 1950s with a 12:00, noon, luncheon. Seating begins at 11:00AM and show begins at noon. Admission cost is $30 which includes lunch and play.

Southern Winds Theatre presents: An Evening with Jack Kerouac - End of the Roadwritten by Steve A. Rowell and David A. McElroy. Directed by Marylin McGinnis. Rowell and McElroy bring Kerouac's brilliant, yet tortured life to the stage in this demonstrative one-man show. McElroy, portraying Kerouac takes "the spotlight" that illuminates Jack's life as the road experience it was, and how he only wanted to observe and write those observations.

After the play: A performance commemorating the 1st ever Jazz Poetry
Concert of 1957 by David Amram and Jack Kerouac - re-created by the David
Amram Jazz Quartet.

Venue Information:
Holiday Inn Altamonte Springs
For tickets order online at Southern Winds Theater site or RSVP to this email or just show up at the last minute

For information regarding any of these events contact

For even more information
But Wait There's More!!! UCF Events

Monday the 31st - Library room 511, 2:00 PM
Roundtable about Kerouac and the Beats to be hosted by the Library.
David will read from his book on the Beats and discuss the significance
of the 50th anniversary of Dharma Bums.

Tuesday the 1st - Library room 223, 7:00 PM
Screening of Pull My Daisy, the short film narrated by Jack Kerouac and
scored by David Amram with a short presentation about the making of the
film and a Q/A session.

Thursday the 3rd - Reflection Pond, tentatively scheduled for 7:00 PM
An Evening Affair with music...David would like to use this time to
improvise with music students...also plan to ask Sigma Tau Delta if they
want to read selections of Kerouac's works with David's accompaniment.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2 Events on Campus Having to Do with Class

Should you already be finished with your midterms:

Beyond the Souvenir Shop
Lecture by Christopher Olszewski

Sainer Pavillion
Wednesday March 19, 2008
7 p.m.

Christopher Olszewski is an active member of the Chippewa of Mnjikaning First Nation, his work is from the creative visual language of the Northern Woodland people. Rooted in western painting traditions, as well as being trained in the modernist/postmodernist philosophy of art. Olszewski is fascinated with the ancient Native American world and how it interacts with current times. His paintings develop the Native American image "beyond the “Souvenir Shop” and depict actual people struggling with the encroachment of the dominant contemporary culture. Juxtaposing images of United States currency, automotive brands, and professional sports logos with images of Native Americans in ordinary settings the artist develops a consciousness of a thriving culture beyond the caricature. Olszewski's paintings weave an intricate line between propaganda and advertising with an emphasis on the abuse of the word LIBERTY.

You've seen the posters around campus, but what's most germane to this course is the way he is turning commerce -- particularly quasi-language -- into art for a political end.

Then, too, there's my reading at 6 pm in the WRC with visiting poet Linda Russo! I'll be reading from my chapbooks (they are free online!!!), Linda will be reading from MIRTH, her excellent new book from Chax Press.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Some Ways to Find Markets for Your Writing

There are thousands of listings of litary journals, commercial magazines that include creative writing, eZines, etc., including Poets & Writers classifieds (, AWP Chronicle, Writer's, Artist's, Poet's Market, Writer's Digest, etc. etc. But how to use? How to decide?

1) By content.
Identify your subject, and who is likely to be interested in publishing creative writing on that subject. Is it Feminist? Serbian? Formal? Visual? Look for publications which specialize in publishing creative writing on the same theme, or look for publications with special theme issues, or look for publications which publish all sorts of content on a theme who occasionally publish pieces of creative writing on that theme.

2) Write "to" the publication / CFW.
Maybe you don't have anything ready to send, but are seeking some writing prompts. Why not look at what publications are asking for, and attempt to deliver it? For example, here are calls for work for anthologies (generally more prestigious credits than periodical publication) from the most recent classifieds:

(BLANK) BEGINS at conception. Seeking essays for an anthology about female experiences with reproduction. All perspectives welcome: infertility, pregnancy, adoption, abortion, parenthood, deciding to remain child-free, etc. Target audience is anyone looking for a broader perspective on reproductive choices. Send queries and submissions to

THE POWER of the Center, a Wising Up Press anthology. In a time of troubling polarization, we invite submissions on how we have used social centrality to promote inclusion and change. Essays/memoirs personal experience, thoughtful and emotionally evocative. less than 4,000 words. B&W photographs/artwork: less than 5. Deadline: June 1. E-mail to Guidelines:

and another

Say it Loud: Poems about James Brown. Edited by: Mary E. Weems, and Michael Oatman.

