Arts Society & Culture

UGA English department symposium focuses on Web poetics

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia department of English in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences will host a symposium “Beg, Borrow and Steal: Poetics of the World Wide Web” on April 17 at 7 p.m. at Ciné, located at 235 West Hancock Ave.

The symposium panelists are authors David Shields, Kenneth Goldsmith and Laura Mullen. As part of the English department’s Helen Spencer Lanier Lecture Series, the event is free and open to the public. Other sponsors include the Lamar Dodd School of Art’s Ideas for Creative Exploration and the President’s Venture Fund.

Shields is the author of 12 books, including Jeff, One Lonely Guy, which will be released in 2012 and was co-written with Jeff Ragsdale and Michael Logan; Reality Hunger: A Manifesto; The Thing About Life Is That One Day You’ll Be Dead, a New York Times bestseller; Black Planet: Facing Race during an NBA Season, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; Remote: Reflections on Life in the Shadow of Celebrity, winner of the PEN/Revson Award; and Dead Languages: A Novel, winner of the PEN Syndicated Fiction Award.

Shields’s essays and stories have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Esquire, Yale Review, Village Voice, Salon, Slate, McSweeney’s and Utne Reader. His work has been translated into 15 languages. A recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and two NEA fellowships, Shields is the Milliman Distinguished Writer-in-Residence at the University of Washington. Since 1996 he has been a faculty member in Warren Wilson College’s low-residency master of fine arts program for writers in Asheville, N.C.

Goldsmith is a poet and conceptual artist. He has served as a fellow of poetics and poetic practice at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Programs in Contemporary Writing and also is a host for WFMU radio in Hoboken, N.J. His work includes Fidget, a chronicle of every movement of his body over a 13-hour period on June 16, 1997, which serves as homage to the work of Irish writer James Joyce, specifically to Joyce’s Ulysses. According to Publishers Weekly, it is an “important book from Goldsmith, pointing the way to a rapprochement between poetry and conceptual and performance art-avant-gardists and art lovers of all stripes will want to experience its near-hypnotic pleasures.”

In his work Soliloquy, Goldsmith records his every word over a period of a week, from ordering food at a deli to a conversation with a cab driver. According to Publishers Weekly, it “leaves the reader with a convinced sense that language, no matter how un-artful, does the heavy lifting in our lives, and has encoded the entire registry our being.”

Mullen is the author of six books: The Surface, After I Was Dead, Subject, Dark Archive, The Tales of Horror and Murmur. Her seventh book is forthcoming from Otis Editions in 2012. Her awards include Ironwood’s Stanford Prize, a Board of Regents ATLAS grant, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a Rona Jaffe Award. She is the recipient of several MacDowell Fellowships and is a frequent visitor at the Summer Writing Program at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa.

Mullen’s work has been widely anthologized and is included in American Hybrid and I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women. Mullen’s recent prose appears in Civil Disobediences: Poetics & Politics in Action and is published in Ploughshares and The Fairytale Review. Her most-recent work appears in Action Yes!, Cerise Press, Ghost Town, the Denver Quarterly, Viz Arts, OR and New American Writing. Mullen is the special interest delegate in creative writing for the Modern Language Association for 2012-2014 and is a contributing editor for online poetry site The Volta. Mullen is on the master of fine arts faculty at Louisiana State University.

For more information on the Helen Spencer Lanier Lecture Series in the UGA department of English, see