112th Annual Conference - Riverside Convention Center, California
Friday, October 31 - Sunday, November 2, 2014

This page is about the 2014 conference. For 2015 conference info, go to PAMLA 2015.

Magic Words: Experimental Poetry and Poetics

Session Chair: 
Jessica Lewis Luck, "California State University, San Bernardino"
Session 10: Sunday 10:45am-12:15pm
RCC Meeting Room 8


  1. Rebecca Steffy Couch, University of Wisconsin, Madison
    This presentation will offer a provisional account of embodiment within The Grand Piano, a major ten-volume, multi-authored work by the West Coast circle of writers associated with Language poetry, in order to think through what poet Ron Silliman identified as the utopian promise of “gestural language,” and the possibility of sustaining community through collective writing practice. 
  2. Brian Stefans, University of California, Los Angeles
    Poets are gravitating toward a “formal” style of writing poetry, forsaking the freedoms Modernism granted, opting rather for rhetorical, procedural, inhuman modes, characterized by arbitrary constraints, word lists, syllabics and re-workings of precedent texts. What do these new realist/mathematical modes have to say about digital culture—the “database as symbolic form” (Lev Manovich)—and can the use of fixed if variable forms be theorized from the angle of the “ludic” rather than that of a formal “tradition”?
  3. Robert Dewhurst, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
    While studies of literary modernism and magic have tended to focus on high modernist figures, poetic interest in magic and the occult carried forward into proto-postmodern experimental writing communities of midcentury. This paper looks at three central figures of Boston’s “occult school”—John Wieners, Stephen Jonas, and Gerrit Lansing—and traces their investments in magical traditions and techniques as sources for poetry.
  4. Francesca Astiazaran, California State University, San Bernardino
    This paper will explore the relationship between the poet, the reader, and the "new sentence" by arguing that is through both the author's removal of context and the reader’s innate capacity to find relevance and, by extension, draw on her relationship to the traditional sentence that the poet is able to engage the reader in the co-construction of meaning.
Session Cancelled: