Feb 21 @ 7pm

Born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, experimental poet and jazz musician Clark Coolidge’s poetry utilizes syntactical and sonic patterns to engage, and generate, meaning. In a 1968 poetics statement, he noted, “Words have a universe of qualities other than those of descriptive relation: Hardness, Density, Sound-Shape, Vector-Force, & Degrees of Transparency/Opacity.” Though he is commonly associated with the Language Poets and the New York School his work continues to remain distinct from any movement, literary or political.

For this engagement, Coolidge reads from his most recent book, A BOOK BEGINNING WHAT AND ENDING AWAY, Published by Fence Books in the Spring of 2013.

A BOOK BEGINNING WHAT AND ENDING AWAY is an epic, durational, multiform text composed from 1973 to 1981. Bridging the wild conceptual experimentalism of the 1960s with the freeform, devastating ‘point perspective lyric’ that remains Coolidge’s operative method today, A BOOK BEGINNING WHAT AND ENDING AWAY an epic saga, and a rewriting of the nodes of grammar and meaning, exhibiting forceful transformation in every paragraph, every stanza, every turn.

Our evening with Coolidge will be opened with a reading by Brandon Downing whose recent publications include, The Shirt Weapon (Germ Monographs, 2002), Dark Brandon (Faux Press, 2005), Lake Antiquity (Fence Books, 2009), and Mellow Actions (Fence, 2013).”

This program was organized by Kristan Kennedy, Visual Art Curator, PICA with Lisa Radon, editor of EIGHTS.


Clark Coolidge

Brandon Downing