Interview with Dan Disneyphoto
an interview with Dan Disney by Angela Gardner

where are you at the moment?

right now I am in my office (English Literature program, Sogang University, Seoul), which is located on the 8th floor of a new building in the middle of the city’s university district. It is a grey, noisy Saturday afternoon, and outside there are the last remnants of winter’s frost … early last year I had a view of the Han River from my office’s floor-to-ceiling window; this year, five newly-finished 20 storey concrete columns have emerged from the ground, granting me glimpses into the interior of hundreds of apartments. Seoul is relentlessly terraforming its landscape with high-rise cement. I preferred the river views …

Yangon (meditating) and Singapore (delivering a research paper); I travel as much as possible to keep myself sane … flâneuring/ exploring psychogeographies usually feels considerably more like an authentic engagement than sitting in my aerie surrounded by books and knocking out knowledge products/ learning outcomes, etc for my employers …

in the near future:
for the next 16 weeks I will spend hellishly long hours in my office, punctuated by a research trip to Kathmandu (maybe). Mid-year I will head to Ireland (as part of the Vincent Buckley Prize) to read and write poetry and to meet a gamut of Irish poets. Side-trip to Istanbul hoped for …

what are you enjoying?

in Seoul, at the moment I am enjoying (in this order) yoga and meditating, the great restaurants (Thai, Bulgarian, Greek my current favorites), warmer weather and thus running along the Han River at night, occasional walks into the craggy mountains surrounding Seoul, and a newly-discovered indie/ boutique cinema …

my reading is usually directed by current research projects, and so falls broadly into two categories – thus, at the moment

Christian Bök (forthcoming) The xenotext (though this is hardly a poem I am ‘reading’)
Ken Babstock (2011) Methodist Hatchet
Lucie Brock-Broido (2013) Stay, Illusion
Anne Carson (2013) red doc>
Alice Fulton (2001) Felt
Christopher Merrill (2013) Necessities
Keston Sutherland (2013) The Odes to TL6IP

critical work:
Louis Armand (ed) (2006) Avant-post – the avant-garde under ‘post’ conditions
Charles Bernstein (ed) (1990) The Politics of Poetic Form – poetry and public policy
Marjorie Perloff (2010) unoriginal genius – poetry by other means in the new century
Peter Quatermain (2013) Stubborn Poetries – Poetic Facticity and the Avant-Garde
Brian M. Reed (2013) Nobody’s Business – 21st Century Avant-Garde Poetics

… otherwise, I am closely reading a few Australian collections (for review), The Guardian, and the London Review of Books; I am watching Clarke and Dawe and the triumphant Australian cricket team online.

what projects are you currently working on?

I am doing a few different things right now: there are strong connections between what I’m making and what I am reading/ where I am living/ how I am feeling + thinking – thus, at the moment

  1. Report from a border (with John Warwicker)
    a speculative experimental narrative set in the near future (forthcoming with light-trap press)
  2. Murmur & Afterclap
    a suite of typographically innovative poetic ‘critiques’ (which no one will publish!)
  3. either, Orpheus
    a manuscript of conceptual villanelles, which make response to Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus and Kierkegaard’s Either/Or via John Cage’s essays, Silence
  4. klaxometry (with Kit Kelen)
    an ongoing project which situates the idea of an ‘exile’ within the speculative zones of an imagined ‘one-chance city’