Apr 17, 2020
Apr 17, 2020
The TSL Book Space presents:
Social Poetics with author Mark Nowak
in conversation with Professor Chris Funkhouser
Friday, April 17, 2020 – Supper at 6:15pm followed by Reading at 7:00pm
Free Admission to the Reading
Copies of Mark Nowak’s works to be available for sale at the TSL Book Space
Supper: Menu TBA (pay at door $10 members / $12.50 general). To make sure we have adequate servings, please RSVP for supper at 518-822-8100 or by e-mail at email@example.com
Social Poetics (Coffee House Press, March 2020) documents the imaginative militancy and emergent solidarities of a new, insurgent working-class poetry community rising up across the globe. Part autobiography, part literary criticism, part Marxist theory, Social Poetics presents a people’s history of the poetry workshop from the founding director of the Worker Writers School. Nowak illustrates not just what poetry means, but what it does to and for people outside traditional literary spaces, from taxi drivers to street vendors, and other workers of the world.
Praise for Social Poetics
“Whether unpacking Mikhail Bakhtin’s ‘unity of the emerging idea,’ demonstrating the practical application of alliteration, or recalling his daughter teaching youth prison poets origami, Mark Nowak testifies to the urgency and intimacy of poetry in our prisons, union halls, and workers’ centers. Social Poetics tracks what happens when people gather around poems: conjunctions, dialogues, imaginative militancy, solidarities. This supple, comprehensive book is a study in the poetics of bearing witness, bearing tools, and bearing possibilities.” —Terrance Hayes
Praise for Mark Nowak
“[Nowak is willing] to submerge his own voice beneath these other accounts, privileging other voices – those of survivors, widows, journalists – above his own. He is a legislator whose job is allowing others to be heard.” —Leslie Jamison, The New York Times Sunday Book Review
MARK NOWAK is the author of Coal Mountain Elementary, Shut Up Shut Down, and Revenants. He is the recipient of the Freedom Plow Award for Poetry & Activism and fellowships from the Lannan and Guggenheim foundations. Nowak has led poetry workshops for workers and trade unions in the US, South Africa, the UK, Panama, the Netherlands, and elsewhere. He is currently a professor of English at Manhattanville College and the founding director of the Worker Writers School. He has been named a 2020 Creative Capital fellow.
CHRIS FUNKHOUSER is a writer, musician, and multimedia artist (and local WGXC radio host) who has taught at New Jersey Institute of Technology since 1997. He is author of two scholarly monographs, Prehistoric Digital Poetry: An Archeology of Forms, 1959-1995 and New Directions in Digital Poetry. His chapbooks include Whereis Mineral: Selected Adventures in MOO, pressAgain, Subsoil Lutes, and Electro Þerdix. In 2009, the Associated Press commissioned Funkhouser to prepare digital poems for the occasion of Barack Obama’s inauguration. In 2016, he performed at the Whitney Museum’s Open Plan: Cecil Taylor exhibition. More information here.