Week 1: June 9–15, 2024

AcademicsSummer Writing ProgramSummer Writing Program 2024Week 1: June 9–15, 2024

Reckoning & Future-Memory

In these long seasons of emergencies we mean to recall a futurity in which an economy of shared human flourishing arrives; we intend to think memory as a speculative fiction, to think memory as a reckoning case; to remember the responsibilities of the writer/artist to agitate, and imagine life otherwise; we mean to remember through the image of Indra’s Net, the radical interdependence we are all  caught up within and constituted by; to remember memory as the dreamer does; to think memory as/or beyond the body’s limits; we mean to inhabit the memorial as a social project and urgency:

to remember, and thereby shelter

to imagine shelter, and thereby remember a future

to recall the future for our survival

What will be the language of that future-memory: Cecilia Vicuña’s precarios come to mind as first image of this language of a just-glimpsed futurity, a language that bears the ethical freight of having coming through to the other side of experience, a language resonant with survival: what are other possibilities for a vocabulary to reckon with disaster and survival; as language-workers how can we advance this reckoning and responsibility; and how do we each take our place in this collective task: what texts, gestures, and messages will your work add to the language(s) of the future; how can your writing expand the field.

This search for forms that can carry language into habitable future will inflect our time together; the matter of survival, endurance, and the habitable are ever more urgently pressing in  on both the human, and the more-than-human worlds: as Anne Waldman and Meredith Monk ask in “The Living” that song set against ecocide and extinction “whose sounds, and cries, and metabolic thrum might soon be silenced.” Listen here, now, to remember the future, “the living thread.”

Week 1 Schedule

All events will be held in the Performing Arts Center on Naropa University’s Arapahoe Campus, unless otherwise marked. 

Sunday, 6/9

5:30–7:30 PM :: SWP Orientation

Monday, 6/10

1:00–2:30 PM :: Opening Panel: Archive After All

Panelists: Anne Waldman (chair); CAConrad; Cedar Sigo; Eileen Myles

3:00–4:00 PM :: MFA Lecture :: Kelly Krumrie

Tuesday, 6/11

1:00–2:30 PM :: Artist Talk :: Norma Cole

3:00–4:00 PM :: Oral History of Belladonna* Collaborative :: Rachel Levitsky

7:00–9:30 PM :: Faculty Reading :: Susan Gevirtz; Rachel Levitsky; Cedar Sigo; Norma Cole

Wednesday, 6/12

1:00–3:00 PM :: Dharma Arts :: Michelle Naka Pierce

7:00–9:30 PM :: Faculty Reading + Collected Anselm Hollo Celebration

Thursday, 6/13

1:00–2:00 PM :: Artist Talk :: Julie Carr

2:30–3:30 PM :: Cinepoetics

4:00–5:30 PM :: Student Panel

7:00–9:30 PM :: Faculty Reading :: Chris Pusateri; Carrie Lorig; Michelle Naka Pierce; Julie Carr

Friday, 6/14

1:00–2:30 PM :: Lecture :: Nick Sturm

3:00–4:30 PM :: Colloquium

7:00–9:30 PM :: Student Reading

Saturday, 6/15

7:00–9:30 PM :: Faculty Reading: Nick Sturm; James Brandon Lewis; CAConrad; Eileen Myles

Workshop Faculty for Week 1

CAConrad head shot

Occult Anatomy Inside the Phantasm :: CAConrad

This workshop will explore occult interrelations with our bodies and the natural elements and human-made structures of Naropa’s lush, breathing landscape through the lens of writing with (Soma)tic poetry rituals. The Allen Ginsberg Library holds a particular kind of archive of SWP, but what about the memory of trees outside the library’s window or the songs of rocks and soil? We will listen and write together, holding the connection from the past, moving ever-onward, transmuting and transfiguring the world.

In the spirit of SWP’s 50th birthday, we will also hold a Bibliomancy-Seance with books by former SWP instructors and performers who have passed away, such as Bernadette Mayer, Lorenzo Thomas, Amiri Barka, John Cage, Joanne Kyger, Thich Nhat Hanh, and others. In preparation, all workshop students will listen to at least one selection from the SWP digital archive, where we find many performances and talks, such as Juliana Spahr’s fantastic lecture on Bernadette Mayer’s sonnets, where “Spahr questions the use of traditional forms by women writers as a gesture of resistance and/or subversion.” Please see this link in preparation for class: https://archive.org/details/naropa

Each day during lunch break, all SWP students from all workshops are welcome to meet us on the lawn in front of the Ginsberg Library for a series of open readings. Share your latest poems or your favorite poems by other poets. Let’s infuse the campus with poetry!

