Thursday, November 05, 2015

Historical Consciousness in a poetry of archives talk on Nov 12th in CAEN, Normandy

Off to CAEN in Normandy next week on the 12th Nov to talk about Susan Howe and WWII as part of the ERIBIA seminar on Women's War Writings along with talks by Amy Wells and Jennifer Kilgore-Cardec. If you happen to be around, please feel free to come along!  See my abstract below, too.

"No silence before armies": Susan Howe and WWII—Historical consciousness in a poetry of archives. Jennifer K. Dick, MCF, Université de Haute-Alsace: Talk to be presented at the ERIBIA seminar on the 12th of Nov 2015 in CAEN: MRSH-Salle des Actes SH 027

Susan Howe opens her book The Europe of Trusts with the declaration “For me there was no silence before armies” (9) and closes that initial essay (entitled "There are not leaves enough to crown to cover to crown to cover") with the desire to “…tenderly lift from the dark side of history, voices that are anonymous, slighted—inarticulate” (14). Thus Howe sets her mark high as her books tackle again and again History—both her own, lived experiences of war and post-war, but also the entire accumulation of the wars that History has left to her. War embedded in her a sense that language, the bits and pieces of it that arrived in her father’s letters, the scraps relocated, unearthed among archives, were the foundations for her own historical consciousness. As she wrote “questions of assigning the cause of history dictate the sound of what is thought.” (13) What therefore makes Susan Howe a key WWII and post-WWII voice is precisely how the war—with the departure of Susan Howe's father as well as her own migration to the States—is a rupture for her which is so profound that it feeds not only into what she writes, but into how she writes it (formally, visually, as fragmented and collaged). This talk will address how the one war she is experiencing is part of how she is able to write herself into the ongoing narrative of History in the making and unmaking, in the way it unifies and divides, defines and makes narrative, Epic, drama, and her poetry. As such, we will discuss and consider Susan Howe’s proclaimed "Historical consciousness".

Jennifer K Dick,
MdC, Université de Haute Alsace, Mulhouse
Labo de recherche : ILLE. Member of the SAES and ENSFR.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Barcelona Spain Reading the 30th Oct and Workshop the 31st Oct

JKD and MN reflected over "old" Barcelona model at the Maritime Museum
Michelle Noteboom and I are in Barcelona, Spain this week on a sort of nostalgia return trip here after our last Oct visit in 2013 when we were also joined by Bonny Finberg. We find the city fabulously warm and welcoming and of course the sun lingering into the fall with its welcome warmth is not to be missed. But we are also honored to be reading here again, and I am also doing a writing workshop: see here is some key info for those events should you be here and want to join, and a few pictures for those who just want to bask in the beautiful Barcelona air vicariously!

Michelle Noteboom and Jennifer K Dick 
+ open readings for interested authors who want to share work!
9pm Oct 30th at Collage, 96 Sant Salvador, Barcelona
Two American poets, Jennifer K Dick and Michelle Noteboom, will read their poems on Friday, October 30, at Collage. All Collage events are must-see, but Jen and Michelle aren’t in Barcelona nearly often enough, and you don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear them. Please bring work to read in the open reading. For more information or to RSVP: see the Facebook event invitation:

5-7pm Oct 31st at Collage, 96 Sant Salvador, Barcelona
DESCRIPTION: Open to authors of prose, poetry or mixed genre works, this Saturday afternoon workshop is about starting, and starting again, providing tips, techniques and some triggering exercises to get ink onto and into the white page. For authors, each day, each page brings us a sense of accomplishment and the excitement of getting somewhere even when we battle to find a single line that works for us. So, to generate and work at attaining some tips that can be used to generate new writing, we will try our hand at a variety of exercises and techniques to warm up, redirection, and get going writing prose, poetry or prose poems/flash fiction. We will also read some short texts by other authors as part of some of the writing exercises we will try our hand at this afternoon. At the end of the workshop, you will leave with a few beginnings, and perhaps also a finished draft or two. A course for writers at all levels.
LOGISTICS/FEE: To sign up, contact "Emilie" via her email at: collagebarcelona [at] gmail [dot] com / or call 93.284.6520. 20€ fee covers photocopies, space and the course. 
ADDRESS: Barcelona, Spain at Collage (Sant Salvador 96, metro: Lesseps).
RSVP on the Facebook event page, too, at: 
Valerie Coulton and Ed Smallfield--poets residing in Barcelona--with Jennifer K Dick and Michelle Noteboom at Palmera Restaurant
Me (Jennifer K Dick) in front of an old map at the Barcelona Maritime Museum
Michelle Noteboom at work writing in our Barcelona flat
Michelle Noteboom and Jennifer K Dick playing "divers of yore" outside the Barcelona Maritime Museum
In the Parc Juan Miro which we discovered is not near the fondacio

