P A S S A G E S  6

three takes from the Poetry Project's
symposium on "Identity & Invention"
May 1998

My “read” of the symposium was from the position of an outsider:  I don’t know the politics of identity and invention as I circle the scene. This selection is the work that struck a chord in us; it is the work that I feel has a “larger social context” in which to circulate and build commentary.

Eddie Bell appeared sagelike. Thoreauian. Minute worlds of social gesture, folkic expressions, and the ecosystem. Miss Ola Mea knew. Of Bill Clinton: “you don’t shit where you eat,” and to the ecology of January’s ice storm Bell writes:

Bell seems to resist the academy of “writers.” He seems to me to be a humanist seeking the essentials; he lives quitely in the country. So perhaps Thoreau as a philosopher is to Bell as Abe Lincoln is to Lisa Jarnot.  Lisa appealed to my Third Wave Feminist sensibilities. Her struggle positioned somewhere between a classic memoir and a Joyce Carol Oates thriller. Lisa recognized the importance of “modeling” and was engaged fully in a struggle that had consistently gendered reverence.  She writes: Tim Davis is also a result of the Post(Post) Modernist identity politics slippage Derrida otherness. Davis is the “single white male” written upon, angst ridden, and filled to the brim with vidid imagery of pop material culture, technophilia, and powerwise mantras. Davis concludes: As for weaving a thematic thread of cohesive theory about why these three, out of 23 speakers, well--that would be as reductive as trying to isolate identity as an entity. But the three together do “move” me to a deeper understanding of myself and the culture in which I am immersed.

PASSAGES is an irregularly produced periodical promoting dialog
between poetry, "technology", and other interests.

co-editors, PASSAGES 6:  Christopher Funkhouser, Amy Hufnagel

editorial advisors:
Donald J. Byrd, Stephen Cope, Benjamin Friedlander, Belle Gironda

   c/o C. Funkhouser NJIT Dept. of Humanities & Social Sciences Newark, NJ 07102