Thursday, 19 March 2009

going to stanza

the sun shines and i get myself off to stanza, taking the covers off the bike for the first time this year and indulging myself as the moto poeta. despite not really being as much into the itinerary this year as soon as i'm there all my doubts evaporate. there seems more... poetry this year. people with books, people reading, people just sitting about blethering.

i go to see stephen scobie who reads from his latest collection at the world's end, which is sort of an exploration of robert louis stevenson. he's been living in canada for twenty odd years and you can hear it but as he reads his voice changes, different accents come through. i wasn;t convinced i was going to like it at first, then ended up beguiled

he was reading with peter mccarey, another expatriate who's now teaching in the department of language studies in geneva. i'd already been fascinated by what i took to be an installation called the syllabary in the byre beforehand and hadn't realised that it was him. his poetry was denser, more difficult to reach but i was loving it all the same. the syllabary functions, he says, as a grid
in which sounds are co-ordinates according to function. the syllabary generates these sounds and some half of the five thousand reference points have associated words or text. part of the deal is that it subverts the book - yes, i did mean to ask him about queneau but forgot - so that there's no linearality. all of it appealed to the old burroughs fan in me. cut ups, random-mess, imagination. i'll be back tomorrow to look at it again. in the meantime you can view it here

a note for attendees. if you're buying the cd it isn't compatible with vista and it isn;t the interface that you see at stanza or on the website


Sorlil said...

well that's my bags packed and looking forward to travelling up the east coast tomorrow, stanza is so handy for you!

swiss said...

it's not as handy as you might think but nothing as to the trak you'll be doing tomorrow! have sent you my mob no

Andrew Shields said...

"sent you my mob no"? Is that something that keeps the Mafia from getting you? :-)

Andrew Shields said...

I guess the syllabary was not working when I was there before, but it is now, and it's brilliant!

swiss said...

you're entirely right andrew. stanza as a friendly place is something of a misnomer. the poets actually group themselves into rival families, cruising the streets in their mobs before it goes all west side strory and someone buys in a hail of uncomplimentary words!

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