Just Because 14.4 ~ Ibido by Owen Ames

David Moorman

Opening Reception: Sunday, October 26, 4-6pm with an author talk and reading at 4:30pm | Poetry Workshop: Monday, November 24, 6-8pm

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      First page of text from Ibido by Owen Ames by David Moorman.

      Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present Just Because 14.4 ~ Ibido by Owen Ames by author David Moorman. The exhibition opens on Sunday, October 26, with a public reception from 4-6 p.m. and a moderated discussion and reading by Moorman at 4:30 p.m. The project will be on view through November 30 and will be accompanied by a poetry workshop on November 24th let by poet and author Michael McGriff.

      In this text-based project by David Moorman, a selection of stanzas from his manuscript (entitled Ibido by Owen Ames) will be featured on the ground floor of testsite. Structured as single words listed in discrete numbered stanzas on the page, the walls of testsite function as the lectern upon which the viewer and reader may peruse this stellar body of work. This will be the first visual presentation and publication of the Ibido text, which has been in process for over twenty years.

      Author/Artist statement:
      Automatic writing never satisfied me. At least the automatic writing that I produced in the seventies and eighties never did. And I started looking for another approach.

      Around 1988 I began eliminating function words—articles, prepositions, pronouns—the words that hold the content words together in conventional speech and writing. By following that approach I managed to produce a voluminous second draft of approximately ninety thousand words.

      However—sad to say the second draft seemed congested and unreadable and of no particular interest. So I set the manuscript aside and then began writing other compositions.

      I am very slow at finishing anything. I don’t know why that is. Everything seems to take forever. And so years later, in October 2010, for no obvious reason I began another draft based on the earlier abandoned material, and what you see here began to emerge.

      I am calling this work ibido. And I think of it in terms of granular clusters, condensations, precipitates, distillations, crystallizations.

      David Moorman
      Born in Dallas in 1950, David Moorman has been a creative writer based in Austin since 1968 and a longtime associate editor at Texas Monthly. He has produced experimental poetry and non-narrative fiction since 1970. He calls his two main projects Ibido and Amnion. He has contributed poetic work to publications including Lucille and Duende. He co-edited the 2004 anthology Terra Firma with Michael Vecchio. In the eighties, he collaborated with Norman Ballinger on The M-Set Manuscript (Backyard Press, 1991). In the seventies he collaborated with Stephen Harrigan on the poetry journal Lucille. Moorman earned a bachelor’s degree in general and comparative studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1972. In1984 he spent several months at a village in Spain, and in 1986 he worked for a few months at the Caravan of Dreams performing arts center in Fort Worth.

      Opening reception at testsite: Sunday, October 26, 4–6pm, author talk and reading at 4:30pm
      502 W. 33rd Street
      Austin, TX 78705
      Hours: Sundays 4–6pm and by appointment

      Poetry Workshop at testsite: November 24, 6-9pm
      Led by seasoned poet Michael McGriff, this event is for curious, budding, and established writers and is open to the public.

      Workshop description: In this generative workshop, we’ll spend our time together writing and sharing new work. The poet and translator Robert Hass defined the image as anything that can be “imagined with the senses.” Images haunt us. From our life-defining moments to our seemingly generic daily routines, images are there by our sides. In this short class, we’ll look at poems from Pablo Neruda and James Wright to set us in motion. After that, it’s image as pure adventure. You need only bring something to write with or type on.

      Michael McGriff
      Michael McGriff is an American poet and author. His recent books include the story collection Our Secret Life in the Movies and the poetry collection Home Burial (Copper Canyon Press, 2012), which was a New York Times Book Review "Editors' Choice" selection. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Tin House, The Believer, Slate, AGNI, Missouri Review, and Poetry London. He is the founding editor of Tavern Books, a publishing house dedicated to poetry in translation and the revival of out-of-print books. He is the recipient of the Lannon Fellowship, the Michener Fellowship, the Ruth Lilly Fellowship and the Stegner Fellowship as well as the Agnes Lynch Starrett Poetry Prize, among other honors. McGriff currently teaches at University of Texas at Austin.