About Joan Retallack


Joan Retallack is the author of six books of poetry. Her performance pieces and essays for voices have been performed on National Public Radio, at the Guggenheim Soho, and The New Playwrights Theater, the Segue Performance Space, University of Maryland and American University's New Music Festivals.

She has received the Columbia award for her book Errata 5uite, a Gertrude Stein Award in Innovative American Poetry, and a National Endowment for the Arts grant for WESTORN CIV CONT'D, An Open Book.

Retallack is on the faculty of the Interdisciplinary University Honors Program at the University of Maryland, and is an Associate of the Institute for Writing and Thinking at Bard College. She was the visiting Butler Chair Professor of English in the Poetics Program at SUNY Buffalo (1993-94). She has read, lectured, performed and been in residence at many institutions, including Brown, Stanford, University of Maine, U.C. San Diego, and Mills College.

Of the work that forms the starting point* of the libretto of And That's It, Alan Devenish wrote in Contemporary Literature: "The hierarchic boundaries of 'history' give way in WESTERN CIV to a hieratic longing for some new grace in the speed of our living . . . Making connections across time and language [it] makes a poetic argument in favor of the particular speeded-up grace of our own time."

* Retallack has been working for a number of years on what she describes as a "serialization of our historical predicament." Each installment takes a new form. And That's It will be the operatic continuation of a project that has four previous installments, including WESTERN CIV and WESTORN CIV CONT'D.

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