Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dec 2 & 4: Vanessa Place + friends in Chicago

Pilot Light:
The Green Lantern Press / Dear Navigator Conversation Series

Vanessa Place & Jennifer Karmin

at The Green Lantern Gallery
2542 Chicago Ave -- Chicago, IL
free admission

Of VANESSA PLACE and Robert Fitterman’s Notes on Conceptualisms, Mary Kelly said, “I learned more about the impact of conceptualism on artists and writers than I had from reading so-called canonical works on the subject.” Kenneth Goldsmith has called Place’s Statement of Facts “arguably the most challenging, complex and controversial literature being written today.” Place is also author of Dies: A Sentence, La Medusa, and The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law, based on her work as an attorney representing indigent sex offenders on appeal. She is co-director of Les Figues Press, and a regular contributor to X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly. Her most recent work is available in French by éditions è®e, as Exposé des Faits and in English, by Blanc Press, as Statement of Facts.

JENNIFER KARMIN has published, performed, exhibited, taught, and experimented with language across the U.S., Japan, and Kenya. She curates the Red Rover Series and is co-founder of the public art group Anti Gravity Surprise. Her multidisciplinary projects have been presented at festivals, artist-run spaces, community centers, and on city streets. Aaaaaaaaaaalice, a text-sound epic, was published by Flim Forum Press in 2010. At home in Chicago, Jennifer teaches creative writing to immigrants at Truman College and works as a Poet-in-Residence for the public schools. She earned her MFA in the Writing Program at SAIC in 2001. More at, http://aaaaaaaaaaalice.blogspot.com

The writer creates many relationships: with oneself; with one’s intimate, immediate, and local communities; and with the writing community at-large (earth/space). Pilot Light brings together writers at varying stages of their career for conversations that cross and explore these different relationships. Emerging and established writers each read from their own work and then engage in a discussion that creates an intimate space across genre and career status.

Co-presented by Dear Navigator, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s literary magazine, and The Green Lantern Press. The series is curated by Elizabeth Metzger Sampson.




Red Rover Series
{readings that play with reading}

Experiment #42:
Repeat Offender

7pm / doors lock 7:30

Vanessa Place

With collaborators:
Denise Dooley
Elizabeth Metzger Sampson
Fred Sasaki
Luis Humberto Valadez

at Outer Space Studio
1474 N. Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, Illinois
suggested donation $4

logistics --
near CTA Damen blue line
third floor walk up
not wheelchair accessible

This event is funded in part
by Poets & Writers, Inc

VANESSA PLACE (see December 2 bio above).

DENISE DOOLEY lives in Rogers Park, Chicago. She reads and writes with the Next Objectivists workshop at Mess Hall. Her chapbook 'Drumptops' will be out this fall from Con/Crescent Press.

ELIZABETH METGER SAMPSON is a writer currently living in Chicago. She is the editor of Dear Navigator, an electronic magazine published by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

FRED SASAKI is associate editor of Poetry magazine, editor-at-large for the Chicagoan, and a conspirator with the Dil Pickle Club and Homeroom. He has new writing in Artifice, Iowa Review, MAKE, and other places.

LUIS HUMBERTO VALADEZ is a writer, musician, performer, and educator from Chicago Heights, IL. Born and raised in a tense environment riddled with violence, criminal activity, and desperation, he developed a perspective—further shaped in his experiences at Columbia College Chicago where he received his BA and Naropa University where he received an MFA—that fueled his first book ("what i'm on," 2009 University of Arizona Press). He currently works as AmeriCorps VISTA Supervisor for Chicago HOPES.

RED ROVER SERIES is curated by Laura Goldstein and Jennifer Karmin. Each event is designed as a reading experiment with participation by local, national, and international writers, artists, and performers. The series was founded in 2005 by Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin.

Email ideas for reading experiments
to us at redroverseries@yahoogroups.com

The schedule for events is listed at

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Support the marriage

of innovative art
and rigorous science!

visit the Kickstarter funding page for

The Quail Diaries:
The Search for the Elegant Quail

at the intersection
of the human and avian

the lacunae of art and science

A project created by Les Figues author and scientist Jennifer Calkins
and biologist Jennifer Gee

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Nov 8 @ the Poetry Project

Monday, November 8th

Brandon Shimoda
& Jennifer Karmin with guest performers
Cara Benson, Claire Donato, Thom Donovan,
Curtis Jensen, Pierre Joris, Michael Leong,
and Ronaldo Wilson

at The Poetry Project
131 E. 10th Street
New York, NY
admission $8
students & seniors $7

BRANDON SHIMODA was born on the west coast of the United States, and has since lived in nine states and five countries. His collaborations, drawings and writings have appeared in print, online, on vinyl and on walls. Recent books include The Alps (Flim Forum Press, 2008), The Inland Sea (Tarpaulin Sky Press, 2008), Lake M (Corollary Press, 2010) and The Bowling (Greying Ghost Press, 2010), a collaboration with Sommer Browning. He is currently on the road, and lives nowhere.

JENNIFER KARMIN, in a polyvocal improvisation with seven NYC writers, will perform a selection of cantos from Aaaaaaaaaaalice, published by Flim Forum Press in 2010. Karmin curates the Red Rover Series and is co-founder of the public art group Anti Gravity Surprise. Her multidisciplinary projects have been presented at festivals, artist-run spaces, community centers, and on city streets across the U.S., Japan, and Kenya. A proud member of the Dusie Kollektiv, she is the author of the Dusie chapbook Evacuated: Disembodying Katrina. Walking Poem, a collaborative street project, is featured online at How2. In Chicago, Jennifer teaches creative writing to immigrants at Truman College and works as a Poet-in-Residence for the public schools.

CARA BENSON is author of a book of interconnected pre-elegiac texts for plants animals humans and earth called (made). She teaches in a NY State prison.

CLAIRE DONATO lives in Brooklyn, NY and received her MFA in Literary Arts from Brown University. Recent poems have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Octopus and Action Yes.

THOM DONOVAN edits Wild Horses Of Fire weblog, now in its 6th year!, and coedits ON Contemporary Practice. He is an ongoing participant in the Nonsite Collective and the Project on the Commons.

