“Just speak nearby”: Dis/Course with Kimberly Alidio

Trinh T. Minh-ha says in her first film Reassemblage: “I do not intend to speak about; just speak nearby.” To “speak nearby” is to participate in co-listening, as well as speaking, in a moment shared with another across separate, albeit proximal, locations. This Dis/Course is an occasion to gather and make assemblages — screwed, welded, nailed pieces of sonic, voiced, textual materials of spatialized utterance — which one might call poems. Poetry recreates spatial ecologies of embodied speech and listening, and, I propose, has some similarities with sound art, which, according to Alan Licht, is an immersive experience through architectural space (as opposed to requiring one remains in place for the predetermined time of a musical performance or recording). How do poetic utterances move with found sounds of disturbed landscapes and diasporas: the affective tones, pitches, prosody, ambience, and noise by which a space speaks? And how do poems listen to others’ speaking? In the spirit of poetic assemblage, we will read sonic-focused writing (Hocine Tandjaoui, Brandon LaBelle, Maryanne Amacher, Anthony Reed, and Dylan Robinson), listen to sound poets and experimental vocalists (Pamela Z, Lily Greenham, Charles Amarkhanian, NH Pritchard, Charmaine Lee, Claire Rousay, Fel Santos, Tracie Morris, and giovanni singleton), and, perhaps, write with found (recorded) sounds as one would speak nearby.

Kimberly Alidio’s most recent books are why letter ellipses (selva oscura press) and : once teeth bones coral : (Belladonna*), a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Her current projects include Teeter, a hybrid book and album on sound composing and language, and Ambient Mom, a translingual, intermedia work on affective prosody of a mother tongue one does not understand.

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