CAConrad has worked with the ancient technologies of poetry and ritual since 1975. Their latest book is Listen to the Golden Boomerang Return (Wave Books / UK Penguin 2024). They received the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize, a PEN Josephine Miles Award, a Creative Capital grant, a Pew Fellowship, and a Lambda Award. The Book of Frank is now available in 9 different languages. They exhibit poems as art objects with recent solo shows in Spain and Portugal, and their play The Obituary Show was made into a film in 2022 by the artist Augusto Cascales. Visit them at https://linktr.ee/CAConrad88

Cedar Sigo headshot

A Pulsating Phantom Container :: Cedar Sigo

During this workshop we will explore the space allowed within the prose poem.  I often imagine that its patterns of compression and release force us to take a wide corner and that suddenly our ability to recognize material as content feels incredibly natural, almost like taking an inventory. Does the prose poem promise a dream of hybridity or is it in fact the best form for dispensing with the ghost of narrative? We will investigate this question alongside a battery of texts including both poetics statements as well as prose poems by Alice Notley, Simone White, dg nanouk okpik, Joy Harjo, Pierre Reverdy and Elizabeth Willis. Sometimes calling a piece of writing a ‘prose poem’ because it resembles a short paragraph misses the ‘point of flow’ entirely. Would it matter for a listener to know in advance they are about to hear a prose poem? Our own individual conceptions of the prose poem must emerge and give our voices new tendrils and outright handles. All students will be encouraged to read their weekly assignments aloud. We will also write in class to uncover immediate gateways, always moving toward a constant re-engagement with the poem.

Cedar Sigo is a poet and member of the Suquamish Tribe. He studied writing and poetics at Naropa University. His most recent books are (poetry) All This Time and (lectures) Guard the Mysteries both published by Wave Books in 2021. He received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Grants to Artist’s Award in 2022. He is the editor of There You Are: Interviews, Journals & Ephemera by Joanne Kyger. He was an advisory editor with Joy Harjo on When the Light of the World was Subdued Our Songs Came Through: A Norton Anthology of Native Nations Poetry. He teaches in the Low-Residency MFA program at The Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. 

rachel levitsky; pink fur yellow hat

M/Ekphrasis for the Past Present Future Archive :: Rachel Levitsky

Mekphrasis is a term I coined in order to study how poets and writers respond to our deterritorialized immersion in media. Mekphrasis derives from the term Ekphrasis: writing that addresses art.  How do we deal with the flimsiness of media, as object or goad, as compared to traditional plastic art forms like painting or sculpture? The M in front of the word stands for media. But it also might be Me. By shifting the emphasis from the fixed art object to the moving image and interactive forms of electronic media, the writer merges and moves with the matter of the object, which can be equally active upon the writer. In the Mekphrastic archive, the writer, the writing and the media defy fixity, each becomes an ever-altering and wildly inclusive form. We will make things based on great models of Mekphrasis, beginning with historic uses of cinema and multiplicity- in the hands of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lisa Roberston and Marcel Broodthaers. We’ll quickly move to more recent  original forms in the hands of Simone Kearney, Jack Henrie Fisher and Pophana Brandes, Vidhu Aggarwal, and Fred Moten, both as a singular author and in his collaborations with Wu Tsang. With nods as well to Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus and Thousand Plateaus.

