Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Will Teach For Food, Call Me Today! (dance number here)

Poetry and Literature courses help strengthen the mind, open the senses and heal the heart so that one can easily confront, outwit and address with eloquence life's many problems and dilemmas. They also allow us have some noisy fun along the way! Literature is an aid to thinking, remembering and resolving--and the study of poetry as a musical/visual speech-act can become a constant throughout one's life, lending its vivid and subtle benefits to all the other basic arts that are our work. Knowing, studying and practicing an art allows us to demonstrate a skill in all that we do, and provides unquantifiable benefits and lasting returns at every stage of life's grand drama. My arts are, in no particular order, teaching, poetry and writing-at-large. I have long wrestled with the idea of commercializing, packaging and PR-ing these arts for a long time, seeing the beauty of being, on the one hand, a "pure" academic in sharpening/shaping the minds of scholars and thinkers, and on the other, of providing tantalizing delights for the strollers of the arcades. But I know, well know, many immortal poets who have taken up their trade in other occupations that don't look like poetry--building, house cleaning, computer modeling demographic studies for product manufacturers, and even grant writing and consulting.

Though I would prefer to be fully, happily, healthily employed utilizing my degree as a scholar and educator, I am now willing to edit all kinds of documents, ghost-write your memoirs, type memos, etc. In fact, I would be glad to do any manner of work that will provide a secure income. Katie Daley would clean your house and write a poem about it! Me too! Of course, I cherish my affiliations with colleges, universities, poets, book artists and publishers, and will be once again applying for full-time positions at universities this Fall, but I admit that I don't have that fresh minty taste in my mouth such as I did when my literary history/visual art/ethics and aesthetics dissertation was just completed, and the world of American poetries from 1930-1975, the philosophy of materiality and ethics, romanticism and literature about animals was only just beginning to open up for me in my work, and my life as a poet and thinker seemed barely begun. In recent years, though, frustration, dogged persistence and overdoses of bewilderment have also been regular companions, the kind I'd love to send packing as soon as possible, so I can perhaps publish more magazines, write some cool books, and promote the poetry of my peers and contemporaries.

So here again are the courses I'm prepared to teach TOMORROW if you'd like to learn about them. And my approach will be one of impeccable decorum and deep wisdom, naturally.

The following list incorporates available courses I am prepared to teach, individually or collaboratively, autonomously at free schools & schools of the future, or according to departmental guidelines at schools, colleges, seminaries & yeshivas, workers' cooperatives, universities and polytechnical institutions. Each course is designed to present a field of inquiry and discovery, and to develop writing, critical thinking and research skills.

There are three basic groupings to my teaching practices: developmental, American Literature, and Poetics and Aesthetics. Please email me at inksaudible at gmail dot com for full course description. Please indicate a course format (semester course, workshop, seminar, number of sessions) for a more detailed description. I am based in the greater New York City area.

Developmental Courses:

Writer/Poet in the Schools. Ideally suited for children ages 6-12. Writing models developed through the Writers in Education programs, and more specifically, exercises based on the work of Kenneth Koch and Ron Padgett.

Composition/The Art of the Essay. Process-based writing moving from diaristic/journalling, to expository prose, to critical analysis.

Introduction to Poetry

Introduction to Prose

Thematic Writing Courses:
Readings in Civil Rights
Writing at the Human-Animal Borderlands
Identity and Body-Image
Travel Writing and the Literature of Encounter
Literature of the Ecstatic

American Literature:

American Literature 1490-1864
American Literature 1865-present
Nineteenth-Century American Literature
American Poetry 1950-present
Multicultural American Literature 1900-present

Focused Study:
The Gilded Age
The Beat Generation and the Black Mountain School
American Cultural Studies
American Literature on Animal Life
Literature and the Working Class
Hispanic American Literature
African American Literature
Asian American Literature
Language Poetries from Stein to Conceptualism
Kenneth Patchen

Poetics and Aesthetics:

Writing Poetry
Writing Prose
Poetry, Philosophy and Ethics
Introduction to Literary Criticism
Art and Literature
Poetry and Philosophy
Poetry and Painting
Visual-Verbal Poetry
Poetry and Theater
Prosody and the Poetics of Sound
Visual Literary Genres
Poetry and the Public Sphere
The Practice of Everyday L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E
The History of the Book
Literature and Linguistic Cognitive Models
Poetics and Ethnology (Cross-Cultural Poetics)
Poetry of the Avant-Garde
Small Press Revolutions
Poetry and Documentary
William Blake

Please contact me by phone: 716-240-8792
or by email: inksaudible at gmail dot com and get one of these syllabi into your hands!! Since I can't seem to copyright any of this stuff (its against the unwritten teacher's ethical code of honor), please inquire about coursework only if seriously wishing to engage me in a stint or a long-term-marriage kind of negotiation. But call or write if you can impart any of your wisdom on me so I can spend less time chewing my fingernails down into bones, and getting the goods to all the good people!!!!!!!!!!

Thank you for visiting. I am still looking forward to working with you! Or just working period!!!!

Douglas Manson

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jose Marti

"The formation of new social conditions makes the struggle to earn a living uncertain and hampers the fulfillment of daily duties that, not finding broad roads, change form and direction at every instant, spurred on by the fear that arises from the probability and proximity of poverty. With the spirit thus divided among contradictory and intranquil loves, and the concept of literature shaken at every moment by some new gospel, with all the images that were once revered now naked and discredited while the future's images are as yet unknown, in this bewilderment of the mind, this restless life without fixed course, definite character or certain conclusion, in the biting fear of our own impoverishment and the varied and apprehensive labors we undertake to escape it, it is no longer possible to produce those long and patient works, those expansive tales in verse, those zealous imitations of Latin men that were written with great deliberation, year by year, in the repose of the monk's cell or amid the pleasant leisures of the ambitious courtier, seated in his ample chair of richly worked cordovan with studs of fine gold, in the beatific spiritual calm produced by the certainty that the good Indian was kneading the bread, the good king decreeing the laws, and the Mother Church giving shelter and sepulcher. Only in an era of stable elements, a general and established literary type, and well-known and established channels, when individual tranquillity is possible, is it easy to produce those massive works of ingenuity that, without exception, require such a conjunction of favorable conditions."

Jose Marti wrote the above as the prologue to Poem of Niagara by Jose Maria de Heredia.

I used this high-toned statement as the back cover for the 50 or so copies of Overherd at the River's Hip I put together two years ago. As I work on two new books for little scratch pad, his words ring just as true to my ear today, though the references to 19th century Spanish Colonies would need to be changed slightly to make sense of the feeling of stability he describes as lost. And after a little deliberation, I have to admit to myself what kinds of wealth I do have, and the kinds of pressures and uncertainties Marti is talking about above.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Sad News :: More Bike Lanes Needed

While I didn't know Bob Bowen, I'm horrified by what happened two weeks ago, and that a creative, talented person has died because he was hit while riding his bike in Manhattan.

Story here: Community Mourns Musician