In Between Stations

Ella O’Keefe

Ongoing, with a concluding reading at Serial Space, Friday April 30 7pm-10pm

A participatory event followed by reading and discussion. This event takes inspiration from the Metro Poems project of Oulipo member Jacques Jouet.

Participants will be invited to take a journey around the Sydney train system (suggested route: Redfern -> Bondi, Bondi -> Redfern with a change at Townhall to go via city circle).

The journey is a means for generating poems, using the constraints and principles Jouet developed for his metro poems where the aim is to write a new poem between each stop on a metro ride.

This event extends Jouet’s exercise by making it an activity for a group. While participants write separately and may spend the journey in relative silence the fact that a group of people will simultaneously board a train and begin writing could also be thought about as a kind of creative intervention…perhaps not quite a performance.

The second half of the event would comprise a reading of some of the poems generated by the event as well as further discussion of The Metro Poems and experiences of the event.

Hopefully this will open out a number of areas for discussion; the usefulness of constraints and generative procedures in creative production, the notion of the ‘draft’ – in this exercise the ‘finished’ version of the text is produced in extreme time constraints, location and movement, mapping of the city or an experience of the city.

Ella O’Keefe completed an honours thesis in writing and cultural studies at UTS on the poetry of Barbara Guest in 2009. She has produced radio for The Night Air on Radio National and is a current contributer to Final Draft the books and writing program on 2SER FM.

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