margin also means frontier

In case you didn't take two days off work back in January to watch live-streaming of the "North of Invention" Canadian experimental poetry festival in Philadelphia, PennSound has now posted recordings of the talks and readings on their website.

There is a silly amount content there - fourteen hours or so. I have only seen a small portion of it myself, as I have these nasty habits of sleeping and eating from time to time. One of the highlights of what I've seen is M. NourbeSe Philip talking about the difference for a black person between writing in the US, England and Canada. On writing in Canada, she says:
"I can see myself as maybe taking on some aspect of the Canadian geography, in the sense that I felt like I was on the margins, but "margin" also means "frontier", with nothing that would really crush me, necessarily, as in the long tradition here [in the US] and the very sharply argued and reasoned history of African-Americans. In Canada it seemed that everything was open, and I had to either collapse into the nothingness or find my place somewhere."
Here's her full video:

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Another highlight is Christian Bök explaining his Xenotext experiment. As someone who isn't caught up in the idea of creating "timeless" writing, I get a kick out of Bök's extending the logic of "eternal" poetry to absurd lengths. Of course, once the sun goes red giant on us in five billion years, his bacterium is going to fare no better than Keats' greatest hits...

His full talk:

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So that's just under two hours of content. For the other twelve hours, click here. But for goodness sake, drink plenty of water, blink often, and take nap breaks from time to time, ok?

p.s. Christian Bök has posted an update on the Xenotext here.

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