Bring Down The State But Have Fun Doing It: Poetry and Nations

In his famous work on nationalism, Benedict Anderson locates one crucial tool in the formation of the “imagined communities” that constitute nations in the development of print-capitalism and its capacity — distinct from spoken vernacular — to standardize the language of centralized power and market exchange. This new fixity of language was necessary because, as Anderson writes, “For whatever superhuman feats capitalism was capable of, it found in death and languages two tenacious adversaries.” This raises at least two questions for poets — how might we be even more tenacious in our adversarial relationship to capitalism, and how might we use language to imagine other ways of being together, against nationalism, land theft, and borders?

Readings for this meeting will include Gloria Anzaldúa, Lou Cornum, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Marwa Helal, Toni Jensen, Cheryl Savageau, Layli Long Soldier, Wendy Trevino, Eve Tuck & K. Wayne Yang, Eyal Weizman, Javier Zamora, and Raúl Zurita.

This meeting is free and open. Participants are invited to RSVP in advance to receive a packet of readings and other material to begin the conversation. Reading in advance, however, is not be required, nor is any particular education background or expertise. Come, talk about poetry and possibility, teach, learn, share, and connect more deeply with The Poetry Project community.

RSVP here