Reading for 2/2

Hello all, next week we decided to read some pieces on Hakim Bey that appeared in Ceasefire Magazine. We’re going to discuss the sections “Chaos Never Died: Hakim Bey’s Ontology”, “The Temporary Autonomous Zone”, and “The Pessimism of Autonomy”.

Some of you may remember the journal Hostis that released two issues a while back. One of the editors of that project, a guy named Andrew Culp who has written some really great books of his own, is starting a new reading group meeting twice monthly online. The project is called QUIVER and the first week will focus on the concept of “weapons”, while reading both a dialogue between Deleuze and Foucault and a chapter from 1000 Plateaus. The first meeting will be this coming Monday, February 1 from 9:00-11:00 AM (yeah, weird time). You can get all the info and RSVP if you’re planning on going on their site. I’ll be checking it out for sure and I imagine that some of you might also be interested. I hear they have something like 65 people who have RSVPed thus far, so it could get a little wild… Hope to see ya there.

Reading for 1/26

Next week we’ll be looking at Angela Carter’s The Sadeian Woman; specifically the first chapter, “Polemical Preface: Pornography in the Service of Women”. Be advised that it is on the lengthy side — totaling around 35 pages — but given the author, they are almost certain to be compelling!

Another book mentioned this evening that some of you may wish to check out: Stephen Harrod Buhner’s Ensouling Language: On the Art of Non-Fiction and the Writer’s Life. Looks interesting!

As mentioned at the very end of the meeting, we have decided to abandon the FB chat that we’ve had going for quite a while and switch to the far more secure option of a Signal chat instead. All important information and decision-making will still take place on Tuesdays in the group proper — this chat is just for us to shoot the shit between meetings and share things we come across that others might appreciate. All you need is the Signal app and a phone number, and if you’re hesitant to use your actual number, a burner number created via Google Voice or a similar app will also work. If you want in, either text me (Nev) your digits or email them to birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net.

Lastly, we are planning on recording a new episode of our podcast Margins of Reality soon! The current plan is to record in the late afternoon on January 30th (a week from this coming Saturday). We’re hoping that everyone who has taken part in previous episodes will join us for this one. Additionally, anyone else from the study group who feels like taking part is more than welcome to. Those of us in the Bay who feel comfortable meeting up will likely record irl, and everyone else who wants to participate can via Jitsi. If you’re interested in being a part of this, shoot an email over to birdsoffire [at] riseup [dot] net. Our topic for this episode is as yet undetermined so if you’ve got ideas, let’s hear em. Until next time!!

Reading for 1/19

Next time we’ll start Laura RIding’s Anarchism is Not Enough. Looks to be a thought-provoking text with lots of opaque rumination on the vital issues of lived poetry and the central place of subjectivity. Hope you will join us to discuss!

Below you’ll find cover art from Lisa Samuel’s books (the author of the introduction we read last week) as well as some selected quotations from Laura Riding.

Laura Riding quotations & covers



Tender Girl – cover

Reading for 1/12

Had a wonderful time talking with you all last time, especially our meta-discussion on how we use the group. Feel like we came away with some concrete ideas for how we can make sure the group feels welcoming and encouraging to newcomers and those of us who are less garrulous. We’ll no doubt continue that discussion periodically in the future.

Next week we’re going to begin checking out Laura Riding’s book Anarchism is Not Enough, starting with the introduction “Creating Criticism”. It looks to be well-worth taking a look at, so join us!

Here I will make note of two suggestions we’ve had for forthcoming readings: Antonin Artaud’s Heliogabalus, or The Crowned Anarchist and the anonymous piece “Revolution of Fungal LIfe” from Black Seed 7 (at least I think this was the piece from that issue you said you enjoyed, K).

Finally, some of you said you were interested in checking out a podcast a handful of folks from this group started a while back. We’ve got two more episodes in the can alongside an interview with Jason McQuinn on his Critical Self-Theory, all of which I am finally finishing the editing on and will appear soon. In the meantime, enjoy the one episode we have posted currently and let us know what you think.

Reading for 1/5

Best wishes in the new year, friends (at least to those abiding by the Gregorian calendar). Next week, we’re going to spend our first 90 min or so discussing two pieces which appeared in Killing King Abacus: “The Persistent Refusal of Paradise” by Penelope Nin and “Freedom” by Albert Libertad. Cory has recorded both of these for her podcast Immediatism. Thanks Cory! The remaining time will go towards a meta-conversation about the reading group itself and how we use our time. Periodically this group has found it worthwhile to take a step back and examine the dynamics of our discussions, so that we can all more intentionally get what we want out of each meeting. So please give some thought to the things you like and don’t like, as well as any ideas you have for experimenting with the forms our circle takes, and don’t be hesitant to share them!

Wishing you all a 2021 filled with much playful mayhem!