Realisms of the Everyday: A Class

Led By>>>

Laura Moriarty (Author of Ultravioleta & 13 other books)


Brent Cunningham (Author of Bird & Forest)

TEN (10) CLASSES for $245

Meets Every Wednesday (except Nov. 26) from 6:30pm-9pm
starting October 8, 2008
Class meets at Small Press Distribution in Berkeley
1341 Seventh Street

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CLASS DESCRIPTION: A great deal of poetic invention has found its way forward by revaluing or returning to the “real”: the ordinary, the everyday, the mundane, the colloquial, the immediate, the tangible.  In this class we will explore the problems and potentials of the real from the perspective of working writers.  We will take a look at actuality and everydayness as aesthetic tactics, aesthetic forms, and aesthetic inspirations. We will notice our existence in what we think of as everyday life and note how others have solved the problem of both occupying and representing this “life.”  We will focus especially on the difficult problem of defining the “real”:  is it what we continuously think, what we immediately perceive, what we actually do, what lasts, what would exist without us, or something else?  Is it all of these things?  Is it some specific (secret, discoverable?) combination?  And, practically speaking, what does it mean to one’s writing to value certain ideas of reality over others?  We will often write during class.  We will do exercises that use “what is” as their generative engine.  In place of in-class workshopping, each student will receive a 30-minute individual consultation with one of the instructors outside of class hours.  For interested students there are additional opportunities for one-on-one meetings outside of class at (cheap) hourly rates.  There will be opportunities to browse the thousands of small press titles at SPD.  And there will be a 30% discount on all SPD books for all students of this class!  Throughout, we will attempt to complicate our presumptions about what really is, while also recognizing the undeniable power and vitality of is-ness.
Class open to writers of all levels.

LAURA MORIARTY'S A Semblance: Selected & New Poetry 1975-2007 is just out from Omnidawn Publishing. Other recent books are Ultravioleta, a novel, from Atelos and Self-Destruction, a book of poetry, from Post-Apollo Press. She has taught at Mills College and Naropa University among other places & is currently Deputy Director of Small Press Distribution. She received a Poetry Center Book Award in 1984 for Persia. She has also been awarded a Gerbode Foundation grant, a residency at the Foundation Royaumont in France, a New Langton Arts Award in Literature and a grant from the Fund for Poetry.

BRENT CUNNINGHAM is a writer, publisher and visual artist currently living in Oakland with his fiancee and new daughter. His first book of poetry, Bird & Forest, was published by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2005. After receiving his MA in English from SUNY Buffalo in 1998, he began working for Small Press Distribution (SPD) in Berkeley, the nation's only not-for-profit distributor of literary books. He currently holds the position of Operations director. A board member of Small Press Traffic since 2001, he was a founding curator of SPT's "Poets Theater Jamboree," an annual ritual of amateur experimental theater. In 2005 he and Neil Alger founded Hooke Press, a chapbook press dedicated to publishing short runs of poetry, criticism, theory, writing and ephemera. Hooke has published four titles so far, with two more on the way.