The Migratory Ear: Listening as Generative Strategy and Political Practice
“…listen/to the sound/of the grass/as we speak/the sound/of the grass/is the poem/we are writing/together/as we speak” (Cecilia Vicuña, ed. and trans. Rosa Alcalá)
We tend to think of writing as a form of speech, of self-expression, an exteriorization of ideas, thoughts and imaginings that are inside us. What if we were to invert that paradigm completely, constructing a writing practice based on listening, receiving, channeling, translating, transmigrating, and otherwise being a medium for what is already present in the world, or for what we might make present by our conjurings? Writing and art-making are material and thinking practices through which we can instigate ourselves to perceive the world differently, and to configure a different world. Radical shifts in perception and configuration are urgently necessary—right here and right now. What becomes possible when we listen differently, beyond the bounds of familiar voices, and hence speak differently, beyond the bounds of familiar constructs?
This workshop will be based on a combination of approaches and strategies for generating and/or revising text, all based on listening as a creative, social and political act. We will define and redefine “listening” in the broadest sense(s) possible, including auditory and sonic practice, but extending beyond those to investigate translation theory and practice, multilingualism, writing-through-music, the dérive, (soma)tics and other perceptual adventures.
This workshop will meet on the following dates, around Jen Hofer’s reading on Wednesday, February 4th:
Saturday, 1/31, 2-4 pm at Dixon Place
Sunday, 2/1, 2-4 pm at the Neighborhood Preservation Center
Tuesday, 2/3, 7-9 pm at Abrons Art Center
Thursday, 2/5, 7-9 pm at Abrons Art Center
Saturday, 2/7, 2-4 pm at Dixon Place
Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder (with John Pluecker) of the language justice and language experimentation collaborative Antena. She publishes poems and translations with numerous small presses, including Action Books, Atelos, belladonna, Counterpath Press, Kenning Editions, Insert Press, Les Figues Press, Litmus Press, LRL Textile Editions, New Lights Press, Palm Press, Subpress, Ugly Duckling Presse, and in various DIY/DIT incarnations.