Faculty for In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge residency program at The Banff Centre

I am very much looking forward to serving as the digital literature faculty member for the second In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge residency program set to take place at The Banff Centre 13-15 February 2012. This ground-breaking residency fosters new writing practices, including digital literature, collaboration, new narrative, and performance. Participants work independently, with faculty and with each other to develop new or current work; meet, network, and learn from like-minded artist in a community of diverse practices and projects. Given the hybrid, collaborative, inter-, cross-, multi- nature of the In(ter)ventions program, faculty areas of specialization tend to overlap, criss-cross and contrast in all sorts of exciting and unexpected ways. This year we will be:

Program Director: Steven Ross Smith
Faculty: Fred Wah – New poetics, collaboration. J. R. Carpenter – Digital Literature, new narrative. Steve Tomasula – New formality, Multi-media.
Invited Speakers: Brian Kim Stefans – Transliteracy, Hybridity. D. Kimm – Performance, Cross-genre, Multi-disciplinarity

In(ter)ventions 2011 guest speakers Oana and Erin
In(ter)ventions 2011 Invited Speakers included Debra Di Blasi, Daren Wershler, and the brilliant and really very funny Oana Avasilichioaei and Erin Moure, pictured above. The incredible diversity of the participants makes this program both thrilling and unique. Work produced by In(ter)ventions 2011 participants included (but was certainly not limited to): an inter-linked Mobius strip narrative, a Jello-letter alphabet, a criti-fiction quasi-biography in two columns, a sound art performance, a needlepoint embroidery, a video mashup, a powerpoint annimation by Erin Robinsong, pictured below, and a group chap book.

Erin Robinsong

The application deadline for In(ter)ventions 2012 is: November 15, 2011

Activities during the residency include one-on-one sessions with individual faculty members to discuss your work, as well as group discussions, presentations, and performances. Group discussions explore issues with new practices and may include philosophical or critical thinking, aesthetic issues, demonstrations, technical issues, and more. Performances may occur in informal or formal settings, as The Banff Centre can offer everything from professionally-staffed theatre venues of various sizes, to small meeting rooms for informal presentations — all venues are fully technically-enabled. Recording facilities are also available.

Participants are housed in single rooms that also serve as their private work spaces. Writers should bring their own computers or laptops, as well as software, if they wish to use a computer on a full-time basis in their rooms. A PC and a Macintosh computer are available for general email and printing purposes. Photocopying services are available at several public locations, free wireless internet access is available throughout the campus, and a staggering range of books, artist’s book, videos, sound recordings and other rare and wonderful archival materials are available at The Banff Centre library, aka the Paul D. Fleck Library & Archives.

The In(ter)ventions program is designed for writers (both published and yet-to-be published) and performers with an interest in exploring the expanding frontiers of the writing practice. If you are seeking a opportunity to interact with peers and leading creators in the fields of digital and collaborative literature and new writing, while having dedicated time to develop a specific project, this residency is for you. Applications from writers/artists with experience in the field, as well as those interested in exploring literary practice at the edge for the first time are welcomed to apply by November 15, 2011

For more information about the program, including information about facilities, faculty bios, program fees and online application forms, please visit: In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge

In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge Residency at The Banff Centre

It’s plus 12 degrees Celsius in south west England. Snow drops in blossom in the glade along the drive. Lambs frolicking in green fields. And I’m preparing to depart for Banff, Alberta where the high today was minus 14 and the white is not blossom but snow. Why? Why, for the love of literature of course. And, for the love of mountains.

I’m thrilled to be returning to Banff once again, this time to serve as faculty for In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge, an new residency offered by Literary Arts at The Banff Centre February 14, 2011 – February 26, 2011.

