MFA Alum Brent Cox launches The Topological Poetics Research Institute

Image Credit: Design: Brent Cox. Poem: Simon Eales. Images: Courtlin Byrd. Photo Marco Macconi. Bergamo, Italy.

School of IAS alumnus Brent Cox (MFA '17) is happy to announce the release of TPRI #1. TPRI, The Topological Poetics Research Institute, is an autonomous research collective devoted to the study of poetics. This first issue, edited by Brent, is part newsletter and part journal, featuring poetry, poetics, and news about TPRI’s activities over the past several years, including presentations at University of Washington Bothell’s &Now 2019: A Festival of Innovative Writing; Ecopoetry Workshop, organized by Brent Cox, Simon Eales, and Courtlin Byrd at Ilaria Mazzoleni’s Nature Art Habitat Residency in Val Taleggio, Italy; and Buried Text, a conversational podcast on poetics featuring regular contributors Brent Cox, Courtlin Byrd, Simon Eales, and Zack Brown, with episodes on N.H. Pritchard, Adrian Piper, Peli Grietzer, Georges Bataille, and more, along with guests Travis Sharp (MFA '15), Jake Reber, Anna Aksenova, and Joanna MÄ…kowska, Blair Johnson, and more.

Issue #1 also features a report from Corbin Louis (MFA '17), and a chapter excerpt by Amanda Hurtado (MFA '17), “Susan Howe: A Poetics of Motion and Measure,” from her in-progress dissertation on a poetics of the literal measure. Other work in the issue includes Kathleen Naughton on Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge, Simon Eales on the retirement of Steve McCaffery and Karen Mac Cormack, LuminanceBloom, Zak Byrd on “scanimations,” poetry from Nepenthean Palaver, Courtlin Byrd’s “Freud Poems,” and an excerpt from Blair Johnson’s “The Overlap of Three Translations of Kafka’s Metamorphosis (and Other Stories).”

TPRI is available for order at Poetics Institute and will be shipping soon.

You can follow TPRI @topopoetics on instagram.

After graduating from UW Bothell, Brent began PhD work in SUNY-Bufallo’ poetics program. He will soon be defending his dissertation, Infrastructuralist Writing, mounting a theory of poetics as an ongoing transformative topological figure in four-dimensional (at least) spacetime, and providing poetic “interstandings” with work by Holly Melgard, Craig Dworkin, Louis Zukofsky, Kamau Brathwaite, Asiya Wadud, and Jose-Luis Moctezuma. In addition to this work, Brent has also been developing a “theory of video-poetic criticism,” and has presented video-critical analyses at many conferences, including most recently a video on Kamau Brathwaite’s Sycorax Video-Style at the University of Cambridge’s graduate English conference, “What Does the Poem Think?” in part derived from research conducted at University of Colorado Boulder’s Media Archaeology Lab, a video that has just been published by &&&: Triple Ampersand, the critical publishing platform of The New Center. This year he also presented “Toward a Theory of Video-Poetic Criticism” at The Electronic Literature Organization’s 2022 conference in Lake Como, Italy. He has collaborated with Courtlin Byrd on a Max/MSP/algorithmic engagement with Louis Zukofsky’s “A”-9 that will be featured in OEI, a journal of poetics based in Stockholm, Sweden, in a special issue on poetry and sound edited by Michael Nardone at the Concordia University’s Centre for Expanded Poetics. And he has recently had design work published with his ecopoetical colleagues as public art in Bergamo, Italy, as part of NAHR’s COEXISTENCE initiative in collaboration with the Bergamo City Cultural Center.

See some of Brent's other recent projects at @purehappinesscoffee, @topospoetics, @brentmichaelcox, and @topopoetics.