Permanent Volta (Nightboat, 2021), Rosie Stockton’s astounding debut, takes on the sonnet and the sestina, subjection and subjectivity, Sappho plus Marx, then Virgil and why not Lacan. We spoke about the book via Zoom in August 2021.
This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
David Brazil: Permanent Volta doesn’t have a lot of proper nouns in it. But on the first page of the book, you mentioned Virgil. And I just kind of wanted to ask you, which Virgil? Which is maybe just another way of saying, why Virgil? What is your relationship with this name, with the tradition that the name signifies?
Rosie Stockton: I appreciate you starting with this question because it points to an original formal question of poetics for me with working on this book. To sidestep directly answering your question of “which Virgil,” I want to respond to “why Virgil,” which is to say, why invoke an ancient Roman Historian and Epic poet in the first poem of the book, “Encryption.” This, for me, gets at the heart of my question of form. A proposition I went into while writing this book was that there are forms of public and political appearance and life that correspond with forms of art and aesthetics, and these forms are inherently concerned with proliferating precarity and vulnerability or protection. Literary forms thusly correspond with the biopolitical—or necropolitical as the case may be. Forms contain what is latent in what is expressible. That is, form has a signifying function that can’t be reduced to language, whose stakes can be found in a historical material understanding of the form.
In pursuit of the social logics of epic poems (here lies the nod to Virgil) in relation to the sonnet, I found Marx’s historical materialist approach to form in “On Greek Art In Its Time” helpful: “Does not singing and reciting and the muses necessarily go out of existence with the appearance of the printer’s bar, and do not, therefore, disappear the prerequisites of epic poetry?”
My initial set of questions as I embarked on this manuscript were questions like: What are the “prerequisites” of epic poetry as a genre for producing history? What are the “prerequisites” of the epic muse? How do literary forms, as Marx is suggesting here, change throughout different phases of capitalism? When I referenced Virgil in “Encryption” I wanted to invoke this formal question and politicize the act of “invocation.”
Whether invoking Dante’s depiction of Virgil, Virgil, or the poet himself, I immersed myself in these ancient and premodern forms found in the Western Canon of poetry to see what performative action could take place in excess of content.
DB: That’s awesome. And it’s great that you mentioned Dante’s Virgil, and Virgil as a literary figure as against the different kinds of Virgil we can think about in terms of his own body of work. And we’ll talk a little bit more about those genres, including the epic, but also the pastoral. But another proper name that’s present all through the book and haunts the book in an interesting way is Jacques Lacan—including the book’s visual preoccupation with the graph of desire from his essay “The Subversion of the Subject and the Dialectic of Desire,” which is reproduced and also kind of deformed on the cover. And I read the talk you had with the designer about that, which is really cool.
So, like, what Lacan? And I may have my own suspicions about your answer to this question, but I would still love to hear what you have to say about your own engagement with Lacan—which texts of Lacan are important to you, and what his work is doing in this book.
RS: Yes! Writing through theories of the subject was a big part of my project. This brought me inevitably to Lacan. Lacan’s psychoanalysis interests me particularly in his theorization of how the symbolic orders the imaginary, and how language and desire are constitutive of subjectivity and subjecthood, and the necessity of the object in constituting the subject that involves an inherent violence. Lacanian analysis, for me in particular, has to do with taking a different relationship to desire and to the construction of identity and subjectivity.
So Lacan’s psychoanalysis was really important for me. And then the two other books I was reading alongside Lacan were Judith Butler’s The Psychic Life of Power: Theories in Subjection and Saidiya Hartman’s Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. These books came out in the same year, and Butler and Hartman were actually in a reading group together!
So all these questions were really about a kind of materialist approach to power. But also really important to me was the psychic life of power in opening this psychoanalytic interest in thinking about desire in a political and economic system organized by racialized and gendered logics—and how to comment on that while I’m really intensely moving through poetic forms like the sonnet and sestina that are about romantic love. And so as I was trying to investigate a material history of poetic forms that produce what we understand is romantic love, it was really important for me to think about discourses around desire. Lacan’s insistence that desire is a self-sustaining project of language was really important to me when writing this book—how systems, symbols, projections and fantasies undergird our constant process of self-formation, as well as the resistance or escape from how subjectivity might coalesce and of the symbolic through different forces of power and impression, and what we can imagine to interrupt those formations. There are different relationships we can take to those flows.