The Amazing fountains descending in front of the Museo of Catalan Art

Monday, October 26, 2015

Post-21st October conference pictures Cole Swensen and Jennifer K Dick

L-R: Cole Swensen, Jennifer k Dick, Christine Bertin, Laetitia Sansonetti

L-R: Cole Swensen, Jennifer k Dick, Christine Bertin, Laetitia Sansonetti
Last week was full of excitement: And here are 2 pictures as the evening on 22nd Oct 2015 of reflection on "Poets who translate and self-translate" AT: TRILL research group, Université de Paris X: Nanterre wound down. Cole Swensen and I were honored to be invited by TRILL and seminar organizers Laetitia Sansonette and Christine Bertin who run a series of guest talks for Paris Nanterre University on various aspects of translation. They are also organizing what looks to be a great conference for January 8th 2016.  For the 21st of Oct, Cole and I decide to each propose and present a few "key" thoughts on translation in general, then we did "readings" of specific issues and poems that the other author had self-translated. 
     I did a little comparison-contrast of Cole's own translations of some of her poems form her most recent collection: Landscapes from a train (Nightboat books) and the translation of those same poems that have been done by Nicholas and Mai Pesques. 
     Cole discussed the issues of sound translation vs re-writing and neologism uses and possibilities in my work from the "Traces de son amant qui s'en va" show last spring in Mulhouse. 
     As the evening wound down, I left full of new ideas and reflections on the processes and issues for myself as a writer-translator and I hope that the faculty members and graduate students we met enjoyed the evening seminar as much as I did.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Take the survey! QUESTIONNAIRE on Autotranslation and Multilingual Writing

The survey below is for authors, and my focus is mostly on contemporary poets, who write in more than one language fluently and who also translate other writers. The focus is auto-translation vs translation by others. I am interested in the process of translation, self-translation and re-writing across languages as related to creative process, receptivity, invisibility, diaspora, translocality, transnationality, collaborative translation and collaborative writing, distribution, the sense of the contemporary engagement in translation as a form of writing and rewriting and multilingualism as a visual-textual mode of expression. I thank you for your time in answering any of the questions below, and also for passing this along to authors you think would like to answer it. Please return your completed questionnaire as a Word or PDF file to Jennifer K Dick at fragment78 at 

Name :
Email: (If you would like to receive a copy of any resulting paper from this questionnaire):
Languages you speak/write fluently:
Number of books published:
Genre(s) you write in :

Genre(s) you translate writing by other authors in and works translated (if you are an extensive translator, select a few key translations please):

What is it that drew you to the first books/works you translated? And what draws you to a particular work today?

How does a translation you completed of someone else’s original work feel to you in comparison to a completed book of your own original writings?

Have you worked on collaborative translations? If so, could you share a few thoughts on how the process of collaborative translation differs from translating on your own?

Has your own work been translated by others?
Into languages you speak or languages unfamiliar to you? (please name the languages and whether you speak them, too)

If your work has been translated into other languages which you speak/write, why is it you have preferred to have the work be translated by others?

On the topic of writing your own creative work in more than one language, first, do you?
If so, could you share some thoughts on how writing in each language differs for you, or some insight into your process (as in, do you tend to proceed in one then the other language, or do both simultaneously?). If you do not write in more than one language; could you address the reasons you have for using only one of your languages (ie: distribution, living in that language, it being your own “private” language if you live in another language, audience, to keep a language alive, etc.)?

If your work is written in one single language, do you translate or rewrite your own works into other languages? If so, what is this experience like for you? How do you proceed (if you have a particular method)? Do you tend to do so alone or in collaboration with others?

What do you seek or what speaks to you in the process of writing in another language?

Do you ever use translation as a revision method? If so, how, & what does it give to the process?

Do you mix languages in single works? If so, could you share some thoughts on how this has worked for you?  Also, if so, if the work is translated later into a second language, do you include multilingual translations to incorporate multiple languages in the target text (ie, if the original is dominantly English with French moments, do you reverse translate and put the original French into English in a French translation, or in some other way maintain that cross-lingual experience?)

Again, thank you for your time!!! AND please add anything you like on this topic.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

CERN 70 by Jennifer K Dick as a tip of the hat to the 2015 Nobel Prize announcements

by Jennifer K Dick

I dreamt that, rejected for the Nobel yet again, I decided to go on a rampage, get my revenge, show the 2014 selection committee what I was really worth. No, this was not one of those physicist-strolls-across campus shoot’em outs. Rather, during the ceremony, as everyone perked up to be enlightened by Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura’s speech on their fantastic blue LED light research in front of a large gathering of followers celebrating the 275th anniversary of the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, I sent a massive pulse (blue, of course) through the tuxedo-laden room. Everyone vanished. Then, a few minutes later, they reappeared. What happened? Well, I’d shot them back in time to the original ceremony for the first prize in 1739. I didn’t leave them there for long, but upon their return they all found nice, hand-embossed cards by their seats with, in golden letters, “This time-travelling experience brought to you by 8th-time finalist for the Nobel. Feel free to take note. Hope you enjoyed the ride.” So, as you can see, I am impatiently awaiting the October announcement for the 2015 prize.

