“[W]hen you’ve gone through five hundred years of genocidal experiences, when you know that the other world that surrounds you wants your death and that’s all it wants, you get bitter. And you don’t get over it. It starts getting passed on almost genetically. It makes for wit, for incredible wit. But under the wit there is a bite.”
— Paula Gunn Allen
The World That Surrounds You Wants Your Death takes its cue from Allen’s observation of what it means for a culture to live, generation after generation, in an environment that actively strives for that culture’s demise. Now that I have small children, I find myself increasingly called upon to explain to them why it might be an issue that they are Cherokee & Mohawk (but not that they are also Italian), or that they are brown, and that they live in a place (Quebec) that is culturally and legislatively hostile to those others who are not Francophone, within a larger North American context that only sees “The Indian Problem”.
“Are there sharks in the ocean?” they ask, and I have to admit that there are.
Poems for Excitable [Mobile] Media is a poem series written and designed to be read via touch interaction. Our goal is to understand how writing and reading–taking poetry as our test form–is being transformed as more of our experiences with text move into computationally-rich, screen-based, and touch-activated environments. We are particularly interested how these variables interact with reading in mobile contexts.