Fred Wah – collaboration and hybridity
J. R. Carpenter – digital literature
Lance Olsen – new narrative

Guest Speakers:
Oana Avasilichioaei
Debra Di Blasi
Erin Moure
Darren Wershler

I’ll be performing along side Darren Wershler and Lance Olsen at The Club, Theatre Complex at The Banff Centre Thursday, February 17, 2011 – 7:30 pm. [more info]


In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge: a residency program specializing in new writing practices at The Banff Centre

I am thrilled to announce, support, facilitate, encourage applications to and endorse in every way this ground-breaking new residency program offered by The Banff Centre. In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge offers a rare opportunity to writers specializing in new writing practices, including digital literature, collaboration, hybridity and new narrative to meet each other, to exchange ideas and influences across genre boundaries and to research and develop new and ongoing work.

In(ter)ventions Residency

This residency emerges from and aims to build upon the many conversations, connections, debates, exchanges, challenges and questions raised at In(ter)ventions — Literary Practice At The Edge: A Gathering held at The Banff Centre in February 2010. I had the great good fortune to be involved in the planning of that event. In December 2008, Steven Ross Smith – Director of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre – invited Marjorie Perloff, Lance Olsen, Fred Wah and me to Banff for a three-day think tank on bringing new practices to the the Literary Arts program. The incredible diversity of practice, knowledge and experience at that table was both humbling and exhilarating. It has been wonderful watching the many names, works, issues and ideas from a vast array of literary practices we discussed coalesce into, first, a dreamboat conference agenda and now, this new residency.

In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge is accepting applications until November 15, 2010. The program will run from February 14, 2011 – February 26, 2011. Successful applicants will receive up to %60 funding. Technological, reflective, and collective resources will be available as needed. Guest speakers will be presented. Resident writers will work with faculty to develop new or current work.

Faculty: Fred Wah – collaboration and hybridity, J. R. Carpenter – digital literature, Lance Olsen – new narrative

Guest speakers: Debra Di Blasi, Darren Wershler, Erin Moure and Oana Avasilichioae

Application deadline: November 15, 2010
Program dates: February 14, 2011 – February 26, 2011
Participants should plan to arrive in Banff on Sunday, February 13, 2011, and depart on Sunday, February 27, 2011.
For more information and to apply: In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice at the Edge

In(ter)ventions – A Note on the Agenda

In case I haven’t mentioned this already, I am really, really, really excited about In(ter)ventions — Literary Practice At The Edge: A Gathering happening at The Banff Centre February 18, 2010 – February 21, 2010. I had the good fortune to be involved in the planning of this event. In December 2008, Steven Ross Smith – Director of Literary Arts at The Banff Centre – invited Marjorie Perloff, Lance Olsen, Fred Wah and me to Banff for a three-day think tank on bringing new practices to the the Literary Arts program. The incredible diversity of practice, knowledge and experience at that table was both humbling and exhilarating. It has been wonderful watching the many names, works, issues and ideas from a vast array of literary practices we discussed coalesce into the dreamboat agenda we have today.

The best part of this agenda is, now we get to go enact it – live in real time in Banff. On Friday, February 19, 2PM, I’m on a panel on Digital Effects – Digital Literary Creation & Dissemination with Stephanie Strickland and Chris Funkhouser moderated by Nick Montfort. Later, at 8PM that evening, I’m doing a reading/performance with Lance Olsen and Erin Moure. Then, on Saturday February 20, at 3:30PM, I’m presenting a screening of digital literature co-curated with Ram Devineni. For the rest of In(ter)ventions I’ll be litstening, watching and reading with rapt attention, catching up with friends and generally resisting the urge to ask everyone for their autographs.

The full In(ter)ventions agenda (pdf): http://www.banffcentre.ca/programs/id/0900/925/agenda.pdf

. . . . .

In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice At The Edge

In(ter)ventions — Literary Practice At The Edge: A Gathering is a conference unlike any held previously in Canada. Over the course of four days, thirty six forward-thinking literary artists will create a context for the demonstration and discussion of cutting-edge literary practice. In a mixture of panels, papers, readings, performances, and more, participants will explore digital literature, interactivity, collaboration, cross-disciplinary work, formal innovation, “uncreative” writing, new modes of dissemination, and literary pedagogy.

