At the Corner of Two Walls

Sierra Foltz

Name: Sierra Foltz
Major: English
Minor: Political Science
Advisor: Dr. Christopher Kang
T. S. Eliot said, “immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn.”Kenneth Goldsmith expresses a similar sentiment in the Introduction of his book Uncreative Writing:“faced with an unprecedented amount of available text, the problem is not needing to write more of it; instead, we must learn to negotiate the vast quantity that exists” (1). In my three-word poems, collage poems and in my pieces of short prose, I utilize text that already exists and manipulate it into a new form. I take text from those I admire, like Allen Ginsberg, Frank O’Hara, Terrance Hayes, Gertrude Stein, or even from my own notebooks and reimagine them in new contexts. Further, through exploring theories of linguistics and semiotics such as those of Ferdinand de Saussure and C.S. Pierce, Surrealist impulses of capturing the images of the unconscious, Dadaist impulses of exploring chance encounters between text and materials, and contemporary visual and conceptual artists who explore the intersection between text and image like Jenny Holzer, Cy Twombly, and Joseph Kosuth, increasingly challenging questions emerged. Centrally, my exploration led me to ask: How can utilizing existing works and theoretical knowledge produce work capable of challenging historical projects and reimagining the work language can do?

Sierra will be online to field comments on April 16:
noon-2pm EDT (PST 9-11am, Africa/Europe: early evening) and 4-6 pm EDT (PST 1-3pm, Africa/Europe: late evening)

Posted in I.S. Symposium 2021, Independent Study on April 3, 2021.