The DuPlessis Lecture is named after Professor Emeritus Rachel Blau DuPlessis. DuPlessis is a widely published poet and critic and one of her significant contributions to the field of poetry and poetics is her interweaving of these two practices. Her poetry often speaks to the concerns of her critical work and her critical works often stretch the conventions of the scholarly essay. This lecture series honors DuPlessis’ expansions of literary form, and features poets who write in a number of different registers.


John Keene_select_9504_22016 Lecturer: John Keene

Thursday, February 4, 5:00 pm
Main Campus, Anderson 821 (Women’s Studies Lounge)

John Keene is the author of the novel Annotations (New Directions); the art-poetry collection Seismosis (1913 Press) with artist Christopher Stackhouse; and the short fiction collection Counternarratives (New Directions), which has been named to “Best Fiction of 2015” lists by New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, LitHub, Flavorwire, and other publications. His art-text collaboration with photographer Nicholas Muellner, GRIND, is forthcoming from ITI Press in 2016. He has also published a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer (Nightboat Books / A Bolha Editora), and has exhibited his artwork in Brooklyn and Berlin.  A longtime member of the Dark Room Writers Collective and a graduate fellow of Cave Canem, he currently serves on the board of the African Poetry Book Fund, and teaches in the departments of English and African American and African Studies, which he chairs, and also is a core faculty member in the MFA Program in Creative Writing, at Rutgers University-Newark.

This event is sponsored by the MFA Program in Creative Writing and the DuPlessis Lecture Fund, the Faculty Senate Lectures & Forums Committee, the Visual Studies Program, the Honors Program, The Women’s Studies Program, Temple Contemporary, and The Student Coalition of The Burrow of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership (IDEAL).


2015 Lecturer: Kevin Killian

Thursday, January 29 – 6:00 p.m.
Temple Contemporary, the gallery at the Tyler School of Art, 2001 N. 13th St.

Kevin Killian, one of the original “New Narrative” writers, has written three novels,Shy (1989), Arctic Summer (1997), and Spreadeagle (2012); a book of memoirs; and three books of stories. He has also written three books of poetry, Argento Series(2001), Action Kylie (2008), and Tweaky Village (2014). With Peter Gizzi, he has edited My Vocabulary Did This To Me: The Collected Poetry of Jack Spicer (Wesleyan University Press, 2008). Wesleyan also brought out Killian and Lew Ellingham’s acclaimed biography of Spicer in 1998. For the San Francisco Poets Theater, Killian has written forty-five plays, and the anthology he compiled with David Brazil, The Kenning Anthology of Poets Theater 1945–1985, has become the standard book on the subject. Recent projects include Tagged (2013), Killian’s intimate photographs of poets, artists, writers, musicians, filmmakers, and intellectuals, and forthcoming, with Dodie Bellamy, is The Nightboat Anthology of New Narrative Writing 1977–1997. He teaches writing to MFA students at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.


2014 Lecturer: Evie Shockley

Evie Shockley is the author of Renegade Poetics: Black Aesthetics and Formal Innovation in African American Poetry (Iowa), a critical study, as well as two books of poetry: the new black (Wesleyan), winner of the 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award in Poetry, and a half-red sea (Carolina Wren Press). Her poems and essays appear widely in journals and anthologies, with recent and forthcoming publications in Boston Review, Contemporary African American Literature: The Living Canon, Contemporary Literature, Feminist Formations, FENCE, Jacket2, The Black Scholar, Tin House, Waxwing, and The Cambridge Companion to Modern American Poetry. Her work has been honored and supported with the 2012 Holmes National Poetry Prize, fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and residencies at Hedgebrook, MacDowell, and the Millay Colony for the Arts. Currently serving as creative editor on the Feminist Studies editorial collective, Shockley is also at work on a book analyzing “blackness,” visual culture, and contemporary narratives of slavery in a “colorblind” era. She is an Associate Professor of English at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.


2013 Lecturer: Jen Bervin

Jen Bervin’s work brings together text and textile in a practice that encompasses poetry, archival research, artist books, and large-scale art works. Her books include The Gorgeous Nothings (2012), The Dickinson Composites (2010), and The Desert (2008) from Granary Books, and The Silver Book (2010), A Non- Breaking Space (2005), and Nets (2004) from Ugly Duckling Presse. Her work is in more than thirty collections, including The J. Paul Getty Museum, The Walker Art Center, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University, Stanford University, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, and the British Library. She has received fellowships in art and writing from Creative Capital, The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, The New York Foundation for the Arts, Centrum, The MacDowell Colony, Visual Studies Workshop, The Center for Book Arts, and The Camargo Foundation. In 2012, she was the Von Hess Visiting Artist at the Borowsky Center for Publication Arts at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and an artist in residence at The Josef and Anni Albers Foundation and in the Book Arts MFA Program at Mills College in Oakland, CA. She teaches poetry in the low-residency Writing MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts, and lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.


2012 Lecturer: Caroline Bergvall

Caroline Bergvall is a French-Norwegian poet and text-based artist based in London, England. Her projects and research alternate between published poetic pieces, art installations, and performance-oriented, often sound-driven writing projects. Her most recent book is Meddle English (Nightboat Books). Other books include Eclat, Goan Atom, 1: Doll, and Fig (Goan Atom, 2). Her work has also appeared in the Oxford Anthology of Modern British and Irish Poetry, and has been widely featured in magazines and on the Internet both in the US and Europe. Her sound-text installations have been exhibited at the Liverpool Biennial, the Hammer Museum, MOMA, Dia Arts Foundation and the Tate Modern. She has held a number of academic positions and fellowships, most recently as an Arts and Humanities Research Council Fellow in the Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Southampton, UK.