CURTIS JENSEN's work has appeared in Try!, the Sugar House Review, Precipitate and The Equalizer. Previous to Brooklyn, he has lived and worked in Utah, Wyoming, and Ukraine. He maintains a blog at theendofwaste.blogspot.com

PIERRE JORIS is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist. He has published over forty books, most recently Aljibar II (poems) and Justifying the Margins (essays). With Jerome Rothenberg he edited the award-winning anthologies Poems for the Millennium.

"MICHAEL LEONG" is an anagram of "helical gnome"; he is the author of several books and chapbooks of poetry including e.s.p. (Silenced Press, 2009), Midnight's Marsupium (The Knives Forks and Spoons Press, 2010), and Cutting Time with a Knife (Black Square Editions/The Brooklyn Rail, forthcoming).

RONALDO V WILSON's Narrative of the Life of the Brown Boy and the White Man, won the 2007 Cave Canem Prize, and Poems of the Black Object, the 2010 Thom Gunn Award for Gay Poetry.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Les Figues Pacific Northwest Readings

Friday, November 12th @ 7 PM
Pilot Books
219 Broadway E, Seattle, WA
with Amina Cain, Jennifer Calkins, Doug Nufer, Pam Ore, and Mathew Timmons

Sunday, November 14th @ 7:30 PM
Spare Room
The Waypost
3120 N Williams Ave, Portland, OR
with Amina Cain, Jennifer Calkins, Doug Nufer, Pam Ore,
Mathew Timmons, and Christine Wertheim

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Little Red Leaves 5 is out and it's so very good.

Included in the issue:

____Special Feature from the **Paros Translation Symposium** edited and introduced by Joseph Mosconi. With Susan Gevirtz, Angelos Parthenis, Steve Dickison, John Sakkis, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Eleni Stecopoulos, Katerina Iliopoulou, Liana Sakelliou, Mairi Alexopoulou, Maria Laina, Phoebe Giannisi, Siarita Kouka, Socrates Kabouropoulos, Thanasis Maskaleris,and Vassilis Manoussakis.

____New Work By: Hugo García Manríquez, Stan Apps, Valerie Coulton & Ed Smallfield, Amina Cain, Carolyn Guinzio, Roberto Tejada, Jimmy Lo, Justin Audia, Travis Macdonald, Tasha Marren, Cindy Savett, Kelli Stevens Kane, Aby Kaupang, Carrie Hunter, Amanda Ackerman, Judith Goldman, Jared Shickling, Brad Vogler, Matthew Cooperman, Beverly Dahlen, Karen Hannah, Arkava Das, Christine Kanownik, Laura Wetherington, Burt Kimmelman, Nathalie Knight, William Allegrezza, Meg Barboza, Adam Fagin, and Matt McBride.

___Project Features: Carmen Giménez Smith __Selections from Goodbye Flicker__, Robin Tremblay-McGaw __Selections from THE MELMOTH LETTERS__

__Thomas Fink Interviews Brenda Ilijima

++Plus 5 New e-editions++ http://littleredleaves.com/ebooks/index.html
Sarah Campbell’s __Everything We Could Ask For__, Brian Mornar’s __Three American Letters__, Mathew Timmons’ __Sound Noise__, Gloria Frym’s __Any Time Soon__, and Eléna Rivera’s __Remembrance of Things Plastic__.

Ash Smith, CJ Martin, Julia Drescher, and Chad Heltzel
LRL5 Editors

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Belladonna* Fall Fundraiser Fun

If Les Figues lived in NYC, this is where we'd be next week:

for a Year in The Commons
Tuesday, October 12, 2010; 7:30 pm

Join Belladonna* for a benefit performance and reading to support our new year of readings, and our 2011 subscription series!
Location: Dixon Place
161 Chrystie Street; New York, NY

Click here for a preview of the
Silent Auction items!

$20 General Admission:
Performances, Readings, & Happy Hour.
Click here to purchase the $20 General Admission level through Dixon Place.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Two Readings Not To Be Missed

Lily's Book Launch: The Evolutionary Revolution

Thursday, October 7, 2010
7:00pm - 9:00pm

Come join the festivities for Lily Hoang's launch of her new book THE EVOLUTIONARY REVOLUTION.

Novel Idea
156 Princess St
Kingston, ON

See this event on Facebook

BOMB Literary All-Star Reading—Come on out to BOMB’s neck of the woods, Greenlight Bookstore in Ft. Greene, Brooklyn. Join the editors of BOMB for a series of readings by BOMB contributors Barbara Browning, Christian Hawkey, and Kim Rosenfield. Hang around afterward to chat with the magazine’s editors and help support our friendly neighborhood indie bookstore, right around the corner from BOMB’s HQ.

BOMB Literary All-Star Reading
Wednesday, October 6
Greenlight Bookstore
686 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Oct 2: Mommy! Mommy! in LA

7:30 pm
Saturday, October 2

Cara Benson
Sean Griffin
Jennifer Karmin
Kate Zambreno

at Pieter (Performance Art Space DANCE)
420 W Ave 33, #10
Los Angeles, CA (Lincoln Heights)

Mommy! Mommy! presents
“Mommy, I'm Sorry”

Forgiven, forgiven

Door at 7:30.
Show at 8.
Event is Free.
Please bring non-monetary contribution like liquor or something for them to provide guests at shows or like clothing to put in their clothing exchange shop.

CARA BENSON is author of a book of interconnected pre-elegaic prose poems for humans animals plants and earth called (made). Her book length poetic meditation on historical, biological, and cosmological evolution, Protean Parade, is due out from Black Radish Books early 2011. Benson teaches poetry in a NY State Prison and edits the online text and art journal Sous Rature.

SEAN GRIFFIN, composer and interdisciplinary artist, lives and works in Los Angeles. He has developed compositional and interdisciplinary methodologies positioned at the intersection of sound and performance, creating large and small-scale concert works, collaborative sound and video installations, and film scores. His works have been presented by Los Angeles' REDCAT, the Armand Hammer Museum, June in Buffalo, Berlin's Volksbühne, Secession Vienna, London's Royal Academy and the Tate Modern, Festival d'Avignon, Taipei City Arts Festival, Walker Art Center, and Centre Pompidou. His current work addresses scripting rhythmic regimentation and conflicting behaviors in performances by instrumentalists, vocalists, and actors in a large-scale event called Cold Spring at EMPAC this year. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California at San Diego.

