Please join Triple Canopy for readings by poets Aisha Sasha John and Gwen Muren, and a conversation about the social lives of poems and their movements and transformations on and off the page, from page to screen and vice versa, and into speech.
We come to The Point of the Meeting with familiar questions: What are the poet’s materials? How does a poem look (or sound)? Who or what is speaking, and to whom? Yet the objects of our investigation are new. Muren’s recent contribution to Triple Canopy’s Pointing Machines issue, “The Twinning Room,” is a series of poems that incorporate texts about and drawn from the body: biometric data, medical reports, love letters. They form a “collected lungg,” a “placental daydream.” Muren's poems offer multiple points of entry; they demand to be looked at, read, and performed. Similarly, John’s work investigates the body’s maneuvers and encounters—with other bodies, with objects—in space and time. As John writes, “Things matter and/thank God.” Muren and John’s respective engagements with the body also find expression beyond their writing practices: Muren is a multidisciplinary performance artist and John is a dancer.
Muren is the author of Glitch (2014), published by Crater Press. John is the author of The Shining Material (2011) and, most recently, THOU (2014), two long narrative poems that explore the social space constructed by the word “you.” A selection of poems from John’s forthcoming collection will be published in Vanitas, an upcoming issue of Triple Canopy. The Point of the Meeting will include readings by both poets and a conversation between them, moderated by Triple Canopy associate editor Emily Wang.
- Aisha Sasha John is a singing dancer. Her solo performance the aisha of oz premiered at the Whitney Museum in June 2017, and will close the MAI’s 2017/2018 season. Aisha is the author of I have to live. (M&S 2017), The Shining Material (BookThug 2011), and THOU (BookThug 2014)—finalist for both the Trillium and ReLit Poetry Awards. In addition to her solo work, she choreographed, performed and curated as a member of the performance collective WIVES (2015–2017). Her video work and text art have been exhibited in galleries (Doris McCarthy, Oakville Galleries) and was commissioned by Art Metropole as part of Let’s understand what it means to be here (together), a public art performance residency she designed and led. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and a BA in African Studies and Semiotics from the University of Toronto. She lives in Toronto.
- Gwen Muren is the author of Glitch from Crater Press. She lives in Philadelphia and New York.