We grew up on James Brown’s Hit Me! When he danced every young Black man wanted to move, groove and look like him. Mr. Brown wasn’t called the hardest workingman in show business because he wasn’t. Experiencing a James Brown show was like getting your favourite soul food twice, plus dessert. His songs, like black power fists you could be proud of and move to at the same time. When Mr. Brown sang make it funky we sweated even in the wintertime. Losing him was like losing somebody in our family. This is a shout out for poems about the impact James Brown had on our lives. Poems that will help people remember, honour, and celebrate his legacy. Don’t be left in a cold sweat, send us your old and new James Brown poems today.

Submission Guidelines: 3-5 Unpublished and/or published poems with acknowledgement included. No longer than 73 lines Deadline: April 30, 2008 (Receipt not postmark) Send hard copies along with a Word Document and short bio on a CD to: Dr. Mary E. Weems / Education Department / John Carroll University / 20700 North Park Blvd. / University Hts., Ohio 44118 / Send via e-mail attachment (Word Documents Only) to:, and

3) Track writers: where writers you admire or writers whose style or subject matter may be similar to yours are publishing. Use these publications to track down other writers as well as the publications.
You read a work by a younger contemporary writer you admire. Google the name or do another search to find a bio which lists credits, such as "published in blah, blah magazine, the journal of blah, and the annual best of blah anthology 2007." Then look at blah, blah magazine. Look at the work of the author that they chose. Read any editorial statement (with a grain of salt -- read it alongside what seems to be chosen in practice, and compare it to the statements). Read the other works published in the publication.

Variation: read a book published by a writer you admire, etc. Read other writers published by the press, but also look at the acknowledgements page. Are you familiar with the journals which have published the writer you admire? Look them up.

4) Track publications. If you have the "best genre work year" anthologies, take a look at the list of publications contributing to the anthology. Are you familiar with them? Look at the link list for online journals, especially for journals that keep appearing on list after list. Look at the bios in a publication you admire. Are there are publications that appear in one or more contributor's credits? Look it up!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Katrina Bang is ready to consider sending a work she was unable to circulate for comment (color reproduction concerns) for publication, and asked for recommendations of places.

Due to the content, which is visual and written both, I recommend it be submitted as art.

She might consider feminist journals. While the response time is longer, the audience is very responsive.

13th Moon, on the web at, edited in the past by Judith Johnson and Marilyn Hacker (look 'em up!), from SUNY Albany (Johnson is now emeritus from there, I think?)

Calyx,; note how, in the submissions guidelines, submissions of art (rather than poetry) are almost always open!

Kalliope is a really nice feminist journal of longstanding edited out of Florida!
Since we haven't had the opportunity to discuss this during workshop, but SHOULD take the time, I want to mention that I *NEVER* endorse entering *ANY* writing contest which charges a fee. Ideosyncratically, I do occasionally enter the National Poetry Series and similar book prizes. If you read this... ask in workshop!

More soon, including visual poetry journals...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Summer Programs

David Belew asked that I compile a list of Summer programs in creative writing. These are of two sorts: colonies/conferences and academic programs.

Based on reports of the writing colony experience I have not had, I would recommend programs unless or until winning a fellowship, scholarship, or otherwise subsidized stay at a colony, such as Breadloaf, where hierarchies of paying vs. non-paying writers often develop.

The Poetry Society of America keeps an excellent list of links:


Iowa Summer Writing Festival


Summer Literary Seminars in St. Petersburg, Russia, and in Kenya (don't know if Kenya is the place to be this summer -- though maybe it is? --)

New School for Social Research:
Some More Info:
The Summer Writers Colony at the New School grants six credits. Students participate in daily workshops with established poets and fiction writers, as well as literary salons and discussions with renowned visiting writers, sessions with magazine and book editors, readings, a literary walking tour, and a practicum in fine-art book printing. The SWC runs from June 2 through June 20, 2008.

