2018 Garnett Sedgewick Lecture

The 2018 Garnett Sedgewick Lecture will be given by Daniel Katz (Professor, University of Warwick)

“As Firmament to Fin: Unpublishing Jack Spicer”

Friday, 16 March
3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
Green College, Coach House

This talk will explore the theoretical questions raised by preparing a posthumous collection of unpublished writings by a poet who explicitly problematized conceptions of authorship, life, and the “public” as major parts of his own project.  Spicer, through his trope of authorship as “dictation,” his positing of “death” as the space of poetic vitality, his refusal of copyright and other forms of textual ownership, and his consistent destabilizing of the opposition between the public and private, raises particularly pointed questions for a project of this kind.  We will see how these questions play out in works both published and unpublished, and also explore what some of the currently unpublished material reveals about his exchanges with other members of the counter-cultural poetic community in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, with a particular emphasis on the Beat poet Bob Kaufman.


Daniel Katz is Professor of English and Comparative Literary Studies at the University of Warwick, and Series Editor of the book series “Bloomsbury Studies in Critical Poetics.”  He is the author of three books, Saying I No More: Subjectivity and Consciousness in the Prose of Samuel Beckett (Northwestern UP, 1999), American Modernism’s Expatriate Scene: The Labour of Translation (Edinburgh UP, 2007) and The Poetry of Jack Spicer (Edinburgh UP 2013) as well as numerous chapters and articles on 20th and 21st century writing.  He is currently editing The Uncollected Jack Spicer: Poetry and Plays for Wesleyan UP.

This is presented by the Visiting Speakers Series of the Department of English Language & Literatures