Rachel Levitsky (she, they) has published three poetry volumes, Under the Sun (Futurepoem), NEIGHBOR (Ugly Duckling), and the novel The Story of My Accident Is Ours (Futurepoem), and over fifteen chapbooks, most recently the bi-lingual English/French Against Travel: Anti Voyage, out from Pamenar Press, a publisher that operates transnationally from London, Toronto and Tehran.  Her current manuscript, Rachel Levitsky Has No Problems: a memoir without memory, will be published soon. Levitsky has written and produced several poetry plays including Perfect California performed at the Ontological Hysteric Theater in 2006 and Under Water performed for 24 Hour Plays in 2002, both in New York City. Reduced Tuesday, a play she wrote with Camille Roy, was produced at the Poets Theater Jubilee in San Francisco in 2002. She has also appeared as characters such as Andy Warhol, Emma Goldman and Pseudo Voice in plays by Maxe Crandal, Bernadette Mayer and Carla Harryman. They’ve translated various volumes and poems by the Chinese poet Zhang Er, Quebecois poet Nicole Brossard and most recently the Spanish poet Gabriela Mistral. Levitsky has a long history of social practice, embodied in their robust work editing and promoting radical voices and convening collective engagement with poetry and the environment through several series of walks. During the early months of the Covid-19 quarantine, these manifested as the Simultaneous Collective Variously Ambulatorywalks offered through Belladonna* Collaborative. An essay on these walks was published online at The Hopkins Review, 2023, part of a special walks folio edited by Anna Maria Hong and Christine Hume. More recently her social practice has been a practice of sitting (meditation) informally with poets and others on Zoom. In 2022, she offered a course called Help! that looked toward disability and activist art collectives and collaborations as models for learning to create practices for the specific bodies that collect in a room. Last summer, Levitsky collaborated on writing and performing a script with Natalie Rozanes on the recuperation of hegemonic heteronormativity by feminists on television, called The Persistence of the Straight Woman at the Sercia Film and TV Conference in Paris, France and at the Flow Chart Foundation in Hudson, New York. In October, her essay “Pussy Forward,” on the importance of sex in the work of Akilah Oliver and Gail Scott, will be published in Marcella Durand and Jennifer Firestone’s MIT Press collection Other Influences. Levitsky’s poetry, essays, reviews and interviews have been published in Fence, Bomb, Brooklyn Rail, LitHub, Ambit, Conjunctions, American Book Review, The Boston Review, Triple Canopy, Bombay Gin, Aufgabe, Poetry.com, Sentence: A Journal of Prose Poetics, The Harriet Blog, Matters of Feminist Practice, PhiloSOPHIA, The Poetry Project Newsletter, Jacket2, How2 and many other literary magazines. Levitsky is a founding member of the Belladonna* Collaborative, which she started as a reading series at Bluestockings Feminist Bookstore in 1999, as “Belladonna Series.” She is a full professor of Writing at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where she is a member of FSJP/Faculty and Staff for Justice in Palestine. She has recently been moving toward the milkweed and dragonflies in Woodstock, NY.

Eileen Myles photo for week one of the summer writing program 2024

Writing, Long & Short :: Eileen Myles

I’m thinking of poems and prose and we’ll mix it up this week and write both though tipped toward poetry. I’ll bring in some bits from Etel Adnan, Juan Rulfo, Dawn Lundy Martin and Brontez Purnell and Marcella Durand. We’re going to think about writers who do both and you’ll write four pieces that week. Come ready with your favorite paper and pen and we’ll also figure out what the archive is and why anybody cares.  Holding things for the future but is there one? Bring a stuffed animal too. How do we write in this blur?

Eileen Myles (b. 1949, they/them) is a poet, novelist and art journalist whose practice of vernacular first-person writing has made them one of the most recognized writers of their generation. Pathetic Literature, which they edited, came out in Fall of ’22. Their newest collection of poems, a “Working Life”, is out now. Their fiction includes Chelsea Girls(1994) which just won France’s Inrockuptibles Prize for best foreign novel, Cool for You (2000), Inferno (a poet’s novel) (2010) and Afterglow(2017). Writing on art was gathered in the volume The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009). Books of poetry include Evolution(2018) and I Must Be Living Twice: New and Selected Poems 1975-2014. Their super-8 road film “The Trip” is on YouTube. They live in New York & in Marfa, TX.

James Brandon lewis playing saxaphone
Ambrose Bye

Node :: James Brandon Lewis & Ambrose Bye

In our week together we will take archiving into the recording studio and see what happens when we start collaborating. Using composition and improvisation we will converse using words and sound and document our success and failure. We will explore the ways one creative spirit can inform another and create something fresh, unique, and timeless. What works and what doesn’t? How important is one’s own aesthetic? What can we learn about our own noise when we start listening to others? We will also examine previous recordings and texts that have paved the way for our endeavors as well as the technology that has aided in the preservation of this process. Together we will capture and release a recording that would never have existed without our node. Musicians and writers of all levels of experience are welcome, there will be very few rules, it’s gonna be fun.


James Brandon Lewis is a critically acclaimed saxophonist, composer, recording artist. The Jesup Wagon, his tenth record was named Album of the Year in 2021 by the Jazz Times and Downbeat Magazine (as well as numerous international jazz magazines). Inspired by the agricultural & educational efforts of inventor George Washington Carver, The Jesup Wagon draws on a rich archive of music including, jazz, gospel, folk-blues and catcalling brass bands. James Brandon Lewis studied music at Howard University, and holds an MFA from CalArts; he leads numerous ensembles and is the Co-Founder of Poetry Music Ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders; he collaborates with a range of writers, poets, and artists.


