San Diego Poetry Guild

notes on guild, poetry, and San Diego


A Poem Can Now Be Written

"...a poem can now be written free of commitment to, or even knowledge of, the formal or material conventions for receiving the poem. author can now create the formal or material conventions for receiving a poem (epitomized in what we now call interface design) free of any specific knowledge about what actual source content will be delivered into that frame."

News from Alan Liu's recent article in Critical Inquiry, "Transcendental Data: Toward a Cultural History and Aesthetics of the New Encoded Discourse," a charming and sometimes unnerving manifesto of sorts on XML and postindustrial authorship.

Target utopia? structuring structures?: "...thick, pliant strands of XML are girding the wilderness (and even tying in word processor documents) to enable a new order of knowledge ... a step in the direction of what Tim Berners-Lee, the web's founder, has envisioned as a future 'Semantic Web'--a web that will understand something about the nature of the discourse it is being asked to communicate and thus be able to process that discourse more intelligently and automatically."

And Berners-Lee in Liu's 18th footnote: "The Semantic Web extension of the current [web], in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation."

Alan Liu, prof.English at UC Santa Barbara, launched the famous Voice of the Shuttle in 1994 and serves on the board of the E(lectronic) L(iterature) O(rganization) whose Electronic Literature Directory "provides an extensive database of listings for electronic works, their authors, and their publishers."


New Pix, Audio

From the last Korova event and Jennifer K. Dick reading.



language is inherited from the dead


Year-End/Begin Update

Two years ago, SDPG took off in heavy winds. Now, on the eve of anniversary-2, the skies have opened up with rain. And lots of it. Most know San Diego for its near-ubiquitous sunshine and mild climates, but take a trip out here in December or January, or in March and April when the spring storms hit, and you'll see a different and much wetter side of this "finest city."

The Guild is still a little wet behind the ears, but 2004 saw some quickening of the production/action pace. In January, we kicked off the new year with the first annual "Winter Showcase" and followed up a few months later with readings by Rodrigo Toscano and, most recently, Jen Dick and Stephen-Paul Martin. Over the summer we released issue #6 (theme: "silence") of Zazil2, the Guild's official newsletter. In November and December respectively, SDPG hosted a "Pre-Election Selection Rejection" reading and an "Open [up the] Mike"* action at the new Korova Coffee Bar in University Heights. We're still exploring the space and finding our groove, but both nights had some stellar moments and were met with much encouragement and a few well-placed suggestions.

There's still a lot to learn, we all agreed, in this ongoing effort to get the work/message out. This blog, which now boasts 175 discrete entries (most worth reading!), is just one means of pursuing that goal. I'll keep the torch burning in 2005 with more book reviews, blog field reports, image events, and other end-products of my ongoing Guild apprenticeship.

On tap for SDPG in 2005? First of all, three new issues of Zazil2 (#7-#9). Number 7, on "degradation" and/or vulgarity, is due out by the end of January. The plan at this point is to end the series with #9, do some kind of Guild-wrap in #10 (anthology, retrospective, best of, ...), and then return Zazil to the custody of its Factory School founders, where it will take on some new form as "Zazil3." Korova is also still a solid go, but we hope to forge some new alliances as well with the VozAlta Project here in town. There's been talk, too, of another Winter Showcase in early '05.

Collaboration, membership, and diversity (of people, form, and function) are key themes for the coming year. San Diego is no "hub" in the classical sense, though there are rumblings, and Tijuana abides. In short, while the geo-dynamic in So.Cal. often has the effect of scattering and separating people rather than bringing them together, we at SDPG plan to tap and redirect that energy for purposes of sustained group (e.g. syndicated) action. The fundamentals remain the same: Guild = association for mutual help, pleasure, pursuit of common goals. Poetry = (? + diversity of form and function). It's an exportable format, and we actively encourage and offer support for any looking to give it a try.

* Trademark pending

Powered by Blogger