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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Attention Attention Next Objectivists & Fellow Travelers

We meet TWICE this week: tonight (Tuesday) & again on Thursday. Both meetings at the Mess Hall in Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois, beginning at 7:00 pm.

This week, our workshops will be "writing intensive"--often, we meet to discuss poetry & poetics, tonight we work on MAKE.

The Next Objectivists reject the prevalent mode of poetic production, which imagines the poet to be an individual entrepreneur of the self, scribbling alone in order to produce lyrics which s/he will endeavor to circulate on a marketplace primarily composed of other self-actualizing, competitive scribblers. This is the waste land of distinction. Unfortunately, many poets today have accepted a Clintonian "third-way" in the relation between art & marketplace: confining themselves to poetry that does not directly employ the capital letter "I" or to the construction of mostly meaningless sentence fragments, they believe they have dodged certain ideologies of consumption.

The Next Objectivists do not accept the popular mode of "Language poetry lite"; we believe that ideology adheres to practices, not beliefs, and is secured by activities of the id as much or more than it is by the ego's efforts to rationalize those activities. We believe that a more thorough-going set of alternative poetic practices should also be established: ones which begin & end OUTSIDE the individuated self of "true being." We find it bitterly ironic that a generation after the much heralded & fussed about "death of the author" literary society seems more indebted than ever to the practice of publishing for the c.v. The free market in poetry threatens to privatize communal relations that many poets once took for granted. We oppose these new modes of regulating poetic value by attempting to develop new kinds of poetic community.

To this end, we are entering our third year of experimentation with collaborative writing. Beginning with transcriptions gathered from public sources, we recycle the language to produce anonymous verses which we publish collectively & distribute for free.

Tonight our source texts are dreams told to us at several public events over the last six months.

On Thursday, our source texts will be wikileak documents: wikilyrics! Next Objectivist at Large Eric Elshtain calls my attention to writers engaged in the project already. Check it out at

All Next Objectivist workshops are free & open to the public. You may leave your expertise at the door. Join up today!


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