The Avant Writing Symposium 2010

Avant Writing Symposium Graphic

August 19 - 21

Thompson Library
The Ohio State University
1858 Neil Avenue Mall
Columbus, OH 43210 USA

An International Writing Symposium

In Memoriam Thomas L. Taylor

On August 19-21, 2010, the new OSU Thompson Library was invaded by an exciting horde of writers, scholars, artists, and others for the 2nd Avant Writing Symposium.  There were some 50 presentations, performances, papers, readings, installations, exhibits, and other events, and over 100 observers, fans, scholars, and kibitzers. Attendees and presenters came from all over the United States, Latin America, Europe, and elsewhere. The event, sponsored by The Avant Writing Collection and the Rare Books & Manuscripts Library, with additional support from The Department of Spanish & Portuguese and The Center for Latin American Studies, focused on various Avant Gardes active in the world today, primarily those using language in some form or other.  Events took place in the Thompson Library, at OSU’s Urban Arts Space, and at Skylab Gallery in downtown Columbus.   In addition to the presentations and performances, there were exhibits in the Thompson Library and at Skylab Gallery, and a room dedicated to continual presentations of electronic and digital poetry and literature.

The previous Symposium in 2002 was a huge success and is still being talked about. Both events provided a chance to learn about literary innovation and experimentation, avant garde writing, electronic and digital literature, multi-lingualism, visual poetry, performance poetry, Fluxus poetry and texts, collaborative writing, sound poetry, international networking, artist’s books, cut-up text, concrete poetry, found poetry, mail art, video poetry, and much much more.

Curated by John M. Bennett

Comments by Attendees:

“The exhibitions were wonderful. The talks and performances were informative and fun…That was an opportunity not to be missed.”

-Marilyn R. Rosenberg

“The unique and necessary event in a category unlike any other.”

-Jennifer Bosveld

“Let’s not wait eight years to do it again.”

-William James Austin

“The only word I can think of to describe the whole thing is: EXPLOSIVE.”

-Bob Brueckl

Videos and Photos from the Symposium:

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DSCN3235         symposium keynote1

Links to Other Resources:

As with any large event, there are a wide variety of resources for those looking to relive or get more information about the 2010 Avant Writing Symposium. Blog entries, videos, photo galleries: if you name it, it exists.


Visual Poetry Mail Art Exhibit Blog

C. Mehrl Bennett's Account of the Symposium


Photos of Symposium Guests and Exhibits (Featured Above)

Photos of Symposium Exhibit (Featured Above)

Photos of Collaborative Vispo Project


Be Blank Consort Performance at Urban Arts Space

Paul Baker's Videos of Various Symposium Events


The material in the above photos and videos, as well as the videos and photos themselves, are copyright to their creators and may not be used, reproduced, or changed in any way unless otherwise stated by the creator his or herself.