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Unit 6 Bok & Allen Lecture

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English 2060E

more Alternative Poetics Christian Bök (b. 1966) Biography Born in Toronto, Bök now resides in Calgary where he is a professor in the University of Calgary’s English Department. He received his PhD from York University after completing his BA and MA at Carleton. He has worked with Paul Dutton and Steve McCaffrey, two of the Four Horsemen, and as he notes in his discussion with the PennSound students and Charles Bernstein, he is one of few contemporary sound poets to have learned this older repertoire. He has also written a book on “the poetics of an imaginary science” Pataphysics and an invented language for Gene Rodenberry’s Earth: Final Conflict in addition to poetry. Obviously his interests lie in invention, science and language. Part of both Pataphysics and Chrystallography engage in using pseudo-science, or the language of science, to defend his poetic experimentation. In “Virtually Nontoxic” he writes, has not the act of writing simply become another complex polymer by stringing together syllables instead of molecules?” and suggests we need explosive innovation to reinvigorate poetry. Style Eunoia is a “constraint-based” book of poetry, involving seven years of effort after reading the dictionary five times for material. Each chapter uses only one vowel with four scenarios for thematic consistency: the culinary banquet, the prurient debauch, the pastoral tableau, and the nautical voyage. All of the chapters discuss writing, albeit not the writing of the chapters themselves. Bök has claimed that his poetry is not elitist. Is his claim as strong as Nichol’s? What do you think and why? Lillian Allen (b. 1951) Biography Lillian Allen is a writer who moves easily from one artistic discipline to another, emerging with new work transformed and transforming. Allen moved from Spanish Town, Jamaica, to North America in 1969. She studied at the City University of New York, and has a B.A. from York University in Toronto. She is a leading exponent of dub poetry, a highly politicized form of poetry that has been set to music, including jazz, reggae, rock, and more. She has spent over a decade writing, publishing, and performing her work in Canada, the U.S. and England. Lillian is known internationally as a pioneer of dub-poetry, and as a ground breaker for women in the field. Her first album of poetry with music, Revolutionary Tea Party (1986), was proclaimed a Landmark Album of The Past 20 Years by Ms. Magazine in 1991. She won a Juno award for that album and a second in 1988 for Conditions Critical. (We Shall Take Our) Freedom & Dance, her third album, was released in 1999 by Vancouver's Festival Records. Lillian has published 2 books of poetry, Rhythm An' Hardtimes(1983), and more recently, Women Do This Everyday (Women's Press, 1994). Her work for young people includes three books: Why Me, Nothing But A Hero (for which she also released a recording) and If You See Truth. As a playwright she has produced One Bedroom With Dignity (1987), Love & Other Strange Things(1991 and 1993), and the radio p
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