Yesterday, as part of my college's poetry festival, I went to a panel with the above title. The last month or so has been a huge time of research for me--I've been thinking so much about where the creative universe will be headed after the huge meteor crash of postmodernism, and just how the art world will be recovering from the huge shock of it all. This research (unfortunately scanty for now, because although scads of critics have declared the end of postmodernism, almost no one has taken the time to define what will succeed it) will be culminating in a grand critical essay on my part, to be undertaken before my graduation from Sarah Lawrence. Logically, this panel seemed right up my alley, and I was expecting to leave it optimistic about the state of art, rather than entirely discouraged. But the panel, which consisted of the poets Vanessa Place, Christian Bök, K. Silem Mohammed, and Doug Kearney, was largely more concerned with poetry as yet another "conceptual" field.
Although it wasn't what I expected, and although I came out of the panel more frustrated than enlivened, I was still provided with a better view of my opposition's standpoint, and, to be fair, Doug Kearney and K. Silem Mohammed challenged the views of their peers in a very satisfying way for me. And, through the festival, I've been offered some wonderful opportunities to see incredibly talented poets--both established and students--so I certainly cannot complain simply because some of them do not believe as I do.
Also: new successful recipe, adapted from one I found on the Sunset magazine website:
cream of lettuce soup with spring salsa:
for the soup:
sautée two finely chopped leeks in butter (or olive oil, for vegans) until soft. add roughly two heads of lettuce, (we used one head of butter lettuce, one of romaine, and a good helping of watercress) finely chopped, and 1 quart of vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. once boiled, reduce to a simmer for several minutes until lettuce is soft. add salt, pepper, juice of 1/2 lemon, and a sprinkling of nutmeg, and whir it in the blender until smooth. add 1/2 cup of half and half (or rice milk, for vegan recipe), and heat to temp without boiling.
for the salsa:
combine 1 cup fresh green peas and 1/2 a fennel bulb, chopped to pea-sized with a handful of fresh chopped basil. dress lightly with a vinaigrette of lemon juice, garlic, salt, white wine vinegar, and olive oil. serve but the spoonful in top of the soup, or on the side. serve whole meal with garlic toast.
This made a wonderfully light, flavourful meal, and would be a great way to use up lettuce that's gone wilty (but not slimy) in the crisper. It would also be great served cold, or with grilled cheese sandwiches. We used rice milk instead of the half and half the recipe calls for (one of our guests is lactose-intolerant) which worked out just fine, although for those of you who are neither vegan not lactose-intolerant, half and half (or, let's be honest, heavy cream) would be incomparable.
I have one more reading to attend today, as the festival dies down, as well as old projects to finish up, and new ones to begin. I'm going to be beginning a new series of interviews here on ye olde blogge, the first of which should be up within the next two weeks--the series will be called "artistic synergies" and will be made up of interviews with artistic couples that feed off each other's talents and ambitions to further their own arts. More later!