Ambrose Bye is a musician, engineer, and producer living in Mexico City, and is the  co-founder of Fast Speaking Music with Anne Waldman. He has produced over 20 albums and frequently collaborates with poets. Recent productions include “Among the Poetry Stricken” (Clark Coolidge and Thurston Moore) and “Artificial Happiness Button” (Heroes are Gang Leaders).  He has worked and performed at Masnaa and the Ecole de la Literature in Casablanca, Le Maison de Poesie in Paris, the fieEstival Maelstrom in Brussels, the Henry Miller Library in Big Sur, Pathway to Paris at Montreal POP 2015, and Casa Del Lago in Mexico City.  He has also been involved in the recording studio and workshops at the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University since 2009.


Fast Speaking Music


Julia Seko in the Harry Smith Print Shop at the Vandercook #4

Harry Smith Print Shop :: Julia Seko

Julia Seko, letterpress printer, book artist, and proprietor of P.S. Press, is longtime adjunct faculty in the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics where she teaches letterpress studio courses. She co-founded the Book Arts League, a local nonprofit letterpress and book arts organization, and is a central figure in the Harry Smith Printshop at Naropa University.

Michelle Naka Pierce, 3/4 profile
Chris pusateri, blue shirt

Dharma Art :: Michelle Naka Pierce & Michelle Naka PIerce

Award winning poet Michelle Naka Pierce is the author of nine titles, including four full-length books: TRI/VIA (Erudite Fangs/PUB LUSH), co-authored with Veronica Corpuz; Beloved Integer (Bootstrap/PUB LUSH); She, A Blueprint (BlazeVOX), with art by Sue Hammond West; and Continuous Frieze Bordering Red (Fordham), awarded the Poets Out Loud Editor’s Prize. Pierce has collaborated with artists, dancers, and filmmakers and performed her work internationally, most recently in the UK, France, and Japan. She founded and directed the Naropa Writing Center and Core Writing Seminars from 2000–2022 and served as the inaugural dean of the Kerouac School from 2011–2015 and as chair in 2016–2017. Her teaching and research interests include avant-garde poetry, hybrid forms, pedagogy, and embodied experiments. Born in Japan, she currently lives in Colorado with the poet Chris Pusateri and Shigin Sensei Michiko Masuda Pierce and is working on an erasure/recovery project surrounding estranged texts/bodies/memories.

Chris Pusateri is the author of ten books of poetry, including North of There (Dusie Kollektiv), Anon (BlazeVOX), and Common Time (Steerage Press), which was shortlisted for the Colorado Book Award. Born in the American Midwest during the year of the Watergate burglary, he currently works as a librarian for the University of Colorado Boulder and teaches in the low-residency MFA program at Naropa University.

poet kelly krumrie on a dirt road, mountains behind. from author site

MFA Lecture :: Kelly Krumrie

Kelly Krumrie is a writer and teacher. She is the author of the books Math Class (Calamari Archive, 2022) and No Measure (Calamari Archive, forthcoming). Her creative and critical writing also appears in journals such as DIAGRAMLa VagueBlack Warrior ReviewFull Stop, and The Journal of Modern Literature. From 2020-22, she wrote a column for Tarpaulin Sky Magazine called figuring on math and science in art and literature. She holds a PhD in English & Literary Arts from the University of Denver and teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Denver.

stone gateway amid green mountain scenery

Special Guest :: Norma Cole

Norma Cole is a poet, painter and translator. Her most recent book of poetry, FATE NEWS, appeared in October 2018. Other books of poetry include Win These Posters and Other Unrelated Prizes Inside, Where Shadows Will: Selected Poems 1988—2008, Spinoza in Her Youth and, Actualities, her collaboration with painter Marina Adams. TO BE AT MUSIC: Essays & Talks appeared in 2010. Her translations from the French include Danielle Collobert’s It Then, Collobert’s Journals, Crosscut Universe: Writing on Writing from France (edited and translated by Cole), Jean Daive’s first book, White Decimal, and Daive’s A Woman with Several Lives, which was a finalist in the 32nd Annual Northern California Book Awards. Her awards include the Fund for Poetry, Gertrude Stein Award, the Richardson Award for Non-Fiction Prose and the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation Award for Poetry. Cole has taught at San Francisco State University, University of San Francisco, UC Berkeley, Naropa University, Otis College of Art and Design and others. During winter 2004/05, Cole could be seen inhabiting a 1950s living room as part of her Collective Memory installation during the retrospective Poetry and its Arts: Bay Area Interactions 1954—2004, hosted at the California Historical Society. More recently, she curated a show by Marina Adams at the Cue Arts Foundation in NYC and had a collaboration with Adams in BOMB 114, Winter 2011. For San Francisco Poets Theatre Cole cowrote “Art Colony Survivor” and “Afterglow” with the late Kevin Killian and performed in numerous plays over the years. Her visual work has been shown at New College of California, the Miami University Art Museum, 2nd floor projects and Right Window in San Francisco, and “Way Bay,” an exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum. She is a curatorial member of the Right Window Collective, San Francisco.

