Monday, August 10, 2015

International Authors Meeting in the IBM Atrium, Manhattan, August 9, 2015

On Sunday August 9, International Authors had its third meeting (for reports on previous meetings in London and San Gimignano, see below).

The location was the atrium between the IBM and Trump Tower buildings in midtown Manhattan. We selected the atrium because it affords ample space with tables, good food (click HERE to see our restaurant) and also--reportedly--the space has good wyfy.  Well, two out of three...

Our ambition was to connect with our partners around the globe, and we did make brief contact with Ruud Antonius, but otherwise, alas, our aspirations remained unfulfilled.  After fifteen seconds we lost contact with Ruud, and after further attempts proved fruitless we gave up.  In future we will use a distance education classroom in some university.  My apologies to Mike Chivers, Tessa B. Dick, Peter Dizozza, Tiziana Grassi, and Vitasta Raina for not being able to establish a connection.

In the meantime, we had a good meeting. The participants:

Marleen S. Barr is known for her pioneering work in feminist science fiction and teaches English at the City University of New York. She has won the Science Fiction Research Association Pilgrim Award for lifetime achievement in science fiction criticism. Barr is the author of Alien to Femininity: Speculative Fiction and Feminist Theory, Lost in Space: Probing Feminist Science Fiction and Beyond, Feminist Fabulation: Space/Postmodern Fiction, and Genre Fission: A New Discourse Practice for Cultural Studies. Barr has edited many anthologies and co-edited the science fiction issue of PMLA. She is the author of the novels Oy Pioneer! and Oy Feminist Planets: A Fake Memoir.

Jason W. Ellis, a member of the International Authors Board of Editorial Advisors, is Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology in Brooklyn, NY.  Jason's doctoral dissertation director, Mack Hassler, is another member of our board. Visit Jason's blog HERE. 

Carter Kaplan is no stranger to the Highbrow Commonwealth. 
Richard Kostelanetz: Individual entries on his work in several fields appear in various editions of Reader’s Guide to Twentieth-Century Writers, Merriam-Webster Encyclopedia of Literature, Contemporary Poets, Contemporary Novelists, Postmodern Fiction, Webster’s Dictionary of American Writers, The HarperCollins Reader’s Encyclopedia of American Literature, Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Directory of American Scholars, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in American Art,,, and, among other distinguished directories. Website.
Kristine Shmenco is a fiction writer whose short-short stories have appeared in several volumes of Emanations.  She was in on the ground floor of the project back in the days when the journal Prototype X was emerging from the website of British fantasy writer Michael Moorcock. Click HERE for her website. 
Andrew Singer is a poet, prose writer, literary editor and critic presently in New York. He is Director of Trafika Europe, an initiative to showcase new literature from Europe in English translation, with an online quarterly digest, and preparing to launch Europe's first online “literary” radio station trafikaeurope.orgWith a university degree in writing poetry under the tutelage of Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott, he teaches university seminars in Anglo-American literature and literary translation. 

The meeting was informal and relaxed.  As with our other meetings, we took the opportunity to develop ideas and build professional friendships.  We discussed poetry, books, our projects, and the relationships among the arts, writing, and the academy. It was very enjoyable to engage these areas from an interdisciplinary perspective, and as many of us have academic vocations, we were keen to not only discuss these subjects as subjects and activities, but also as figures in a sort of cognoscenti shorthand that allowed us to explore the nature and character of academic culture, and at stratospheric levels. It was one of the most rewarding philosophical conversations I've ever been engaged in.  (And here of course I mean philosophical in a highbrow sense; that is, a project of inquiring into what the teachers are saying and feeling.)  Richard Kostelanetz was a terrific resource, providing us with engaging anecdotes about his experiences and projects.  For instance, as an undergraduate at Brown University, Richard was the student of S. Foster Damon, whose books on William Blake are well known.  What I did not know about Damon was that he was also a student of the avant-garde. Marleen described her roman à clef novels. Andrew described his Trafika Europe project, and related his experiences living and teaching in Hungary. Jason described a concept he is developing which approaches the study of literary genera from an anthropological perspective. He plans to work the idea into an article for Emanations. Kristine described how her short fiction is evolving into longer projects, and informed us about the writing groups she's involved in.  I reported on the forthcoming volume of Emanations (all 600 pages) and showed the group the cover featuring a painting by Ruud Antonius (stay tuned to Highbrow for a peek at the cover soon).

We entertained notions about alternative models for editing Emanations, perhaps assigning each part--fiction, poetry, essays--to a separate editor.  We discussed the forthcoming International Authors translation of Torquato Tasso's Il mondo creato (Creation of the World), Mack Hassler's recent work bringing the Michael Butterworth show to Kent State University, the history of International Authors (beginning on Michael Moorcock's website,  Darren Partridge's, Prototype X, then the emergence of Emanations and International Authors...), plans for further networking, and we also discussed possibilities for locating grants to support an expansion of the International Authors project.



See also: 
International Authors Meeting at the St Pancras Hotel, London, July 31, 2011 
International Authors Meeting in San Gimignano, Italy, August 9, 2014 
Kristine Shmenco's impressions of our meeting, HERE.

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