Barbara Henning

Monday, September 10, 2012

My Upcoming Classes at Writers.com

As many of you know, I teach several ten-week on-line classes for Writers.com. Many of these courses I also teach in MFA Programs. The cost to enroll is minimal compared with the universities..

My upcoming schedule is:

"Poetic Prose: The Prose Poem" begins on 9/17/12. This course is a combination of a workshop course and a reading sequence about various experimental writing movements. I teach the identical course (except shorter here) for the MFA Program at Naropa and at Long Island University, as well as the Poetry Center in Tucson and The Poets House in NYC.

"Borderline Writing: A Writing/Lit Class" begins on 10/1/12. In this course we read several works that bridge the novel and poetry. Journal Writing and Fiction/Poetry workshop. I have taught this course for the Poetry Center in Tucson and also the MFA Program at Long Island University.

"Flash Fiction: Writing the Short-Short Story" begins on 12/3/12. In this course we experiment with writing tiny fictions using many poetic forms and constraints to generate narrative. We read other examples and some theory. I teach the identical course (except shorter here) for the MFA Program at Naropa and at Long Island University, as well as the Poetry Center in Tucson and The Poets House in NYC.


Full Descriptions of the Courses are here

  • My Classes at Writers.com


  • Saturday, August 25, 2012

    In Aporia: The Annual Akilah Oliver Memorial Reading

    September 19, 2012 at 7pm

    Lang Café, Eugene Lang College
    65 W 11th street


    The annual Akilah Oliver Memorial Reading at The New School honors the memory of Akilah Oliver, a radical poet, professor, feminist, and activist. The second of this annual reading series, this event will feature the work of Nick Von Kleist, Krystal Languell, Wendy S. Walters, and Eileen Myles.

    Nick Von Kleist is a current senior at Eugene Lang College of the New School, where he studies Literature, Chinese and Fine Arts. Nick has been published on the online zine ShortfastandDeadly in London, where he also did many readings at the Woodburner. In New York, Nick has read at Bowwow at the Bowery Poetry Center.

    Krystal Languell is a graduate of the MFA program at New Mexico State University, where she won the Mercedes Jacobs Thesis Award. Her first book, Call the Catastrophists, was published by BlazeVox in 2011. Her poems have appeared in Barn Owl Review, DIAGRAM, esque and elsewhere, and her reviews and interviews have been published online at NewPages and Coldfront. Founder of the feminist literary journal Bone Bouquet, she is part of the Belladonna Collaborative in Brooklyn and teaches writing at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and Pratt Institute.

    Wendy S. Walters is the author of Troy, Michigan (forthcoming from Futurepoem Books in 2013), Longer I Wait, More You Love Me (2009) and a chapbook, Birds of Los Angeles (2005), both published by Palm Press (Long Beach, CA). She is a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Poetry. Walters’ poetry has been recognized with residency fellowships from Bread Loaf, MacDowell, Cave Canem and Yaddo, and her poems have recently appeared or are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Los Angeles Review, Callaloo, HOW2, Natural Bridge, Seneca Review and the Yalobusha Review, among several others. She has been a nominee for the Essay Prize and her prose has been published or is forthcoming in Bookforum, The Iowa Review, Coldfront, Seneca Review, Seattle Review, and Harper’s Magazine. She is also a co-founder of the First Person Plural Reading Series in Harlem with Amy Benson and Stacy Parker Le Melle.

    Eileen Myles is from Boston and moved to New York in 1974 to be a poet. Eileen has published 18 collections of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction most recently Snowflake/different streets (poetry), and Inferno (a poet’s novel). Also The Importance of Being Iceland: Travel Essays in Art (2009) for which she received a Warhol/Creative Capital art writers grant. She is a 2012 Guggenheim fellow. She lives in New York.

    Saturday, May 05, 2012

    Interview of Harry Mathews

    A year ago or so, I interviewed Harry Mathews about Oulipo and women and about politics of the members and such. This interview will be published by Critiphoria/Eoagh in their next issue. Because the interview started in response to a correction to the preface of LOOKING UP HARRYETTE MULLEN, it is now posted on Belladonna. It is a very interesting interview. Please check it out

    Here's the website --

    www.belladonnaseries.org/images/reviews/harry_mathews_interview.pdf//

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    Thursday, May 03, 2012


    Georgia Marsh is a dear friend and collaborator. I absolutely love her paintings, watercolors, whatever she does--the transformation of line and color, the delicacy, and celebration and transformation of material, sense, intellect, emotion, etc. We met in the early nineties at an art colony in the Catskills. We wandered through the forests, spending our days with Georgia drawing and me writing. Anyhow, I want to share her website with you, all of you.

    Here's the website --

    http://www.georgiamarsh.net//

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    Tuesday, November 29, 2011

    December 13th Bella Belladonna Event

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    Sunday, November 13, 2011

    Harris Schiff's One More Beat (Accent Editions)

    What I noticed when I left New York City was that when I wasn't here, I wasn't here, even though I had been here for a very long time. We New Yorkers are always moving so fast and the clock on Union Square keeps flashing new numbers and new poets arrive all the time from here and there and old ones stay or migrate elsewhere. I arrived in New York in 1983, a few months before Ted Berrigan died, and it was like the end of an era that I had missed. But Harris Schiff was there and in his new book, One More Beat (Accent Editions), he writes a phenomenal introduction, talking about how he became a poet and who was there and where and how the East Village poetry scene fit into the greater political world of the USA back then and today.

    Following Harris's introduction is an introduction Ted Berrigan gave when Harris read at the Poetry Project on May 18, 1977. And then interspersed between Harris's poems is a set of photos by Monica Claire Antonie of Harris, Ted, Susan Cataldo, Lewis Warsh, Burroughs, Bernadette Mayer, Rudy Burckhardt, John Godfrey and many others. Reading the introduction, Ted's introduction, the photographs, and then the poems is like quickly living through those years with Harris. There is a wonderful collaboration between Harris and Ted, "Love Song." This book is a must read for anyone who wants to know what was going on in the 70's and early 80's with poetry in the East Village. I was sitting in Quantum Leap reading the poems, and when I finished, I felt like weeping. Sometimes when life is good, you suffer a lot afterwards.

    Go to this website for more information: http://www.accenteditions.com/

    Here are a couple of Harris's poems:

    Under Halley's Sky

    The world's a dangerous place
    you take your chances every time you do anything
    & even when you don't

    you are fragile
    as your life

    driving is scary
    & taking the train

    & living next to a nuclear power plant
    & having gasoline trucks go through your neighborhood
    & working in districts subject to terrorism
    or sabotage (depending how you look at it)

    walking downstairs
    stepping off a curb

    strange sex

    ordinary sex

    eating in a restaurant

    eating out of cans

    jogging

    being a zen buddhist

    sleeping in earthquake zone

    living under nuclear umbrella

    being on planet which may be hit by asteroid

    being in suspicious universe which
    may collapse at any time or burst

    these activities could all be hazardous to your
    health & the surgeon general has recommended against
    engaging in any of them

    unless you smoke substantial numbers of cigarettes
    barf regularly
    clean up your act
    straighten up
    run it up the flag pole
    & see how it blows

    the wind cries any number of names
    on a mild
    autumn night

    trees
    riffled
    by breeze

    leaves
    gilded
    with light

    [below this poem, the sweetest photo of Susan Cataldo.]

    Abstract Depressionism

    among aristocrats
    the large banking houses
    perfected the concept
    of the oblique hit-man

    they called it
    noblesse disoblige

    it's one of the few lessons
    we can learn today from
    the spurious collection of data
    we call so blithely
    History

    History also teaches us that
    language changes constantly
    women remain gracefully
    beautiful
    men
    continue to be
    brutal
    it does not explain when that started
    or why

    [Beside this is a beautiful photograph of young Anne Waldman]

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    Thursday, November 03, 2011

    Bill Kushner's Walking After Midnight. (Spuyten Duyvil 2011)

    I have a stack of books to read by my bedside and a journal. When I finally crawl into bed, usually just after midnight, I pick up the journal and I write one page. Then I start reading the book on the top. Last week I read from Bill Kushner's new book Walking After Midnight. I loved reading these story poems. Some of them are childhood memories, others veer off into an imaginary life, sometimes like a fairy tale. I found myself more than once lying in bed laughing. I'm putting three that I really liked here.