I’m curious what you would say, too, since you said you had some suspicions of what I might say!
DB: I think much of what you shared is what I thought the problematics would be—that Lacan is kind of the signature of—given the book’s preoccupation with romantic and sexual love and the tension, the violence, the unmaking of the subject. But what do you think the book is staging in terms of the tension between being a subject and the subjection confronted by, say, the proletariat under racialized capitalism, which sometimes appear to be total? What’s the space of oscillation there? How do you reflect on the tension between subjectivation and subjection?
RS: Going into this project, I was really interested in autonomy: what different tendencies of autonomous Marxist and revolutionary traditions theorize and live out autonomous practices. I was politicized particularly by reading exchanges and theorizing by Italian autonomous Marxists feminism and Black Marxist feminism. I looked to these political movements for theories and modes of economic and political refusal and resistance to subjection under the totalizing systems of domination of capital, gender, and racialization.
This is an important question for me and something that I worked through with Butler and Hartman together. The way that Butler describes subjection in the psychic life of power is that in the process of becoming a subject, one is hailed by a power that previously exists. One turns in response to that power, almost in this Althusserian sense, and is “pressed” into subjection. And then in order to experience agency, the subject-in-becoming finds itself in this constant turn away from this moment of subjection—always trying to find these flights from this primal scene of subordination to an originary power. And then the way that one is subjected by that originary power obviously is different depending on all of these material conditions around racialization, gender, and, like you say, the domination of the proletariat.
I think Hartman’s text is a very materialist intervention to make legible how anti-Black violence is baked into not only the politics but the metaphysics of subjection. Fred Moten’s In The Break really puts pressure on this originary power that calls into being the subject that Butler is explaining in this process of subjection. Moten turns back to this prior power being brought into subjectivity through language, through law. Paradoxically, in Moten’s account, one is only able to experience agency because one is made a subject and one is therefore always also trying to kind of escape or forget in order to believe that we are free agents.
And so Moten is really theorizing that prior power. What is that? Who is being called into being a subject? Who isn’t? How is that undergirded by a structure of anti-Blackness, metaphysically and politically? I was really interested in that moment of subject-formation and subjection that then births the subject.
From there, I think that really influenced my thinking around autonomy and form, where I want to be free of the forms that I inherit that oppress me and all of us, and are also the conditions of my emergence as even able to think that thought or experience my own agency or freedom.
So then I became very interested in staging this question in the form of the sonnet, for example, which is like the big form I was grappling with in the book. What if I imagine that the sonnet is this originary power that is setting up the conditions for me to be subjected to it, and then therefore be a subject and experience my agency, freedom, relationships and family and life reality?
And I thought, well, I’m not really interested in sonnets! I’m just going to break free and just write and use free verse and not be tied to a form. But I think reading through this question that Butler, Hartman, and Moten are all working through, I became really interested in very explicitly investigating this originary moment of subjection through this literary form.
DB: In terms of the question of the forms of the sonnet and sestina, can you say something about how the historical forms of the sonnet, anywhere on the map from Giacomo da Lentini to Bernadette Mayer, play into the poems as they arrive on the pages of your book? Specifically, I was interested in the areas that move like sestinas, that mime sestinas, that are called sestinas, but may not actually correspond to the hyper-traditional form that you’d find in handbooks of prosody?
RS: So this gets to a question of method for me—what I wanted to leave as legible traces of method and what I wanted to completely obliterate. But I would say more than three quarters of the poems in this book were written either through sonnet or sestina forms, where I really strictly adhered to the rules of the mathematical patterns. But now the way they appear on the page, you would never know, if I wasn’t thematizing the sonnet as a form through the book, or saying “this is a sestina,” you would never know.
