Open Box


by Carla Harryman

Featuring original art by Elizabeth Jameson

GRNN alert just in—Joseph Cornell is doing the can-can over the delicious debris organization in Harryman’s OPEN BOX. This dance of demi-characters—half half, semiquaver, three hooks quarter—places (a State) under an obligation not to maintain armed forces. Next up: removing oneself to another place; migration.
—Tina Darragh

“Carla Harryman’s Open Box is a meditation-in-process on the possibility of a poetry available to cultural, social and political critique that does not unwittingly reinscribe the political, social and cultural formations (textual and otherwise) against which it is posed. Because Harryman wants to preserve a ‘place,’ if not ‘places,’ for an aesthetic and procedure resistant to reification, she deploys improvisation as writing, as textual practices open to the future and, more ambitiously, to the past, to the written.”
— Tyrone Williams


Carla Harryman is an innovator in interdisciplinary performance, poetry, and prose. She has authored seventeen books including W— /M— (2013), Adorno’s Noise (2008), Gardener of Stars (2001), and the multi-authored work The Grand Piano, an Experiment in Autobiography: San Francisco, 1975-1980. Her Poets Theater, interdisciplinary, and bi-lingual performances have been presented nationally and internationally. She has received many grants and awards including from The Foundation for Contemporary Art, Opera America Next Stage, Fund for Poetry, and The Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation.

Carla Harryman is also the author of The Wide Road, a collaborative book with Lyn Hejinian (Belladonna*, 2011).

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Carla Harryman & Jon Raskin

Composer and improviser Jon Raskin and cross-genre poet Carla Harryman collaborate in bringing together music and poetry, using Harryman’s texts as scores for musical interpretation and speaking voices. Jon initiated the recording project while reading Carla’s Open Box: Improvisations, a work written between November 2002 and 2003 after she turned the news off to listen to the music and the sounds of her local world in psychic protest against the news media’s representations of American government’s scaremongering and push to war under false premises. Jon responded to the book by initiating a series of live and studio performances that gave him the materials to develop the piece.


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Carla Harryman & Lyn Hejinian

wide-road-1The Wide Road is a collaborative investigation of the female body, friendship, writing, community, activism, travel and the nature and possibility of human thinking. Carla Harryman and Lyn Hejinian, two of the most honored innovators of language, began writing The Wide Road in 1991. Over the following twenty-years, the co-writing occurred in turn by letters, by walking, in cabins, together and apart, and finally together again. The reader of this original and major work will find that it is no longer possible to distinguish who wrote what. Instead, one finds a joyful new feminist voice breaking out new possibilities for the future of writing.