All posts by ed

How Fred Writes

I’m about to sit in on a talk in the series How I Write at the Stanford Writing Center. Tonight’s speaker is Fred Turner, who wrote a great book on the emergence of the digital counterculture in the 1960s and beyond.

I’m particularly interested in what he has to say about his writing process since he also lived a life in journalism before returning to grad school and academia. His time in journalism was much more serious and successful…but I’m hoping the experience will still translate.

Oh, wow: I just discovered that the “How I Write” website has an amazing archive of audio and video! Very neat.

Actually listening to poetry

How often do we really listen to poetry anymore? Perhaps it is true that contemporary poetry is meant to be read more than to be heard, but I find that once I hear a poet reading his or her own work I can never read it the same way again. That’s right, I’m looking at you, Paul.

The PENNsound poetry site collects audio files from all sorts of interesting people. We’re using it this week in a class to listen to William Carlos Williams reading a few excerpts from Paterson.

The Extreme Contemporary

Two weeks ago I helped organize “The Extreme Contemporary,” a conference put on by the Center for the Study of the Novel. We had some excellent speakers and some very interesting discussions. I’m hoping to get podcasts of some of the talks up in the near future, but for now you can learn more on the event page.

One of my favorite talks was Alan Liu’s analysis of The Agrippa Project, an early new media “art book” that attempted to embody the ephemerality of digital production. Highlights included fading ink, DNA encoding and a diskette with a self-encrypting poem by William Gibson. He pointed us to a scholarly site that attempts to recapture some of the work’s original glory.

Getting it together

Greetings. This will, I hope, become the site of a new academic blog tying together some of my varied activities around the Stanford campus. For right now, however, please bear with me while I eke out web development time during a very busy winter quarter.