Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Kalamazoo XLIX (2014)

Here are some of the sessions and parties I'm planning to go to at this year's Kalamazoo, in case anyone wants to stalk me and/or just have fun.

Also, note that I haven't really looked through the program yet—these are just sessions and parties that I'm, you know, especially involved with. Just because a session isn't included doesn't mean that I won't be at it or that I don't recommend it. (I might update this tomorrow after I've actually looked through the entire program? It's a long drive.)


8pm. The "Rogue" Impossible Words session. Bell's Eccentric Café.

See In the Middle for all details—basically, there wasn't enough room to fit everyone into the "Impossible Words" session Thursday morning, so there will be an overflow (careful with that beer!) session at Bell's. Everyone has three minutes. Three minutes! That's not even enough time for a Madonna song.

Wednesday night is usually a somewhat awkward night at Kalamazoo, before anyone's had a chance to set up plans, so I'm glad to be starting the conference off with something to do.

Bell's is right near the Radisson, which is one of the (free) shuttle bus stops; the last shuttle bus from the Radisson is at 11pm, which should give you plenty of time to get back.


10am. Session 12. Impossible Words (A Roundtable). Fetzer 1005.
My first paper; it's titled "I". This is the square, unhip, sell-out, institutionally recognized follow-up to the session at Bell's. See you there.

Session 16. Medieval Women Wikipedia Write-In. Fetzer 1060.
This is happening throughout the conference. I won't be participating—unfortunately, I don't have anything to say!—but this is a great idea, and I hope anyone who reads this who could add to Wikipedia's info-hoard about medieval women does so.

12noon. Material Collective Business Meeting. Fetzer 2030.
I'm going to try to make this, because who doesn't love the Material Collective? Who doesn't love pretty things? And friendly people who love pretty things? And exciting and emergent forms of creativity with friendly people who love pretty things? Go, "like" them on Facebook, your life will have more prettiness, more shininess, more lushness. It's open to everyone and you can bring your lunch.

9pm. Univ. of Toronto Press and the Centre for Medieval Studies, Univ. of Toronto (Reception). Valley III Harrison 302
Actually, I won't be at this this year! I have mysterious other engagements. But you should go.


10am. Session 215. Faking It (A Roundtable). Bernhard 210.
Organized by the Material Collective. Embrace your impostor syndrome; make it till you fake it. My friend Lois Leveen, novelist, independent scholar, one of those people who left academia (and someone who wasn't a medievalist)—she's one of the presenters, and she's great, and if you see her, say hello.

Speaking of not medievalists, my husband will also a gadfly at Kalamazoo this year, and you should say hi to him if you see him, too. Maybe he'll be hanging out with Lois?

(Session 189, Imagined Encounters (A Roundtable), Schneider 1140, also looks great, though!)

5:15pm. BABEL Working Group & the Material Collective (Reception). Bernhard President's Dining Room

9pm. BABEL Working Group 10th Anniversary Party. Cityscape.
Ten years! There will be a bunch of copies of punctum books' Burn After Reading—which you can download for free, too, but the paper copies burn better. And there will be matches available. I have one-and-a-half essays in this book, so this could be cathartic for you! More details at In the Middle.

You might also be able to look at some eth press books here, I'm not sure. There won't be a whole pile of them, anyways.

The party takes place around the corner from the Radisson. Again, last shuttle bus back to the dorms is at 11. That... might not be late enough. Cabs are available, one presumes.


1:30pm. Session 391. #;()@?”:—*! (A Roundtable). Fetzer 1005.
It's a panel on punctuation! My talk is called "Seeing Spaces". This panel will be amazing, because punctuation is amazing.

8pm. Pseudo Society. Fetzer 1005.
Oh, right, that's the room my first two papers are in. That'll do.

I heartily approve of the Pseudo Society, even though it's such an aggressively mixed bag, and when pseudo papers don't work, they are nearly impossible to stomach. I tried not to go last year, and ended up there anyway, for the end of it; we'll see what happens this year.