JENNIFER KARMIN's text-sound epic, Aaaaaaaaaaalice, was published by Flim Forum Press in 2010. She curates the Red Rover Series and is co-founder of the public art group Anti Gravity Surprise. Her multidisciplinary projects have been presented at festivals, artist-run spaces, community centers, and on city streets across the U.S., Japan, and Kenya. A proud member of the Dusie Kollektiv, she is the author of the Dusie chapbook Evacuated: Disembodying Katrina. Walking Poem, a collaborative street project, is featured online at How2. In Chicago, Jennifer teaches creative writing to immigrants at Truman College and works as a Poet-in-Residence for the public schools.

KATE ZAMBRENO's first published novel, O Fallen Angel, won Chiasmus Press' "Undoing the Novel - First Book Contest" and was published in April. She writes the literary blog Frances Farmer Is My Sister , which will inspire a collection of essays to be published by Semiotext(e)'s Active Agents series in Fall 2011. She is the prose editor of Nightboat Books, and recently curated July for Everyday Genius.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sawako Nakayasu: Friday and Sunday

Sawako Nakayasu will be in Los Angeles this weekend, giving a talk and directing a performance as part of her Not Content installation Insect Country C. Both events will be at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions), 6522 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.

Friday, 10 September 2010, 1:30 pm

Artist/Writer Talk with Sawako Nakayasu

Sunday, 12 September 2010, 3-5:30 pm
Improvisational Insect Orchestra, with Juliana Snapper!

Dust off your instruments and come participate in writer/artist Sawako Nakayasu’s Improvisational Insect Orchestra performance. A selection of musicians will improvise the score to a live insect silhouette performance, after which audience members are invited to bring their own instrument to accompany the insect of their choice in accordance with its performance. Each orchestra will perform for 30 minutes before switching instruments, insects, and orchestral players.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Book Sale!

Les Figues press has a brand new online store, and to celebrate we’re offering a special buy-two-get-one-free sale.

From now until September 15th, order any two books from our online store and receive a third of equal or lesser value for free. Simply write your chosen third title in the comments field at checkout page and the fig fairies will add it to your order.


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Darkness, Erasures

If you haven't yet made it out to LACE for the ever-changing Painted Over/Under and Not Content, then this friday, August 13, would be an excellent day to check out the exhibition. Mathew Timmons' CREDIT is now up, and rumor has it may be lurking about, reading aloud. This weekend is your last chance to see UNNATURAL ACTS, by Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin. And at 2:00, Honey Crawford will be performing the first erasure of Yedda Morrison's DARKNESS, a rewrite of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness.

Erasures will continue through next week. Here's the schedule:

  • Fri, 8/13, 2-3 p.m. | Honey Crawford
  • Sat, 8/14, 4-5 p.m. | Vanessa Place
  • Sun, 8/15, 3-4 p.m. | Colin Dickey
  • Wed, 8/18, 2-3 p.m. | Honey Crawford
  • Thurs, 8/19, 6-8 p.m. | Yedda Morrison
  • (also performing: Johanna Drucker and Mathew Timmons)
  • Fri, 8/20, 2:30 p.m. | artist/writer talk with Yedda Morrison
  • Sat, 8/21, time TBD | Christine Wertheim

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Upcoming Not Content

8 August 2010, 2 & 4 p.m.
Credit Launch

In late spring 2007 as an irrational exuberance and promise of financial fortune hung in the air, mailboxes were filled with generous and gracefully worded offers of credit. Just over two years later, in midsummer 2009, the shape of the financial environment changed radically and mailboxes still filled up with statements of credit. Something had to change, offer turned to obligation.

Based on Mathew Timmons’ book of the same name, CREDIT is a highly revealing and emotional work chronicling a personal tale of credit.

2:00 Artist/writer talk with Mathew Timmons
4:00 Kick-off event, begin transcription of book, plus other surprise performances!

13 August-21 August 2010
Darkness, chapter 1, Erasures

Every day, once a day, more Heart of Darkness will be erased, creating a new, biocentric narrative of the text. Only that which is "natural" will remain. Participating writers include: Honey Crawford, Colin Dickey, Yedda Morrison, Vanessa Place and Christine Wertheim. Audience participation encouraged.

Erasure #1: August 13, 2010, 2:00: Honey Crawford.

19 August 2010, 6-8 p.m.
Not Content Performance 4

Joanna Drucker, Yedda Morrison & Mathew Timmons performing from I AM WORDLE, DARKNESS and CREDIT!

Yedda Morrison erasures, Joanna Drucker rearranges words, Mathew Timmons is mired in credit. Hooray!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Elizabeth Hall & Christine Wertheim

Posted originally on Lemonhound:

Early this spring Elizabeth Hall asked California writer and editor Christine Wertheim to answer a few questions via email about herself as a poet, feminist, and editor.

EH: Since this interview is really about hearing your story, can you tell us a little bit about where you grew up?

CW: My Literary Life - Chapter 1- in which it is revealed that the author was raised in a hovel.... No seriously, where I grew up is irrelevant....I started my post-school life as a dress-designer then moved across various visual arts to painting, which abandoned me after some years. I had developed a question I couldn't explore visually. So I belatedly went to university where I ended up studying a concoction of literature and philosophy of my own devising, focused on unpacking my question, rather than learning some already constituted discipline, and I ended up going through the full 3 degrees.

During this time, as now, my primary research tool was a kind of playing with letters that dis-covers things to me. I would then write up long discursive papers explaining what these alchemical compositions revealed. This went nowhere fast, or rather very slowly, as I continued at it for another 9 years after finishing my dissertation. I then moved to America, where at some point my colleague at CalArts, Matias Viegener, saw them and suggested I simply present them as poetry in their own right without the extraneous “explanations." .... and so I became a poet.

EH: As a young poet, what books really turned you on? What texts do you continue to revisit?

CW: I never was young as a poet. By the time I became a poet I was practically middle-aged. However, there are books that definitely influenced my work, and which I still think about alot. The three most important of these are, Genesis, Paradiso and Watt, by Samuel Beckett. Genesis showed me that words can invoke worlds. Paradiso showed me that you can push beyond the current limits of your own linguistic capacities, and Watt showed me how incredibly flexible is the English Tongue. I spent about a decade obsessed with Watt. To me it is the story of a man called Watt who goes to work for another called kNott, and the closer Watt gets to kNott, the more he finds it difficult to distinguish between Watt he is or if he's kNott, because in this book, in English, one can both be Watt one is and yet also kNott. Discovering that had a profound and very long-term effect on me. (Funnily enough when Watt is translated into other languages they keep the proper names in English as Watt and Knott, so as far as I can see, it is a book you can only read in English, at least at the moment.)

