Vanessa Place Inc. y la Poética Mongrel-Nafta / Heriberto Yépez

Vanessa Place Inc. and Mongrel-NAFTA Poetics

North American experimental poetry is going through a serious crisis. First, in March, Kenneth Goldsmith gave a racist performance and since then the Internet is destroying Conceptualism (and worse things will follow).

In May, Vanessa Place, a Conceptualist co-star, plagiarized the scene with another performance, and now we find her body where Goldsmith’s once lay. 2015 will go down in history as the year when Conceptualism committed suicide by lynching.

Place operates by means of in your face copy-paste, scandal and an identity-avatar even more cynical and capitalist than Goldsmith’s.

This is how she defines herself: “VanessaPlace Inc. is a trans-national corporation whose sole mission is to design and manufacture objects to meet the poetic needs of the human heart, face, and form.” (http://vanessaplace.biz)

For Place, “poetry is a kind of money.”

She was recently designated as part of a committee for the influential congress of the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) in Los Angeles in 2016.

And last week a campaign was launched against Place, due to a project of hers that revives racial offenses. Faced with the pressure, AWP decided to remove her from the position.

The main beneficiary of this coup against Place was the semi-anonymous Mongrel Coalition, which led the petition drive.

The Mongrel Coalition is a new experimental movement, that could have been innovative, had it not plagiarized the very same capitalist violence it attacks.

The coalition claims to arise from minorities who are proud to employ hegemonic means and ends: to force consensus through coercion. Either you support them or you shut up, or they seek to eliminate you.

One tragicomic element of the anti-Place triumph of this self-declared “decolonialism” via bullying (?) is that they launched their intense campaign against Place a few days after publishing xenophobic stereotypes about Mexico.

And then, faced with complaints, they threatened to “disappear” those who might be opposed (to their methods of appropriating a decolonial discourse for North American purposes) and reiterated their right to say whatever they feel and want.

Since the networks of white experimental writers (consolidated or aspiring) don’t want to be attacked by the Mongrel Coalition they purposely overlooked their xenophobic violence.

The Mongrels, knowing their xenophobia and threats could affect their careers, used the campaign against Place in order to finish burying their anti-Mexican episode.

Maybe this was redundant: in the United States, Mexican lives don’t matter. They are subhuman immigrants, neighbors or raw material.

To insult, make invisible, threaten, to spit on the Mexican is a privilege that all North Americans have, regardless of their color or position.

For them, the Mexican is one of two things: Nothing or Nobody.

This week the Mongrel Coalition beat Vanessa Place Inc. in impeccable NAFTA style. Their Stocks are Going Up.

{ Heriberto Yépez, Archivo Hache, Milenio (México D.F.), 23 May 2015 }


  1. Anonymous10:48 PM

    Where/what are the xenophobic anti-Mexican comments made by the Mongrel Coalition? Their comments about disappearing people are childish and poorly chosen (stemming either from ignorance or willful racism), but not specifically anti-Mexican (more like anti all countries where the powerful use disappearances).

  2. Dear Anonymous. I will not conduct your research for you. And I refuse to engage in conversation w/ someone who won't put their own name behind their words.