Poet Cathy Park Hong will be visiting the NYU English Department/Contemporary Literature Series under the auspices of my graduate seminar, ENGL-GA 3636.001: Poetry Unbound: Romanticisms/Modernisms/Now Pt 2 (aka ROMO 2). This class rigorously explores a number of propositions: that Poetry is dead; so too Romanticism; so too Modernism; so too Postmodernism, The Literary, The Subject, The Human, History, Tradition, etc. Or not? Over the semester, we explore several literary, cultural and theoretical genealogies, histories, discrepancies, and elective affinities between those zones typically designated "romantic" and "modern." Throughout the term, we turn to contemporary poets as ongoing voyagers in poiesis. Particularly urgent for us are questions of periodization and historicity; poetry and poetics; “the project” of poetry, the future, and “projecting” itself. Cathy Park Hong, one of the most ambitious and unusual of contemporary poets, is a particularly special “maker,” a poet who thinks hard about pasts, presents, and futures, a poet who brilliantly reconfigures the relation of the project of poetry to deformed/transformed life. She is thus a most welcome and exciting guest for us—and not only because she quotes Coleridge (!). While my graduate seminar officially hosts Hong, we will have CLS Fellows and interested undergraduates also attend Hong’s presentation on Wednesday, December 4th, 2013, at 4:15 PM. The location will be at 244 Greene St, the first floor classroom.

--Prof. Maureen McLane (ENGL-GA 3636.001 Poetry Unbound: Romanticisms/Modernisms/Now Pt 2)


Cathy Park Hong is a much-lauded younger American poet who has published three books, the most recent of which is Engine Empire (Norton, 2012). She writes a startlingly imaginative, speculative poetry, her latest book conjuring alternate worlds including the American West, contemporary Chinese boomtowns, and a dystopian future. Hong is a wizard of deformed/transformed English, alert to global flows and breakdowns encoded in language. For a richer sense of her work see this interview by Roybn Creswell of The Paris Review. Among her recent ventures was a commissioned piece at The New Museum, "Stand Up," which you can explore further here.