10pm. Dance. Bernhard East Ballroom.
I mean, this is basically unavoidable at this point. Even if it is kind of irredeemable.


8:30am. Session 523. Strange Letters: Alphabets in Medieval Manuscripts and Beyond I.  Bernhard 209.
Oh god somehow I will get up early enough for this, even having to get there from the hotel, oh god, it will be awful, but I want to see this panel—all the papers sound amazing—and it leads to...

10:30am. Session 560. Strange Letters: Alphabets in Medieval Manuscripts and Beyond II. Bernhard 209.
My final talk—the third in the trilogy—is on some fake Hebrew in medieval altarpieces made in Barcelona. This is my "real" paper, the twenty-minute one. This is, like, from a chapter of the dissertation I'm work on! It's that kind of real! Anyway, another paper on the panel is by Claire Fanger, which is about "Knowing and Not Knowing Hebrew", which sounds great. Alphabets are almost as cool as punctuation.

Honestly, I'm on a real grammatical kick this year. Which is the bestest kind of kick.

See you there!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Twelve Ofs of Christmas

for Maryrose Larkin, of course.

On the first day of Christmas, my poet gave to me
an in that was in an in inn.

On the second day of Christmas, my poet gave to me
too many ofs
and an in that was in an in inn.

On the third day of Christmas, my poet gave to me
three thanks tos,
too many ofs,
and an in that was in an in inn.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my poet gave to me
four fors for force,
three thanks tos,
too many ofs,
and an in that was in an in inn.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my poet gave to me
five vis-à-vis!

Ellipses, Elided

a sonnet of false equivalences for Gary Barwin


Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Next Big Thing

This is a meme wherein writers answer a set of questions about the project that they're working on. I was tagged by eth press partner-in-crime David Hadbawnik.

What is the working title of the book?

Most of my writing energy goes into my dissertation these days, but I'm also working on two creative projects, off and on:

1. Three Novels: Russia, or Realism; New Mexico, or Romance; Tomorrowland, or Fantasy.

2. The nine project.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

1. So, I did this other project a few years ago called "1000 poems for THE LAND", in which I fragmented some old novels set around New Mexico. I then paired the fragments using an arcane system that balanced the relative obscurity of the words. Or something like that. The pairs of fragments (one in all caps, one in all lowercase) were scattered around twenty acres of land outside of Albuquerque; the idea was that people might stumble across them, the textual equivalents of a worn fossil or bone or arrowhead.

One of the poems for THE LAND

Monday, October 1, 2012


What follows is a notedump, perhaps designed more to overwhelm than to summarize, or to reflect the density of ideas, enthusiasms, and connections that the BABEL meeting tried to drown us all in. Despite the entire time feeling out of time, an Edenic mirage that we were both well within and yet was always just out of reach, I’ve tried to reconstruct a chronological account of what I did and what I heard people say (and my apologies if I’m misrepresented what anyone said).

If my notes are to be believed, I am not a jetsetter, and I do not normally dash from bed to the plane to the event, but after a night of modest sleep there I was, Toronto Island airport, and a prop plane ride and there I was, Logan airport, where a free subway ride took me to Northeastern University, to a student center, to a table with registration forms and trick dice, whenupon I started a day that I had already started five hours ago in order to go to the airport and which would not end for three days. Or, I would have started it, but there was some confusion about when the first panel was supposed to start, which was a confusion symbolic of our shambolic temporality, because really almost everything else went off without a temporal hitch.

My bespoke nametag—for we all had different, hand-picked icons on our nametags—had an image of Freddie Mercury triumphant on it, and it was great and frankly better than everyone else’s.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Es lepus

vir facie, mulier gestu, sed crure quod ambo,
jurgia naturae nullo discrimine solvens,
es lepus, et tanti conculcas colla leonis.

// Ennodius, Epigram LII (c. 500)

Man in appearance, lady in gesture, but in between the legs a bit of both,
resolving nature's quarrels by ignoring its distinctions,
you're a hare, and you stand on the neck of a mighty lion.