100 Colorado Creatives: Julie Carr

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#15: Julie Carr

Julie Carr started out a dancer before turning to poetry in a long traversal from the raw artistic life in New York to the more structured worlds of academia, business and family. The award-winning author of four books of poetry, with more on the way, Carr now also teaches at the University of Colorado at Boulder. But her literary and creative life extends still further: Together with her husband, Tim Roberts, Carr runs the independent literary press Counterpath, which also hosts free readings, art shows, video screenings and performances by artists who might not otherwise be seen or heard of outside of the academic world -- a pastime that earned the couple a Westword MasterMind award in 2013.

How does Carr balance a brilliant career with the grassroots quest to bring a curated selection of new ideas and works to Denver? Find the answers in her 100CC questionnaire, which follows.

See also: 100 Colorado Creatives: Paul Moschell

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Image by Luther Price.
Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Martha Gellhorn. T. J. Clark. Fred Moten. Miguel Gutierrez. Lisa Robertson. Leslie Kaplan. Luther Price.

Martha Gellhorn was a war reporter, radically independent feminist and fabulous letter writer. I'm interested in her grit and courage, and even more, I'm interested in what draws a person to engage with history as it's happening at the most immediate level.

T. J. Clark, art historian, recently published a book titled The Sight of Death. It's a diaristic meditation on two paintings by seventeenth-century French painter Nicolas Poussin and is therefore a study of looking, of what it means to make visible that which is usually not seen. At the same time it's a confrontation with death, with the silence of the corpse.

Fred Moten is a poet and African American studies scholar. His work, which I'm reading with a group of people slowly and carefully right now, is sonically gorgeous and politically radical. I'm interested in his concept of "study" which, for him, is an unending process with no interests, no outcome, no goals. I'm also fascinated by his description of the "undercommons" as a "maroon community" inside, under and alongside the community we recognize.

Miguel Guitierrez is a choreographer whose work "And Lose the Name of Action" I saw twice last year and have watched endlessly on video (not public, you have to actually go see his company perform!). I'm moved, excited, surprised, and generally blown away by his work.

Lisa Robertson is a Canadian poet. I love her work because it is intelligent and adventurous. It doesn't back away from true thought or emotion, but it's always pushing language and learning from its own sentences. The work doesn't settle for "telling" or for performing its own skillfulness. She is a genuinely experimental writer and a seriously feminist thinker, and she happens to be reading at Naropa on February 7.

Leslie Kaplan is a French poet who I'm currently translating (in collaboration with Jennifer Pap). The book we are working with, L'Excès-l'usine (Excess--The Factory), is a study of factory life; she worked in factories during the late '60s, and then, many years later, attempted to bring to language the alienation, distance and isolation that the factory invents.

Luther Price is one of my favorite living artists, who works in a visual medium: film and photography. One of his works is the cover of my new book. I saw his work for the first time at the Whitney Biennial in 2012 and have not been the same since. He came to town last fall and presented new work at Counterpath, a life highlight for me. What he does is capture human narrative, human suffering and human desire while working with the materiality of film, while being, at once, an abstract artist. He's interested in the grid, in repetition, in pattern -- which I'm also attracted to. The human elements in his work are often obscured, ghostly, fractured, damaged and pushing forward nonetheless. This is one of the qualities I most seek in my writing.

Continue reading for more from Julie Carr.

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Counterpath

613 22nd St., Denver, CO

Category: General

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