Nick Sturm headshot

Special Guest :: Nick Sturm

Nick Sturm is editor of Early Works by Alice Notley (Fonograf Editions, 2023) and co-editor of Get the Money!: Collected Prose, 1961-1983 by Ted Berrigan (City Lights, 2022). His work has been published at Poetry FoundationThe Brooklyn RailJacket2, Chicago ReviewASAP/JWomen’s Studies, and Post45. His manuscript in progress, Material Directions: Print Cultures of the New York School, concludes with a chapter about the pedagogical-focused publishing community at Naropa and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics in the 1970s and ’80s. He recently compiled a bibliography of the mimeographed little magazines and books published at The Poetry Project at St. Mark’s Church, which was published by Among the Neighbors pamphlet series. He teaches at Georgia State University and Emory University. More information about his research, scholarship, and teaching can be found at nicksturm.com.

Julie Carr Performing

Special Guest :: Julia Carr

Julie Carr is the author of 12 books of poetry and prose, including Climate, co-written with Lisa Olstein (Essay Press 2022), Real Life: An Installation (Omindawn 2018), Objects from a Borrowed Confession (Ahsahta 2017), and Someone Shot my Book (University of Michigan Press 2018). Earlier books include 100 Notes on Violence (Ahsahta 2010), RAG (Omnidawn, 2014), and Think Tank (Solid Objects 2015). With Jeffrey Robinson she is the co-editor of Active Romanticism (University of Alabama Press 2015). Her co-translation of Leslie Kaplan’s Excess-The Factory was published by Commune Editions in 2018. Mud, Blood, and Ghosts: Populism, Eugenics, and Spiritualism in the American West was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2023. The Underscore, a book of poems, is forthcoming from Omnidawn in 2024. Overflow, a trilogy, will be published sequentially over subsequent years.


Carr was a 2011-12 NEA fellow, is a Professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder in English and Creative Writing, and is chair of the Women and Gender Studies department. She has collaborated with dance artists K.J. Holmes and Gesel Mason. With Tim Roberts she is the co-founder of Counterpath Press, Counterpath Gallery, and Counterpath Community Garden in Denver. www.reallifeaninstallation.com; www.juliecarrpoet.com; www.counterpathpress.org

logo for vienna poetry school

Poetry Ambassador :: Augusta Laar

Augusta Laar, lives in Munich and Vienna. Poet, visual artist and musician. Studied music in Munich (LMU, 

Richard Strauss Conservatory). Director of the reading series Schamrock-Salons and the world’s only womens poetry festival the International Schamrock-Festival of Women Poets as well as the Schamrock Film Festival female presence. Ambassador of Vienna Poetry School at the Festival Internacional de Poesia Medellin. Member of the World Poetry Movement WPM and PEN Center Germany, founding member of Netzwerk Lyrik e.V. Recent awards: Bavarian Culture Prize 2022, Anita Augspurg Prize of the City of Munich for Schamrock e.V. 2021. At Vienna Poetry School she was a student (f.i. Nick Cave, Anne Waldman) and a teacher of classes and also held exhibitions.

She is represented internationally in exhibitions and at poetry festivals, appearances in Istanbul, Medellin, Riga, Vienna, Venice, Toronto, New York. Recent publications: Nocturnes – Interventionen, (Vienna 2024); Mitteilungen gegen den Schlaf (Vienna 2021); Avec Beat (Munich, 2020); Spinning Records (Ledbury/UK, 2019); Best Friends (exhibition catalog, Munich, 2019);



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Naropa Campuses Closed on Friday, March 15, 2024

Due to adverse weather conditions, all Naropa campuses will be closed Friday, March 15, 2024.  All classes that require a physical presence on campus will be canceled. All online and low-residency programs are to meet as scheduled.

Based on the current weather forecast, the Healing with the Ancestors Talk & Breeze of Simplicity program scheduled for Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday will be held as planned.

Staff that do not work remotely or are scheduled to work on campus, can work remotely. Staff that routinely work remotely are expected to continue to do so.

As a reminder, notifications will be sent by e-mail and the LiveSafe app.  

Regardless of Naropa University’s decision, if you ever believe the weather conditions are unsafe, please contact your supervisor and professors.  Naropa University trusts you to make thoughtful and wise decisions based on the conditions and situation in which you find yourself in.