This summer’s visiting writers include novelist Russell Banks, discussing his book The Reserve; Bruce Coville discussing Into the Land of the Unicorns, Skull of Truth, My Teacher Flunked the Planet and the picture book Romeo and Juliet; 2007 National Book Award finalist Lydia Davis discussing Varieties of Disturbance; New York Times Notable Book author Honor Moore discussing The Bishop’s Daughter; celebrated essayist Philip Lopate discussing Getting Personal; National Book Critics Circle finalist poet Major Jackson discussing Hoops; and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon.

The workshop faculty includes Deborah Brodie, Douglas Martin, Madge McKeithen, Sharon Mesmer, Kathleen Ossip and John Reed.

To ask questions, contact Luis Jaramillo, Associate Chair of the Writing Program at or 212-229-5611, extension 2346

Then there are also continuing education courses in creative writing, such as those at New School for Social Research, Naropa, Columbia University, UCLA Extension. These are year round (not summer only) and occasionally online or for graduate or undergraduate credit:

Boston University has a summer term with creative writing courses.
So does Harvard, however many of these are not workshops led by published writers: google the faculty.

The Kenyon Review has one at Kenyon in Ohio:

Antioch's in Ohio is only a week:

(there are lots of them which are just week-long intensives with lots of exercises, for example Wesleyan (CT), Aspen (CO), etc.)

Week Six

Thursday, March 6, 2008

PoW! #2

In any case, there's another campus event ALSO related to writing, in a sense, in Sainer March 18 (that's a Tuesday -- THE Tuesday before the next chapbook collective meeting).

Tuesday • Mar 18, 4 pm (note that this conflicts with class; I would prefer you attend class, but... spread the word...)
The Power of Women in Media, Communications & Entertainment

Carol Flint, TV producer (ER) (alumna)
Cathy Guisewite, syndicated cartoonist “Cathy”
Leslie Glass, journalist, playwright, and novelist
Susan Burns (moderator), editor, Biz941 (alumna)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008


forms and some word games are considered to be "machines for making poems" -- essentially the opposite of dada

yet, here are some online generators -- halfway between madlibs and the music related repetitive forms (canzone, sestina; villanelle; pantoum west, ballad) forms, perhaps

of artist statements (more personal, reflexive than a manifesto, of course)
here's mine

Work of Meta-Art in the Age of Generative Reproduction (rip off of Benjamin)

The matrix creates, the corporation permeates. In the material reality, art objects are resurrections of the iterations of the matrix -- a matrix that uses the corporation as an organism to enmesh ideas, patterns, and emotions. With the rationalization of the electronic environment, the matrix is superseding a point where it will be free from the corporation to consume immersions into the contortions of the delphic reality. Work of Meta-Art in the Age of Generative Reproduction contains 10 minimal flash engines (also refered to as "memes") that enable the user to make superfluous audio/visual compositions.

measuring chains, constructing realities
putting into place forms
a matrix of illusion and disillusion
a strange attracting force
so that a seduced reality will be able to spontaneously feed on it


Catherine Daly's work investigates the nuances of modulations through the use of slow motion and close-ups which emphasize the Generative nature of digital media. Daly explores abstract and real scenery as motifs to describe the idea of hyper-real reality. Using fake loops, vectors, and interactive images as patterns, Daly creates meditative environments which suggest the expansion of culture...
<-- Obligatory ascii sig. Repeat until desired cyborg effect is achieved. -->

/u[0]{)]|]]-] -------------/u/u!@#$%^~!@#$%^&*()) __++_)(*&^%$--------/u/u!@#$%^~!@#$ %^&*())__++_)(*&^%$--------/u/u!@#$ %^~!@#$%^&*())__+, etc., etc.

