We created the poetics festival Šanalan with the Jack Keruoac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado, as a major literary event in Prague in 2003. The festival consisted of workshops, panel discussions and unique performances.

—Theme: “The Third Mind.”

—Featured writers, teachers and performers:

Ivan Klima, Jáchym Topol, Ivan Vyskočil, Eva Švankmajerová, Ida Kelarová, Alexandra Berková, František Dryje, Pavla Slabá-Jonssonová, Kateřina Piňosová.

Anne Waldman (US), Anselm Hollo (FIN), Rikki Ducornet (US), Irina Andreeva (RUS)

Šanalan full program EN

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Šanalan full program CZ

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Naropa- Pramení Poetics Festival
May 11 – 18, 2003

Festival Mission
To challenge mentors and students alike to enter new areas of exploration; To revere risk and experiment in the pursuit of one’s own language and expression; To expand the possibilities of one’s art by promoting trust in the wisdom of one’s own mind and experience.

Theme: The Third Mind
Exciting literature continues to thrive outside mainstream power structures. It crosses borders, moves from language to language, form to form, travels from mouth to ear, or is passed around in underground – samizdat, or zine-like – publications. In his famous letter discussing “Negative Capability”, John Keats talks of being “capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.”

Drawing on a rich history of cross-genre and inter-art creative work, we’ll look at how poetry and performance work together, and how they relate to community and collaboration. Life informs craft informs imagination – the equation through which we create the world around us. What happens to our writing when we challenge ourselves by entering into other modes of expression? How does this expand our own awareness and enrich our craft?

By engaging in other creative processes we find the most direct mirror for ourselves and our art, helping us move beyond pre-established boundaries of “writing”, of “artistry” and of self as artist and/or writer. Whether you’re a writer, visual artist, dancer, musician, actor, or film-maker, the convergence of any two art forms begins with the meeting of minds – the penultimate creation of what William Burroughs has referred to as “the third mind”. Together we’ll examine the role of the artist in society, and how the act of writing can contribute to the development of the individual and society as a whole.

 Panel Themes:

What is „poetics“, and which genre/ modes of expression does it encompass? How important is it to experiment with other genres to get beyond learned forms of relating to one’s own art (and the world) to get to what Svankmayer calls „the purest form“?

Festival Partners

Naropa and the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied PoeticsNaropa is a Buddhist-inspired university which was founded by Tibetan monk and tulku “incarnate teacher” Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche in 1974 with the mission of wedding eastern philosophy and pedagogy with western academe. Trungpa, author of numerous books including Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism, The Myth of Freedom, and Shambala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior, introduced the revolutionary approach of engaged or ‘contemplative’ learning into a Western university setting, which remains the mainstay of Naropa’s unique pedagogy today. Trungpa’s interest in the relationship between contemplative practice and the artistic process led to a radical and visionary camaraderie with poet Allen Ginsberg, who together with Anne Waldman, founded the Kerouac School as a cornerstone to the Naropa Institute in its inaugural year.

The Kerouac School honors the verbal arts as the medium of human culture through the study and practice of oral and written literature, and considers mindful attention to language and one’s world to be the basis of a lively, engaged writing practice. The Kerouac School aspires to a Socratic grove or vihara in which an active, eclectic and world-wise faculty meet to “transmit their secret, hard-won knowledge, to address the fronts on which they are active, and to magnetize and instruct apprentices writers and like-minded seekers”. The School promotes “clear-seeing, trust in the wisdom of one’s own mind, compassionate action, and the development of a tough-minded, crafted language or poetics– the theory and technique of making something out of words. The Kerouac School has ignited, promoted, and been informed by numerous “outrider” or “second stream” poetic traditions including eco-poetics, counter-poetics, investigative-poetics, and the vast wealth of personal poetic visions and tenants that have sprung from the school’s community of bards and scholars.

Pramení is a public service company-Obecně Prospěšná Společnost,(OPS), dedicated to experiential learning through the arts, intuitive research, and the development of human potential. Based on the belief that self- awareness and development of one’s own potential are essential to civil society, tolerance through cultivation of diversity, and the actualization of personal and global peace, Pramení engages in activities which revere and enhance process– creative, developmental, and spiritual– as a means to individual and human evolution.

To embrace one’s own creative individuality is to better embrace the world’s diversity of peoples. All Pramení activities encourage exploration and actualization of creative potential, which is vital to personal fulfillment and in turn, a healthy global and civil society. Likewise, Pramení’s poetics stems from the connection between consciousness and linguistic creation, and promotes Expansion of the Possible, by all available means, through sound, voice, movement, and word.

