Harriet Reading Series: Kenneth Goldsmith
Friday, December 16th, 7:00 PM
61 West Superior Street
Free admission, reception to follow
Poet, DJ, essayist, and UbuWeb founder Kenneth Goldsmith presents “My Career in Poetry or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Institution,” a talk about poetic community, ambition, and his new book Uncreative Writing. Goldsmith’s work questions the role of the singular poetic genius in the Information Age with what critic Marjorie Perloff calls “poetry by other means.” This poetry does not produce anthology-ready gems of personal observation, but focused moments of attention on found information, such as, in his book Traffic, transcripts of traffic reports from one holiday weekend in New York. Goldsmith performed at the White House in May 2011 alongside Billy Collins, Allison Knowles, Common, and Jill Scott as part of the second White House Poetry Jam. He teaches at University of Pennsylvania where he works with the Kelly Writers’ House and the Center for Programs in Creative Writing.
This exhibition showcases highlights from the literary archives of Gwendolyn E. Brooks (1917–2000), Illinois Poet Laureate and the first black winner of the Pulitzer Prize. Brooks’s papers include youthful poetry and prose, scrapbooks of pieces she published as a young woman, extensive correspondence with a significant roster of other writers, and manuscript drafts and proofs, especially after she left mainstream publishing to produce her works with black-owned presses.