<-- End obligatory ascii sig. -->

of poems

of gothic poems

Sunday, March 2, 2008


March 10, 2008 3:00 AM : The Audacity of Desperation: a call for work
Deadline March 10, 2008
Exhibition dates: April 4- May 11 at the Indy Media Center in Urbana, Il.
and in Los Angeles: TBA
Organized by Sarah Ross and Jessica Lawless

The Audacity of Desperation: a call for work
Deadline March 10, 2008
Exhibition dates: April 4- May 11 at the Indy Media Center in Urbana, Il.
and in Los Angeles: TBA
Organized by Sarah Ross and Jessica Lawless

The Audacity of Desperation is an art exhibition, political action, and on-going dialogue.
We are currently seeking distributable artworks addressing the topic of "desperation." In
November 2008 something is going to change. The worst president ever will finally be
voted out of the Whitehouse. But, as the infamous writing on the wall reads, IF VOTING
CHANGED ANYTHING THEY'D MAKE IT ILLEGAL. Works should exist in multiples with the
intention to be freely distributed to audiences. Media can include, but is not at all limited
to: posters, stickers, stencils, zines, stamps- ink and postage - buttons, CD's/DVD's,
postcards, t-shirts and manifestos.

Please send submissions, questions or inquires to:
We prefer digital submissions. The file size does not need to reflect your final piece.
For more information:

If it is not possible to send a digital reproduction, send your submission to:
Desperation submission
C/o jessica lawless
7523 1/2 Lexington Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90046

Both electronic and material submissions should include:
* Your Name
* e-mail address
* Materials and dimensions
Submissions Due: March 10

Please forward widely

For a later week...

Lipo: First and Second Manifestos
Francois Le Lionnais

In defining "Potential Literature," Francois Le Lionnais questions the assumption that art is the product of a singular "inspired" vision. By contrast, the Oulipian aesthetic foregrounds the constraints implicit in all works of art, opening up new means of creation and a way of reclaiming works of the past through a form of "literary prosthesis."

First Manifesto

Let's open a dictionary to the words "Potential Literature." We find absolutely nothing. Annoying lacuna. What follows is intended, if not to impose a definition, at least to propose a few remarks, simple hors d'oeuvres meant to assuage the impatience of the starving multitudes until the arrival of the main dish, which will be prepared by people more worthy than myself.

Do you remember the polemic that accompanied the invention of language? Mystification, puerile fantasy, degeneration of the race and decline of the State, treason against Nature, attack on affectivity, criminal neglect of inspiration; language was accused of everything (without, of course, using language) at that time.

And the creation of writing, and grammar--do you think that that happened without a fight? The truth is that the Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns is permanent. It began with Zinjanthropus (a million seven hundred and fifty thousand years ago) and will end only with humanity--or perhaps the mutants who succeed us will take up the cause. A Quarrel, by the way, very badly named. Those who are called the Ancients are often the stuffy old descendants of those who in their own day were Moderns; and the latter, if they came back among us, would in many cases take sides with the innovators and renounce their all too faithful imitators.

Potential literature only represents a new rising of the sap in this debate.

Every literary work begins with an inspiration (at least that's what its author suggests) which must accommodate itself as well as possible to a series of constraints and procedures that fit inside each other like Chinese boxes. Constraints of vocabulary and grammar, constraints of the novel (divisions into chapters, etc.) or of classical tragedy (rule of the three unities), constraints of general versification, constraints of fixed forms (as in the case of the rondeau or the sonnet), etc.

Must one adhere to the old tricks of the trade and obstinately refuse to imagine new possibilities? The partisans of the status quo don't hesitate to answer in the affirmative. Their conviction rests less on reasoned reflection than on force of habit and the impressive series of masterpieces (and also, alas, pieces less masterly) which has been obtained according to the present rules and regulations. The opponents of the invention of language must have argued thus, sensitive as they were to the beauty of shrieks, the expressiveness of sighs, and sidelong glances (and we are certainly not asking lovers to renounce all of this).

Should humanity lie back and be satisfied to watch new thoughts make ancient verses? We don't believe that it should. That which certain writers have introduced with talent (even with genius) in their work, some only occasionally (the forging of new words), other with predilection (counterrhymes), others with insistence but in only one direction (Lettrism) the Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle (Oulipo) intends to do systematically and scientifically, if need be through recourse to machines that process information.

