FleischmannCircle_400Braided River:
Naropa’s Summer Writing Program 2015
curated by Andrea Rexilius
with Omar Berrada, Rachel Levitsky and Fred Moten
and an introduction by Anne Waldman

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These are three interviews with the same questions for three eminent, progressive poets who have been guest faculty during Naropa’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics Summer Writing Program, all visiting/teaching/performing at Naropa before these conversations took place, but queried here specifically in the context of our 2015 pedagogy, which carried the themic rubric of Braided River,the Activist Rhizome. These poets are Fred Moten, Rachel Levitsky, and Omar Berrada.
“There’s a lot of good energy that flows from the love of poetry that the folks who gather hold in common” Fred Moten says. Rachel Levitsky quips that perhaps common ground is a coffee bar. Omar Berrada references Édouard Glissant’s distinction between “common place and lieu-commun” (common ground) with its “conditions of possibility for the emergence of unpredictable feelings of resistance against the systematic truths induced by commonplace thinking and reasoning; and against the meanings imposed by the logics of coloniality and governmentality.”
OMAR BERRADA co-directs Dar al-Ma’mûn, a library and residency center for artists and writers in Marrakech. Previously, he hosted shows on French national radio and public programs at the Centre Pompidou, curated Tangier’s International Book Salon and co-directed Dubai’s Global Art Forum. He has translated numerous texts of poetry and philosophy from English into French, by Avital Ronell, Joan Retallack, Kathleen Fraser, Stanley Cavell, Bob Glück, Jalal Toufic and Jennifer Moxley, among others.
RACHEL LEVITSKY’s books include Under the Sun, NEIGHBOR and The Story of My Accident Is Ours. She is a member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, an officer of the Office of Recuperative Strategies and faculty in the MFA in Creative Writing and Activism at Pratt Institute. She is working on collaborations with Susan Bee, Marcella Durand, Ariel Goldberg and Christian Hawkey.
FRED MOTEN is author of In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, Hughson’s Tavern, B. Jenkins, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning and Black Study (with Stefano Harney), The Feel Trio and The Little Edges. He lives in Los Angeles and teaches at the University of California, Riverside.
ANDREA REXILIUS is the author of three full-length books of poetry, New Organism: Essais, Half of What They Carried Flew Away and To Be Human is to Be a Conversation. From 2012-2015, she was an assistant professor of Creative Writing & Poetics at Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics, where she was also the Summer Writing Program faculty director, coordinator of the What/Where Reading Series and the co-founder/-coordinator (with Michelle Naka Pierce) of the biennial conference [Dis]embodied.
ANNE WALDMAN has been a prolific and active poet, performer, editor and teacher many years, a founder of the Jack Kerouac School and artistic director of its celebrated Summer Writing Program. She is the author most recently of Gossamurmur and Jaguar Harmonics, and co-editor (with Laura Wright) of the anthology ross Worlds: Transcultural Poetics. Waldman has been deemed a “counter-cultural giant” by Publishers Weekly, was a Guggenheim fellow for 2013-14 and is a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets.




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Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.