Category: Ephemera

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Confluence and Convergence

by John Robert Lee

As part of Canisia Lubrin’s (Dis)Order: The Single Question Series, John Robert Lee answers a single question about his work.

Q: Writing converges different forms of knowing in ways that allow for the possibilities of knowledge to become particularly expansive because this seems to require listening for what is unknown to us.

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Convergent Evolution

by Allison LaSorda

As part of Canisia Lubrin’s (Dis)Order: The Single Question Series, Allison LaSorda answers a single question about her work.

Q: Writing converges different forms of knowing in ways that allow for the possibilities of knowledge to become particularly expansive because this seems to require listening for what is unknown to us.

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“I Don’t Believe in Writer’s Block”

by Mark Jordan Manner

As part of Canisia Lubrin’s (Dis)Order: The Single Question Series, Mark Jordan Manner answers a single question about his work.

Q: Writing converges different forms of knowing in ways that allow for the possibilities of knowledge to become particularly expansive because this seems to require listening for what is unknown to us.

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(Dis)Order: The Single Question Series

by Canisia Lubrin

In a little over a month, my first book, Voodoo Hypothesis, will be published. I had set myself to the task of joining my beguilements and doubts in an act of poetic investigation into the contemporary experience of Black otherness in the West through variously intersecting systems of value, belief,

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Afterthoughts on a Month of Songwriting Critique

by Daniel Kincade Renton

Our contributors this month have offered a productive and nuanced multi-part conversation about the criticism of songwriting (or of lyrical song, as one article put it), and how it might be something new, different, or greater than the sum of either music or literary criticism individually. The articles come in a pleasing variety of forms.

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Words and Music in Composition

by Jenny Berkel

When I was 21, I wrote my first song in a giant and nearly empty apartment in downtown Winnipeg. I grew up singing and writing poetry, but it wasn’t until I was alone in that echoing apartment that I realized I could do both things at once. Since that realization, I have spent countless hours hunched over a desk with a guitar and a pen.

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Theses on the Criticism of Popular Songwriting

by David Janzen and Andy Verboom

An emphasis on form produces a discourse specific to (and adequate to) the object—whether the object is a poem, a lyrical song, or an instrumental song.

We agree with Daniel Renton’s claim, in the first piece in this Town Crier series, that “song writing warrants its own discourse.” But we think that claim proceeds to beg the question: “As a synthesis of words and music,

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Major and Minor Points

by Andrew Brooks

Bob Dylan’s [in]famous Nobel Prize for Literature started off a debate—and not an especially acrimonious one—between those who felt the award was well-deserved and those who felt it was an unacceptable usurpation of literary turf by an artist from outside the tribe. People got exercised for a while and then everybody went back to what they were doing.

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A Primer on Musicology for Literary Critics

by Ed Smith

During my formal musical education, I experienced an epiphany about how music works. It happened when one of my professors said that all music is nothing more than tension and release, sound waves (or lack thereof) that depict conflict and resolution. Boiling down music theory to this binary view is, of course, not sufficient for studying the nuts and bolts of composition and performance,

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Not Strictly Platonic: Five Dialogues on the Unity of Poetry and Music

by Jade Wallace

I: Youthful Bro

YOUTHFUL BRO (YB) is on a date with a woman, who considers herself a CASUAL ACQUAINTANCE (CA) of his.

YB: I know what poetry and music are and I understand the difference between them. I have an interdisciplinary cultural studies degree.

CA: What is poetry then?