For this short workshop at the POETry Project, I invite poets and others to consider (and write) the sentence, consider (and write) sentences and consider (and write) sentence fragments as a manner of torqueing the already imaginable into the as yet unimagined. We will variously look at pronouns (Can I be a she?), at the place of the subject, and at the challenge of completing a thought within the confines of the English sentence and under the assault of techno-global capitalism. I’ll make a packet that will include, at the very least: Gail Scott, Renee Gladman, Kamau Braithwaite, Bhanu Kapil, Édouard Glissant, Gertrude Stein, and Henry James. We’ll all come up with our own mongrel formal interventions, then sing them to each other with the help of each other.
Rachel Levitsky came out as a Lesbian in 1984 and as a poet in 1994. In between those two events she wrote fact sheets and polemic for street actions demonstrating for LGBT and Women’s Liberation, Women’s Health, and against the state negligence of the AIDS epidemic. Since becoming a poet, she’s published three book length collections, Under the Sun (Futurepoem, 2003), NEIGHBOR (UDP, 2009) and the poetic novella, The Story of My Accident is Ours (Futurepoem, 2013). Levitsky is the author of nine chapbooks, most recently, Hopefully, The Island, part of an ongoing collaboration with the artist Susan Bee. Her current writing project is titled “Existing Condition,” and is a ‘memoir without memory’ indirectly addressing the ruptures of refugeeism as second generation post-Holocaust Jew. Adjunct and intersecting with her writing practice, Levitsky builds and participates in a variety of publishing, collaboration and pedagogical/performative activities. In 1999 she founded Belladonna* which is now Belladonna* Collaborative, a matrix of literary action promoting the writers and writing of the contemporary feminist avant-garde. She’s written and performed in a number of poetry plays. In 2014 she performed the role of Andy Warhol in Maxe Crandal’s Together Men Make Paradigms. In 2010, she co-founded the Office of Recuperative Strategies, which has staged urban walks and instant performances and instant publications during happenings in a variety of urban sites, including Alexanderplatz and the Gowanus Canal. In 2017 she was a fellow of LMCC Process Spaces, an open studio project on Governors Island and in 2009 she was Fellow in Poetics and Poetic Practice at University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing. She is a Professor of Writing at Pratt Institute, and teaches irregularly at Naropa Summer Writing Program, The Poetry Project, Poets House and other situations as they arise.