Michelle Naka Pierce and Chris Pusateri

Creative Critical Writing Lecture
Date/Time: Wednesday, 28th October, 5pm-7pm
Venue: Senate House, 1 Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU (Room 261)


Michelle Naka Pierce
Brain/Body Praxis: An Embodied Poetics


This experiential talk explores the liminal, the transitional space that occupies both sides of a boundary or threshold, while building an embodied vocabulary that inhabits critical/creative investigations. Working with somatic inquiries, we attend to the present moment and invite brain/body praxis. Using threads from Continuous Frieze Bordering Red, (which documents the migratory patterns of an Other while interrogating Rothko’s red: his bricked-in, water-damaged windows [floating borders], reflecting unstable cultural borders to the mixed-race identity), we think through peripatetic ways of writing and knowing. See: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5iJWa-HCAI

Born in Japan, Michelle Naka Pierce is the author of nine titles, including Continuous Frieze Bordering Red (Fordham UP, 2012), awarded the Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize, and She, A Blueprint (BlazeVOX, 2011), with art by Sue Hammond West. She is the editor of Something on Paper, the online poetics/multimedia journal. Pierce has collaborated with artists, dancers, and filmmakers. Her work has been translated into Japanese, Spanish, Hebrew, and French. She teaches avant-garde poetry, pedagogy, and cross-genre writing and has served as dean of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics and director of the Writing Center. Pierce is professor of Creative Writing and Poetics at Naropa University.

Chris Pusateri
The Poetics of Surveillance: Meditations on Privacy, Critique, and the Ethics of Eavesdropping


This presentation examines the act of writing in an era of state-sponsored surveillance.  It centers on a recent poetic project, The Liberties, which examines how surveillance apparatus restricts the terms of citizenship, the right to privacy, and opportunities for artistic expression.  Due in part to the July 2005 bombings of the London transport system, transit hubs now count among the most heavily surveilled public environments in the UK. As part of my field research for The Liberties, I made site visits to all 270 stations served by the London Underground and documented the reactions of commuters, transport police and LUL employees to this system of hypervigilance. This presentation will also interrogate the political, social, and ethical aspects of writing itself, using the work of writers and thinkers such as Sophie Calle, Mark Poster, and Michel Foucault to challenge traditional distinctions between the creative and critical functions of texts.

Chris Pusateri is the author of ten books and pamphlets of poetry, most recently Common Time (Steerage Press, 2012), which was shortlisted for the Colorado Book Award, and Semblance (Dusie Kollektiv, 2013). His poetry and critical prose appears widely in literary periodicals, and he serves as a senior editor of the multimedia journal Something on Paper. A librarian by profession, he has lectured on poetry and poetics at a number of institutions, including The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Naropa University, University of New Mexico, and the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris. He currently lives in London.

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‘Cutting an Object into Slices’ highlights different modes of critical writing, emphasising the creativity inherent in our materialisation of thought. Topics vary as esteemed guests from across the disciplines offer a unique contribution to the series. Future lectures include:

The series is organised by Dr. Kristen Kreider and made possible through funding from the Departments of Drama, English, Media Arts and Music at Royal Holloway as well as the AHRC TECHNE Consortium.


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