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The Unkillable Poet: The Xenotext So Far

Date & Time:
January 21, 2015 | 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Biological Sciences Building 587
Christian Bök

Christian Bök is the author of Eunoia (Coach House Books, 2001) - a bestselling work of experimental literature, which has gone on to win the Griffin Poetry Prize. Bök is one of the earliest founders of Conceptual Literature (the poetic school of avant-garde writing made famous, in part, by the performance of its ringleader, Kenneth Goldsmith, at the White House in 2011). Bök has created artificial languages for two television shows: Gene Roddenberry's Earth: Final Conflict and Peter Benchley's Amazon. Bök has earned many accolades for his virtuoso recitals of "sound-poems" (particularly Die Ursonate by Kurt Schwitters) - and he has performed lectures and readings at more than 200 venues around the world in the last four years. Bök is on the verge of finishing his current project, entitled The Xenotext - a work that requires him to engineer the genome of an unkillable bacterium so that the DNA of such an organism might not only become a durable archive that stores a poem for eternity, but also an operant machine that writes a poem in response. Bök teaches in the Department of English at the U of C.

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