Tuesday, March 23, 2010

UND Writers Conference 2010

Deena Larsen 4:00 pm Reading
at UND Writers Conference

Each year I get pretty excited about the UND Writers Conference. This year's theme wasn't my favorite --Mind the Gap-- Print, New Media, Art. I read a LOT online but I still like my books in print and perhaps I've not evolved enough to really embrace hypertext poetry in all its glory.
Our RRVWP featured author was Deena Larsen and she and her partner were kind enough to join us for dinner at Eagle's Crest after her 4:00 reading. She talked about links and hypertext poetry and secrets. She used grad students holding images and phrases to demonstrate the power and versatility of links. I get it, I think. I'm just more of a straight forward boring girl.Cecelia Condit and husband

Deena Larsen and Nick Montfort

In addition to Deena we also got to chat with Nick Montfort and Cecelia Condit.
There were just enough of us that there seemed to be three-five conversations going at once and I was caught up mostly in the Nick Montfort Q & A. I fear we scared him with our rapid fire questions, the poor guy. Still it was fascinating learning about Implementation, his sticker novel (a novel in approx. 240 sticker installments spread all over the world), and discovering he'd also read The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson and without missing a beat could refer to bits of the bizarro technology in that world. Despite the fact that I'd not read as much of their works prior to our dinner, it was still a fascinating discussion.

Following dinner, I drove back to campus for Art Spiegelman's presidential address. It was a wild ride of images, ideas, and history of comics. Jack Weinstein interviewed Spiegelman.

I still need to decipher my notes, but here were a few of the things Spiegelman said:
Regarding Maus, he wanted to write a comic book that readers would need a bookmark for. He didn't set out to write a "graphic novel." It seems graphic novels have more respectability. He's managed to create "art." Spiegelman says, "It's a bit like thinking you are a "hooker" and finding out that you're a "lady of the night." After hearing he's considered the father of the graphic novel Spiegelman says, "I'm demanding a blood test."

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