Poets and Critics Symposium 2017.2 : Ron Padgett, Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 July, 2017

T. Winkfields portrait of RP
Ron Padgett with his portrait by Trevor Winkfield. © Ron Padgett and Trevor Winkfield.

 

The next Poets and Critics Symposium will be devoted to the work of Ron Padgett.

Monday 10 and Tuesday 11 July.

Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges
9:45am-5pm, room 830 (8th floor of the Olympe de Gouges Building).

Howimage doigt petit to get there?
For detailed instructions and directions, click HERE.
 &

Poetry reading with Ron Padgett
Monday 10 July, venue and time to be announced.

So far, we’ve tried to focus on the writer’s own (creative and critical) work on the first day of the P&C symposia and on broader issues of poetics and practice-based criticism with the writer on the second day. But there’s no specific preconceived program for the 2 days of the symposium: as the previous sessions of the program have shown, it seems important to let the conversation take its own course.

Please note that the morning session of the first day is devoted to preparing the conversation with Ron Padgett which will take place during the afternoon session and the second day. Ron Padgett will be joining the group at 2pm on Monday 10 July.

As usual, we intend to address all aspects of our guest’s work as poet, prose-writer, critic and editor. Please feel free to make suggestions as to particular books that you would like to discuss during the symposium.

Bio (from http://www.ronpadgett.com/)

 

Ron Padgett was born in 1942 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he attended public schools. His father was primarily a bootlegger who also traded cars, his mother primarily a housewife who also helped with the bootlegging. Around the age of 13, young Ron began scribbling his thoughts and poems in spiral notebooks. This practice followed hard on the heels of his having read, for the first time, “serious” literature.

In high school Ron discovered contemporary literature and started a little magazine called The White Dove Review, along with his friends Dick Gallup and Joe Brainard. In its five issues (1958-1960) the magazine published Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Robert Creeley, LeRoi Jones, Ted Berrigan, and others.

In 1960 Padgett moved to New York to attend Columbia College, where, over the course of four years in the pursuit of English and Comparative Literature, he was fortunate to study under teachers such as Kenneth Koch, F. W. Dupee, Andrew Chiappe, and Lionel Trilling. After his junior year, Padgett married Patricia Mitchell, whom he had known in Tulsa and who had also immigrated to New York. Other Tulsa émigrés during this period included Brainard, Gallup, and Berrigan.

During his college years, Ron published his work in a number of “underground” literary magazines and gave readings of his poetry in New York City.

In 1965-66 Padgett was able to spend a year in Paris on a Fulbright, studying and translating 20th-century French literature. The following year, Ron and Pat’s son Wayne was born. The three set up house in a bohemian apartment in New York in what is now called The East Village, where the parents have lived ever since.

Beginning in the mid-1960s the Padgetts visited Kenward Elmslie and Joe Brainard at the former’s house in northern Vermont each summer for fifteen years. Then they constructed their own abode nearby.

In the late 1960s a spate of Padgett’s books appeared: Bean Spasms, in collaboration with Berrigan and Brainard, from Kulchur; a translation of Apollinaire’s Poet Assassinated, illustrated by Jim Dine, from Holt, Rinehart & Winston; and Great Balls of Fire, poems, also from Holt.

In January of 1969 Kenneth Koch talked Ron into teaching poetry writing to children, which he did for the next nine years. Padgett also served as Director of the St. Mark’s Poetry Project 1978-1980. Then he took the position of Publications Director at Teachers & Writers Collaborative, the nonprofit organization that specializes in teaching imaginative writing to children. There he edited and wrote books on that subject for 20 years.

Over the decades he has done a fair amount of traveling in Western and Eastern Europe, the Caribbean, China, and North America.

Poets and Critics Symposium 2017.1 : Ron Silliman, Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March, 2017

(c) Jeff Hurwitz

The next Poets and Critics Symposium will be devoted to the work of Ron Silliman.

Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 March.

Université Paris 7 Denis Diderot, Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges
9:45am-5pm, room 830 (8th floor of the Olympe de Gouges Building).

Howimage doigt petit to get there?
For detailed instructions and directions, click HERE.
 &

Poetry reading with Ron Silliman and his translator Martin Richet
Tuesday 7 March, 6:30pm, Hall de la Bibliothèque des Grands Moulins5, rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris. Map with directions from metro station to university library: click HERE.
Accès : métro ligne 14 ou RER C (arrêt : Bibliothèque François Mitterrand), tram T3a (arrêt : Avenue de France), bus n° 62 et 89.

So far, we’ve tried to focus on the writer’s own (creative and critical) work on the first day of the P&C symposia and on broader issues of poetics and practice-based criticism with the writer on the second day. But there’s no specific preconceived program for the 2 days of the symposium: as the previous sessions of the program have shown, it seems important to let the conversation take its own course.

Please note that the morning session of the first day is devoted to preparing the conversation with Ron Silliman which will take place during the afternoon session and the second day. Ron Silliman will be joining the group at 2pm on Tuesday 7 March.

As usual, we intend to address all aspects of our guest’s work as poet, prose-writer, critic and editor. Please feel free to make suggestions as to particular books that you would like to discuss during the symposium.

Ron Silliman was born in Pasco, Washington, although his parents stayed there just long enough for his mother to learn that one could step on field mice while walking barefoot through the snow to the outhouse, and for his father to walk away from a plane crash while smuggling alcohol into a dry county. As a result he grew up in and around Berkeley, on the town side of the town/gown class divide, but benefitting from the presence of an already existing literary community and becoming the first member of his family to attend college. A conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, he left the University of California to perform alternative service and worked in the NGO-sector for 17 years, eventually becoming the executive editor of the Socialist Review. He later worked in the high-tech sector before retiring as a market analyst in 2011. Since then he has taught poetry at the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College and Naropa University as well as a number of community settings.

Silliman has written and edited over 30 books, and is most widely known for an ongoing longpoem entitled Ketjak, constructed around a sequence of shorter cycles of poems: The Age of Huts, Tjanting, The Alphabet and the still-in-progress Universe. Shorter is a relative term, as The Alphabet alone is over 1,000 pages and Universe is projected to be 360 book-length works. Thus far, three volumes from Universe have appeared: Revelator from BookThug in Canada, Northern Soul from Shearsman in Britain, and Against Conceptual Poetry from Counterpath in the US.

In addition to his poetry, Silliman’s collection of critical essays, The New Sentence, has been in print continuously for 30 years, as has his anthology of language poetry, In the American Tree. The New Sentence itself has become synonymous with the literary montage device that has become widespread in poetry in English. Silliman has also participated in a number of critical collaborative projects such as the collective history of San Francisco poetics entitled The Grand Piano and a memoir of a Soviet-era literary conference, Leningrad. A new volume of essays is forthcoming.

Silliman has had his poetry and criticism translated into 16 languages. He was a 2012 Kelly Writers House Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and the 2010 recipient of the Levinson Prize, from the Poetry Foundation. His sculpture Poetry (Bury Neon) is permanently on display in the transit center of Bury, Lancashire, and he has a plaque in the walk dedicated to poetry in his home town of Berkeley, although he now lives in Chester County, Pennsylvania.