1: INTRO & POETRY READING FROM BREACH (00:00)
Pandemics Reflected was lucky enough to host Lisa’s first reading from the opening pages of breach, about Li Wenliang, the doctor in China who first called attention to the rise of the COVID pandemic and then subsequently died of the virus himself.
2: LISA AS CREATIVE, AS ARTIST, AS SCHOLAR (02:50)
One of Lisa’s favourite catch phrases is “imagining what we don’t know”. We talk about Lisa’s process, her journey as a scholar and an artist, and her research interests.
3: WHAT DO MULTIMODAL ART FORMS HAVE TO DO WITH A PANDEMIC? (05:18)
“What do multimodal art forms have to do with pandemics? What does experimental poetry and writing and theoretical experiments have to do with pandemics”? Lisa think-feels through what makes pandemic, conceptual and pedagogical thresholds: “the way in which the pandemic turns everything into a force field”.
4: FROM LONG WHITE CLOUD TO BREACH (11:10)
“It may seem paradoxical,” says Lisa, “But having things stripped away like, having your myelin sheaths stripped away makes you even more full of nerves. You become very aware of your nerve relation.” What does it mean to be a contemplative or an active in a time when everyone has been forced into the contemplative due to a national state of emergency? Lisa talks about how her form changed from her previous books Tender Girl and Long White Cloud of Unknowing (set in a single room), and if the latter can be seen as a prescient precursor to the COVID-19 lockdown.
5: TEMPORALITY, PUBLICATION & ABLEISM (18:13)
“Publish or perish” is something academics internalise. Pauline and Lisa talk about temporality, how planned publication timelines were disrupted, and how: “issues of ableism and other able-ism – to use those words advisedly, ethically, warmly and caringly – have come out into institutional conversation.”
6: A MEDITATION ON THE MATERIAL OF CONTAGION | POETRY & RELIGION (22:54)
Lisa reads an extract from Day 4 of breach and ponders about people’s thinking structures versus their postures of belief. Are we are all entangled in pandemic belief and leaps of faith?
- WRITING POETRY APRIL 2020 | READING POETRY APRIL 2022 (28:05)
Lisa reads an extract from Day 3 of breach and the conversation turns to whether time really exists when we consider the ‘I’ who wrote the poem in 2020 versus the ‘I’ reading it in the present.
8: WRITING, EDITING, STRUCTURE & TITLE/IMAGE CHOICE (33:00)
Who or what is saltimbanque? What influence does immersion in other languages have on our writing? And how did Lisa conceptualise breach when editing, thinking about the format, physical design of the book and the symbolism of title and cover image.
- EARTH GLOBE, FUZZY CO-ORDINATES (42:32)
“The globe’s a round thing with fuzzy coordinates proliferating” which Pauline interprets as the ship of Earth as a globe and Lisa intended as the visual representation a globe. Lisa reads from page 66 and discusses the multiple meanings inherent in words and the flexibility and dynamics of language.
10: NEXT PROJECTS, ENDINGS, EXPERIMENTAL DEFINITIONS (45:57)
Where to find audio recordings of Lisa’s work and a final reading from the end of Breach. Plus, what Lisa thinks of the term “experimental poetry”.
11: NEXT SHOW – DR ANDREW CHEN, DATA ETHICIST (54:08)
A conversation with data ethicist Dr Andrew Chen about how he went from computer systems engineer to working on questions around data privacy and the COVID tracing app.
Mentioned in this episode, in order:
Guest: Professor Lisa Samuels
Research centre: Pandemics Hub – Past, Present, Future
News story: Li Wenliang
Book: Tender Girl
Art: Salvador Dali
Poet: Erin Moures
Poet: Lilly Robert-Foley
Philosopher: Isabelle Stengers
Concept: Speculative thought processes
Publisher: Partizanska Press