Kritika Kultura, the refereed e-journal of language and literary/cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University, is holding a poetry reading by Conchitina Cruz. The event—part of the Kritika Kultura Lecture Series—features Cruz’s new work, There is No Emergency, and will be on Aug. 12, 2013, 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theater (Gonzaga Building) in Ateneo de Manila University.
According to Cruz, “the poems in There Is No Emergency are driven by the impulse to collect and archive. They are lists of things. They are the outcome of rearranging phrases or sentences in alphabetical order.
“The list as a form attempts to dismantle the fantasy of a narrative arc: a beginning, middle, and end; the consecutive order of past, present, and future. Or: the list installs another narrative arc; another beginning, middle, and end; another temporal fantasy.
“Some poems were drafted with the aid of an N+7 machine found online. The machine is a generative collaborator and, on occasion, an incisive critic. In converting the phrase ‘unapologetic hips’ to ‘unapologetic historians,’ for instance, it seems to caution against another stroll down the lane of self-indulgence, arguing instead for an open field, a more panoramic view.
“An index of the poems is bound to include a noticeable number of lifeless animals.
“The inevitable tediousness that arises from verbalizing mechanical acts is a source of inspiration for some of these poems. Memorializing the reflex and redundant seems strangely moving and unnerving.”
Conchitina Cruz teaches creative writing and literature at the University of the Philippines in Diliman. A recipient of Fulbright and Rockefeller Foundation grants, she is the author of Dark Hours (U of the Philippines P, 2005), elsewhere held and lingered (High Chair, 2008), and (together with Adam David and Delilah Aguilar) A Catalogue of Clothes for Sale from the Closet of Christine Abella—Perpetual Student, Ukay Fan, and Compulsive Traveler (Youth & Beauty Brigade, 2012). Her work has most recently appeared in Diagram, Salt Hill, Cordite Poetry Review, and The Offending Adam. She is currently pursuing a PhD in English at the University at Albany, State University of New York.