Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 26, 2012: Alice Jones

Last Saturday, Alice Jones joined us to read from and discuss her recent Apogee Press collections Plunge and Gorgeous Mourning. First, Alice shared a few pieces from her current (collage) poem project, Spell, which explores both spelling and casting spells. “This is your skin, prepared for a thousand tongues. This is your tongue, prepared for four scrolls.” Moving into a discussion about form and formlessness and the “wavelike” patterns of the sestina (the machinery of the sestina as a “braiding”), Alice then read from Plunge and shared a little about her sestina and haiku driven process. She also mentioned how her poetic and psychoanalytic practices stream into one another, informing the other—to make “room for the unconscious to say itself between the words” and to "bring language into being" that hasn’t been voiced before. We also enjoyed listening to Alice read from Gorgeous Mourning, which she called “anchored in the domestic” and mentioned that there was great freedom in writing the prose poems in the collection—the kind of freedom that allows for a bit of slanted humor from words clashing (crashing) up against one another or playing off the other. Prose poems as “sound constructions,” language with its complex wave of human utterances, slippery syntax, personal pronoun usage, and translation as a “membrane connecting one world to another” are a few things touched upon toward the end of the hour. Thank you Alice for sharing your work and time with us!

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