Oscar Schwartz on the poetry of Chris Mann

Monday, September 17, 3pm, Menzies N702 (Monash Clayton)

                      Yr stuffed. Not coz yr wrong but coz yr looking in the wrong direction.
                        – Chris Mann

Chris Mann’s poetry is complicated to the point of breathlessness. When engaging with a Mann poem for the first time it is as if one has suddenly become dyslexic: the words are there, but their construction resists meaning. The complex façade of a Chris Mann poem is intimidating for any reader, so his readership is limited almost exclusively to the domain of the international avant-garde - more exclusively, to an international community of experimental composers.

This seminar will provide a point of entry into Mann’s work, and his exploration of cybernetics, linguistics, poetics and composition. Then comes the revelation: to read Chris Mann requires a new conception of what reading can be - as performance.