The work of Jean-Pierre Brisset, whom the French call a fou litteraire, or outsider writer, is I think the closest I have ever seen to my own project, and I love what he did. But I didn't discover him till many years into my own project, so I can't say he affected me, but it was certainly nice to discover that other people take languages as Tongues seriously.

My favorite books, to read for enlightenment, rather than to further my own project, are mainly "women's novels" like Middlemarch, Pride and Prejudice, For Love Alone, etc. I think Middlemarch is the best literary critique of capitalism I have ever read, because it shows in so many different ways how the language of affections has been colonized by the language of capital, which I think is a theme of many great women's novels. I am also incredibly taken by Beloved, which I think does an amazing job of exploring a post-slavery existential condition.

EH: language as Tongues. When did you become interested in litteral poetics?

CW: I discovered the principle of litteral poetics in 1986. I was trying to understand the idea of 0/Nothing. (This was the question that drove me to university.) For me this was somehow connected to space-time, because in physics space-time is supposed to be a pure form. All the forces and substances of the universe are somehow kinks or depressions or knots in space-time. At least this was and still is how I understand that concept in physics. Then one day it just came to me that if you reverse the word and slightly alter the graphics of the symbols you get +|’me’S-pace, which I interpreted as representing the rhythm through which a being shifts between the position of agent and the position of patient. And I saw this as the form/substance of the psychological universe, or mutli0verse, as I prefer to call it. From there, it just expanded.

EH: Can you talk a little about the editing process for Feminaissance?

CW: Well, we had the papers from the conference, which I really liked, but I wasn’t sure how to see these as more than a group, rather than a collection, which is something different. Then Juliana and Stephanie’s piece, “Numbers Trouble,” was published in the Chicago Review, and Vanessa had the idea to print a shortened version of their paper along the top and put the other pieces below, sort of the reverse of footnotes, with the other pieces exploring issues “Numbers Trouble” hadn’t dealt with. “Numbers Trouble” had generated a whole lot of debate in the literay blogs, and most of it seemed to just circle round the idea of how calling oneself a feminist was “essentialist,” and hence theoretically retrograde and old-fashioned. Not only did this misrepresent everything Juliana and Stephanie’s paper had done, it closed down discussion of all the fascinating topics covered in the other papers. So then the book became a way of indicating and celebrating this diversity; the whole idea of women speaking as women, and how such conversations might have their own unique issues, irrespective of how one thinks gender assignations are made, and how closely people stick to the idealized images of these assignations.

To me it is politically and ideologically necessary that we find a way to get beyond this reductive dichotomy in which either all identities are seen as constructed, and hence empty, or they are given by extra-social forces like biology, and hence essential and unchanging. As I wrote in my introduction, neither of these positions takes time, that is, history into account. Identities and identifications can be constructed, but still be of such long standing that they operate as if they were eternal. This does not mean that they cannot be changed, only that they cut very deep, and that transformation may require eons of conscious hard work, not simply a wardrobe rewrite. Really, this is one way that so-called “post-modernism” has been used in a very regressive fashion, to shut down debates about differences in social formations and hence in access to all kinds of resources, including air time.

EH: Have you always considered yourself to be a “feminist?” If so, has your definition of ‘feminism’ shifted over the years?

CW: Yes, I have always been a feminist. My mother had 6 children and no help, and was a founding member of second wave feminism in the 60s/70s in Australia, so I have always been aware that there was a need for a more equitable distribution of access, along gender, race and class lines, to social resources, including discursive space, and validation for one's contributions to life. That has always been my main definition of feminism/s. In the 90's, through my encounters with psychoanalysis I added an extra clause, that access to what the Lacanian's call "symbolic" resources is also crucial, and that if our current symbolic resources by definition exclude certain kinds of articulations, i.e., the perspectives of any specified social group, then those symbolic resources need transforming. This is one of the tasks for feminists, as it is of all social justice movements.

EH: In Dodie Bellamy’s essay The Feminist Writers Guild, which opens Feminaissance, Bellamy describes her experience with the short-lived activist group in relation to Julia Kristeva’s concept of “tiny revolts.” She writes, “Need the success of a political group be measured by its impact on a larger social order? What about the ways it transforms the lives and psyches of its members –their tiny revolts—are they not profound?” What kind of role does ‘community’ play in your conception of feminism? How important is fellowship with other women writers to your work?

CW: I love Dodie’s article. She is one of the best writers of creative non-fiction today, and I think she makes a very powerful point in her paper. As far as I can see, for many socio-political movements, the larger the impact, the more they fail. Look at Colonialism, Socialism, Capitalism; they've all been disastrous for most of the people they've impacted. On the other hand, the civil rights movement, including feminism has been quite successful, though nothing like as much as is required. And community played a hugely important role in achieving those early successes. It seems as if the current stall is related to an inability to collectivize on a large scale. I don’t understand why this is so difficult for us now. But I believe it is one of the most important contemporary questions.

However, I also think most people in the rich western world (however defined) could do with more serious self-reflection and self-transformation before they start trying to change the world, i.e, other people. Such "tiny revolts" may be small on a world scale, but they are much more difficult to achieve than developing big ideas and schemes for world-transformation, which basically anyone can do.
Fellowship with other women is central to my life. It is my life. My writing I mainly do alone. My professional fellowships vis-a-vis writing have been mainly with my publishers T + V. Of course I have friendships and conversations around issues in writing and literature with many individuals, including Dodie and Matias. But conversations about the specific issues my own work engages are few.

EH: Currently you serve as Program Chair for the CalArts MFA Writing Program. Before joining the faculty at CalArts, you taught critical theory and studio practice at Goldsmiths College. How has your role as teacher and mentor affected your writing?

