Wednesday, May 27, 2009

PhD Soutenance / Defence

Jennifer K Dick
est heureuse de vous annoncer
la soutenance de sa thèse de doctorat
en Littérature Générale et Comparée,
intitulée :

"Poésie et visuel:
domaine américain et européen:
Myung Mi Kim, Susan Howe
et Anne-Marie Albiach"

La soutenance aura lieu jeudi 4 juin
à la maison de la recherche de Paris III
à 14h00
4 rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris

M° : Place Monge/Cardinal Lemoine (+8-10mins à pied)
RER : Luxembourg (+8-10mins à pied)
Cliquer ICI pour un lien directe pour googlemap

Un pot sera offert à l'issue de la soutenance.
Merci de bien vouloir confirmer votre présence
en m'écrivant à

Composition du jury :
Monsieur Jean Bessière, directeur de thèse (Université Paris III)
Monsieur Stéphane Michaud (Université de Paris III)
Madame Micéala Symington (Université de la Rochelle)
Monsieur Joanny Moulin (Université de Provence, Aix-Marseille 1)

« Poésie et visuel, domaine américain et européen, Anne-Marie Albiach, Myung Mi Kim et Susan Howe »

Cette thèse explore les multiples voies proposées par Anne-Marie Albiach, Myung Mi Kim et Susan Howe pour organiser visuellement l’espace de la page. L’usage de la dimension visuelle en poésie ouvre des possibilités que le Verbe a toujours eues : dépeindre, se dédoubler, et produire un écho visuel et sonore. La dimension du voir permet également la création de paradoxes par des juxtapositions d’éléments. Tout cela met en question le statut du langage et du langage poétique. Cette thèse étudie les moyens par lesquels des poésies interpellent leurs lecteurs et continuent à produire des significations qui dépassent par leur multiplicité la formation traditionnelle du sens. Ces œuvres créent des significations que l’on doit voir, et non comprendre, par le biais d’une lecture plurielle de composants (iconographiques, linguistiques, abstraits, sériels).
On prend comme point de départ l’étude des typologies du fragment et illustre comment la discrétion visuelle du fragment est intimement liée au développement de chaque poète. On interroge le rapport du mot à l’image afin de dégager des antécédents des procédés utilisés sur la page. On confirme que ces œuvres emploient des techniques « iconiques », comme le faisaient les calligrammes d’Apollinaire, mais y associent les techniques mallarméennes en étendant la lecture sur plusieurs pages. Les poésies de Howe, d’Albiach et de Kim présentent une synesthésie totale des correspondances entre des formes jusqu’à-là exploitées séparément. Par conséquent, ces œuvres radicalisent la notion de possible poétique en assimilant les techniques de la publicité, de la pop culture, du collage et du montage.

Annonce officiel sur le site de Paris III, cliquer ICI

Pour ne pas se perdre, voici encore le lien pour un plan pour trouver la maison de la recherche de Paris III (fourni par Googlemap) 4 Rue des Irlandais, 75005 Paris, Link:

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Images: Paris, Amsterdam, Bordeaux...

It is just after posting the letter to my father where I write "it is so sunny here in Paris, I hope it will stay that way all summer" that the rain starts.

And then I think how pleasant is the sound of rain on the rooftops here, and farther birdsong and there is a peaceful calm to Paris this Saturday, perhaps because for many this is another long weekend and they are away basking in beachness and greenery.

Me, I am letting the past few weeks settle a little, the running to conferences & readings & classes. Prepping now for the PhD defense (the 4th of June at 14h at la maison de la recherche de Paris III, 4 rue des irlandais, RER Luxembourg + 10min walk for anyone interested in coming--it is a public event here), preparing for a totally different kind of speechifying. What to say after 6 years of writing in French on so many poems? How to close the door on that, open another on the next place we (the poems & I, in relation with/to them) are going? On verra.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the weeks just lived, the fun, crazy readings in such different venues, the moments in Bordeaux! The world as seen through the objective of this little pocket digital phone's lens, often blurry because even with technology there are some things I have never gotten good at!!! Enjoy. Images in reverse chronological order!!!

Ondulations booklaunch reading in PARIS at Pixie Galerie/Marie Poliakoff, 95 rue de Seine, 75006 on the 20th of May 2009:

Kate Van Houten (artist) & Jacques de Longeville in front of Marie Poliakoff's galerie, bookmarks from the event litter the sidewalk to help lead people inside Mme's "art boudoir"!

