Bern Porter and Ecopoetics:
A Discussion with
CAConrad and Jena Osman

November 15, 2011
3:30pm – 5:00 pm
Temple Gallery, Tyler School of Art
Temple University
2001 N. 13th Street
On the north side of Norris Street between 12th and 13th Streets
(Cecil B. Moore Stop on the Broad Street Line)

The Temple Gallery will host a discussion of Bern Porter’s poetry and
its relationship to ecopoetics, followed by a found-making workshop.
Ecopoetics addresses the environment in all of its complexity; it
includes both the butterfly and the bulldozer. Although the term
“ecopoetics” didn’t exist when Bern Porter started writing poetry, it
is a term that now helps us to better understand his projects. Porter
started out as a scientist and worked on the Manhattan Project, which
created the first atomic bomb. After the bomb was detonated, he quit
his job and devoted his life to making art. He is perhaps best
remembered for his founds, which were spare collages that
recontextualized words one can find in everyday places like fashion
magazines or junk mail. During the course of this event, participants
will listen to Bern Porter's poetry (read by CAConrad), discuss
entropy and recycling in relation to Porter’s work, the idea of waste
as an essential component of energy, and the notion of permaculture.
Additionally, participants are asked to bring a non-precious piece of
paper with text (from a magazine or newspaper, or perhaps selected
randomly), which will be incorporated into a collective found and hung
in the Temple Gallery at the culmination of the workshop.

Jena Osman's latest book of poetry is The Network (selected for the
National Poetry series in 2009 and published by Fence Books). Other
books include An Essay in Asterisks and The Character. She co-edits
the ChainLinks book series with Juliana Spahr, and she teaches
creative writing and literature in the English Department at Temple.
You can read Osman’s essay Bern Porter: Recycling the Atmosphere HERE

CAConrad is a recipient of a 2011 Pew Fellowship in the Arts. He is
the author of A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon (Wave Books, 2012), The
Book of Frank (Wave Books, 2010), Advanced Elvis Course (Soft Skull
Press, 2009), Deviant Propulsion (Soft Skull Press, 2006), and a
collaboration with poet Frank Sherlock titled The City Real & Imagined
(Factory School, 2010). He has taught poetry at St. Mark's Poetry
Project, CUNY Graduate Center, Naropa University, Goucher College, and
elsewhere. Visit him online at THIS LINK