CW: As I previously said, before coming to CalArts I considered my manipulations with letters and words as a research tool, like digging for archeologists, which then generated other more discursive work. Then Matias encouraged me to just show people the diggings and forget the “explanations.” I can't do that entirely, but the overall balance has definitely changed. However, that is an effect of my relations with my peers, other teachers. I think teaching in all its forms helps me generally to think more clearly about the issues I teach, but as these are not mostly related to my own poetic-research, I'm not sure that teaching directly effects my own writing as such.

EH: What space do you think poets occupy in contemporary culture? Do you believe that writers assume certain “responsibilities”-- political, personal, intellectual, social, et cetera?

CW: I don't know what space poets occupy in contemporary culture. It's not something I think about. I'm interested in work I find interesting, whatever its medium or form. I don't think writers have any more or less responsibilities in any field outside writing than anyone else. If a writer is especially responsible in some area, such as being politically active, or just a decent human being, then I applaud that, just as I applaud any person who is. I don't think being an artist is intrinsically linked to being ethical. Of course it depends on your definition of art. You can have a definition which defines "Art" as work that is ethical, but then, and leaving aside the need to define what ethical means, most of what is currently called art or literature wouldn't be included.

EH: In your book of poems, +|'me'S-pace, there is a real sense of playfulness. How important is play to your work?

CW: It is extremely important. Living is very hard. The only thing that makes it enjoyable is play, if that play is done well, really well.

EH: What projects are you currently working on?

CW: I have two main projects and a third little side one. The third one is a book of 100 pieces, each articulating the moment of its own conception. It’s called Exercises in Style Too: How to Conceive a Poem. I thought I could write them all, but I can’t so I am having other poets help me by writing their own versions. Like the original Exercises it’s a kind of textbook of contemporary poetic styles and procedures. (If anyone has any of their own I am happy to use them and give credit to their composers.) The other two have been in the works for a long time, but I am hoping to finish one this summer. The first is my second book of poetics on mOthers and mOuths. It is the sequel to +|’me’S-pace. (This was supposed to be a book about my sister and I, but I’ve discovered in the writing that the mOuther book is what needs to come next.) The second is my theoretical opus magnus, the book that discursively explains all I have learned from my litteral poetic play. It’s the book I always planned, but now it will look substantially different than the original concept because the different sections were written over a 20-year period and hence have different styles. I’d always planned to redo them all in a unified style. But I’ve decided to just let them stay as they are. The argument is continuous, what does it matter if the style changes? Understanding the argument has been for me an organic process realized over a very long time period. I feel now that the book should reflect this and not pretend to a synthetic unity that denies its own history and development. Of course, I might not find a publisher, but that’s another matter.

Christine Wertheim is author of "+|'me'S-pace" (Les Figues Press). She edited "Feminaissance,” and with Matias Viegener co-edited "Séance” and "Noulipo.” She is currently an editor for the journal Tarpaulin Sky. Recent critical work is published in "X-tra," "Cabinet,” “Issues” and "The Quick and the Dead”; recent poetry in "Drunken Boat," "Tarpaulin Sky" and "Veer." Works-in-progress include a poetic suite on Mothers and an exercise in style, "How to Conceive a Poem.” She is Chair of the MFA Writing Program at Cal Arts.

Elizabeth Hall was born in Louisiana and raised in Georgia by two back-to-the-landers who got bored. She is primarily interested in 20th century women’s literature and the occasional slow-burn. Currently living in Los Angeles, she is an MFA candidate at CalArts and an associate editor for Les Figues Press.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

4000 WORDS 4000 DEAD

4000 WORDS 4000 DEAD
call for submissions

"I want to start with the milestone today of
4,000 dead in Iraq. Americans. And just what
effect do you think it has on the country?"

-- Martha Raddatz,
ABC News' White House correspondent
to Dick Cheney in 2008

Jennifer Karmin has been collecting 4000 WORDS for the over 4000 DEAD Americans in Iraq. All words are being used to create a public poem. During street performances, she gives away these words to passing pedestrians.

Submissions are ongoing as the Iraq War continues and the number of dead grows. Send 1-10 words with subject 4000 WORDS to jkarmin@yahoo.com.

Sponsored by:

A series of text projects curated by Les Figues Press as part of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions year-long initiative Public Interest
July 21-August 11
Los Angeles, California

All events open to the public
at LACE, 6522 Hollywood Blvd

Monday, July 19, 2010

this week at LACE via NOT CONTENT

July 21-August 11. UNNATURAL ACTS.

Taking its name from the historic collaborative writing marathons led by Bernadette Mayer and others in NYC during 1972-73, Unnatural Acts will explore the themes of hunger, war, and desire through public acts of collaboration. Beginning with two days of installation and performance by Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin, a group of ten writers/artists will gather on the third day to write together over the course of eight hours. In a daily ritual inaugurated on the fourth day, the outline of a new person’s body will be traced onto the bodies of text until the exhibit closes on August 11th.

Visitors: Do you have a body? What does it get filled with? Who does it belong to?

All Events Open to the Public:

July 21: Installation (12-5) and Hunger Texts Read in the Dark performance (5-5:30pm) by Amina Cain

July 22: Installation (12-5) and 4000 Words 4000 Dead street performance (5-6pm) by Jennifer Karmin

July 23: Unnatural Acts, 8 hours of collaborative writing (12-8pm). Collaborators include: Harold Abramowitz, Tisa Bryant, Amina Cain, Teresa Carmody, Saehee Cho, K. Lorraine Graham, Jennifer Karmin, Laida Lertxundi, India Radfar, and Mark Wallace.

July 24: Artists’ Talk (2-3pm). Collaborative Reading (4-6pm). Readers include: Harold Abramowitz, Tisa Bryant, Amina Cain, Teresa Carmody, K. Lorraine Graham, Jennifer Karmin, Laida Lertxundi, India Radfar, and Mark Wallace.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Principle of North Korean Charity

Not Content Continues—

Please join Les Figues Press and LACE on Wednesday, July 14, 2010 for the opening of Maxi Kim’s The Principle of North Korean Charity.

2:00 p.m. Artist/writer talk with Maxi Kim (open to the public)
4:00 p.m. Performance with Maxi Kim and Robbie Hansen, plus short video by Gina Clark.

Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions
6522 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

About The Principle of North Korean Charity
The Principle of North Korean Charity is an outgrowth of a deep curiosity about what a particular kind of intervention—a theoretical exchange—might and will be in this new century, a century of presumably dominated by the East. The posted 950-word essay/manifesto/Text coupled with a series of open letters addressed to various art schools in China, Japan, and South Korea will hopefully remind participants of the duty (not simply the desire) to reimagine and reinvent utopia.

For more: http://www.notcontent.lesfigues.com/2010/06/maxi-kim/

Not Content is part of LACE’s year-long initiative, PUBLIC INTEREST, and Part 1 of Kim Schoenstadt’s PAINTED OVER/UNDER: PARTS 1-4
For More:

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Science of Obscurity: A Literary Science Fair

The Chicago Underground Library
celebrates the Science of Obscurity!

SATURDAY, JULY 10th from 7–10pm
at the Jupiter Outpost
1139 W. Fulton Market -- Chicago, IL
this event is free & for all ages
food & drink will be available for sale

An annual lead up event to the Printers’ Ball featuring new, unpublished, and in-progress works presented as science fair experiments. Join an awesome line up of writers, designers, and publishers as the intricately explain the scientific principles underlying their work, real or imagined.

Reading experiments with Jennifer Karmin!
Storigami with Zach Dodson!
Distress charts with A D Jameson!
Teenage taxonomies with Mairead Case!
Curmudgeonly cuttlefish with Libby Walker!
Hand-cranked projector mad libs with Two With Water!
All participants will also have work for sale.

Special projects from the Society of Furthering Truth (SOFT), The Book Bike, readings from Featherproof Books’ iPhone application TripleQuick, surprise musical guests, video interviews with the CUL crew about your favorite forgotten and under-recognized Chicago publishers and writers.

If you’re a writer, publisher, bookmaker, or booklover of any stripe who has recently finished writing a book, has published a book in the past year, or just feels like taking out some aggression on a publication of your choice, we invite you to celebrate by participating in our public reading and launching your work into space--or at least halfway down the block. We define "book" broadly, so zines, magazines, chapbooks, textbooks, and more are welcome. Read a paragraph, then release! And if you want to donate your book to the collection of the Chicago Underground Library after it’s caught some air, we’re here for you.

The Chicago Underground Library provides an open forum for creative exchange between all producers and patrons of Chicago’s independent media, facilitating collaboration and awareness between diverse communities. Through innovative and inclusive approaches to acquisitions, cataloging and programming, we illuminate connections and provide both a historical and contemporary context for the creation of new local media.

The Printers’ Ball is an annual celebration of print culture, featuring thousands of magazines, books, and broadsides available free of charge; live readings and music; letterpress, offset, and paper-making demonstrations; and much more. The Printers’ Ball is co-produced with Columbia College Chicago and the Center for Book & Paper Arts, and takes place July 30th, 2010 in Chicago's landmark Ludington Building, former home to the American Book Company, at 1104 South Wabash.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Matterhorn Peak's Mt Whitney Poem

at esther press.

assembled and read at 11,000 ft by james wagner.

with lines by: paul maliszewski, norma cole, ron silliman, james wagner, eléna rivera, lynne tillman, suzanne stein, laura sims, stephen ratcliffe, kit robinson, steve timm, sawako nakayasu, k. silem mohammad, lissa wolsak, tyrone williams, jackie lalley, allyssa wolf, eleni sikelianos, julie strand, dodie bellamy, juliana spahr, kate greenstreet, adrian c. louis, vanessa place, amina cain, and julian brolaski.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not Content: Upcoming Events

Unless otherwise noted, all Not Content events will take place at LACE 6522 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

11 JULY 2010, SUNDAY, 4-6 PM

Not Content Performance 2: Readings by writers-in-residence Douglas Kearney and Vanessa Place and a Feral-Cat Attack as conceived by Divya Victor.

During the course of his residency, Kearney periodically recorded “covers” of the ever-altering text, COVERAGE. Kearney will use these recordings in a new performance before LACE performs its own cover up of the text.

Vanessa Place will unread STATEMENT OF FACT.

Divya Victor’s HELLOCAST will be the site of a FERAL-CAT ATTACK, with performers Amina Cain, Anna Joy Springer, Danielle Adair, Jemima Wyman, Mathew Timmons, Tanya Rubbak, Teresa Carmody, Kate Durbin, and…


Unnatural Acts: Installation Events & Performances: Taking its name from the historic collaborative writing marathons led by Bernadette Mayer and others in NYC during 1972-73, Unnatural Acts by writers-in-residence Amina Cain and Jennifer Karmin will explore the themes of hunger, war, and desire through public acts of collaboration.

21 July 5-5:30pm: Performance of Hunger Texts Read in the Dark by Amina Cain

22 July 5-6pm: Street Performance of 4000 Words 4000 Dead by Jennifer Karmin

23 July noon-8pm: Unnatural Acts 8 hours of collaborative writing. Collaborators include: Harold Abramowitz, Tisa Bryant, Amina Cain, Teresa Carmody, Saehee Cho, K. Lorraine Graham, Jennifer Karmin, Laida Lertxundi, India Radfar, and Mark Wallace.

24 July 4-6pm: Collaborative Reading and Artists’ Talk. Readers include: Harold Abramowitz, Amina Cain, Teresa Carmody, K. Lorraine Graham, Jennifer Karmin, Laida Lertxundi, India Radfar, and Mark Wallace,.

Photo of Bernadette Mayer and Jennifer Karmin

August 2009, an afternoon of collaborative writing

Photo by Philip Good

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Examiner Interviews: Vanessa Place

photo by Glenna Jennings

Interview by Dan Godston, originally published in Examiner, Los Angeles---

Vanessa Place is a poet, novelist, critic, and editor who lives in Los Angeles. She is also the founder / editor of Les Figues Press, which publishes books of experimental / avant-garde literature. Recently I spoke with Vanessa about her influences, her novel La Medusa, the latest projects with Les Figues Press, and the literary scene in Los Angeles.

DG: How did you first get interested in writing?

VP: I don't remember. I learned to read when I was two; writing went with reading, though less publicly.

DG: Who are some writers who have influenced you?

VP: Dante, Joyce, Pound. Stein. All the big boys. Lacan, Shakespeare, Beckett, Kant. All the usual perpetrators. I read a lot of critical theory, including art theory and philosophy and anti-philosophy. This is more for fun.

