That Briar Sureshot: Applied Mess Poetics


Douglas Kearney

Speaker Series: 

Politics & the Senses
10/18/2017 - 3:00pm-4:00pm
ENR2, S210 (Second Floor, Southwest)


The briar is a mess made home, a tangle of signal and noise. An exploration of that unsightly/uncitely site, Kearney's multimedia lecture/performance builds and acts on writings from Mess and Mess and, a book Fred Moten calls an "antimassapiece" and Tisa Bryant describes as "necessarily graphic, totally vulnerable, and admirably outrageous."

Cosponsored by the Office for Diversity and Institutional Excellence, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, the Department of English, the Institute for LBGT Studies, the Department of Africana Studies, the Poetry Center, and the English Department Poetics Research Cluster

Douglas Kearney is a poet, performer, and librettist. His collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014) examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood and was a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, National Poetry Series selection, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity and book learning.” Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito Press 2016) collects several of his libretti, including one written in a counterfeit Afro-diasporic language. He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. Raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family in California’s Santa Clarita Valley and teaches at CalArts. (