I’ve accepted an invitation to become an Affiliate Faculty Member in the UW Comparative History of Ideas program. (I’m still a professor in the English department. I just now have another baseball cap I can wear on occasion.)
You can now stream or download my lecture “Less is More: Contemporary Poems Composed Through Deletion,” which I gave in August 2012 at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Here’s how the talk was originally advertised: “Since the turn of the millennium, a number of poets have begun composing verse by taking pre-existing texts and selectively deleting words, phrases, sentences, and even whole sections. Does it make sense to call such poets ‘writers’ in anything but a very loose sense, since, instead of generating text, they remove it? Moreover, since they give us nothing but passages of borrowed language with the original word order preserved intact, can we say that they are sharing their unique thoughts, experiences, and emotions? This talk argues that today’s poetry-by-subtraction is best understood as an inventive response to information overload.”
I’ve just received news that I’ve been elected to the Modern Language Association’s Poetry Division Executive Committee. It’s a five year term. So I’ll be helping to plan the division’s panels at the MLA conventions 2015-2019. Let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see featured at a future MLA!
The web site Critical Margins: Perspectives on Book Culture, Technology, and Reading in the Digital Age has posted an interview with me about my book Nobody’s Business: Twenty-First Century Avant-Garde Poetics. The questions were tough ones: I ended up saying a lot more than I expected. Another interview, more of a questionnaire really, has also recently gone live over at The Volta, in issue 35 of Evening Will Come. I talk about book reviewing.
Nobody’s Business: Twenty-First Century Avant-Garde Poetics is now available from Cornell University Press. Here’s how the poet-critic Michael Davidson describes the book: “The title of Nobody’s Business refers to the nose-thumbing qualities of all avant-garde practices and situates these gestures in a context of global economic crisis. Brian M. Reed addresses a range of important new developments that have emerged after language writing, notably the advent of conceptualism, digital poetry, and Flarf. Reed knows the poetics of these movements extremely well, and his prose is a delight to read.”
Announcing the publication of Modern American Poetry: Points of Access (Heidelberg: Winter, 2013), edited by Kornelia Freitag and myself, a collection of essays providing info and advice to teachers on the high school and college level who would like to start including poets from Emily Dickinson to Prageeta Sharma in their curriculum.
I’ve received exciting news: the Humanities Research Centre at Australian National University has selected me as a Visiting Fellow for 2014. I’ll be spending next July and August in Canberra, and I’ll be participating in workshops and other activities related to the HRC’s annual theme, “Now Showing: Cultures, Judgments, and Research on the Digital Screen.”
On Saturday 16 February I’m giving a paper titled “Bad Movies and Conceptual Poetry: Beyond the High/Low Divide.” It’s at 1:15pm, and it’s part of the Southwest/Texas Popular Culture Assocation annual conference in Albuquerque. Come hear me talk about such films as Kung Fu Panda, Alien vs. Predator, and Purple Rain!