Jacques de Longeville and I (Jennifer K Dick) read from En Clos/Enclosure between French & English, sometimes with our voices overlapping.

Jacques de Longeville & I finishing our co-reading of Enclosure

Susana Sulic "Performs" her words/symbols. In the Spanish, we watch the language, then her daughter reads a translation in French.The crowd: So "6ième arrondissement" says one of my friends. We see the back of Giorgio's head as he talks to his nephew, then the curtains keeping us all tucked inside this cozy, warm galerie.

Group picture after the reading: in background Marie Poliakoff, in foreground (left to right) Sulic, Jacques de Longeville, Susana Sulic, me (Jennifer K Dick), Giogio Fidone & Kate Van Houten.

Kate Van Houten examines a set of Giorgio Fidone's acrylics before the reading.Book Signing for ONDULATIONS at Giorgio Fidone's, 18 May 2009. All 50 books are numbered & signed as collectors items. Each contains 4 original paintings by Fidone. Above, Jacques de Longeville & I sign & admire the work. Below, Susana Sulic & Giorgio Fidone sign.Now it is off to AMSTERDAM, or rather, that is where I was BEFORE. 15-16th May 2009

Before the reading, Rufo Quintavalle & I tourist. We head to the reconverted pathology-into-artspace to check out the works. Here are pics of the building, then Rufo in the "reading/smoking" space, then me at our spacious café table where we had a drink and waited (in vain) for the downpour to stop.
Versal Reading Crowd, gathered amid the big screens, the light show, there is music, cabaret, poetry & prose. Strangely, Amsterdam makes this work in a way I feel Paris has never done. Everything high quality and everyone attentive & engaged in the entire night's program here at The Sugar Factory!!!The band "Zorita" starts of the night: see their MySpace for samples of tunes at : then read after Prue's intro, from a series of collaborations in progress being written with Amanda Deutch, as well as the 3 translations of Albana Gelle's work which appear in Versal 7: get a copy at also check out their "Here" blog project.The night of varied Versal entertainment would not have been complete without the Cabaret stylings of German Fergus Rougier. This dude was a RIOT!!! Megan Garr, who keeps both Versal & the Words in Here writing workshops in Amsterdam afloat and united, gives her thank-you spiel about all these 7 years have brought to her. Fabulous sense of what it means to seek out, create and develop a community of writers in a foreign country. Her work is exemplary and commendable, and the audience's fondness for her, as well as staff, writers, & all others who have worked with her permeated the air. People were there as much to celebrate her achievements as the reviews, & she was there to celebrate all the staff & community's achievements that have enriched her life. It was great.Above: Rufo Quintavalle reading & wowing the audience. We wanted MORE!!!!
Below: The books table run by The English Bookshop of Amsterdam. At first, no one even noticed that wall!!! I did.
BORDEAUX: The SAES Convention, 8-10 May 2009:
A return to the academic side of things!
Bordeaux: My final afternoon, I took a walk, smelled the flowers as it were, along the riverbank (& tram lines)
Who said University architects weren't creative? Here is a building at University de Bordeaux III-Michel de Montaigne. This, however, was not one of the buildings we were in. The ones we were in were very pleasant. There wer tons of ateliers & I wanted to be able to be many places all at once. Alas, that was impossible!!!"Banquet", or rather some drinks and a few snacks were had at the Café de l'Opéra in the center of town on Sat eve. Above, jazz musicians meander about the room serenading professors (Ah, good ol' Shakespeare would've liked that), enticing them to dance (& many did later in the eve) Below: the giant cheese platter, along with the man keeping the whole evening running smoothly and on some prearranged schedule (meaning, by the time I realized there was fois gras to taste, the table was being cleared, & then after finding there was some sushi, that was cleared away too, and then this massive cheese plate was divvyed out with the delicateness of knowing he was feeding a hoard with a small sampling for each person. It did work out, but still, I think the "banquet" word was misapplied, especially for those not really interested in drinking).Above: Mohammed, of the poet's panel, & Caen Univ, & I chummed around. We are new on the scene, so we didn't know many other folks, so we circled and said a few hellos & otherwise just observed. As he noted, "One day we will be them, know everyone here, this will be our annual meet-up with some". I am certain he is right!
Below: Me, taken by Mohammed. It was a lovely venue to be in, & I enjoyed a few glasses of champagne before heading back to the hotel for some well-deserved sleep after a day of conference & meeting/greeting. A first in perhaps many SAES conferences to come, & I felt really excited about that, about the people I met, the thinking taking place throughout France, & now moving out of the PhD stage onto the next one, becoming over time more engaged in this new stop.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Readings: 20 May & 31 May in PARIS

