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Harriet Reading Series Part II: Kenneth Goldsmith’s “Career in Poetry”

By Harriet Staff


Photo courtesy of Lawrence Schwartzwald

Friday, December 16th at 7pm, poet, DJ, essayist, rabble-rouser and Ubuweb Roi Kenneth Goldsmith will present “My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Institution” here at the Poetry Foundation at 61 W. Superior St. in Chicago.

As anyone who has spent time on Harriet knows, Kenny has a particular knack for letting the air out of poetry’s received ideas. His newest collection of essays, Uncreative Writing, is just out from Columbia University Press. The book compiles much of his work on Harriet from over the past few years, work that has never ceased to cause a stir.

Here are Goldsmith’s five most popular posts–which are up there with our most popular posts of all time:

1) “3,785-page pirated poetry anthology”

2) “Poets, Really, they’re the laziest stupidest people I know.”

3) “Name, a ‘novel’ by Toadex Hobogrammathon”

4) “Flarf and Conceptual Writing in Poetry magazine”

5) “It’s always a bad time for poetry”

And here, for your listening and dancing pleasure, is Kenny at the White House (forward on to the 9:00 mark to see The Suit):

AAAAND, if that’s not enough, here’s an interview with Goldsmith from this month’s Believer:

THE BELIEVER: You say that your books don’t need to be read. What do you mean by that?

KENNETH GOLDSMITH: My books are better thought about than read. They’re insanely dull and unreadable; I mean, do you really want to sit down and read a year’s worth of weather reports or a transcription of the 1010 WINS traffic reports “on the ones” (every ten minutes) over the course of a twenty-four-hour period? I don’t. But they’re wonderful to talk about and think about, to dip in and out of, to hold, to have on your shelf. In fact, I say that I don’t have a readership, I have a thinkership. I guess this is why what I do is called “conceptual writing.” The idea is much more important than the product.


Posted in Foundation News on Monday, November 28th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.