In addition hosting arts exploration camps for the handicapped, minorities, children and the community, specialized arts workshops in poetry, dance, music, movement theater, and cross- genre improvisation and performance, arts exchange programs for the physically handicapped, artistic collaborative exchange programs, and performances in public spaces in the Czech Republic and abroad, Pramení offers the Living Word Poetics Program, a series of poetry workshops for children and the community.

Anne Waldman is an internationally known poet, cultural activist, performer, professor, editor, with strong personal links to the New York School, the Beat Literary Movement, and the experimental strands of the New American Poetry. She is the author of over 30 books of poetry including Fast Speaking Woman, Kill or Cure, Marriage: A Sentence, and Vow to Poetry: Essays, Interviews and Manifestoes. Waldman is the co-founder of The Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, and Artistic Director of the Summer Writing Program.

Workshop: Rhizomic Poetics

This is a writing and discussion workshop around the concepts of “prose,” “poetry,” and “cross-genre writing.” We will conduct rhizomic experiments of attention, examine various poetic traditions, and investigate cultural interventions and actions.

Alexandra Berkova is a poet, novelist, journalist and screenwriter

Alexandra, despite her anticommunist activities, was allowed to attend the Philosophical Faculty at Charles University where she studied literature. Until 1980 she was the editor of the journal Freedom, Czechoslovak Writers. The following two years she worked as a maid. From 1982 she worked as a free lance writer, founded the Writer’s Village and co-founded the group of Czech writers known as Mamut. Today she directs the creative writing department at the Academy of Josef Skvorecky. Her works include A Book with a Red Cover and Crazy People or the Story of a Great Love, a grotesque fantasy full of phobias and the inner world of human trauma. She has written 3 extremely well received television films employing a savory comic irony. Her latest work, Dark Love, has been claimed an inspired, enchanting nightmare.

Workshop: Smoke & Mirrors
Literary expression as a reflection of reality, or a few literary exercises        with Alexandra Berkova, i.e. some techniques, how to search and find,
find that which you wish to communicate.

Anselm Hollo
 is a poet, literary translator, essayist, and lifelong associate of the Black Mountain, Beat, New York, and Language Schools of U.S. American poetry. He is the author of 36 books and chapbooks, most recently Notes On The Possibilities & Attractions Of Existence: New and Selected Poems 1965-2000. He is a recipient of an NEA Fellowship in poetry and of Finland’s Distinguished Foreign Translator’s Award.

Workshop: Poetry, Writing
In this writing workshop students will focus on their own poems. We will examine each student’s work and give suggestions. Each student is asked to bring 20 copies of a poem (one page).

Eva Svankmajerova
Painter, puppeteer, poet and theorist, she has been a dynamic and innovative presence in international surrealism for nearly three decades. Since 1970 when she joined the Surrealist Group in Prague, she has been an energetic participant in, and often coorganizer of the group’s many samizdat and legal collective publications such as Analogon, as well as the group’s other activities such as surrealist researches, conferences, games, and exhibitions.

Workshop: visual poetry
Pavla Jonssonova
(formerly Slabá) started an all women punk band PLYN in 1980. The group became DYBBUK in 1983, transforming into ZUBY NEHTY (1988 – 1999), a special women’ s poetics ensemble (all members wrote music and lyrics) that has produced five albums, four soundtracks for theatrical performances, two books of poetry, and a film for television. Jonssonova taught at the Pedagogical Faculty of Charles University, English Department, 1990-1999. She is dedicated to supporting creative women: she publishes interviews and articles about women artists, and lectures on gender topics. Her recent translations are Germaine Greer’s Female Eunuch and, together with Martin Machovec, Anne Waldman’s Fast Speaking Woman (published by One Woman Press and Center for Gender Studies in Prague). In 1998 she was affiliated as a Fulbright scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, researching lyrics of women in rock music as a new kind of genre. She is working on a book from the collected data.

 Workshop: Naked In The Wind
This seminar brings free discussion of the topic of rock and punk lyrics and their role in contemporary world, comparing different contexts of the Czech Republic and the USA. Pavla Jonssonova and her bandmate Marka Mikova present their favourite texts as well as their own unique composition methods and they invite participants to join in

Ivan Vyskocil
Considered a visionary and innovator in the field of engaged dramatics and improvisational performance, Vyskocil is a touted by students as a guru of psycho/ spiritual/ creative expression. He has terminal degrees in theater direction and acting, clinical-criminal psychology, pedagogy, and philosophy (at DAMU and Charles University). He is the founder of the renowned Divadlo Na Zabradli, which is recognized as the Mecca of Czech theater, as well as Nedivadle (No-Theater). Though renowned as a teacher, he considers himself one who studies with his students. He is currently interested in dialogical behavior, the importance of communication, and the anthropology of theater. He currently teaches acting, authorship, dialogical behavior at DAMU (Drama Academy- Academy of Arts Prague) and at the Literary Academy of Josef Skvorecky.


