The reading series

Orchid Tierney, Jacket2


From both a discard and sound studies point of view, then, my work reconsiders the objects of my inquiry — the paraphonotexts — as peripheral, yet critical, cultural data that illuminates the artificial environment of both the reading venue and the reading space. Here, I borrow Al Filreis’s definition of the paraphonotext that includes both the intended prefatory remarks and unintended vocalizations that accompany the reading of a poem.[2]

Daisy Atterbury’s introduction to Rachel Blau DuPlessis’s reading at the Zinc Bar, in New York City, for the Segue Series on October 3, 2013, marvelously exemplifies the kind of critical force that a paraphonotext can produce.

[3] Atterbury’s epistolary address to DuPlessis touches on the gendered, sexual, and literary desires circulating in the latter’s oeuvre. In the context of PennSound’s author and series pages, Atterbury’s letter is framed as a prefatory remark since it’s not currently segmented from DuPlessis’s reading. Yet, if Atterbury had her own author page on PennSound, I wonder if this letter ought to be segmented and included on it. Certainly, it seems clear that Atterbury’s address to DuPlessis destabilizes the borders between preface and the main event, the introducer and the poet, since it produced a delighted reaction in Rachel Blau DuPlessis when she finally took the stage. At any rate, such instances invite us not only to underscore the unique performances of the paraphonotextual object but also to reassess what we consider is the principal ‘event’ in a poetry reading [more ... full link at Jacket2]