In this advanced intensive workshop, we’ll explore forms of composition that focus on the idea and various ways of “receiving” a text—as opposed to the general notion of expressive “creative” writing—and the unique poetic disposition and attention these require. We’ll begin by looking at Breton and the Surrealists and the writing techniques they developed (automatism, surrealist games, etc) to make use of the unconscious, chance, coincidence and the idea of “signal” as ways to get us out of consciously determined, self-expressive acts, to move closer to what Breton called “Objective Chance.” Then, as a way to distance us from self-expressive “original” content, we’ll explore the use of found text and the arrangement, framing and/or presentation of it as a poetic act. Finally, we’ll investigate and practice a compositional tactic the poet Jack Spicer wryly called “Listening to the Martians” (inspired in part by Yeat’s practice of writing as séance, which Yeat’s learned from and practiced with his wife, Georgie Hyde-Lees), Spicer’s metaphor for a kind of writing that arrives from outside of the self and its effects, what he described as the reception of a radio transmission, the writer as the receiver of a signal. We’ll also use these techniques to think about the possibilities of composing collaboratively. We’ll pay attention to Jack Spicer’s Vancouver lecture in which he, in both practical and poetic terms, describes the process of writing as an attempt to refuse one’s own voice, listening instead to an alien voice, a voice that traces a new path through the “furniture” of one’s mind. The first day we’ll discuss these texts and tactics, and by way of several in-class exercises begin to explore these various forms of composition. The second day we’ll continue our discussion by way of the textual experiments we’ll have generated, sharing our work and discussing strategies of revision.