Sarah, you've arranged a great group of poets to come down to Philly and New York for North of Invention, a mixture of readings, performances and discussions on poetics. Can you talk about your curation: why these poets? where are there points of correspondence or affinity between them? where are there moments of these poets individually charting out new spaces for practice?
Our initial idea in planning North of Invention was to feature poets who had not read in the U.S. ever — or at least not ever in the past five years, or at least not on the East Coast in the past five years. As you can imagine, this evolved somewhat as the planning went on. Charles Bernstein, Stephen Motika and I all had particular folks in mind when we set that curatorial constraint, and I'm pleased to say that many from our initial imaginary cohort are indeed featured in the festival. However, we had to balance this ideal with the need to attract an audience, and therefore to have some figures more recognizable to U.S. audiences on our roster. We also wanted to have a good balance of emerging and established writers, writers from across Canada, and writers representing various social and aesthetic contingencies. In the end, some of the poets we had initially wanted to feature also had to withdraw their participation for personal reasons or because conflicts arose in their schedules, so to a large extent the selection of poets depended on chance: who was available in cold, dark January.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Over at Lemon Hound, Michael Nardone has published an interview with Sarah Dowling, creator of the "North of Invention" gathering here in Philadelphia and (starting tomorrow) in New York. Here's how the conversation begins: