Last month, British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University announced the life work of Canadian writer and poet Adeena Karasick would be added to its Bennett Library Contemporary Literature Collection. The library purchased 20 banker’s boxes worth of Karasick’s personal and poetic papers, drafts, correspondence, journals, posters, audiotapes, and videotapes, which will be processed, inventoried, re-boxed, digitized, and stored for posterity; graduate students and researchers will have access to the work. The collection focuses on 20th century avant-garde, experimental, formally innovative, and “underground” writing in English, most of it poetry.
Below, watch a compilation of Karasick’s videopoems, featuring her notorious “I Got a Crush on Osama”; “I wrote that videopoem … at a time when the world was on a rampage looking for Osama [bin Laden] and all our news was geared towards this obsessive concern with where he was. … Sometimes you have to laugh in the face of fear to devalue it, make it less problematic … The poem is audacious, subversive, provocative, and cuts into the fabric of things. That is the role of art.”
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