CONTACT: WINSTON BARCLAY
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Release: Sept. 23, 2002
IWP CELEBRATES PAUL ENGLE DAY WITH NEW MEDIA POETRY CONFERENCE
The University of Iowa International Writing Program (IWP) will celebrate
the memory of co-founder Paul Engle with its third-annual international literary
conference, New Media Poetry: Aesthetics, Institutions and Audiences,
Oct. 11-12 on the UI campus in Iowa City.
The concluding event of the celebration will be the Paul Engle Reading by
South African writer Etienne van Heerden, an IWP veteran, at 8 p.m. Saturday,
Oct. 12 in the auditorium of the Becker Communication Studies Building.
The conference will focus on poetry composed for digital environments, and
the sessions will feature some of the leading writers and critics in this
field. The conference promises to be an historic literary event since it will
be the first devoted exclusively to the critical study of this emerging literary
Speakers will include:
-- Brazilian new media artist Giselle Beiguelman;
-- London-based poet John Cayley;
-- University of Pennsylvania scholar Al Filreis;
-- Loss Pequeno Glazier, director of the Electronic Poetry Center at SUNY-Buffalo
and author of Digital Poetics: The Making of E-Poetries, the first
book-length treatment of new media poetry;
-- Alan Golding, who teaches at the University of Louisville and is the author
of From Outlaw to Classic: Canons in American Poetry;
-- New York DJ and music critic Kenneth Goldsmith, the editor of UbuWeb;
-- N. Katherine Hayles, who teaches media arts at the University of California
and is the author of How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics,
Literature and Informatics, which won the Rene Wellek Prize for the
best book in literary theory for 1998-99;
-- Jennifer Ley, founder of the internet literary arts magazine Riding the
-- hypermedia artist Talan Memmott, creative director and editor of the online
hypermedia literary journal BeeHive as well as BeeHive's new ebook project
-- Carrie Noland, author of Poetry at Stake: Lyric Aesthetics and the
Challenge of Technology;
-- Katherine Parrish, educational co-coordinator on Project Achieve, a text
based virtual environment sponsored by the Knowledge Media Design Institute
at the University of Toronto;
-- critic Marjorie Perloff, author of The Futurist Moment: Avant-Garde,
Avant-Guerre, and the Language of Rupture, Radical Artifice: Writing
Poetry in the Age of Media and Poetry On & Off the Page;
-- radio producer, poet, translator and media critic Martin Spinelli, who
teaches Media Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College and is the audio editor of
the Electronic Poetry Center; and
-- poet and critic Barrett Watten, co-editor of Poetics Journal and author
of Total Syntax, a collection of critical essays on modern and
The conference organizers are Dee Morris, UI John C. Gerber Professor of
English; and Thom Swiss, a faculty member in English and the Rhetoric of Inquiry.
Conference session are open to the UI community free of charge. Others my
register through the UI Center for Conferences and Institutes. Contact Kelly
Flinn at 319-335-4105 or < email@example.com
>. Conference information is on-line at < http://www.uiowa.edu/~iwp/newmedia/index.html
Co-sponsors of the conference include Humanities Iowa and the National Endowment
for the Humanities, the English Department, International Programs, American
Studies, Project on the Rhetoric of Inquiry (POROI) and Comparative Literature.
The Paul Engle Reading honors the memory of the Cedar Rapids poet who led
the Iowa Writers' Workshop to prominence and co-founded the UI International
Writing Program (IWP). At the turn of the millennium, Engle was selected as
Iowas poet of the century, and in 2000, Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack proclaimed
Engle's birthday, Oct. 12, as Paul Engle Day in Iowa.
Etienne van Heerden is Hofmeyr Professor in the Department of Southern African
Languages at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and founder-editor
of LitNet, South Africa's largest multicultural online journal. He is a lawyer
by training and attended the IWP in the 90s. He writes poetry, short
stories and novels in Afrikaans, and his fiction has been translated into
Paul Engle rose from humble Iowa roots -- he was a stable cleaner and a stock
boy in his youth --to became one of the world's leading cultural figures.
