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Monday, January 26, 2009


The Next Objectivists is the world's only literary workshop entirely dedicated to the study and practice of objectivist poetry. We are a free school of poets and critics pursuing the techniques of writing poetry from outside the self. Our program of study is largely organized by the participants, so come join us!

The Next Objectivists meets second and fourth Thursdays (and some Saturdays) of each month at the Mess Hall in Rogers Park. The Mess Hall ( is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave., a few feet southwest of the Morse Red Line stop and a few blocks west of the UP-N Metra Station.

Please join us at the FIRST MEETING of the NEXT OBJECTIVISTS POETRY WORKSHOP at 7:00 pm this THURSDAY, 29 JANUARY 2009.

The Next Objectivists read, discuss, write, and listen to poetry together. Our meetings are potlucks, free & open to the public. Beginners are always welcome. At our first workshop we will read & discuss some poetry, and write some poetry using objectivist techniques. Our initial approach to the question of "what is the poetry of the outside and how does it work" will center around Charles Bernstein's writing on the "Artifice of Absorption." During the month of February, we will entertain several guest objectivists, who will lead workshops on particular techniques & read and discuss their projects. On the second Thursday and Saturday of February, we will feature the poet Michelle Taransky. On the fourth Thursday & Saturday, the Workshop will feature the poets Christopher Alexander and Kristen Gallagher. If you are an objectivist poet of any stripe, please contact me about reading at our workshop!

The Next Objectivists are fed up with the dominant practices of lyric poetry in today's neoliberal America. We are sick of the lyrical rat race, the scramble to print, the continued consignment of one voice per author (especially by writers who purport to know better), the cynical rationality of the marketplace as it grasps in desperate new ways at our art and craft. In the face of these problems, we dedicate ourselves to a collective study of poetic techniques. We read together and write together in an environment focused on poems, not egos. We are dedicated to Jackson Mac Low's understanding of poetry as "a situation wherein she or he invites other persons & the world in general to be co-creators. The poet does not wish to be a dictator but a loyal co-initiator of action within the free society of equals which it is hoped the work will help to bring about."

In this environment, we preach & teach poetry that happens outside the myself. We hold that objectivism is one name for a set of interrelated effects produced by modern and contemporary poets who use their verse to explore the world of the imagination beyond the I-self. "If there is an ocean it is here," William Carlos Williams wrote. We mean to explore this outside world by observation and practice.

We come together as an independent, autonomous school outside of and in opposition to the predominant academic discourses around poetry and the academy's use of publication as a form of self-promotion. As intellectuals, we heed Gertrude Stein's observation that "Even those who are just ordinary know what the human mind is"; as historians of the lyric, we take Wyatt's warning to heart: "Stand, whoso list, upon the slipper wheel / Of high estate . . ."

If you agree with our ideas about poetry, please join us!

We do not want to join your club,
but you are welcome to join ours.

If you wish to be added to our e-mail list, please contact us at

Look here for future posts of poetry falling into & out of our workshop!

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