William Gillespie was on the island last week en route to his new gig at Brown, where he'll get his MFA as the second Electronic Writing Fellow (Talan Memmott is the first). I had a great time hanging out with William and Lorien. William and I have been friends and writing buddies for nearly a decade now — he's the type of friend who I can simply sit down with and break into spontaneous mutual laughter over a joke we started telling each other years before. And I get writing done when he's around. Brown is a big move for William. Essentially since the date of his birth, he's been at the center of a thriving alt.culture scene in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois, where he participated in a variety of collectives (theater, art, radio, lit, potluck, community gardening, you name it he did it). After William left, I took a little time to get caught up on his endeavors at Spineless Books, where some amazing online and offline publishing has been taking place. In addition to distributing print oddities, such as 2002: a palindrome and The Unknown: an Anthology, Spineless hosts a large collection of Electronic Works, a bunch of brief Book Views, some of the aforementioned Urbana Radio Theatre, various manifestos, such as this gem on collaborative writing and a just hot damn terrific collection of writing by
Larry McCaffery, who is to literary criticism what punk rock was to American music. Not to mention Federman. Sadly, in the Philosophy of Teaching Writing section, William rejects the Chicken Based Poetry Pedagogy I utilized with such great success at Illinois State University lo those many years ago. In spite of this difference of philosophy, William and I remain friends and I remain a Spineless media consumer.