David Antin

David Antin is a poet and critic famous for his improvised spoken-word poetry. His work, often epistemologically concerned, blends philosophical musing with narrative. If Plato had lived in twentieth century San Diego, his dialogues might have looked a little like Antin’s poetry.

“Stories are different every time you tell them — because they allow so many possible narratives. For years I’ve been thinking of stories and narratives as two related but different things — the inside and the outside of the human engagement with transformation. For me, story’s the shell, a kind of logical structure, a sequence of events and parts of events that shape a significant transformation, while a narrative is the core, the representation of a desiring subject, somebody’s confrontation with a significant transformation that he or she works to bring about or avoid. So any time you tell a story from a different point of view, you get a different narrative. The same events look different because their parts look different and combine differently. So the events are also different, and they become a new story that may have the same beginning and ending or different ones, or no ending and no real beginning.”

— David Antin