Visiting poets to electrify



Jake Bekemeyer

Two award-winning experimental writers will visit NMU this week to perform their new augmented and virtual reality show that incorporates poetry along with other forms of media.

The NMU Visiting Writers Series in conjunction with the math and computer science department and the extended learning and community engagement office will host writers Jen Scappettone and Judd Morrissey at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 21 in Ballroom 1 of the Northern Center for their performance of “Lament: Or, The Mine Has Been Opened Up Well.”

Director of the Visiting Writers Series Rachel May said she is excited for this performance because it’s unlike anything else they are putting on this year.

“It involves copper pipes in some way I don’t know about yet, metal detectors, pennies,” May said. “It is a great cross between electronic literature and performance art.”

Scappettone conceived of the project out of a curiosity for where the copper was extracted from after learning about an abandoned manufacturing site. She decided to further her study of copper in the Keweenaw Peninsula, May said. 

The night will begin with Scappettone and Morrissey discussing their creative process, and then they will begin the performance.

“There will be things on screen. There’s a soundtrack. Different sounds will play at different times,” May said.

Scappettone has published many works of art and poetry, including “From Dame Quickly: Poems,” and her most recent publication, “Smokepenny Lyrichord Heavenbred: Two Acts,” an e-chapbook designed to be performed live with Morrissey.

Scappettone has received a grant from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and a fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center from 2018-2019. She is currently an associate professor at the University of Chicago.


Morrissey’s works of digital literature have appeared in two volumes of the “Electronic Literature Collection.” He authored the 2011 poem, “The Procession: An 80 Foot Long Internet Art Performance Poem.”

He is a recipient of the Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts writers grant as well as the Fulbright Scholars award for digital culture. Morrisey is an associate professor of technology studies and writing at the University of Chicago.