is the 20th May 2009!!!!
at 7pm,
in Galerie Pixe/ Marie Victoire Poliakoff
95 rue de Seine, 75006 Paris

m° Odéon/ St Germaine

Please join
Susana Sulic,

Jacques de Longeville,
Giorgio Fidone

Jennifer K Dick
for the trilingual reading and launch of ONDULATIONS, an artbook which includes, in each book, for original paintings by Fidone. Full information at my previous post (back in April) on this!!!

Also, for anyone around
the 31st of May
I, Jennifer K Dick, will be reading a poem or two in French and English alongside many translations of Christophe Lamiot Enos' work
with co-translators
Rufo Quintavalle
and Barbara Beck
for LA REVUE 104
in their "café" space!

104 rue d'Aubervilliers / 5 rue Curial75019 Paris.
métro : lignes 2, 5, 7 - station Stalingrad (bd de la Villette, sortie n°2) ;
ligne 7 - stations Crimée ou Riquet (Riquet est le plus proche)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Reminder: Off to Amsterdam

Back from Bordeaux, inside the frazzle of a busy week chock full of readings, teaching + giving grant placement tests, trying to get ready for the PhD defense, writing new poems with A.D. in NYC and then pack, and it is off again!!!

Yes, for anyone who forgot: Amsterdam awaits. Rufo Quintavalle and I will be taking trains up from Paris to the Netherlands to have a whirlwind 24 hours with the
Words In Here people, click on/see PREVIOUS POST for full Versal reading announcement details. I have translations of poems by Albane Gellé in the new, hot-off-the-presses this weekend issue. Enjoy!!!

PS: For anyone who did not already know this, Michelle Noteboom & Frederic Forte are the new parents of lovely Ansel. Perhaps this is his first appearance on a blog? I had a great time visiting him a few days after his birth (on May 1st 2009).

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

"Invisible Collisions": SAES Bordeaux Talk on Susan Howe the 9th of May 2009:

For any of you in Bordeaux, France, this weekend, there is the annual SAES conference "Congrès SAES Bordeaux 2009: Essai(s) à l'université de Bordeaux III Michel de Montaigne" with a program (go to "ateliers" to get the pdf) of over 43 pages of talks all around the subject of "The Essay", including my talk "Invisible Collisions" on Susan Howe's writings on Poetic Documentary Film.

Title and abstract of my talk, part of the "Poets on Poetry" ateliers, to be given at 9am on Saturday is below, followed by the announcement for the 2 poets on poetry ateliers in English. Hope to see you there!

Title: Invisible Collisions: Considering Susan Howe's Reform of the Poetic, Critical and Autobiographical Essay by Jennifer K Dick

Abstract: When asked to write an essay on experimental filmmaker Chris Marker, poet Susan Howe discovered the poetic documentary and went on to write “Sorting Facts: or, Nineteen Ways of Looking at Marker” her autobiographical critical essay on Marker, herself, the death of her recent husband photographer David Von Schlegel, but also on poetry in general and on her own poetics and philosophy of poetry. Howe’s essay retains a certain interdisciplinary focus, constantly shifting gears between critical and poetic, personal and academic discourse. Formally, it incorporates both prose linings, line breaks and collage use. Hers is the poetry essay which, like poetry itself, encompasses the world, enfolding the multiplicities of the universe which make poetry the challenge it is to speak about. As such, this talk will explore the kinds of movement which take place in “Sorting Facts”. It will discuss what this essay and its form have to reveal to us about modern and postmodern discourse, poetic practice, and that of the written word in a world increasingly dominated by the moving image. This talk will end by demonstrating how this essay is part of a trend among contemporary American experimental poets to write autobiography unconventionally in poetic essays which address the personal, professional (meaning the practice of writing) and the critical.
49th Annual SAES Conference (Société des Anglicistes de l'Enseignement Supérieur)
France: 8th, 9th and 10th May 2009, Université de Bordeaux 3, Bordeaux.

Friday 8th May, Afternoon Session

Cécile Marshall (Université de Nantes, France)
"Poetry is all I write with a few exceptions” Tony Harrison's introductions and critical essays on his poetry.