Within the rapidly changing landscape of literary practice and dissemination, technology has rocketed forward, putting more power into the hands of writers and other artists. New literary modes have appeared and continue to develop, and the ability to share information rapidly across disciplines has resulted in exciting and challenging cross-pollination. In(ter)ventions will explore the edges of literature, where technology, innovation, and literary practice meet.

This conference is open to writers, new media artists, students, critics, educators, and others who want to contribute to, or listen in on, the conversation taking place with regards to innovative modes of literature. Participants will come away from this cutting-edge conference with a better understanding of the future of literary practice and inspiration to further explore emerging trends in the discipline.

In(ter)ventions: Literary Practice At The Edge: A Gathering
The Banff Centre, Banff, Alberta, Canada
February 18, 2010 – February 21, 2010

Director: Steven Ross Smith
Presenters: Charles Bernstein, Jen Bervin, Christian Bök, J.R. Carpenter, Maria Damon, Ram Devineni, Craig Dworkin, Al Filreis, Christopher Funkhouser, Kenneth Goldsmith, D. Kimm, Larissa Lai, Daphne Marlatt, Nick Montfort, Erin Moure, Lance Olsen, Stephen Osborne, Marjorie Perloff, Kate Pullinger, Stephanie Strickland, Steve Tomasula, Fred Wah

Further information || Agenda (PDF)
. . . . .

Leaving Banff

leaving is hard
especially people and places you love
especially early in the morning

driving away from mountains is hard too
even after you stop looking over your shoulder
they’re still there in the back of your head

there’s nothing fun about an airport
except arriving at your departure gate and
hearing and the half-forgotten accents of home

on the plane I sat next to a guy who had never flown before
he was older, anxious, without English, hands scared, arms brown
and the whole flight I tried to look at everything as if I’d never seen if before

flying over Montréal I spotted our apartment
easy to do as there’s a large, green, copper-domed church near us
and even from the air I could see the Portuguese football fans going crazy

my husband met me at the baggage claim
the baggage took its sweet time, still on mountain time
but all that standing around was nice after four hours on the plane

my mother-in-law is an expert in not paying for parking
brandishing an out-of-date handicap parking pass at the police
she circles the airport, idles in the bus and the taxi-only zones

which is right where we found her, my husband manoeuvring my luggage,
and my dog! panting and drooling and shedding and wagging in the backseat
best of all the welcome-home surprises

between the airport and home
between the dog and the French and the high heat and humidity
we nearly died three times in old-lady related driving incidents

dropping down from Little Italy into Mile End
football fan flags festooned every apartment’s balcony and
my mother-in-law asked me if I missed Saint-Urbain street

even though my husband says I came home on the loudest day of the summer so far
to sick sticky heat and the stink of smog and moving-day mounds of garbage
yeah, I said, I missed Saint-Urbain street a lot

cars honked by with girls leaning out the window waving Portuguese flags
and July first moving-day vans parked at traffic-snarling angles
and in-between families lived out dramas on sidewalks and steps

I forgot how many books I have
and how many hot outfits and cool shoes
and what it’s like to drink vodka fresh from the freezer

we drank martinis from martini glasses
and ate fried calamari from the Terrasse Lafayette
and my husband caught me up on the neighbourhood gossip

the old Greek lady next door got thrown out after twenty-three years
all the while I was away she was packing unloading crap on my husband
now our apartment is full of old textbooks, floral bed sheets and fresh mint

the tacky Anglo girls that have the back-balcony across from ours
have taken to inviting two loud, shirtless Latino boys over
whenever their boyfriends go away for the weekend

our landlord, who lives downstairs,
has divided half his yard into a parking lot and
we’re excited because at least it’s not a swimming pool

while I was away my dog puked in my studio so many times that
my husband threw out huge piles of my stuff and now that it’s gone
I can’t imagine what I was keeping it for

despite this, in case I haven’t mentioned it already,
my dog is the cutest, sweetest, best-behaved dog ever
who snores, and cuddles, and is afraid of thunder

leaving is hard, but coming home is good
and, in case I haven’t mentioned it already,
my husband is the best person I know

. . . . .