(NOTE: the 2015 prize in Physics has just been announced: It was "awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald 'for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass'". For anyone interested in the Nobel Prize for physics history, see: I guess I now need to write one of these CERN poems about my character's hopes for the 2016 prize! It is hard to stay ahead of these things!) 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

JUST OUT: Tears in the Fence 62 with Of Tradition and Experiment XII

It is so lovely to be a part of the continued tradition of the UK
magazine run by David Caddy called Tears in the Fence. Their most recent issue--NUMER 62!--is now out and ready for order from

My article "Of Tradition and Experiment XII: On Beauty and Reading" (pp109-117) is a personal exploration of what draws me to a poem: music, vision, thought/perspective. It is a kind of conversational retrospective of my reading experiences with poetry, with short close reads and thoughts on my favorite poems and authors, going from John Donne, Thomas Hood, Robert Frost, Gerard Manly Hopkins, Carole Maso, Anne Carson and Michael Palmer to Myung Mi Kim, with a brief tip of the hat to Erin Mouré, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Nathanial Mackey, N. NourbeSe Philip and Craig Santos Perez.

To give you a sense of the momvent of my essay, in it I write these following snippets: 

"The mind leaps in beauty and is ensnared. A poem combines music, vision and thought and, in so doing, pierces the body...escaping its enclosure within a single time or moment as it opens to something many call universal." (p9)

"It is for the love of the music that I first read any poem..." (p111)

"To seek refuge in language, in poetry, as a peripheral space, a space not like and also not unlike society..." (p114)

"Of course, how does one define beauty? For me, the light of the lines and spaces in [Michael] Palmer combine with a kind of texture in the meaning, and that combination is beauty, hard and cold, warm and light at times. There is also something ineffable, fragile in a thing of beauty, and Palmer's poems capture that..." (p115)

"Many of the authors like the ones I find I am now reading and am excited about reading appear to be attempting to recalibrate the self within a sense of the nation (or nations) and its history." (p116)

Here is the announcemnt and information CC'd from the TITF wordpress blog about the most recent issue so that you can order your own, thus keep the magazine alive. It is FULL of amazing poetry and closes with a long section devoted to book reviews and reflections on poetry and poetics today.

Tears in the Fence 62 is now available from and features poetry, fiction and essays from Simon Smith, Nancy Gaffield, Patricia Debney, Andy Fletcher, Michael Farrell, John Freeman, Afric McGlinchey, Anamaria Crowe Serrano, Anamaria Crowe Serrano & Robert Sheppard, Sarah Connor, Samuel Rogers, Rose Alana Frith, Michael Grant, Charles Hadfield, Mike Duggan, Dorothy Lehane, Vicki Husband, Hilda Sheehan, Andrew Darlington, David Miller, Karl O’Hanlon, Amy McCauley, Rupert Loydell & Daniel Y Harris, Sam Smith, Rodney Wood, David Greenslade, Lesley Burt, L.Kiew, Graheme Barrasford Young, Andrew Lees, Michael Henry, James Bell, Rhys Trimble, Sophie McKeand, Haley Jenkins, Alexandra Sashe-Seekirchner, Richard Thomas, Alec Taylor and Steve Spence.

The critical section consists of David Caddy’s Editorial, Anthony Barnett’s Antonym, Jennifer K. Dick’s Of Tradition & Experiment XII, Alan Munton on Steve Spence, Andrew Duncan on Kevin Nolan’s Loving Little Orlick, David Caddy on Gillian White’s Lyric Shame, Robert Vas Dias on Jackson Mac Low, Laurie Duggan on Alan Halsey, Chris McCabe on Reading Barry MacSweeney, Mandy Pannett on Angela Gardner, Mary Woodward, Ric Hool on Ian Davidson, William Bonar, Steve Spence on John Hartley Williams, Linda Benninghoff on Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability, Notes On Contributors
and Ian Brinton’s Afterword.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

PLU III Guest Editor selection of work by Ivy Writers Paris readers

I am very pleased to announce the publication of the next issue of PLU (Paris Lit Up) magazine. This, their 3rd issue, includes a special section I was honored to guest edit. It allowed me to include work by a few of the many fabulous authors we have had the opportunity to hear read for Ivy Writers Paris over the past 11 years here in Paris, France. It is my intention to look into compiling an anthology of Ivy Writers, but I hope that as that project is only starting to get underway this selection of work in PLU III can whet your appetites! Thank you to Jason for inviting me to contribute this section, and to Moe Seagar for including Ivy Writers authors in his fabulous all-day extravaganza reading for 100 Thousand Poets for Change