Jennifer Kilgore (Université de Caen, France)
Geoffrey Hill's "Alienated Majesty" and "Modernist Poetics"

John Sears (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK, France)
‘Too much for one language’: George Szirtes’ writings on translation.

Stephen Romer (Université de Tours, Carcanet Books)

Saturday 9th May (Morning Session)

Mary Kate Azcuy (Monmouth University, USA)
Post-confessional portraits: Louise Gluck’s ‘Proofs & Theories: Essays on Poetry’

Jennifer K. Dick (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, France)
Invisible Collisions: Considering Susan Howe’s Reform of the Poetic, Critical and Autobiographical Essay

Mohammad Reza Ghorbanian (Université de Caen-Basse Normandie, France)
Seamus Heaney's Essays and the Poetics of Self-creation

Andrew Parkin (Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong)
W.B. Yeats on Cross-Cultural Poetry

Monday, May 04, 2009

Into the Worlds of Others...

There are ways of travelling when one stays where one is, and this weekend felt much like that. Being transported, touching in little ways the worlds of others. First, Saturday, Agnès Vannouvong invited Marielle, Aurélie and I to join her at the Cirque Romanès (see this site for a short film of them, too, as well as details).

At the edge of the posh 17th between a few scattered greeny parks snaking between high housing buildings on a smallish, fenced-in fairground lie the gypsy tent and caravanes of the Cirque Romanès, meaning of poet Alexandre Romanès, his wife Délia and family. 'Romanès' is a pseudonym which means 'the language of man', and Alexandre is both circus guru and poet, author of 2 books with a third on the way (though he only learned to read & write after the age of 20). We have come here at Agnès suggestion to meet her after she interviews Romanès for her forthcoming book on Genet (which will be out from Les Presses du Réel next year°. Romanès, in fact once lived with Genet, and knew him well for over a decade.

When I arrive, I see from the edge of the fence Agnès at a tiny table propped up under a tree at the side of one of the caravanes, Romanès is opposite her, a black had riding high on his head, wearing a beige zip-front jacket over a t-shirt, somewhere between stylish and casual, he is at once debonaire and completely approachable looking. Agnès leans forward attentively, Aurélie at her side, both capturing every word and nuance as he answers a few last questions before the show.

As I wait, I watch others enter the gates. Once inside, we are all amid the children playing, some jumping rope, another pair seems to be involved in tag, and one boy (perhaps 12?) is filming everyone and everything, such as the other families chatting and getting ready for the performance, some visiting film crew with larger, less easily manoeuverable camera and sound crew dragging poles and cords with them, and the audience meandering in from their Parisian lives as if over a border into this parallel universe. As the French events site put it "Le cirque tsigane d'Alexandre Romanès est une invitation au voyage."

The show itself is bordered by a row of women who sit in chairs closing up the circle of the circus tent. One even knits a sweater as the show--comprised of acrobatics of various styles, levels and expertise, jugglers, clowns, gypsy singers and Balkan musicians play. The kids, too, have their short acts, two girls, probably between 7 and 9 years old, hoolah hoop, a boy tightrope walks on a rope suspended no higher than a balance beam (but which takes the same skill! It reassures me, personally, since it is the young boy who had been filming who takes his turn sliding backand forth, a bit wobbly, along the rope--yet with no falls!) The acts which are the most captivating are those of the air-acrobats, one woman who rolls herself up and down in a long ribbon of fabric as the main singer (check out Cirque Romanès' myspace site to hear her) lulls into a dreamy elsewherespace. And a couple whose sensuality sizzles between them as the man suspends the woman by a single arm from where they have climbed off a platform. He hangs upside down by his knees and she slides down his body. Everything is trust, that he can, will hold her, not slip. Both are intensely strong, and the music again adds feeling to the three series of acts they do high above us. Another I feel should be mentioned is the "clown". Not a red-nosed, painted-on-smile, big curly-bright-color-wigged clown, but a guy in beige and greys, his own short, dark hair, wearing an old-fashioned suit, sometimes the jacket with, other times just a vest. He is endering like Dumbo, playing up his floppy, long-armed tricks of the eye, with expressions that would rival any silent screen star. His acts include juggling, some magic tricks, playing the fool, bouncing a series of balls on a door in varying patterns, etc. All the time, the row of women sit, one nurses a baby, another knits, others observe or sing, and the men play the Balkan music (violin, bass, accordeon, etc.) On occasion, some woman in her long gypsy skirt or one of the young girls comes out and does a little jig, spins for a moment in the delight of dancing--in the case of the children, it is like this is their living room, and they are merely playing, enjoying life, with all the family--of which we as spectators now feel a part--present. It seems like a sort of crazy night in the homestead in a way, only with extreme performer skills which make us gasp. To close off the night, as the music and the acts come to an end, round 10 o'clock (kid's bedtime) the group sells off some homefried donuts with little plastic cups of coca-cola or wine. And then we cross back out of the gate into the dark, walk past the gigantic spire of some odd contemporary brick orthodox church, and head back down into the metro ....and perhaps, perhaps we never were anywhere at all, certainly not somewhere in Paris...