Tunnel Mountain Rainbow

Yesterday we climbed Tunnel Mountain.
We were tired and almost didn’t.
We almost said: no, we should work.
But then we said: no, let’s do it.
The trail was only steep in parts.
Switchback weather changed its mind.
Digital cameras can’t gauge distances.
Far-sighted mountains are far too blue.
Rundle’s bald head hid in the clouds.
Breathless from grade we kept talking.
We raced to glimpse the other side.
Gripping grey railing, we peered sheer down.
And found ourselves above a rainbow.
And were sure it was brighter from above.
And wondered if they could see if from below.
And said: wow, we almost didn’t bother.

. . . . .

Here’s what I remember:

(…this will only make sense to five or ten people…)

Everyone knows everyone.
The Saint James Gate.
Edmonton up one nothing.
The Embodiment of Idea.
Every other store sells sweets.
Every other store sells fleece.
The wolf T-Shirt.
The liqueur store dwarf.
The house yells at the dogs.
Myron on the phone a lot.
A voice in my ear.
The flash of digital cameras.
Low ceilings.
Lots of pipes.
But not on Flickr.
Front-end, back-end.
All the of kinds of vodka.
Filtered or otherwise.
One air mattress broken.
Sandra burned stuff in the yard.
The smoke got in our eyes.
Michael wrote a book.
I matched the balloons.
Plotted world domination.
Noble wouldn’t come over.
Nachoes at his place.
Multi-coloured cupboards.
An amber-coloured beverage.
A young Patti Smith.
We sat on the floor.
We went to the Devil.
Drank in her kitchen.
A naughty Geisha glass.
A pink-coloured beverage.
Michael got lost.
Sandra noticed.
We set out to find him.
Mike dressed up as him.
A girl drew me a map.
We walked in the street.
We found Michael at Myron’s.
Most names start with M.
M-A walked me home.
I fell asleep with my boots on.
World domination takes so long.

. . . . .

into the thin air

the thin air has made thieves of us.
homeless and breathless and dry-eyed,
we steal through the night.

through the night our skin thins and flakes,
elbows ashen and ankles arid enough to
scratch the surface of our illicit food dreams.

illicit food dreams feature fillets of fish flying
into our purses. deserts disappear in droves
and wherever we go crumb trails follow.

crumb trails follow us into the forest.
we gnash at snatched sandwiches
and feast on our forbidden fruit.

our forbidden fruit fills us with careful cunning.
into a stash of stolen moments we disappear,
thieves into the thin air.
. . . . .

The Loudest Room

We live in the loudest room.
Our walls are made of sudden noises.
Other people’s showers rain down on us.
Far off phones ring extra loud so we can hear them.
People will talk to a telephone about just about anything.
All the doors travel down the hall to shut near our door.
Our door is in love with the door next door.
The door next door posted private information about us on the Internet.
Now everyone knows there’s a shortcut right though our room.
Outside voices don’t wipe their feet when they come in.
Pieces of passing conversations hang out in our closet.
Housekeeping knocks through the wall to give us fresh towels.
The window is too small to let a breeze through.
But large enough to let the construction crew through.
And the laundry truck’s full arsenal of beeps and groans.
The security guards have top-secret meetings at our desk.
They use up all the coffee whitener and leave the seat up.
The jazz musicians think we think they’re entertaining.
We see through them, passing practice off as serenade.
We don’t know why they need to rehearse.
All they do is improvise.
And hog the bed.
A tenor sax warms up near our heads.
A standing bass strings us along.
We live in suspense, in the loudest room.
Suspended in sleepless animation.
. . . . .