And obviously, Bernadette Mayer’s Sonnets are so dear to my heart, and a huge influence on this book. And her poems look like sonnets—if you just glance them on the page, you could say, “oh, that’s a sonnet.” Whereas something that was really important to me in this book was that I didn’t want the poems to be recognizable as sonnets at all.
It’s almost like I wanted the volta to be what was appearing on the page. And you could argue that the volta is the line where the poem turns in the sonnet—but you could also argue that the volta is actually the blank space between the two lines. And I was really interested in writing voltas and even as using sonnets and sestinas as machines for producing the volta, and then trying to formally dismantle the sonnet and sestina as a machine. The sestina in particular, just the way the math works in that form where the six words are repeating in a very particular pattern, is very machine-like to me.
So that was a form that I wrote in. And I could show early drafts of the poems and you could scan them. Or if it was a sonnet, they would rhyme as they were supposed to, according to the structure.
DB: Petrarchan sonnets or Shakespearean sonnets?
RS: Both, actually. I became more interested when I was researching the sonnet in the Petrarchan sonnet and the Italian history of the sonnet—and also when the sonnet came from Italy to England and became the Shakespearean sonnet is really fascinating.
And thinking about Chaucer going to Italy, picking up these forms, bringing them back, why they might have changed—all that stuff was just really fascinating to me. But in my process, I was using them both alongside this research, just kind of subjecting my writing to these forms. So I was reading a bunch of contemporary sonnets—Terrance Haynes, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Bernadette Mayer—just really interested in all the different things poets for centuries have been asking of the sonnet. It’s a form that maybe every poet has to grapple with or chooses to grapple with at some point when they’re writing just because it’s so hegemonic. It’s Shakespeare, it’s what we learn in high school—and maybe why people who learn about poetry in high school hate poetry! Like you have to read these things that maybe don’t resonate with you. So it was important to me to return to these really strict forms and see how other poets had grappled with them.
DB: Was there something systematic in your deformation process? That is to say, in the movement from the traditionally precise first draft to the texts that we see in the book, or was it more intuitive?
RS: Yeah. It started intuitive, and then I began to have a conceptual framework for it, which is really indebted to spending time reading Kristin Ross’s The Emergence of Social Space: Rimbaud in the Paris Commune, and also spending time with Zong! By M. NourBese Philip, and seeing these different poetic destructions and theorizations around the poetics of the swarm, or erasure poetry in the archives of slavery, and then doing formal experiments thinking about the overlap between poetics and politics.
The way I articulate to myself now what I was doing is that I had really particular strategies for deconstructing the sonnet. One of them was thinking about the strike and what it would mean if the muse of a love poem refused to show up or refused to respond to the invocation of the author. What if my beloved refused to show up in the poem as I wrote about it? How could I perform the strike of my love object?
And then, we’re all subjects who are projected onto as love objects at different moments—so how could I also refuse to be represented? How could I organize with other people who are being projected on to, to refuse to be represented? Both aesthetically and, I think, politically, what would it mean to refuse to have politics of representation was a question I was asking and staging in the poems. That was one way I was trying to interrupt the flow of the sonnet—could it exist if there wasn’t a love object?
Thinking about the politics of the swarm from Kristin Ross, the way that she was thinking a lexical swarm, and the way that M. NourBese Philip is kind of performing that on the page. I was thinking a lot about the products of a riot and incoherence, and what would it look like to simply break the sonnet. Like, I’ve got this sonnet and I’m simply going to scatter it across the page. What could happen then? And then I would go back and tinker with the poem to see what else I could say with the openings I had made. But the original language was really produced through the sonnet form.
The third thing I would say is the concept of the permanent volta was drawing on Rosa Luxembourg and Trotsky’s notion of permanent revolution, and thinking less about one muse being on strike. But rather, what’s the surround of the sonnet? What and who are being dispossessed in the material history of the sonnet emerging in Italy? What else is going on in the thirteenth century? That’s why I was very interested in the idea that the sonnet was a peasant folk song taken by a court lawyer [Giacomo da Lentini], who made it into a courtly form.
