Five Bodies Workshop: Maureen McLane

Image courtesy of Maureen McLane. Photo: Joanna Eldredge Morrissey
Image courtesy of Maureen McLane. Photo: Joanna Eldredge Morrissey

‘On the Notational'

Join us for a series of free monthly workshops exploring creative-critical practice, hybrid methodologies and experimental thinking.

Organised in collaboration with the Critical Poetics research group based at Nottingham Trent University, and featuring international guest speakers, the Five Bodies workshops provide a new platform for debate and collaboration for those interested in exploring the relationship between creative and critical writing.

Led by poet Maureen N. McLane, this workshop takes wing from Roland Barthes’s meditation on 'the minimal act of writing that is Notation.' We will explore 'the notational' via Barthes on haiku, and more broadly we’ll explore possibilities in note-taking, note-making, reading and writing and shaping en route. As Vahni Capildeo has said, 'Poetry achieves renewable acts of noticing' – including the noticing of power relations. Ranging from W. S. Graham’s note-to-self – 'take down actual speech' – to other modes of responsive attentiveness and practice, the discussion will draw as well on some other writers and materials: e.g. Tonya Foster’s Swarm of Bees in High Court (2015), Fred Wah, Claudia Rankine, Lorine Niedecker, my own notebooks, annotations, citations, and poems. Among the questions posed and pondered: Why note anything? How? What are your own notational practices, if any? What is the relation between what’s noted and the hazy, sometimes hostile surround? Between the note and the weather? Between the note and the ideologics of the noteworthy? Between the notational and the poem, poetics? What futurity is written into the note? What constraints? What con/temporalities?

Our open call for the 2020-21 academic years is now closed. Join our Five Bodies monthly poetry series, where unexpected ideas, experimental drifts and multiple voices explore perceiving, sensing, feeling and knowing as knowledge-making practices.

Maureen N. McLane is a poet, critic, educator, and divagator working in a tradition of lyric and critical inquiry. She has published six books of poetry, including This Blue which was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry, Mz N: the serial, Some Say, finalist for the Audre Lorde/Publishing Triangle Award and for The Believer Award in Poetry, and What I’m Looking For: Selected Poems. Her book, My Poets, an experimental hybrid of memoir and criticism, was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award in Autobiography. She has also published two critical monographs on British romantic poetics and numerous essays on contemporary literature and culture. Her poems have recently appeared in the London Review of Books, Granta, PN Review, and Bomb; her most recent essay appeared in Public Books. She is Professor of English at New York University.

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