In just a couple days I am leaving home to spend two months as a Visiting Fellow at the Humanities Research Centre at Australian National University in Canberra. I’ll be giving a public lecture at ANU on 11 August titled “Conceptual Writing: Poetry as Information Art”; I’ll also be giving talks at the University of Sydney (10 September) and at Melbourne University (TBD).
This weekend I’m at the American Literature Association annual conference in Washington, DC. I’m speaking as part of a roundtable on the modernist Hart Crane, then moderating a second roundtable on the poet. Tomorrow I’m on a roundtable about the new Cambridge History of American Poetry, for which I wrote the chapter on the New York School.
I’m off to Portland for the annual conference of the American Association of Australasian Literary Studies (AAALS). On Saturday morning 4/26/14 I’ll be giving a paper titled “The Shine and the Shadow: John Tranter Re-Views John Ashbery” on a panel with John Beer and Kaplan Harris on the legacy of the “New Australian Poetry” of the 1960s and 1970s. You can find the conference program on the AAALS web site if you’re interested.
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.”