Monday, September 24, 2012

The Bridge

To Brooklyn Bridge

by Hart Crane

How many dawns, chill from his rippling rest
The seagull's wings shall dip and pivot him,
Shedding white rings of tumult, building high
Over the chained bay waters Liberty--

Then, with inviolate curve, forsake our eyes
As apparitional as sails that cross
Some page of figures to be filed away;
--Till elevators drop us from our day . . .

I think of cinemas, panoramic sleights
With multitudes bent toward some flashing scene
Never disclosed, but hastened to again,
Foretold to other eyes on the same screen;

And Thee, across the harbor, silver-paced
As though the sun took step of thee, yet left
Some motion ever unspent in thy stride,--
Implicitly thy freedom staying thee!

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft
A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,
Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,
A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,
A rip-tooth of the sky's acetylene;
All afternoon the cloud-flown derricks turn . . .
Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

And obscure as that heaven of the Jews,
Thy guerdon . . . Accolade thou dost bestow
Of anonymity time cannot raise:
Vibrant reprieve and pardon thou dost show.

O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,--

Again the traffic lights that skim thy swift
Unfractioned idiom, immaculate sigh of stars,
Beading thy path--condense eternity:
And we have seen night lifted in thine arms.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited;
Only in darkness is thy shadow clear.
The City's fiery parcels all undone,
Already snow submerges an iron year . . .

O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God.

from The Complete Poems and Letters of Hart Crane, edited by Brom Weber.  New York: Liveright, (1933), 1958, 1966


Tuesday, September 18, 2012


This short paper is totally focused on the book. You can, if you wish, state your opinion of it, but it's not necessary. I'm more interested in reading your close observations of the book.

Think about the one or two most interesting points you want to make. Find examples in the book to support your points, or better still write in detail about specific passages, recurrent themes, or patterns in the book.

Think very carefully about the form of this paper. Yes, it's just a page. But how many paragraphs? Is it in paragraphs? What are the options? What is the best form for this paper? How can the form assist you in making your points?

Will this paper be a fun, juicy, provocative, smart read? Remember: your reader is at least as smart as you are. Give your reader a good time!

Quote from the book. Always include the page number in parentheses after the quote, so the reader can find it easily in the book, e.g.,

       Even when Brainard's images are too bound to his own time or culture to be    
       shared by the reader, the precision with which he presents them makes them 
       accessible: I remember white margarine in a plastic bag. And a little package 
       of orange powder. You put the orange powder in the bag with the margarine 
       and you squeezed it all around until the margarine became yellow. (8)

One page is sufficient.  The paper should be clean, printed, and headed with your name, class, date, and a title specifying the focus of the paper, i.e., not just "Joe Brainard's I Remember," but "Domesticity and Taboo in Joe Brainard's I Remember,"  "The Effect of Pattern in Joe Brainard's I Remember," etc

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fall 2012 Readings at Brown

Paul Legault

Saturday, September 15, 2012
4:00 pm5:00 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street (at Fones Alley)
Paul Legault was born in Ontario and raised in Tennessee. He holds an
M.F.A in Creative Writing from the University of Virginia and a B.F.A.
in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California. He is the
author of two books of poetry, The Madeleine Poems (Omnidawn, 2010)
and The Other Poems (Fence Books, 2011). He co-founded and co-edits
the translation press Telephone Books. He'll be reading from his new
book, The Emily Dickinson Reader. In this original collection,
Dickinson classics are reinterpreted by a modern voice.

Interface Play

Sunday, September 16, 2012
8:00 pm9:00 pm
Granoff Center - Studio 1 154 Angell Street
An organic, interdisciplinary performative digital arts event integrating image, text and sound, featuring new work generated through a multi-day workshop by artist Catherine Siller.
A graduate of RISD's Digital + Media MFA program, Catherine Siller uses technology to integrate sculpture, video, performance, and creative writing into a hybridized, process-oriented creative practice.  Her most recent work centers on developing dynamic systems for structured improvisations--computer programs that change dynamically in response to her movements and in response to which she moves.  Catherine received her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University.  She has studied mixed media with Grace Knowlton at the Art Students League of New York; theater with the SITI Company, the Atlantic Theater Company, and Circle in the Square; and dance with Igal Perry, Marcus Schulkind, Nicole Wolcott, and through a Radcliffe Externship with Juilliard's Dance Department.  She has performed and shown her work in New York and New England.  For more info visit:

Martin Corless-Smith

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Martin Corless-Smith is the author of English Fragments:  A Brief History of the SoulSwallowsNotaComplete Travels; and Of Piscator.  A limited edition chapbook,Roman and Moscow Poems, was published in 2011.  Born and raised in Worcestershire, England, he has studied painting and poetry, with degrees from the University of Reading, Southern Methodist University, the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah.  He is currently director of the M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing at Boise State University.

Lynne Tillman

Thursday, September 27, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Lynne Tillman’s most recent book, and fourth collection of stories, Someday This Will Be Funny, was published in April 2011 by Red Lemonade Press.  Her most recent novel,American Genius, A Comedy, was published by Soft Skull Press in 2006, and was cited as one of the best books of the Millennium (so far) by The Millions. Her other novels areHaunted HousesMotion SicknessCast in Doubt, and No Lease on Life, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in fiction and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has published three nonfiction books, including The Velvet Years: Warhol's Factory 1965-67, based on photographs by Stephen Shore. Her other story collections include This Is Not It, stories and novellas written in response to the work of 22 contemporary artists. Her work has appeared in the journals Tin HouseMcSweeney’s,Black ClockBombAperture, and Conjunctions; her criticism in ArtforumFrieze,ApertureNestThe Guardian, and The New York Times Book Review.  Tillman is Professor/Writer-in-Residence at The University at Albany, and teaches at The New School, as well at School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Brian Evenson

Tuesday, October 9, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Brian Evenson is the author of twelve books of fiction, most recently Immobility (2012) and Windeye (2012).  His other books include Last Days (which won the American Library Association's award for Best Horror Novel of 2009) and the story collection Fugue State, both of which were on Time Out New York's top books of 2009. His novel The Open Curtain (Coffee House Press) was a finalist for an Edgar Award and an IHG Award. His work has been translated into French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Slovenian. He lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he directs Brown University's Literary Arts Department. Other books include The Wavering Knife (which won the IHG Award for best story collection), Dark Property, and Altmann's Tongue. He has translated work by Christian Gailly, Jean Frémon, Claro, Jacques Jouet, Eric Chevillard, Antoine Volodine, and others. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship and three O. Henry Prizes.

Erín Moure

Thursday, October 18, 2012
2:30 pm3:30 pm
McCormack Family Theater 70 Brown Street
Montreal poet Erín Moure  has published seventeen books of poetry plus a volume of essays, My Beloved Wager. She is also a translator from French, Spanish, Galician (galego), and Portuguese, with twelve books translated of work by poets as diverse as Nicole Brossard, Andrés Ajens, Louise Dupré, Rosalía de Castro, Chus Pato and Fernando Pessoa. Her work has received the Governor General's Award, the Pat Lowther Memorial Award, the A.M. Klein Prize (twice), and was a three-time finalist for the Griffin Poetry Prize. Moure holds an honorary doctorate from Brandon University, Manitoba, Canada. Her latest works are The Unmemntioable (House of Anansi), a poetic investigation into subjectivity and wartime experience in western Ukraine and the South Peace region of Alberta, and Secession (Zat-So), her fourth translation of internationally acclaimed Galician poet Chus Pato.