And please DO come out to celebrate the exciting selection of work in the new issue of PLU with us Saturday the 26th of Sept. The Ivy Writers Paris authors included are: John High,  Laynie Browne, Michaël Batalla, Dominique Quélen, Barbara Beck, Jacob Bromberg, Déborah Heissler, Virginie Poitrasson and Sarah Larivière

Here is the weblink for preordering your copy to pick up at the launch:
PLU 3 launch:
Saturday the 26th of September 2015
AT: La Petite Maison, 8 rue G. Cavaignac, 75011

Doors open (les portes s'ouvrent) at 15h.  THE unveiling the new issue of Paris Lit Up Magazine n°3 is at 20h with concerts following late into the evening…. Oh, and bring 10€ for the Magazine!

The event goes all day from 15h-23h but the magazine is officially launched at 8pm.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

CERN poem by Jennifer K Dick at Dusie--in case you missed it!

I don't know about you, but I am one of those people that really does have to unplug, and the only safe time to do that is the summer. This summer I had three tremendous voyages while oft-offline--fishing in Canada, cabin time with family with more fishing in WI and a crazy zip-lining adventure in MN, and then a good old-fashioned American cross-country road trip from Iowa to California, where I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time. I was awed again and again by the landscapes of the USA, especially those of the West. But when I got back to France and home, I was thrilled to see my poem featured on the Tuesday Poem project run by rob mcclennan on Dusie--number 125 in a long line of amazing authors. This poem, one of the 200 CERN poems (some of them still being written), CERN 59 in fact was triggered by an earlier Tuesday Poem posted on Dusie. Here, for anyone who missed it, is the link:

I have also learned that the set of CERN poems translated into French by Jean-Michel Espitallier with the READ project are projected to appear in summer 2016. 

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Iowa City to San Francisco in 9+ days...Day 1 images and Road Trip Lit of Note

As my friend Sean Standish is moving to the Bay area from Wisconsin and needed a travel partner, we have made the excursion to a new life and job for him into an all out road adventure. We armed ourselves with some of the best travel lit to read aloud to each other and reflect on as well--Jack Kerouac's On The Road and Mark Twain's Roughing it as well as Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat Moon courtesy of Richard Kreitner (writer), Steven Melendez (map) 20th July 2015map and text on "American Literature's Most Epic Road Trips" (find that on Atlas Obscura) And from another road trip lit book we stumble upon Rolling Nowhere: Riding the Rails with America's Hoboes by Ted Conover, which we have also brought along.

For more articles and lists on great road trip books, I also suggest the Telegraph's list of the 20 best Travel books or the list put up in 2013 on Buzzfeed by Alex Naidus "The Ultimate US Road Trip Reading List". 

As for Sean and my great adventure... it is very much underway. And here are a couple photos from the first days for anyone interested in the images of America as seen this Aug 2015 by two lone midwestern travellers having a great time zig zagging up and down and across the United States. 

Pre-departure: Iowa City, Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa's old capitol
Sean Standish at the Ronald Regan table in Hamburg Inn, Iowa City, IA. Reagan was there too--in 1992. 

Day 1: Iowa City, IA to Fort Collins, CO. Across Nebraska on I-80W then down from Cheyenne, WY on I-25S, reading about Kerouac hiking practically this exact route as we drove.
Cattle grazing along a slope between Iowa City and Newton, IA

Sean Standish in front of this statue outside a MacDonald's  at a pit stop gas and breakfast break en route to Des Moines
Crossing Nebraska, suddenly farms and equiptment reveal a kind of inner beauty, symmetry
First visions of mountains as we descend I-25 from Cheyenne, WY to Fort Collins, CO where we rest for the night with friends.
It is after a generally smooth and sunny ride over the "prairies" of Iowa and the "plains" of Nebraska as Kerouac differentiated between them in On The Road, that we pull into the corner of Wyoming where we are blasted by a thundercloud, the road running like a river with water, the darkness of the cloud so sudden and then so quickly heading off so that at one moment there is sun and blue skies in the windshield and almost black skies with a violent purplish tone in the rearview mirror. We turn south towards Denver and begin to see mountains, some of the Rockys are even snow-capped. We turn off on Prospect road and pick up some drinks before heading to join a BBQ with friends in progress. It becomes a surprisingly late night of conversation and catching up. The sound of the crickets fills the air as we sit on the back porch, not being bitten by mosquitoes--this is so delightful to me after time in Canada and Wisconsin this summer. We are treated to a fabulously cozy stay in the basement and though it is only day 1, Sean and I are practically tempted to stop now and move in. But... the road beckons, and up we get the next morning and off into I-25S traffic we went! More soon...