DG: What do you find so interesting about Gertrude Stein’s work?

VP: Language is very much material, and as material, it has physical properties, including mass.

DG: What’s one great work by Gertrude Stein that some people might not be so familiar with, but what you think is an amazing piece of writing by her?

VP: People are familiar with The Making of Americans, but don't read it, or read it wrong, dipping in and out, turning what is a great clump of text to a doily. It has to be plowed through, line by line. Then its pleasures are immense.

DG: How would you describe the literary scene in LA?

VP: Diffuse, diffident. Sometimes indifferent. It ebbs and flows, on account of being so close to the sea. Right now, there is a real move towards a meaningful mingling with the art world. I expect this to pollute both parties.

DG: What’s one example of how the literary scene is mingling with the art world in LA?

VP: In addition to the curatorial project that Les Figues is currently doing at LACE, there's a boom in literary readings hosted by art galleries, and art openings featuring literary readings. There are some cross-over projects as well -- both on a kind of institutional level, such as Joseph Mosconi and Rita Gonzalez's Area Sneaks journal project -- and a personal level, such as my sound collaboration with Stephanie Taylor (Murder Squaredance on the Spiral Jetty). The good news is that the writing in art may improve and the art in writing likewise. Too, it is very nice to have one's work appreciated as sheer stuff.

DG: It’s interesting that you mentioned discussion between the literary and visual art worlds. Do you see yourself as part of a tradition that involves writers whose work has involved visual art (such as Baudelaire, Gertrude Stein, Mallarmé, etc.)?

VP: Yes, sometimes more directly than others. I've done some art writing, most regularly for X-tra Art Quarterly. I collect some, which is constrained by means -- my ongoing favorites include Los Angeles artist Stephanie Taylor and Berlin artist Sabine Herrmann.

DG: What do you think about how avant-garde / experimental arts fit into the context of LA, in terms of more mainstream manifestations of the arts? Personally I find it interesting to find out about artists who continue to make innovative things happen, even while being surrounded by the presence of mainstream culture.

VP: Mainstream culture is so dominant in Los Angeles -- there is here a 50s-style diner occupying prime real estate whose sole function is as a set location -- that the underground really is. Unlike New York, for example, no one is going to get anywhere here doing the work that is not the work of the Industry. (There are, to be fair, at least three entities known locally as "the Industry".)

DG: Do you see that phenomenon as a positive thing or a bad thing?

VP: I think the dominant presence of mainstream culture in LA gives one a sense of enormous freedom, predicated on the simple fact of no one caring. This supreme disregard filters through all levels of culture, exponentially expanding the level of liberty and the irrelevance of the libertine. So that when Notes on Conceptualisms came out, Rob was buttonholed and cajoled at every turn, while no one here mentioned the book to me.

This is not true in the visual art world, which has become much more of a significant large-scale (local) cultural force. As people are now moving to LA to do art, there are the same sort of attention-as-commerce and commerce-as-commerce concerns as in London or New York. This should prove interesting given the cross-overs and co-minglings otherwise noted.

DG: How did you come up with the idea for “La Medusa”? It’s a very ambitious concept.

VP: For about 15 minutes a day for 41 days I wrote whatever came into my head. I then began elaborating on these bits. Having a hobbyist's fascination for neurology, I figured they would being to knit themselves into some sort of pattern, or narrative. They did, though not necessarily all interwoven. I had also heard repeatedly that it was impossible to write a Los Angeles novel about all of Los Angeles. This seemed a stupid challenge to me, and I very much like stupid challenges.

DG: You just mentioned neurology, in the context of writing "La Medusa." Do you see connections between mind mapping (diagrams of synapses, MRIs, etc.) and ways of mapping LA?

VP: Yes. Too, Los Angeles is a city in your head. Which is somewhat different from the Los Angeles in mine. And different still from the prototypical Los Angeles in the collective consciousness and un-.

DG: In her review of “La Medusa,” Jacqueline Davis writes, “La Medusa is an assemblage like no other -- a semi-fictional collage of poetic tangents momentarily touching, occasionally difficult to push through.” Would you comment on how you used assemblage / collage in that novel?

VP: La Medusa was my big experiment with narrative, so the challenge was keeping the parts tenuously connected while they pulled apart, or apart while they pulled themselves together. Like small magnets. In a narrative work, the real goal of assemblage is to have separate items that, once laid next to or within one another, create an independent narrative whole. To use another analogy, gears and pistons and pots of water become an engine. Though the engine here is not the narrative conceit(s) of the text, but rather the idea of narrativity itself: I want to keep a gap or sliver between parts so that the reader will make the great narrative leap of faith that is otherwise absolutely unjustified. In other words, we want the engine to run, and so it will. Or we will. I'm hoping the next project of mine which contains more generative (versus appropriated) work will deploy this same desire to opposite ends.

DG: Are you a fan of other literary works which use collage / assemblage, such as Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s "Dictee," Appollinaire’s Calligrammes, etc.? For me, one thing that I find interesting about works like that is how they use different kinds of language / iconography in innovative ways.

VP: I adore Calligrammes -- very glad you mentioned it. Pound, again. He is a source text. Benjamin's The Arcades Project is an ongoing inspiration, running all registers at once. Blake is enormously complex, particularly when one considers how small his illustrations were. Renaissance literature is great for rhetorical pastiche. Almost all allegory, for that matter, as the signs, both linguistic and otherwise, fly off the text to parts unpremeditated.

DG: Would you say “La Medusa” fits into the contexts of other novels that use a particular location in a strong sense, where the location almost becomes a character? Joyce’s "Ullysses," Faulkner’s novels which are set in Yoknapotawpha County, Rudolph Wurlitzer’s "Nog," and Dashiell Hammett’s novels are some examples that come to mind.

VP: It fits in. Everyone says so. This is also a historical observation, though, as history is geography, and vice versa. How it fits is another question, unanswerable by me.

DG: One of your recent publications is "Exposé des faits." Would you explain the concept behind that book?

VP: Exposé des faits consists of self-appropriations of some of my legal writing, re-presented as conceptual poetry. There is an English trilogy -- Statement of Facts, Statement of the Case, and Argument that is forthcoming from Blanc Press that incorporates some of the same (and more) material. Statement of Facts should be out in about two weeks.

DG: What compelled you to re-appropriate some of your legal language for “Exposé des faits”?

