Wednesday, March 27, 2013

this thing that i am doing

it doesn't matter what you say about it because i am doing this thing. this thing that i am doing is better than most things that you have done. i have a thing and i am doing it and whatever you say in response or as advice or to criticize or to be speaking out loud with no particular point is not relevant to me. you see i have been working in this direction toward this thing and you have been lounging on the beach. or in your head. or outside of any particular thinking. i have warned you that when this is in motion i will continue moving and you will be left aside still unlearning or unimpressed. this thing that i am doing is beyond your capacity. have you thought about your capacity? it is dismal. and there are not comments enough. so when you say i don't give you comments it's because there aren't comments enough. and your capacity is dismal. so you might as well continue to produce in your way outside of comments or optimism. this is not a utopia. if you already know everything than you can create your own world of rules and stories and work. but this is something else. if it were utopia you would be happier. or i would want to talk to you more. we would share comments. we would both move toward more. but you are writing the same sentence repeatedly. one copy after another. the same structure and vocabulary every time. why did you even come here in the first place with only one sentence? this thing that i am moving toward is layered with many kinds of sentences. short and long with varying amounts of adjectives and expletives. sometimes lovely images sometimes abstract concepts. nothing repeats unless it is utterly intentional. as this thing continues to move even the intentional becomes layered and unpredictable. the unpredictable becomes its own thing. and i just follow that. and make comments. and add new sentences. and take longer walks in every direction. sometimes i cross hills and sometimes i circle around. you have never encountered a hill that you didn't turn away from. and head back. toward your same sentence your one word your single idea. it's hard to say it is what you do best. best is not the right word. but the vocabulary is so limited. what you do is motivate me to do this thing that i am doing. regardless of your childish complaints. and maybe in spite of.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

EMU Department of English Language and Literature Undergraduate Scholarships

The applications for our English Department undergraduate scholarships are due on Wednesday.


Department of English Language and Literature Undergraduate Scholarships
Irene Little Wallace Scholarship (Excellence, Need, Majors):  This scholarship comes with a minimum, one-time award of $500.  We will be able to award this scholarship to at least five students in Winter 2013.  Students applying for the award must be undergraduate students in the Department of English Language and Literature (any program area) with a GPA of at least 3.0 and demonstrated financial need (can be a line or two description in the essay).   Applications are due in hard-copy to the English Department in Pray-Harrold (6th Floor) and should be directed to the attention of Professor Melissa Jones.  Students who do not receive the award upon first application are encouraged to resubmit.  Deadlines for submission are listed below.  To apply, a student must submit the following:
·         Coversheet including:
Full Name and e-mail address
Student Number
Local Address
Permanent Address
Local Phone Number
Permanent Phone Number
·         A one-page summary of the following information:
Major
Class Level
Cumulative GPA
GPA in Major
Current Enrollment Hours
Planned Enrollment Hours Next Semester
·         A short essay describing academic and professional goals and achievements, including a statement showing evidence of financial need (500-700 words).  
Deadline for Winter 13 award: Wednesday, March 27, 2013.
Mariam Turbin Scholarship (University or Community Service, Majors and Minors): This scholarship comes with a one-time award of approximately $200.  Students applying for the award must be declared undergraduate majors or minors in the Department of English Language and Literature (any program area), must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, and must demonstrate leadership in University or community activities.  Applications are due in hard-copy to the English Department in Pray-Harrold and should be directed to the attention of Professor Melissa Jones.  Students who do not receive the award upon first application are encouraged to resubmit.  Deadlines for submission are listed below.  To apply, a student must submit the following:  
                                                   
·         Coversheet including:
Full Name and e-mail address
Student Number
Local Address
Permanent Address
Local Phone Number
Permanent Phone Number
·         A one-page summary of the following information:
Major
Class Level
Cumulative GPA
GPA in Major
Current Enrollment Hours
Planned Enrollment Hours Next Semester
·         A short essay describing the student’s leadership activities and the place of service in his or her life.
Deadline for Winter 13 award: Wednesday, March 27, 2013.
Madalene and Jack McClow Memorial End Scholarship (Teaching, Need, Majors or Minors): This scholarship comes with a one-time award of $1,000.  Students applying for the award must be declared undergraduate majors or minors in the Department of English Language and Literature (any program area), must have a minimum GPA of 3.0, must have demonstrated financial need, and must be seeking a teaching certificate.  Preference will be given to students who are preparing to enter their final semester and will be doing their student teaching in the fall.  Applications are due in hard-copy to the English Department in Pray-Harrold and should be directed to the attention of Professor Melissa Jones.  Students who do not receive the award upon first application are encouraged to resubmit.  Deadlines for submission are listed below.  To apply, a student must submit the following:  
                                                   
·         Coversheet including:
Full Name and e-mail address
Student Number
Local Address
Permanent Address
Local Phone Number
Permanent Phone Number
·         A one-page summary of the following information:
Major
Class Level
Cumulative GPA
GPA in Major
Current Enrollment Hours
Planned Enrollment Hours Next Semester
·         A short statement describing the student’s teaching goals and financial need (the latter can be a brief description of self-sufficiency, dependence on loans and work study, etc). 
Deadline for Winter 13 award: Wednesday, March 27, 2013.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

some thoughts on Rukeyser/Symposium



In 1977 Audre Lorde spoke of poetry “as a revelatory distillation of experience.” “For women,” Lorde explained, “poetry is not a luxury. It is a vital necessity of our existence. It forms the quality of the light within which we predicate our hopes and dreams toward survival and change, first made into language, then into idea, then into more tangible action. Poetry is the way we help give name to the nameless so it can be thought. The farthest horizons of our hopes and fears are cobbled by our poems, carved from the rock experiences of our daily lives” (Sister Outsider 37).

Muriel Rukeyser seemed to understand these ideas when she began publishing her poems in the 1930s, and clearly attests to in the Life of Poetry published in (1949). The flyer for the Rukeyser symposium includes the quote “Breathe in experience, Breathe out poetry.” What you may or not already know is that this is actually the first line in the first poem in her first published book, Theory of Flight. Rukeyser absolutely begins and ends in a poetics of experience, a practice in which poems are carved from the experiences of our lives. I think for Lorde and for Rukeyser this begins with the personal, and over their bodies of work opens, or transcends the personal.
The function of breath is the most ordinary and necessary of bodily functions. And as one learns in a yoga practice, it is also essential to the development of the mind-body relationship. The breath is central to the development and control of the mind, and poetry is an ordinary consequence of living from one moment to the next. But poetry, for Rukeyser, is not ordinary in any disparaging sense. Rukeyser makes ordinary language and poetic content function extra-ordinarily, and she believes that poetry, especially, is a kind of knowledge and resource that we are surrounded by, yet which often goes unused. In The Life of Poetry she writes,“it seems to me that we cut ourselves off, that we impoverish ourselves, just here. I think that we are ruling out one source of power, one that is precisely what we need.” In ways similar to and different from other modern women poets Rukeyser creates poems that are layered with poetic tradition, attentive to formal strategy, and that include content that is political but not didactic. Her poems are “ordinary”—using language that generally more common to her contemporary, everyday language—but not na├»ve or anti-intellectual. She writes of workers, women issues, and social and political events using language that often shifts registers in terms of tone, style, sound, and often includes reference to poetic predecessors as well as contemporary literary and social figures. Rukeyser continuously maintains the poetic/aesthetic space as one of mediation, process, reflection, and commentary in a way that is ordinary and as a specialized resource for contemporary culture, specifically in relation to the ways in which it can be written, read, and used toward the opening of social and political possibility.