Chinati Presents with Marfa Book Company: Clark Coolidge

Chinati Presents with Marfa Book Company: Clark Coolidge

The Chinati Foundation and Marfa Book Company are pleased to host two evenings with poet Clark Coolidge on Friday, November 22 and Saturday, November 23, 2013.

Coolidge will present a poetry reading of his own work on Friday evening. On Saturday, he will give a talk concerning the work of painter Philip Guston, with whom he frequently collaborated. Both events take place at the Crowley Theater Highland Annex, next to the Marfa Book Company, at 6:00 pm and are free and open to the public.

Author of more than twenty books of poetry, including the groundbreaking Space, Own Face and Polaroid, and several books of essays and criticism, including Now It’s Jazz: On Kerouac and the Sounds, Clark Coolidge has been one of the most influential, and quite possibly most puzzling, poets in American culture since he began publishing in the early 60s. Associated with several different groups over the years, including, most notably, the New York School of Poets as well as the Language Poets, Coolidge has made a body of poetry that maintains its independence while sharing stylistic similarities with seemingly incompatible schools and movements. In early 2013, for instance, he published two books, one an exceptionally long ambient poem of more than 550 pages and the other a collection of sonnets. Then, in the summer, he released an album of poetry-free-noise collaborations with poet Anne Waldman and Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth. However disparate in form or manner of instantiation, the works share Coolidge’s uncanny music and the linguistic peculiarity of lines such as: “Don’t go all horse spooky in the hockey nook” or “Some tough phone calls in an iron bucket”.

In 2010, Coolidge edited the highly regarded Philip Guston: Collected Writings, Lectures and Conversations, a book the Nation described as a “book of wisdom, not only for artists but for anyone seeking to learn something from art.” Guston had previously incorporated lines from poems by Coolidge in several of the self-designated “Poem-Pictures” he made during his long residency in rural New York. Coolidge’s talk on Saturday will survey Guston’s paintings and address his interest in poetry and language.

Clark Coolidge was born in 1939, attended Brown University, and currently lives with his wife Susan in Petaluma, California.

Chinati Presents is a series of performances and presentations that continue Donald Judd’s tradition of hosting contemporary artists, writers, and musicians in Marfa. The next event in the Chinati Presents series will be an evening with artist Roni Horn, performing her monologue Saying Water, on Friday, November 29, at 8:00 PM at the Crowley Theater. The event is hosted in coordination with Marfa Book Company’s exhibition of Horn’s series, Still Water (The River Thames, For Example) on display from November 1 through December 1, 2013.