VP: "Compelled" is an interesting word. Very psychological. I've been wondering lately if the law is more like the Lacanian objet petit a than has been popularly thought.

DG: What are some other examples of re-appropriated language that you find interesting, maybe an example of a work that you think relates to ““Exposé des faits”? For instance, have you read Kenneth Goldsmith’s “The Weather”?

VP: I am very familiar with Kenny's work, and the Traffic-Weather-Sports trilogy is a good one, and Day is perhaps the ur-text here. Rob Fitterman's corpus is also extremely interesting, with several standout pieces, such as his Mall Directory, Free, and many parts of Sprawl. I admire Kim Rosenfield greatly, who does more impure appropriation in terms of juxtaposing appropriated texts to terrific effect. Yedda Morrison's erasure work, such as her Heart of Darkness chapter, devolves appropriation wonderfully well. Divya Victor's Hellocasts, which I appropriated for my Factory series, is genius. The field is expanding, as it is emerging, and there are a number of people doing significant work -- some as we speak, like the Mexican poet Marco Antonio Huerta, who is countering the official silence about the drug murders in his border city with poetry fashioned from its residents' appropriated facebook and chatroom posts.

DG: "Factory Work," which is the first book in your Factory series, was published recently. How did you come up with the idea for that series?

VP: The Factory Series is my version of Warhol's practice of having "art-workers" help him create his paintings. I invited about 10 artists and writers to make chapbooks for me. It's very transparent.

DG: What are some things that you find interesting about Warhol’s Factory? I enjoyed reading some of the pages from the "Factory" book that's available for preview lulu.com. Did you appropriate parts of "The Andy Warhol Diaries" in that book? (I thought I recognized that; I have a copy of his diaries...)

VP: I find the immaterality of the artist combined with the fetishization of the artist in the Factory fascinating. In my Factory Series, I engage in the same gesture relative to poetry: chapbooks (a poetry product) made not by me but "signed" by me, making it my poetry. Too, of course, the content is sometimes not what some would call poetry as well -- as you note, the first chap is an appropriation piece taken from Warhol's Diaries. I did not appropriate Warhol, however: I appropriated Kenny Goldsmith who appropriated Warhol. Similarly, Hellocasts by Charles Reznikoff by Divya Victor by Vanessa Place is my appropriation of Divya Victor's appropriation of Charles Reznikoff's appropriation of Holocaust documents. Only Yahweh is Janice Lee's appropriation of me, which I then appropriated.

DG: What do you find interesting about Warhol's diaries. Do you find Warhol's archives interesting?

VP: I don't find anything particularly interesting about Warhol's diaries, which is why they are so interesting. I am similarly interested in the uninteresting contents of his archives. But I am very interested in them as archives, as I am very interested in archival art. To be fair, I am also working on a kind of archival/installation poetic project.

DG: What will be the next book in the Factory series?

VP: I'm not sure what the next Factory project will be; at the moment, there are about ten artist/writers who have agreed to make books for me. I will make them by me as they arrive. There's a great deal of transparency.

DG: How did you get the idea to start Les Figues Press?

VP: Teresa Carmody, Pam Ore, Sara La Borde, and I were in Paris and wanted to do an aesthetic project. Paris bookstalls are filled with cheap and lovely books. It was a stupid challenge, and thus irresistible.

DG: How did you start collaborating with Teresa Carmody?

VP: We met at an MFA program; she was one of the core group of people post-program who wanted to talk about aesthetics in the plural.

DG: What do you find interesting about her aesthetic / approach?

VP: She is very subversive, caging insoluable moral dilemmas in deceptively simple/conventional narratives/syntax, that, like Biblical prose, is layered and goes beneath the skin. She is one to read closely though she invites a faux-easy familiarity. She writes complexities as if they were not.

DG: “The n/oulipian Analects” survey is a fantastic book. Why did you decide to publish that book?

VP: I was a panelist at the n/oulipo conference, so knew about the project, and was very keen on publishing the book. It was originally with Make Now, a very good LA press, whose publisher decided that the work didn't quite fit with his then-list. And while I don't think that Les Figues was the editors' next choice, we did end up winning the prize. It is a remarkable book -- Christine Wertheim and Mathias Viegener did an extraordinary job editing and curating, and I think that text in particular did a great deal towards re-establishing LA as a location for innovative writing. While helping sketch out the parameters and polemics of constraint and neo-constraint work.

DG: I enjoyed your presentation during the &Now Conference, when people were invited to interrupt you. How did you come up with that idea?

VP: I originally gave the paper at AWP in Chicago, where lovely SAIC students interrupted me by making toast on toasters they smuggled into the conference, and passing around doughnuts provided by me; my job was to studiously ignore them. While I want the text to be very interesting, I want the distractions to be as compelling. I could not replicate the toast-making in Buffalo, nor would there have been the same point (the AWP talk was at 9:00 a.m., which is early, even for breakfast). So I thought that I should not try to constrain my interruption -- I asked a few people to do whatever they wanted to disrupt the talk, and to invite others to do the same. Apparently it was very distracting.

DG: What are some recent developments with Les Figues Press?

VP: Teresa and I are beginning a year-long curatorial project at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, a large Hollywood gallery, hosting a series of writers not-in-residence who will deploy writing on the gallery walls to great textual and imagistic effect. The first exhibition cycle will feature Doug Kearney's big spill sequence, Divya Victor's Reznikoff-Hello Kitty combine, and one of my Statements of Facts. In addition to the regular TrenchArt series (and it is a very good one this year), we will also publish an anthology of women's conceptual writing, I'll Drown My Book -- co-edited by me, Laynie Brown, and Caroline Bergvall.

DG: When will “I’ll Drown My Book” be published?

VP: The book will be available at the next AWP, perhaps sooner.

DG: How is the book organized?

VP: The editors solicited "conceptual writing" from about forty writers, some of whose work fit the description, some who did not. Some writers refused to submit, saying they did not believe their work was conceptual. Those who did feel they could be included, were. This was our solution to the standard anthology problem of under-inclusiveness. This also created the editorial problem of how to classify what may be unclassifiable. Some of the resulting work is clearly conceptual to me, other pieces are not at all conceptual by my definition, but clearly so to others. It's an expanding field, and the anthology reflects this.