Chris Kraus will read from and describe the research process behind her new biography After Kathy Acker, on the life, myth, and influence of avant-garde artist, writer, and counter-cultural heroine Kathy Acker. Kraus will be joined in conversation with poets and scholars Anne Boyer and Ariana Reines. The event will be introduced by Gabrielle Kappes, editor of Kathy Acker: Homage to Leroi Jones & Other Early Works.
Kraus approaches Acker both as a writer, and as a member of the artistic communities from which she emerged in After Kathy Acker. At once forensic and intimate, Kraus traces the extreme discipline and literary strategies Acker used to develop her work, and the contradictions she longed to embody. Using exhaustive archival research and ongoing conversations with mutual colleagues and friends, Kraus charts Acker’s movement through some of the late 20th century’s most significant artistic enterprises. Acker died of untreated cancer at an alternative clinic in Tijuana when she was 50 years old, but as Kraus argues, the real pathos of Acker’s life lies in the fact that by then she’d already outlived this ideal.
Co-sponsored by Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Initiative