Discussion to open series on contemporary poetry

Poet Roger Farr is the first in a series of four visitors to the UWindsor campus who will discuss their work as it relates to language.

The author of the poetry books Surplus, Means and IKMQ, Farr will open the Language of Contemporary Poetry series with his free public lecture “Slang, Jargon, Antilanguage,” Tuesday, February 7, at 5:30 p.m. in the CAW Student Centre’s second-floor boardroom.

The series has been coordinated by students in professor Louis Cabri’s graduate course “Colourless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously: Poetry & Linguistic,” Ashley Girty, Paige Hanson, Greg Paziuk, Greg Raymond, Kevin Shaw, Courtney Steel, Jordan Turner and Craig Visser.

Girty says the series will be of interest to a wide range of students.

“Our focus is how different linguistic models have impacted poetry in recent Canadian and American history,” she says. “Within that we’ll be looking at things like, for example, how slang comes to be and the identity politics behind it — a lot of quirky things you might not immediately imagine.”

She says she is glad to have the opportunity to interact with the poets.

“It’s great to theorize about a work in the classroom, but getting to sit down and have a conversation with the writers themselves is so much more personal, dynamic, and engaging,” Girty says. “I’m excited to see where our conversations go.”

Farr writes on social movements, media, childhood, and the avant-garde. His essay “Gangland and Linguistics” is being published as the introduction to the English translation of former Situationist International member Alice Becker-Ho’s The Essence of Jargon.

In addition to Tuesday’s discussion, he will conduct a free public reading of his work on Monday, February 6, at 4 p.m. in the Rose Room, Vanier Hall. Read an interview with Farr by creative writing student Josh Kolm in the Lance student newspaper.

The Language of Contemporary Poetry series is sponsored by the Humanities Research Group and the Department of English Language, Literature, and Creative Writing. Discussions take place Tuesdays from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the CAW Student Centre boardroom.

The series continues:

  • March 6, Fred Wah, “Tish Poets & the Utterance”
  • March 13, Ron Silliman, “Language-centred Poetry & Grammar”
  • March 20, Dennis Cooley, “Regionalism & a Vernacular Poetics”

Find more information on the English department Web site.

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