"Poetics Plus" Features Poets, Performances and Events

Release Date: January 31, 2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- "Poetics Plus," a literary series presented by the Poetics Program in the Department of English, College of Arts and Sciences, returns this semester with a new lineup of notable poets, performances and events.

All events are free and open to the public.

The series will open on Tuesday with a reading by Steve Benson at 7:30 p.m. in the Cinema at Hallwalls, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo. A poet, performer and licensed psychologist, Benson is known for incorporating spontaneous verbal improvisation, costume change, tape playback, slide or film projections, lighting adjustments and props into his readings.

He is the author of such works as "Blue Book" (The Figures/Roof, 1998) and "Open Clothes" (Atelos, 2005), as well as other talks and performances, including "Return," a talk on "Careers in the Arts," and a collaboration with Jackson Mac Low. "The Ball," a recent text indicative of his approach to writing as a performance, can be viewed online at http://www.ubu.com/ubu/benson_ball.html.

An "All-Day Multimedia Poetry Carnival" organized by graduate students in the Poetics Program is scheduled for Feb. 17 at Rust Belt Books, 202 Allen St., Buffalo, at a time to be announced. The event will feature UB graduate students, as well as Canadian artist Rick Royer.

Graduate students also will present "(co)ludere I," the first of three plays and performances, at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 29 at Rust Belt Books. The Latin word coludere means "playing together," according to Steve McCaffery, David Gray Chair of Poetry and Letters in the Department of English. McCaffery declined to provide more details about the events, noting that they "are intended to be a surprise for both the participants and the audience."

"(co)ludere II" will be held at 7 p.m. April 4 and "(co)ludere III" will take place at 7 p.m. May 2, both at Rustbelt Books. The series was organized by graduate student Divya Victor.

Laura Elrick, a New York City poet whose books include "sKincerity" (Krupskaya, 2003) and "Fantasies in Permeable Structures" (2005), will read at 4 p.m. March 18 in the Poetry Collection, 420 Capen Hall, North Campus. Elrick's work has appeared in numerous publications, including "Tripwire," "Combo," "The Tangent," "Crayon," "Torquere" and "Quid." A co-curator for the Segue on the Bowery reading series, Elrick currently is writing is an extended prose work about imagined internal spaces, traffic jams, urban mountains and war.

A longtime cultural anarchist, Miekal And will visit the Poetry Collection at 4 p.m. March 20. The creator of an "infoplex" of visual-verbal literature, audio-art, performance ritual and hypermedia, And's recent work has focused on activating online collaborative workspaces where writers and media artists can creative collective digital works in a real-time environment. Recent books with Maria Damon include "eros/ion," "pleasureTEXTpossession" and "Literature Nation." Since 1991, he has made his home at Dreamtime Village, a hypermedia/permaculture village project, located in the driftless bioregion of southwestern Wisconsin.

A reading by Juliana Spahr and Kenneth Goldsmith will take place at 7 p.m. April 7 in the Cinema at Hallwalls. Co-editor of the magazine Chain, as well as several anthologies of poetics and criticism, Spahr is the author of seven volumes of poetry and a critical work, including "Everybody's Autonomy: Connective Reading and Collective Identity" (2001). An ardent proponent of boredom and uncreative writing, Goldsmith, author of nine books, including "Fidget," "Soliloquy" and "Day," teaches writing at the University of Pennsylvania and hosts a weekly radio show on WFMU-FM in Jersey City, N.J. Both poets will return for a conversation at 4 p.m. April 8 in the Poetry Collection.

Spahr also will inaugurate the "Returning Poet/Critic Series" at 11:30 a.m. April 8 in the Oscar Silverman Room on the third floor of Clemens Hall, North Campus.

Diane Ward, author of numerous volumes of poetry, including "Dog City," "On Duke Ellington's Birthday," "relation," "Imaginary Movie" and "Human Ceiling," will read at 7:30 p.m. April 18 at Rustbelt Books. Her work also appears in the anthology "Moving Borders: Three Decades of Innovative Writing by Women." Since 1995, she has co-published Primary Writing with Phyllis Rosenzweig,

A 100th anniversary celebration of the life and works of Pultizer Prize-winning poet George Oppen, entitled "George Oppen: A Central Conversation," will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 24-25 in the Poetry Collection. Events will include paper presentations, roundtable sessions and readings featuring local poets Norma Cole, Rachel Blau Du Plessis, John Wilkinson and Stephen Cope. Readings will take place at 8:30 p.m. at a location to be announced.

"Poetics Plus" is sponsored, in part, by the James M. McNulty Chair (Dennis Tedlock), the David Gray Chair of Poetry and Letters (Steve McCaffrey) and the Department of English. The series is produced in cooperation with the Poetry Collection, the Humanities Institute, the Department of Media Study and the Electronic Poetry Center, all at UB; Talking Leaves Books; Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center; Big Orbit Gallery; Rust Belt Books; Just Buffalo Literary Center; and graduate students in the UB Poetics Program.

For more information about Poetics Plus, contact the Department of English at 645-2575.