What does it mean to think about the sonnet then as an enclosure? And what would it then mean to think about a permanent revolution, where the surround of the sonnet is always being invoked to think about revolution or change or refusal of the enclosure? And so I was doing a play on permanent revolution to think about just that constant turn, which is both a temporal constant, but then also a geographic constant term that refuses the consolidation of power.
I was thinking a little bit with destituent power as well, which is Agamben’s term for it, or abolitionist approach to revolution—really questioning what’s the role of the state in abolitionist or communist revolutionary theories. So I was reading through a lot of different radical traditions.
And then the last thing I would say in terms of how I was dismantling the forms is recasting refusal, which is like the strike or withdrawal from the form, and the last tactic, which is closer to the riot tactic.
But I was kind of couching more as care or a performance of connectedness—almost flooding the forms and thinking about excess. This is a politics of care that I think is really articulated with an abolitionist perspective on poetry and political forms. Rather than saying no or rejecting what can be taken from being present or repurposed or reanimated in the forms that I could imagine just completely refusing or withdrawing from or striking from them. Those are the four conceptual movements that I was moving through as I deconstructed the sonnets and sestinas that I was writing.
DB: Thank you for sharing that. There are two things are on my mind to ask which may or may not be connected. One is thinking about the circulation of political discourse and ideas in the book and how it’s working in a book that is a lot about intimate effect and interpersonal effect. You’ve mentioned in the “No Wages No Muses” section that there’s a thought and a remembrance of Wages For Housework in connection with Italian feminist Autonomia and then also the Luxembourg/Trotsky permanent revolution and permanent volta.
So I wonder about your thoughts and engagement with the Italian feminist tradition and how you’re thinking about that working in the circulation of the book. And a related question that came to me as you were speaking about the muse—you had a telling way of talking about where you said: my muse, my beloved. But that’s a particular idea of the muse. And if you look at Homer, the muse is a divine being that the bard is calling upon to receive the memory of the song. Homer actually says in the Iliad (I’m paraphrasing): “Were it not for you, I would never be able to tell everything, because it’s not possible for a human being to remember it.” Or if you look at Milton’s or Dante’s Christian refigurations of the invocation of the muse, you have the muse as a Holy Spirit that basically sublates the pagan muse concept and says, well, what they meant was the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, from which I’m going to get my inspiration. But there’s a specific passage that we could trace that moves from the idea of the muse as a supernatural being, whether pagan or Christian, to the person, the individual, the other subject. So I wonder if you have reflections and thoughts on that aspect of the muse tradition, because I think the precursor elements are still alive at the beginning of the tradition that you’ve been studying on that informs your work, but now is decidedly a minority position, I guess we would say, in contemporary poetry.
RS: That’s a great question. I definitely started with the Petrarchan muse of Laura: necessarily absent. He’s in his longing for Laura, who is an unrequited love. She’s objectified in the sonnets as a muse that’s a romantic object. That is how modern love is sort of birthed from the Petrarchan sonnet. In terms of other muses, influences include Muse and Drudge by Harryette Mullen and Voyage of the Sable Venus by Robin Coste Lewis—thinking about both the muse as a love object and then also who and what isn’t even represented as a muse. Who or what isn’t getting the status of love object, even if a history of feminism is criticizing the status of the love object? I’m also really interested in the labor that is going on, which is often racialized and gendered, to make that love object visible in the eyes of an author.
But then thinking about this other pre-history of the epic muse, through which the muse actually gives the song to the poet, and the poet is just the vessel for them saying what the muse has relayed or the memory that the muse has held. I was interested in totally anachronistically politicizing that relationship to divine spirit. And I think I allowed myself to be playful with imagining that.
Obviously, those types of muses, like Calliope, the muse of poetry, are really different than, say, the Helen of the Iliad. So I think I was interested in anachronistically collapsing some of those questions. Actually the first title of this book when it was a manuscript was Matter Against Calliope.
DB: Since you mentioned Calliope, I was also interested in your citation of the single poem “Calliope” by H.D. in the book’s back matter. I wondered if you might share a little bit about why that particular poem.
