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April 17, 2009
An Evening of Contemporary Poetry: Conceptual Writing and the Flarf Collective 

From left: Gary Sullivan, Sharon Mesner, K. Silem Mohammad, Nada Gordon. Photograph by Tiffany Oelfke
From left: Gary Sullivan, Sharon Mesner, K. Silem Mohammad, Nada Gordon. Photograph by Tiffany Oelfke

Conceived and organized by poet Kenneth Goldsmith on the occasion of the exhibition Jenny Holzer: PROTECT PROTECT.

This reading presents eight writers associated with two cutting-edge movements in contemporary poetry: Conceptual Writing and Flarf. The followers of both movements employ technology to write their works, often using strategies familiar to the visual arts: appropriation, falsification, insincerity, and plagiarism. Fusing the avant-garde impulses of the last century with the technologies of the present, these strategies propose an expanded field for twenty-first century poetry. This new writing is not bound exclusively between the pages of a book and it continually morphs from the printed page to the webpage, from the gallery space to the science lab, from the social space of the poetry reading to the social space of the blog. It is a poetics of flux, one that celebrates instability and uncertainty.

Featured poets: Christian Bök, Kenneth Goldsmith, Nada Gordon, Sharon Mesmer, K. Silem Mohammad, Kim Rosenfield, Gary Sullivan, Darren Wershler.