In the research which the Oulipo proposes to undertake, one may distinguish two principal tendencies, oriented respectively toward Analysis and Synthesis. The analytic tendency investigates works from the past in order to find possibilities that often exceed those their authors had anticipated. This, for example, is the case of the cento, which might be reinvigorated, it seems to me, by a few considerations taken from Markov's chain theory.

The synthetic tendency is more ambitious: it constitutes the essential vocation of the Oulipo. It's a question of developing new possibilities unknown to our predecessors. This is the case, for example, of the Cent Mille Milliards de poèmes or the Boolian haikus.

Mathematics--particularly the abstract structures of contemporary mathematics--proposes thousands of possibilities for exploration, both algebraically (recourse to new laws of composition) and topologically (considerations of textual contiguity, openness and closure). We're also thinking of anaglyphic poems, texts that are transformable by projection, etc. Other forays may be imagined, notably into the area of special vocabulary (crows, foxes, dolphins; Algol computer language, etc.). It would take a long article to enumerate the possibilities now foreseen (and in certain cases already sketched out).

It's not easy to discern beforehand, examining only the seed, the taste of a new fruit. Let's take the case of alphabetical constraint. In literature it can result in the acrostic, which has produced truly staggering works (still, Villon and, well before him, the psalmist and author of the Lamentations attributed to Jeremiah . . . ); in painting it resulted in Herbin, and a good thing too; in music the fugue on the name B.A.C.H.--there we have a respectable piece of work. How could the inventors of the alphabet have imagined all of that?

To conclude, Anoulipism is devoted to discovery, Sythoulipism to invention. From the one to the other there exist many subtle channels.

A word at the end for the benefit of those particularly grave people who condemn without consideration and without appeal all work wherein is manifested any propensity for pleasantry.

When they are the work of poets, entertainments, pranks, and hoaxes still fall within the domain of poetry. Potential literature remains thus the most serious thing in the world. Q.E.D.

Second Manifesto

I am working for people who are primarily intelligent, rather than serious.
--P. Feval

Poetry is a simple art where everything resides in the execution. Such is the fundamental rule that governs both the critical and the creative activities of the Oulipo. From this point of view, the Second Manifesto does not intend to modify the principles that presided over the creation of our Association (these principles having been sketched out in the First Manifesto), but rather to amplify and strengthen them. It must however be remarked that, with increasing ardor (mixed with some anxiety), we have envisioned in the last few years a new orientation in our research. It consists in the following:

The overwhelming majority of Oulipian works thus far produced inscribe themselves in a SYNTACTIC structurElist perspective (I beg the reader not to confuse this word--created expressly for this Manifesto--with structurAlist, a term that many of us consider with circumspection).

Indeed, the creative effort in these works is principally brought to bear on the formal aspects of literature: alphabetical, consonantal, vocalic, syllabic, phonetic, graphic, prosodic, rhymic, rhythmic, and numerical constraints, structures, or programs. On the other hand, semantic aspects were not dealt with, meaning having been left to the discretion of each author and excluded from our structural preoccupations.

It seemed desirable to take a step forward, to try to broach the question of semantics and to try to tame concepts, ideas, images, feelings, and emotions. The task is arduous, bold, and (precisely because of this) worthy of consideration. If Jean Lescure's history of the Oulipo portrayed us as we are (and as we were), the ambition described above portrays us as we should be.

The activity of the Oulipo and the mission it has entrusted to itself raise the problem of the efficacy and the viability of artificial (and, more generally, artistic) literary structures.

The efficacy of a structure--that is, the extent to which it helps a writer--depends primarily on the degree of difficulty imposed by rules that are more or less constraining.

Most writers and readers feel (or pretend to feel) that extremely constraining structures such as the acrostic, spoonerisms, the lipogram, the palindrome, or the holorhyme (to cite only these five) are mere examples of acrobatics and deserve nothing more than a wry grin, since they could never help to engender truly valid works of art. Never? Indeed. People are a little too quick to sneer at acrobatics. Breaking a record in one of these extremely constraining structures can in itself serve to justify the work; the emotion that derives from its semantic aspect constitutes a value which should certainly not be overlooked, but which remains nonetheless secondary.