Clark Blaise, the Writers' Workshop alumnus who directed the IWP through
most of the 90s, described Engle as the most influential American
writer of the century, for how he transformed the life of the writer
in the United States. He virtually created the literary community of
America, and he was writers ambassador-at-large to the rest of the world.
. . He made the word Iowa synonymous with writing and turned Iowa
City into the narrative capitol of the world.
At the UI Engle became the first student anywhere to obtain a graduate degree
on the basis of a book of poems. That book, Worn Earth, won the
1932 Yale Younger Poets award, marking Engle as one of the most promising
poets on the American literary scene. A New York Times review of his second
book hailed him as a new voice of American poetry.
Soon after he returned to Iowa from study at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship,
Engle took over the UI graduate seminar in creative writing. Engles
vision, enthusiasm and persistence built that course of study into the Iowa
Writers Workshop, the most prestigious and influential writing program
in the world -- the blueprint for the many creative writing degree programs
that now thrive on U.S. campuses.
In 1966 Engle retired from the Writers Workshop, but the following
year he and his wife, Chinese novelist Hualing Nieh Engle, founded the International
Writing Program, a unique residency program for prominent foreign writers.
In 35 years, nearly 1,000 writers from more than 115 countries have completed
residencies at the UI. Thirty-six writers traveled from 30 countries to participate
in the IWP this fall.
The importance of the IWP to international understanding was recognized in
1976 when the Engles were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1995 the
program was honored with the Governor's Award for distinguished service to
the State of Iowa.
Although Engle devoted most of his energy to the UI writing programs, he
managed to write 20 books, winning Guggenheim, Ford and Rockefeller Foundation
fellowships, and the Lamont Award of the Academy of American Poets.
In1990 Engles career was recognized with the Award for Distinguished
Service to the Arts from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.
In 1999 the Iowa magazine Stand Alone selected Engle as Iowas
poet of the century.
In response to his death, Philip Roth said, I think its accurate
to say that with his Writers Workshop that Paul did as much for serious
writing in America as anybody in American history. And Kurt Vonnegut
added, This man did more for other artists than anybody I can think
For UI arts information, visit www.uiowa.edu/artsiowa
on the World Wide Web. To receive UI arts news by e-mail, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
* * *
New Media Poetry Conference schedule
Friday, Oct. 11, 2002
All Friday events will take place at the English-Philosophy Building (EPB)
unless otherwise noted.
9 -- Welcome from Thom Swiss, Chris Merrill, and Dee Morris
9:30 -- Al Filreis
10:30 -- Loss Glazier
11:30 -- Jennifer Ley: Web Publishing: The Evolution of the Online
Literary Magazine and the Role of Recommended Links and Search Engines
Kenny Goldsmith The Bride Stripped Bare: A Brief History of UbuWeb
on the Crossroads of the Concrete and the Nude
2 -- Martin Spinelli Electric Line: A Digital Aesthetic for Sound Poetry
on Radio and the Web
3 -- Carrie Noland Nostalgia for Handwriting
4 -- Barrett Watten: Distributed Authors and Content Providers: Immobility,
Access, and the Space of Poetics
8 -- A Cabaret of New Media Writing at Shambaugh Auditorium, UI Main Library
Saturday, October 12, 2002
All Saturday events will take place at the Seamans Bldg. unless otherwise
9 -- John Cayley: Reprogramming Performances of Writing: Distinctions
and Interrelations of Text and Code in Writing for Networked and Programmable
1 -- Kate Hayles: The Time of Electronic Poetry: From Object to Event
11 -- Alan Golding: Technologies of the Visual: Materiality in Language
Writing and Digital Poetics
1:30 -- Marjorie Perloff: Towards a Generative (Digital) Poetics
2:30 -- Katherine Parrish: Send in the Clowns: A Poetics of Text-Based
Giselle Beigelmann: Wireless Conditions
3:40 -- wrap-up discussion
8 -- Etienne van Heerden reading at Becker Communication Studies Building