    HUMMER

    "I'll tell you nothing," he said, as we drove along.
    I could almost count the poles as we sped along.
    And my father hummed. He was a hummer. I
    looked up and saw the clouds holding up the sky.
    "You're not gonna see me," my father said, "once
    we get there." And then he sort of chuckled, a
    funny sound. "I mean," he went on, "that I am
    just gonna disappear." Ahead, I saw a kid on the
    side of the highway, holding out his thumb. The
    kid looked hot. The sun was out and it was hot.
    I could see he was almost soaking wet in sweat.
    My father just drove by. "You could've stopped
    for him, Dad," I said. "It would've been like a nice
    thing to do." Immediately, my Dad stopped the
    car, and we both lurched forward, then back. "You
    wanna get out and walk it? he queried. I thought
    about it and swallowed. "No, sir, I don't" "Don't
    what?" "Don't wanna walk it, sir." He stared hard
    at me for one long minute. I could see the cactus,
    sky and the mountains in the far far distance, as he
    kept on staring. i could see the kid sort of running
    in a funny hop towards us, my father's car. "So
    do we understand each other from now on?" my
    father asked me. "Do we understand each other at
    last?" Thick silence, and I had to answer. "Yes, sir,
    Dad." "Yes, sir, what, boy? I said yes, sir, what?"
    "Sir, we understand each other at last." My father's
    arms shot up as if in a weird kind of victory. "At
    last!" he said, almost breathless. "At last!" By now
    the kid had almost reached the car, and he had one
    arm out as if to quick grab at the handle of it, my
    father's sky blue car. And I could see the kid's eyes
    kind of crazy scared eyes. "Good," my father said,
    as he gunned the motor, and away we drove real fast.


    THE LITTLE DEER

    The witch said, "The deer! The little deer! Run
    after the deer and capture him, my little darling,
    and you shall be king! So I did what the witch
    told me. I ran and I ran, but that little deer was a
    fast one, and always leaped ahead, just out of reach.
    Suddenly, there I was, in the heart of the forbidden
    forest, and I was alone, for the little deer was gone.
    "Who is that under me?" asked the talking tree.
    "It's me," I answered, "your little king." "You're not
    my little king!" replied the tree. "you're just a lost
    and frightened little boy, aren't you? Afraid that
    someone will eat you? Afraid you'll never find your
    way back home?" "Yes, tree," I said, for it was true.
    "Climb a bit up me, little boy, and I'll try to protect
    you. I'll try to find someone to guide you out of this
    forest you are lost within." Just then, a riderless
    white horse came along. "Oh dear me, oh dear me,"
    said the sad horse. "For the Prince of this strange
    kingdom and I went out riding, but the Prince he
    strangely fell off me, he fell to the ground where he
    is now unconscious, and I can't wake him for the
    life of me, oh dear!" "Then let this little boy ride on
    you, and take him where the strange Prince lies. I do
    believe the boy has the magic to wake the Prince up!"
    So there I was, riding on the white horse. "Hold me
    tight, boy!" the horse commanded, and soon there we
    were before the sleeping Prince. "Do your magic,
    boy!" the horse whispered. So I bent over the Prince
    who was so handsome why I kissed him on his lips, and
    that kiss seemed to do it. The Prince awoke and lifted
    his head toward me. "Is it you, boy?" he asked. "Yes,"
    I said, "oh yes!" "You've saved me, boy! Why I was
    lost in a dream of wolves and dragons!" "It was my duty
    and my honor, sir!" "Then come and we shall ride back
    to my kingdom, boy, and you shall stay at my side forever,
    for who knows when I shall need that magic kiss again!"
    And so it came true, for I find there is no denying the
    command of a handsome Prince. Could I? Could you?


    CHIWAWAS

    Did you know chiwawas are descended
    from wolves? Do not get a chiwawa mad at
    you or he'll bite your head off and eat it for
    lunch. I saw a chiwawa eat a sheep once,
    and then knit himself a sweater with the
    leftover wool. He says you got a secret.
    A chiwawa can tell if you got a secret. A
    chiwawa can smell your secret in you, and
    spell it out. "I'm gonna tell on you, sucka,"
    my chiwawa whispers when we go for a walk.
    Sometimes I just wanna kill my naughty chiwawa,
    but I love my little Chi Chi too much. At night, as
    we sleep together, and he howls at the moon in
    my ear, I just wanna kiss him all over, my sweet
    little sweetheart Chi Chi, my very darling dear.

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