That Fresh Sound: Modern Poetry, Kanye West, And Shaking Your Mind Out of Its Rut

Presented with JWALK

Def Jam Kanye West Yeezus Cover

This Olio will discuss a book that is specifically charged to break the mind out of cliché and into a perpetual freshness of language – and maybe cure writer’s block. 

That book is John Ashbery’s A Wave and the 20 page title poem, in Ashbery’s words “has the form of an argument without the content.” The strings of words lack ordinary stable referents but its language and something like ideas flow past, like water, often sounding right, before you have had a chance to know what was said. 

It is persuasive in the way instrumental music is persuasive and I will be bringing both symphony music and a surprising amount of Kanye West (including his most recent album) as parallels, as I explain the weird funny abstract wisdom of this poem that will never allow you to see language the same way again.


Complimentary food by &pizza as well as drinks by Viva32 Tequila.


Recommended reading from Penguin Press:

Upstream by Mary Oliver

“A tremendously vitalizing read…grounding and elevating at the same time.” —Brain Pickings   




Location: JWALK

419 Park Ave South 16TH FLOOR New York, NY - 10016

JWALK is a full-service creative agency with an in-house content studio.  


Other upcoming Olios


Aug 1

Envy, Greed, and the Common Good

Taught by Fernando Zapata
7:30 p.m. at Nowadays

Sign Up - $12

Aug 4

*OlioMuse* An Exploration of the String Quartet Across Time

Taught by Whitney George
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $25

Aug 11

*Double Feature* // Modern Art, the Work-Life Balance, and the Gig Economy

Taught by Two Olio Professors
7 p.m. at Strand Bookstore

Sign Up - $20

Aug 17

Thomas Paine and the Flame of Revolution

Taught by Ward Regan
7:30 p.m. at The Old Stone House

Sign Up - $15

Aug 26

1950s & Nostalgia: In Search of Greatness in the "Golden Age"

Taught by Lawrence Cappello
7 p.m. at Atlas Studios // Newburgh, NY

Sign Up - $20

Aug 29

Sep 10

Meditations: A Wisdom of the Everyday

Taught by Michael Prettyman
4 p.m. at IDIO Gallery

Sign Up - $10


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