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Please join us in the Bay Area this Labor Day 2010 for a unique collaborative event.

Partly as a response to the form of the academic conference, in which invitees share the common condition of working in the academy, we are organizing a gathering in which poets who survive by other means are able to present in a formal structure that encourages conversation about poetics and social life.

The topic for this first convocation is therefore LABOR, and we have invited a number of poets and writers to prepare short presentations around how they earn a living.

Because issues of labor and money are integral to so many of our lives as artists, we are hoping that gathering as presenters and participants will highlight the particularity of our struggle to “do two jobs,” that is, make artworks and earn a wage to support ourselves. Because we are not employed by the University, the occasions for speaking in and with a group concerned with poetics and politics in a formal way are rare. But we think this gathering will be a positive model for thinking cooperatively in the future.

Specific locations and exact times remain TBD, however the overall structure of the event looks like this: Sunday afternoon and leading into evening, we'll gather in the East Bay to hear the presentations. Afterwards, we'll have drinks and socially process the material from that day's event. On Monday (late) morning, we'll all convene again to have brunch. At brunch, the presenters along with the audience will have an open, informal, but hopefully rigorous conversation about issues and ideas raised in the performances of Sunday.

We would especially like to encourage attendance by as many of you from outside the Bay Area as might be interested in participating. Because we understand that out-of-pocket travel can be quite expensive and difficult, we will do everything we can to try and help find accommodation and defray the cost of meals. And the weather is usually quite perfect here around Labor Day, if that’s any more persuasive.

This event is open to everyone, and we hope to see as many of you here as possible. This is also something to share with others. Travel will be easier if done in pairs or small groups, and absolutely no one is discouraged from participating.

We'll also look into the possibility of Skype or other forms of broadcast, in order to include as many as might wish to engage.

Times, locations, and a list of presenters shortly forthcoming.

We hope to see you there!

David Brazil, Suzanne Stein, Brandon Brown, Sara Larsen, Alli Warren


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