The Desert Nights, Rising Stars
Writers Conference

Conference Schedule 2020

Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.


Around the Genre Bend with Sally Ball

Date(s): Saturday, February 22, 2020, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Location: 
Basha, Old Main (view map)
Type(s): 
Craft Talk, Presentation
Genre and Form(s): Experimental, Hybrid, Mixed Genre, Poetry
Tags: 

About the Session

Don Mee Choi’s Hardly War (Wave Books, 2016) is an intense embodiment of some of the most challenging values in contemporary American poetry: she uses archival photographs of the wars in Korea and Vietnam (many taken by her father, a photojournalist and a central figure in the book), her own childhood drawings, Korean words in ideograms, Korean words in transliterated English spellings (to mean what they mean in Korean and/or what their transliterations mean in English), nursery rhymes, librettos with stage directions, advertisements, newsreel voiceovers, and more. The poems sometimes partake of what we’ve come to call documentary poetics and other times they make use of strategies from L-A-N-G-U-A-G-E poetry; sometimes they are absurdist word machines; sometimes they offer gloriously complex metaphorical explorations or sudden lyric intimacies. This session will identify what the risks are that Choi takes, and also what are the rewards her book offers in its theater of history and flowers? How can your own poems benefit from a long immersion in the wild strategic imagination of this brainy—sometimes childlike, sometimes darkly comic—poet?

Meet the Presenter(s)

Photograph of Sally Ball

Sally Ball is the author of three collections of poems, Hold Sway, Wreck Me and Annus Mirabilis. An associate professor of English at Arizona State University, Ball is also an associate director of Four Way Books. She has been with the press for 23 of its 26 years. She has received fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, CAMAC Centre d’Art, and elsewhere. Her long poem “HOLD” has been made into a large-format artist’s book by the Czech printmaker Jan Vičar (2018) and will be featured at an exhibit at the Académie des Beaux Arts in Paris in December 2019.