RS: That H.D. poem was really important to me at the beginning of this project. And there was one verse from that poem that I was really interested in. And it reads: “my song it is that aches/ to set you free;/my verse would break/this fleshly portal down.” I was really interested in H.D. speaking to the muse of epic poetry. My reading of the poem was that H.D. was seeking to set the muse free from this purgatory between her ability to show up as matter, or as a political entity, or as myth or divinity—that Calliope was caught between metaphor and material reality, and that she was producing a material labor or metaphorical labor for a history of epic poetry.
So in the H.D. poem, there’s this tension in the relationship between the author and the literal muse of poetry—H.D. is asking again and again, “What is your song to me? What is your flesh to me? How can I set you free from being in-between?” And then the poem ends and and the speaker says, “I am gone.” lmost, “I am disappearing myself from this question and from this relationship.” Which I read as a refusal of invoking the muse and of reproducing this dynamic between the author and the muse—and yet, of course, having just written the whole poem invoking the muse and unable to escape that! So I really started thinking about this question of collapsing metaphor and materiality.
DB: When I was looking at the poem I was struck by H.D.’s epigraph from Sappho. She actually quotes it in its entirety, in translation: “And you yourself Calliope.”
RS: And there’s no punctuation, right?
RS: I always was so fascinated whether that was a question: “And you yourself Calliope?” I thought about that so much while I started writing this.
DB: And because of the character of the fragment, there’s a further ambiguity, which goes back to what we were saying about divine and human muses—because Calliope could be the proper name of a woman. It could be an indication to the muse, but because it’s a feminine name in Greek, it could also be the invocation to a friend or a lover. It remains fundamentally ambiguous. Actually, it remains undecidable, philologically, which makes it fascinating and relevant to this aspect of your work as well.
RS: Yeah. One thing I’ll say is that phrase “And you yourself Calliope.” There was one phrase in the book that I ended up not printing—maybe because it was so undecidable for me, and it was a question that scared me, that I didn’t have an answer to. But the way that I translated “And you yourself Calliope” in a couple of poems was: “Do you consent to my direct address?” Which is such a paradox of a question, because you are already doing a direct address by asking the question. It just stages this crisis of consent.
DB: “Can I ask you a question?”
RS: Yeah, exactly. And I was so in crisis about that question that I ended up taking that poem out. But the echo of that question is in this book: “do you consent to this love poem being about you?” Well, it’s happening. That ethical failure of consent, or even the frameworks of thinking about consent, is obviously so indebted to Hartman.
And H.D. went to analysis with Freud. I just love her book, A Tribute to Freud.
DB: And also, her history with Pound—her very name is given by him, and she’s called H.D. because of Pound. So all of these interpellative and gendered questions are very deep.
But also to say the obvious, there’s the queerness of her love and her work. The citation of Sappho is not accidental! And these questions include not just erotic relationships with a same-sex lover, but also an eroticized relationship with a divinized muse. In some ways we’re more accustomed, I think to male divinized eroticism around, say, Jesus in the poetic tradition. But there’s a different kind of gendered divine eroticism because H.D. is really—well, she’s sort of a pagan, but she’s also there’s a lot of Christian stuff in her work. And Helen in Egypt is also sort of muse-based!
RS: Yeah, for sure.
DB: Well, I wanted to make sure to ask you also something that was really preoccupying me in reading Permanent Volta: how do you see this book fitting into traditions of feminist and especially queer pastoral that has emerged over the past twenty years or so? I’m specifically thinking about Lisa Robertson’s XEclogue, but also more recent books like Evan Kennedy’s Terra Firmament, Sophia Dahlin’s Natch, or Lauren Levin’s The Braid. (I also kept thinking about Jackie Frost’s The Antidote.) This is just a broader way to ask: what do you see as the contemporary influences, if any, on this book?
RS: I think a lot of the writers you mentioned are very indebted to the New Narrative tradition of the Bay Area, which was definitely an influence for me studying at Eastern Michigan University, where Rob Halpern and Carla Harryman teach. That’s something I was thinking a lot about as I was writing. And I also presented a paper at the Communal Presence conference at UC Berkeley, called “Queering the Pastoral.” My panel was like a younger generation of poets engaging with New Narrative. It was a prosaic reflection on the series of poems in Permanent Volta called “Material Memory,” where the process of writing was I would walk my dog to the edge of the Detroit River where I was living and he would run around every morning and I would gaze out into the horizon.