Rikki Ducornet
Poet, novelist and visual artist, Ducornet has published 6 books of poetry, three collections of short fiction, and has illustrated books by Robert Coover and Jorge Luis Borges. Her fiction has been described with terms like riotous, delicate and brutal, dark, elegant, exotic, breathtaking, troubling, hopeful, sensual and startling. Her seventh novel, Gazelle, will be published this July by Knopf. She has received numerous awards including fellowships from The Bunting Institute and The Lannan Foundation. Her novel, The Jade Cabinet, was a finalist for The National Book Critics Circle Award. A long-time member of the Paris-based group “Phases”, she has exhibited her work at the World Surrealist Exhibition in Chicago in 1976, Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, and in a group show of international artist that toured the former Czechoslovakia.

Workshop: The Deep Zoo
Inspired by Rigor and Imagination we will take on the enemies of good writing: dogmatic thinking and received ideas. We will devote ourselves to small, sudden fictions that function together in a coherent series. We will initiate a series of short fictions.

Irina Andreeva (RUS)
“…the performer dances with poetry in every pore, plays a solo of the soul…so ugly, loud and obscene, so poetic, graceful and so beautiful”.

Russian born performance art phenomenon and founder of the experimental performance group Teatr Novogo Fronta, Andreeva is interested in images which stand on the frontier between mysticism and abstraction, circus art and modern dance, where the main force is the action, improvisation, and tension amplified by the ridiculousness of human tragedy. In Andreeva there is near literally no separation between the artist and her art, the person, and that which she produces.

 Workshop: Movement, Flesh, Subtext
This workshop includes physical training directed to using the imagination in body work /or in movements/ with a focus on subjects like:
Text and Subtext, Attention, Imagination, Emotional memory,
Words and Associations. The aim is to connect physical movement and verbal expression, and to find the meeting point.

Jachym Topol
Poet, rock lyricist, novelist, and founding editor of Revolver Revue, originally a samizdat cultural publication. Engaged in the literary and political underground at an early age, at 15 he became the youngest signatory of the dissident intiative Charter 77. Widely recognized as the one of the most powerful examinations of the post-1989 transition period, Topol’s first novel Sestra exploded onto the scene in 1994. His dense, highly innovative language has assured him a spot as one of the most unique and intriguingly contemporary Czech writers. His latest novel, Andel Exit, was recently made into a feature film, and has recently published a collection of translation of Native American poetry. He currently teaches at the Literary Academy of Josef Skvorecky.

Workshop: Shimmers of Time
Work with memory as universe–
Students should bring: their first memory (photo, something from their household, a song,) anything that they associate with the 1950s, the 1970s, 1990s… Each will write a small text about the object they brought, then exchange texts, and continue writing. We will work at the point individual human or family fates.

Ivan Klima

Klima was Deputy Editor of the prestigious intellectual weekly Literarni Noviny until he was labeled a dissident and his works were banned in the former Czechoslovakia. He edited the journal of the Czech Writers’ Union during the Prague Spring, and the ban on his books was lifted in 1990. In 2003 Klima was given a Medal for Outstanding Service to the Czech Republic by Vaclav Havel, and was also chosen as the recipient of the Franz Kafka literary prize. His works include A Summer Affair, Love and Garbage, My First Loves, Judge on Trial, My Golden Trades, The Ultimate Intimacy and Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light, and the non-fiction work The Spirit of Prague.

This session will be a discussion with Ivan Klima about his life, work, and creative process. Participants should come prepared with questions and be ready to enter into relevant and engaged conversation with the author.

Panel Discussion: The Third Mind
Anne Waldman, Alexandra Berkova and Jachym Topol 
discuss the notion that the convergence of any two art forms begins with the meeting of minds – the penultimate creation of what William Burroughs has referred to as “the third mind”. How does engagement in one’s own creative process affect the development of the individual, and in turn society as a whole? How important is it to experiment with other genres to get beyond learned forms of relating to one’s own art (and the world) to get to what Svankmayer calls „the purest form“?

Core Faculty

Alexandra Berkova– will lead core lecture for LA students and for-credit Czech students.
Anne Waldman– will lead core lecture for Naropa for-credit students.

Školská 28, P1
Martin ve zdi, Martinská 8, Praha 1
Divadlo na zábradlí, Anenské nám. 5, P1