Saturday, April 13, at 6:30 p.m. Counterpath hosted “Not I: Collaboration & Constraint” and a feature of Les Figues Press, with publishers Vanessa Place and Teresa Carmody, as well as Les Figues authors Michael Du Plessis, Jen Hofer, and Doug Nufer. Les Figues authors and editors discussed “methods for making” and “playing with others” (video of this panel above). Performance followed (please see videos below).
Les Figues Press creates aesthetic conversations between Writers/Artists and readers, especially those interested in innovative/experimental/avant-garde work. The Press intends in the most premeditated fashion to champion the trinity of Beauty, Belief, and Bawdry.
Les Figues Press publishes TrenchArt, an annual series of new literature that posits literary works in an inter-textual conversation; participating writers and artists write an aesthetic essay or poetics, setting the terms and parameters of the serial conversation. Find excerpts and visual art in our Writers/Artists and Les Figues Books.
Les Figues hosts a multi-author blog – Give A Fig – with rotating guest bloggers, including Les Figues authors, artists and others we admire.
The Press sponsors Mrs. Porter’s 2.0, a women’s art salon and discussion group in which artists working in all media (visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians) share their work and discuss how the presented material fits into a larger artistic and social frame. The Press also sponsors and participates in public readings, workshops and other events.
Les Figues Press was founded in January 2005 by Teresa Carmody, Vanessa Place, Pam Ore and Sarah LaBorde. In December 2005, Les Figues incorporated as a nonprofit 501c3 organization. The Press is a member of the Council of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), the California Association of Nonprofits (CAN), and the Green Press Initiative. Les Figues Press titles are distributed by Small Press Distribution (SPD).
[no video of Vanessa Place’s performance]
Vanessa Place received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, an M.F.A. from Antioch University, and a J.D. from Boston University. Her books of poetry and conceptual writing include Dies: A Sentence (Les Figues, 2006), a 50,000-word, one-sentence novel in verse; La Medusa (2008); and Statement of Facts (2010), the first volume of her trilogy Tragodía which repurposes legal prosecution and defense documents verbatim; among others. With Robert Fitterman, she co-wrote Notes on Conceptualisms (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2009), an exploration of contemporary conceptual writers and their work. She is also the author of The Guilt Project: Rape, Morality and Law (Other Press, 2010), an analysis of the prosecution of sexual offenders. In addition to her work as an appellate criminal defense attorney, she serves as co-director of Les Figues Press. Place currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.
Teresa Carmody’s recent work includes Explanation as Composition, a collaborative audio project with Harold Abramowitz, Amanda Ackerman, Kate Durbin, and Sarah Shun-lien Bynum. She is the author of the short story collection Requiem and two chapbooks: Eye Hole Adore and Your Spiritual Suit of Armor by Katherine Anne. She is the co-founding director of Les Figues Press and is currently teaching at California Institute for the Arts.
Doug Nufer uses formal constraints to write fiction, poetry, and pieces for performance. He is the author of the poetry collection We Were Werewolves (Make Now, 2008), and six novels, including Never Again (Black Square, 2004), Negativeland (Autonomedia, 2004), and the double novel The Mudflat Man/The River Boys (Soultheft Records, 2006). His work has appeared in Chain, Fence, The Brooklyn Rail, ubu.com and trickhouse.org. He lives in Seattle.
Michael Du Plessis teaches Comparative Literature and English at the University of Southern California, where he is also completing a masters degree in Professional Writing. His novel, The Memoirs of JonBenet by Kathy Acker, is forthcoming from Les Figues Press. He has written about a wide variety of subjects, from Goth culture to the French fin-de-siècle and has also performed, amongst other venues, at Highways and at the MAK Center/Schindler House.
Jen Hofer is a Los Angeles-based poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, urban cyclist, and co-founder of the language justice and literary activism collaborative Antena. Her latest translations include the homemade chapbook En las maravillas/In Wonder (Libros Antena/Antena Books, 2012) and Ivory Black, a translation of Negro marfil by Myriam Moscona (Les Figues Press 2011). Her recent and forthcoming books are available from a range of small presses, including Action Books, Atelos, Dusie Books, Insert Press, Kenning Editions, Litmus Press, Palm Press, and Subpress. She teaches poetics, translation and bookmaking at CalArts and Otis College.