Sunday. I had not yet seen the Centre 104, despite having completed some translations of Christophe Lamiot Enos' work for their first edition of the revue 104 (&, note: Barbara Beck, Rugo Quintavalle, Christophe & I will read from these & other works of our own on 31st May 2009 at 19h at the 104!). Justin Taylor is back squatting at my place a few days and we had not been so productive, so we headed over to see what had become of the old pompes funèbres reconverted into this giant arts center by the city and a few choice private donors.

The space, as we entered, was overwhelmingly massive. Big, open, with a sense of vastness so unFrench (or at least terribly unParisian) that even though there were people milling about here and there it did not feel Sunday-crowded, no one brushed against us, and the space felt luminous even below the grey sky. There were posts with programs, and even a sort of "schedule-totem" by the entrance with lists of everying going on for the day, hour by hour events, open studios, talks, visits, shows. We were there for the free Qi Gong, which we saw announced to be "on la terrasse"--wherever that was. As we entred further, in search of our destination, a rumble of drums trembled below our feet, emerging from some dance studio or the belly of the place. There were bacs of grass and other greenery in the middle of one part, but we didn't have the time to explore what it was doing there. I could see people milling round in the sealed-off bookstore behind glass, but we charged ahead pas some knee-high-level walls, weaving back and forth, then suddenly coming up upon the the very fun, colorful, surreal entirely whole reproduction of Jacques Tati's Villa Arpel (pictured at left, link to a design site write-up on it) from his 1958 film Mon Oncle. People were taking pictures by the fencing of the giant fish fountain, the pink and blue stones walkways, the furnishings and fake-automatic household appliances. Peeking in windows. We rushed past (though returned later to watch the footage of the film and peek into the now-abandoned rooms and even at the old Chevy parked in the garage). Suddenly the space opened up even more, and a small tent which announced itself as the "café" stood in themiddle of the building. We stopped at an info booth to learn the the Qi Gong had not yet started but was just another block down. It was outside in a sealed-in courtyard.

A Chinese man in black was just getting started as we tossed our stuff in a corner and took positions. Slowly, over the next hour, our bodies followed his. At one point mid-afternoon session he stopped to talk about what Qi Gong was in his charmingly poor French. It made me think of all the cultures and all the languages of people who come here and then find themselves trying to explain what are the most innate aspects of their native culture to a culture not their own. As he spoke of energy, tension, bloodflow, body posture, losing for a moment the words he sought ('adrenaline' and 'endorphins', or, later, 'flexible') and making minute vocabulary errors (using the verb connaître for savoir, for example) and yet these very errors made the French Sunday strollers who had wandered in and joined up with those of us who had evidently intended to attend the session listen harder, closer, with greater respect perhaps and attention then had he been totally French in his mode and ways of speaking (he is pictured left below in a photo by French professional photographer Antoine Doyen). His patient, and demanding patience, explanation as we reflected on our own body, posture, habits, transported us closer to where he came from, and as we resumed the last series of Qi Gong exercises it seemed again everyone was allowing themselves to let go of themselves, travel towards the other, and the other in and of the self. Children, again, played at the feet of a few adults, some older people sat on benches, some children joined the rest of us as our hands swept the air between us, brushed the earth, reached to the heavens, all the while catching and releasing our 'chi', as the instructor had said, to the lulling rhymns of a soft, Chinese music.

When it was over, I felt again conscious of me as body, heading back into the white afternoon of a drowsy Sunday, ready for a Monday which would be entirely Paris. But in some ways, I felt I had drifted away and so I was happy to return to my city.