The Poetry Project


GIVINGHEED / TO / HEEDSGIVING: Dis/Course with Sara Jane Stoner

A portion of Odilon Redon's print of an eye hot air balloon, looking upward as it floats into the sky

Here we are: to pay attention to attention, all these stretchings-toward (grave and quotidian and determined and free and involuntary and disciplined and incidental and disposable and precious) that serve as source and resource of relational energy and presence and labor (matters of Foucault’s biopower) for so much; so much of what we do and do not want. In this Dis/Course, through active exercise and experiment, we will wind and loosen ourselves into piques and soothes of attention, individually and communally. Asking—what is this strange mix of stillness and movement, inwardness and outwardness: attention? What orients / locates / textures / attends / haunts my acts of: attention? With what spaciousness, duration, energy, urgency, care, expectation, desire do we wield: attention? What are the postures and prepositions and propositions of our: attention? And how is it that particular acts of embodied attention can translate forms of attention (like heat, conducted) among other bodies? (is this poetry?) Where are we and I and you and they in this moment of: attention? (of: love?) Through and about and around these questions, we will study and make a few scenes and parables of attention (with ourselves, writing) involving the help of: James Baldwin, Roland Barthes, Dionne Brand, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Samuel Delany, bell hooks, Garielle Lutz, Liz Kinnamon, Pauline Oliveros, and Simone Weil.

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This program was funded in part by Humanities New York with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.