"#WEREWOLFGOALS" by Douglas Kearney

Douglas Kearney discloses the nexus of lycanthropy, a poetics of prepositions, the catharsis hustle, and cinematic special effects in this lecture of private and public myths/truths.

Douglas Kearney has published six books, most recently, Buck Studies (Fence Books, 2016), winner of the Theodore Roethke Poetry Award, the CLMP Firecracker Award for Poetry and silver medalist for the California Book Award (Poetry). BOMB says: “[Buck Studies] remaps the 20th century in a project that is both lyrical and epic, personal and historical.” M. NourbeSe Philip writes that Kearney’s collection of libretti, Someone Took They Tongues. (Subito, 2016), “meets the anguish that is english in a seismic, polyphonic mash-up that disturbs the tongue.” Kearney’s collection of writing on poetics and performativity, Mess and Mess and (Noemi Press, 2015), was a Small Press Distribution Handpicked Selection that Publisher’s Weekly called “an extraordinary book.” His third poetry collection, Patter (Red Hen Press, 2014), examines miscarriage, infertility, and parenthood. It was a finalist for the California Book Award in Poetry. Cultural critic Greg Tate remarked that Kearney’s second book, National Poetry Series selection, The Black Automaton (Fence Books, 2009), “flows from a consideration of urban speech, negro spontaneity, and book learning.” 

His work has appeared in a number of anthologies including Best American Poetry (2014, 2015), Best American Experimental Writing (2014), The Creative Critic: Writing As/About Practice, What I Say: Innovative Poetry by Black Writers in America, The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop, Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond, Kindergarde: Avant-Garde Poems, Plays, Stories, and Songs for Children, and many others. He is also widely published in magazines and journals, including Poetry, nocturnes, Pleiades, Iowa Review, Callaloo, Boston Review, Hyperallergic, Scapegoat, Obsidian, Boundary 2, Jacket2, Lana Turner, Brooklyn Rail, and Indiana Review. His work has been exhibited at the American Jazz Museum, Temple Contemporary, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, and The Visitor’s Welcome Center (Los Angeles).
A librettist, Kearney has had three operas staged. Crescent City, composed by CalArts’ Anne LeBaron, was the inaugural production of L.A.’s The Industry. Mark Swed (the Los Angeles Times) called the libretto “poetically rich” and the opera “breathtaking.” Sucktion (another collaboration with LeBaron) has been performed internationally. Mordake, composed by Erling Wold, premiered in San Francisco.

His professional activities include guest editing 2015’s Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan); lecture and studio visits at Yale’s Program in Sculpture; talks on Graphic Design at Claremont; dramaturgy; and interdisciplinary workshops for educators and families at Los Angeles’ Getty, the Getty Villa, the Hammer, and MOCA.

Critical study of his work shares a chapter with MacArthur Fellow Claudia Rankine in Anthony Reed’s Freedom Time: The Poetics and Politics of Black Experimental Writing (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2015) and numerous articles with topics ranging from the Middle Passage to cyborgs. 

He has received a Whiting Writer’s Award, residencies/fellowships from Cave Canem, The Rauschenberg Foundation, and others. A Howard University and CalArts alum, Douglas was honored to teach at the former for 12 years before joining the English/Creative Writing faculty at the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities. Born in Brooklyn, but raised in Altadena, CA, he lives with his family just west of Minneapolis.

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About the Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry

The Bagley Wright Lecture Series on Poetry supports contemporary poets as they explore in-depth their own thinking on poetry and poetics, and give a series of lectures resulting from these investigations. Lectures are delivered publicly in partnership with institutions nationwide. Find out more about past, present, and future lecturers, and explore the archive at www.bagleywrightlectures.org.

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