Exciting news: Ph.D. student Julie Kantor has published a new chapbook of poetry, LAND, with Dikembe Press, and will be reading and signing copies of the book at Farewell Books on Friday, May 15 at 7:00pm.
We asked Julie about her process and the themes of the chapbook:
I wrote the first two poems of LAND in a BART from San Francisco’s airport to the Mission. Reviewing the photographs of the bird’s eye view captured on my phone from the flight from New York, the lines that carved mountains served purpose other than to demarcate peaks & their inclines; these were the mappings of my veins, of my (then) partners’, those living at the heels to follow in—the way earth comes toward & falls away in the cragged valleys is the way we become, or unbecome, together in what is lost, in what is yet to come into existence. There is more than we can see or feel.
The “we” of LAND, the story of their travels, seek a way to continue through means that are in excess of the actual, of and beyond it. LAND infolds within it many worlds–no one is dominate over another; the distinguishing qualities that tell us when we don’t belong somewhere we inhabit, atmospheres that tell stories, leaving us uncomfortable aren’t present; there are no caution signs. “We” roam to find a place that can hold, sustain them, but every thing is tenuous. Attempting to understand the world one way doesn’t work out, because living in the world only one way is untenable.
Julie’s poetry has also been published in Boston Review, A Public Space, Maggy, and Foothill. Her work is being translated into Ukrainian for a new modern American poetry anthology, and she is a poetry reader and writes microreviews for Boston Review. LAND, published by Dikembe Press, is her first chapbook.
Painting by Carlos Loarca
We return today to one of our favorite blog series: 5 questions with members of the American Studies core and affiliate faculties. Below, we feature a conversation with Dr. Cary Cordova, assistant professor of American Studies and graduate of our program (Ph.D. 2005).
What has been your favorite project to work on and why?
I would turn to the projects that have helped me work with people, the projects in which I am engaging with others, whether it is students or other colleagues or professionals out in the world; these projects have probably netted me the most personal satisfaction. Specifically, i am drawn to doing oral history. When I initially approached oral history, I viewed it as a way to source information, as a way to get data that otherwise wasn’t available. But then in doing interviews, I learned a lot more about myself and about other people, and oral history became a significant amplification of my education, it became a way of expanding my universe well beyond the world that I thought I was in. For instance, one of the artists I interviewed passed away, and I went to his funeral, and it was striking to see the numbers of people that were there. And I did not expect this, but his family had decided to play the interview that I had recorded with him there at the funeral for everyone to hear, and it was so moving and so powerful to suddenly have everyone in that room listening to an interview that had just been me and him, and it helped me see the ways in which the work I was doing had a greater relevance than just me and him sitting in that room.
How do you see your work fitting in with broader conversations in academia and contemporary society?
Academically, it’s pretty easy to see where I have come to be, because it has been pretty consistent. I have always been trying to negotiate this world between American Studies and Latino Studies, and I came to graduate school specifically to study Latina literature. I didn’t end up focusing on Latina literature, but disciplinarily that has been a continuous framework. Then through graduate school and a lot of other things I came to realize I was doing a lot with Art History and with Urban Studies, but those are just the disciplines, and per my previous answer, my academic engagement has always been tied to thinking about others and thinking about my community and thinking about people that make the world matter to me.
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