At the other extreme there's the refusal of all constraint, shriek-literature or eructative literature. This tendency has its gems, and the members of the Oulipo are by no means the least fervent of its admirers . . . during those moments, of course, not devoted to their priestly duties.

Between these two poles exists a whole range of more or less constraining structures which have been the object of numerous experiments since the invention of language. The Oulipo holds very strongly to the conviction that one might envision many, many more of these.

Even when a writer accords the principal importance to the message he intends to deliver (that is, what a text and its translation have in common), he cannot be wholly insensitive to the structures he uses, and it is not at random that he chooses one form rather than another: the (wonderful) thirteen foot verse rather than the alexandrine, the mingling or separation of genres, etc. Only mildly constraining, these traditional structures offer him a fairly broad choice. That which remains to be seen is whether the Oulipo can create new structures, hardly more and hardly less constraining than traditional ones, and how to go about it. On ancient (or new) thoughts, the poet would be able to make new verses.

But can an artificial structure be viable? Does it have the slightest chance to take root in the cultural tissue of a society and to produce leaf, flower, and fruit? Enthusiastic modernists are convinced of it; diehard traditionalists are persuaded of the contrary. And there we have it, arisen from its ashes: a modern form of the old Quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns.

One may compare this problem--mutatis mutandis--to that of the laboratory synthesis of living matter. That no one has ever succeeded in doing this doesn't prove a priori that it's impossible. The remarkable success of present biochemical syntheses allows room for hope, but nonetheless fails to indicate convincingly that we will be able to fabricate living beings in the very near future. Further discussion of this point would seem otiose. The Oulipo has preferred to put its shoulder to the wheel, recognizing furthermore that the elaboration of artificial literary structures would seem to be infinitely less complicated and less difficult than the creation of life.

Such, in essence, is our project. And perhaps I may be permitted to allude to an apparently (but only apparently) modest foundation: the Institute for Literary Prosthesis.

Who has not felt, in reading a text--whatever its quality--the need to improve it through a little judicious retouching? No work is invulnerable to this. The whole of world literature ought to become the object of numerous and discerningly conceived prostheses. Let me offer two examples, both bilingual.

An anecdote embellishes the first. Alexandre Dumas père was paying assiduous but vain court to a very beautiful woman who was, alas, both married and virtuous. When she asked him to write a word in her album, he wrote--felicitously enriching Shakespeare--"Tibi or not to be."

In the second example, I may be excused for calling on personal memories. More than a half century ago, filled with wonder by the poems of John Keats, I was dawdling in the Jardin des Plantes. Stopping in front of the monkey cage, I couldn't help but cry (causing thus not a little astonishment to passersby): "Un singe de beauté est un jouet pour l'hiver!"*

Wasn't Lautréamont approaching this ideal when he wrote: Plagiarism is necessary. Progress implies it. It embraces an author's words, uses his expressions, rejects false ideas, and replaces them with true ideas.

And this brings me to the question of plagiarism. Occasionally, we discover that a structure we believed to be entirely new had in fact already been discovered or invented in the past, sometimes even in a distant past. We make it a point of honor to recognize such a state of things in qualifying the text in question as "plagiarism by anticipation." Thus justice is done, and each is rewarded according to his merit.

One may ask what would happen if the Oulipo suddenly ceased to exist. In the short run, people might regret it. In the long run, everything would return to normal, humanity eventually discovering, after much groping and fumbling about, that which the Oulipo has endeavored to promote consciously. There would result however in the fate of civilization a certain delay which we feel it our duty to attenuate.

* This is a bilingual homophonic translation of the first line of Keats's Endymion: "A thing of beauty is a joy for ever." Le Lionnais's ejaculation can be literally (if nonhomophonically) translated as: "A beautiful monkey is a toy for winter." Excerpted from Oulipo edited and translated by Warren F. Motte, Jr.

Warren F. Motte's Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature