Monday, September 27, 2010

Charles Olson: Only One Poem

If you could choose only one poem by Charles Olson—for inclusion in an anthology, or to teach to undergraduates, or for a graduate seminar, or as your personal favorite, or as his very best, or his most significant—which would it be? The Charles Olson Society will sponsor a roundtable discussion at the May 2011 American Literature Association conference in Boston. Six roundtable participants will be invited to offer ten-minute justifications or explications or celebrations of one poem by Charles Olson. Some might argue that Olson’s poems don’t stand alone as well as, say, Frost’s or Stevens’s—that Olson needs to be read in bigger chunks. This roundtable challenges that assumption, and asks us to consider the criteria by which we value an individual poem. What makes it matter? Proposals of no more than 250 words should be sent to Gary Grieve-Carlson at by December 1, 2010. Please include your name, institutional affiliation (if any), e-mail address, and AV needs (if any).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Olson 100 in Gloucester

To the extended Charles Olson community:

's Charles Olson Society, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, is organizing a series of events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Olson's birth. The main events will take place in downtown Gloucester on Columbus Day weekend (Friday, October 8 through Sunday, October 10), though other events will be held before the main festival. We need your donations to make it all happen.

Events will include a Charles Olson study group of local citizens meeting once a week for five weeks prior to Columbus Day weekend; nightly readings at venues throughout Gloucester in the week prior to the main events; symposia and panel discussions; a marathon reading at the Independent Church on Middle Street on Friday, October 8; featured readers on Saturday, October 9; an Olson walk with readings highlighting sites in the Maximus Poems on Sunday, followed by a performance of Apollonius of Tyana.

These events, and several others being discussed, will complement an Olson exhibit at the Cape Ann Museum, which will open the first weekend in October. In addition the Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library is sponsoring a special catalog/exhibition of rare, inscribed, and out-of-print books, letters, magazines and broadsides by Olson, curated by Greg Gibson of Ten Pound Island Book Company.

The Olson centennial celebrations in Gloucester in October will provide people with an opportunity to extend and intensify discussions and debates begun in Worcester in March and at Simon Fraser University in June. The Gloucester events will also provide a unique opportunity for Olson's readers to encounter many Maximus sites in the company of other poets, scholars, and enthusiasts. The ways contemporary poets, artists, teachers, and activists are responding to Olson's work -- exploring, extending, critiquing, revising-- will be at the core of the Gloucester events. With your help we can make Gloucester's Charles Olson centennial events challenging, nourishing, and of essential use to those who attend.

Please send checks to Charles Olson Society c/o Kent Bowker, Treasurer, 11 Indian Rock Lane, Essex, MA 01929, with "Olson 100" in the memo line. Those interested in contributing toward the establishment of the Vincent Ferrini/Charles Olson Writers Place should send donations to The Charles Olson Society c/o Henry Ferrini, 5 Wall Street, Gloucester, MA 01930.


The Charles Olson Society of Gloucester

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Olson Events This Week

Project Verse:
Wednesday March 24th

A Reading by Students in Worcester Area Colleges
Led by Susan Richmond and Ian Williams
Clark University 7:00 PM
Jefferson Hall, Room 218

Thursday March 25th

Anne Waldman
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Discussion: Activism and Poetry, 3:00 pm. Higgins Labs Room 116.
Poetry Reading: 7:00 PM, Salisbury Labs 115

Friday March 26th:

Dana Commons, Clark University

Registration and Morning Reception 9:00 - 10:00

Opening Remarks: John Bassett, President, Clark University

Opening Discussion: 10:00 Moderator: Mark Wagner

Ammiel Alcalay and Fred Dewey: Olson as Public / Political Figure

Olson and Politics of Place: 11:00 - 1:00: Moderator: Ken Gibbs

Fred Dewey

Jim Fay: Olson in Worcester in Pictures

Laura Jehn Menides: Charles Olson and the Blackstone Canal.

Peter Anastas: Charles Olson's Call to Activism

Lunch: 1:00 - 2:00

Photographs of Denny Moers.

Olson as Educator: 2:00 - 4:00: Moderator: James Cook

Jim Cocola: Olson as Educator

Bernard Horn: Olson's Last Class at UConn

Edmund Schofield: Anna Shaughnessy, Teacher to Kunitz and Olson and Donald Baker.

Friday Evening: Clark University

4:00 PM: Poetry Polis: Moderator: Rodger Martin and Eve Rifkah

Readers: Sasha Steensen, Pierre Joris, Bill Tremblay, Don Wellman, Dan Lewis, Robert Cronin, Anne Waldman, Jonathan Blake, Charles Stein and others . . .

Centenary Dinner: 6:00. Dana Commons, Clark


Saturday March 27:
Dana Commons, Clark University

Registration and Morning Reception 9:00 AM

Presentation: 9:30 - 10:45

Charles Olson Society of Gloucester presents:
Polis Is This: Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place
w/ Filmmakers Henry Ferrini and Ken Riaf. Q&A will follow the hour film.

The Body and the Personal: 11:00 : Dr. Stephen Gilson

Ammiel Alcalay and Kate Tarlow Morgan: The Body is a House

Donald Wellman: Olson and Autobiography

Roy Skodnick: Olson, language and gesture.

Lunch: 1:00 - 2:00

Olson's Influence of Anxiety: 2:00 - 4:00 : Moderator: Jonathan Blake

Richard Owens: The Practical Limits of Daylights: Charles Olson and Cambridge Poetry.

Pierre Joris: Olson's Influence on Contemporary European Poetics

Kenneth Warren: Charles Olson's Grail of Intuition

Sasha Steensen: "Great Mother, Cow or Whore: Charles Olson's Unlikely Influence on Contemporary Female Poets"

Influences on Olson: 4:00 - 6:00 Moderator: Gina Ortiz

Don Byrd: TBA

Carla Billiteri: Olson's Politics/Poetics of Transnational Utopia

John Woznicki: Myth, Magic and Movement in the work of Charles Olson

Charles Stein: The Secret of the Black Chrysanthemum: Olson and Jung

Closing Event
Saturday evening: 7:00 pm.
Fuller Theatre, Worcester State College

Kim Spurlock: In Cold Hell In Thicket

Dance-Play: Apollonius of Tyana . . . Stage Direction: Sarah Slifer; Music: Bob Jordan, Elote Maldanado, Derek Byrne, Mark Wagner and Atom Xelny.

Ed Sanders Sings and Talks and Plays