And I was engaging periodically with this pastoral tradition of projecting on to nature, but also living in this city that is historically and horrifically subject to industrial collapse and state abandonment and dispossession. And there’s a very visible and aesthetic reality to that. I’m really interested in this question of how the pastoral constitutes the author’s subjectivity.
There’s a line in “Material Memory” where I even say: “The pastoral goes on strike.” It’s the pastoral itself, both as a genre and as thinking about what it might mean to look out upon a landscape and dislocate it from any concept of land—I mean in the Indigenous sense of the way that land is used—and disassociate it from history and the genre of pastoral in producing whiteness or a white subject. I wanted to think about queering it and then about this relationship of queer poets to the pastoral—wanting to try to figure out ways to articulate an interconnectedness or a refusal of separateness from what might be considered a separate individual being even able to write about what is outside of them. And in this poem, “Material Memory,” I was thinking so much about how the environment around my body was being metabolized and processed—just like my own porousness, basically, which would be a result of drinking water every day and the city infrastructure that is poisoning that water. That’s a pastoral thought.
DB: Last question! Given that the book is so preoccupied with being topped by historical forms as you narrated—being made to be the way we are, being provoked into being the way we are as artists, as people by those forms, whether artistic forms or large economic forms—how do you feel about that relationship between gender and genre as it’s being staged in the book?
RS: Thank you for that question. It was another one of those questions where I was constantly playing on both. I think with both gender and genre and the desire to dismantle genre—whether you want to think about that as particular forms or tropes in guiding a literary expression—I think the unifying question comes down to law, and I was thinking about law or rules that dictate norms in genre, both explicitly and implicitly, or more like ideologically.
And then the same is true for gender. I think what I allowed myself to do in the poetry book, which is why poetry is such a gift in relationship to academic and theoretical work, is that I could think about the different ways to refuse, engage with, hack, disrupt, perform, and just understand how gender was informing my political perspectives—how it was informing my embodiment, romantic relationships, friendships, the forms of life I find myself in, care structures that I’m in.
And of course, it’s always important to say that gender, like genre, is a racialized structure. I think that’s why it was so important for me to understand the prehistory of the sonnet as this act of enclosure that is in line with the structure of anti-blackness and dispossession. And that the gender binary is this result of this material and racialized history of dispossession. As we find ourselves navigating a world constantly consolidating the gender binary that’s also constantly consolidating racialized formations, what can I imagine doing by myself and together with friends and comrades to disrupt the way that gender dictates my life? Genre riot is also obviously always gender riot. There’s a poem in the book, “Libidinal Nobody,” where I really explicitly am just trying to repeat the word “gender” so many times—I wrote that one as a sestina—just trying to make it as strange as possible, almost as if it’s something I can discard,
Obviously, I think one of the big points of churning through this book is that autonomy in that sense of getting rid of or like abolishing gender is only one way of looking at it. I’m interested in other ways of disrupting it through different verbs than “abolish” or “get rid of.”
I really wanted to make sure that this book could be read super-theoretically. Every word in this book, I could tell you where it came from. I’m just such a analytic person. But I also wanted the poems to be able to resonate outside of the specific theoretical histories that I was writing from.
DB: How about the toothbrushes?
RS: The toothbrushes?
DB: There’s a lot of toothbrushes, or at least a couple of toothbrushes.
RS: There’s two toothbrushes.
DB: There’s two toothbrushes.
RS: That’s actually such a funny question. What about the toothbrushes? Human requirements.
DB: There used to be a British TV show called Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush.
RS: Yeah. What about the toothbrushes? That’s a “And You Yourself Calliope”!
DB: That’s the connection to the New York School. You’ve got to throw in some absurd daily thing.
RS: And I’m also like, if you were my analyst asking me, what about the toothbrush, I’d have a really different answer.
DB: Okay! As an outro, I’m just curious to know if there are new or recent books that are working for you.
RS: I’m always loving and reading contemporary poetry and prose. One on my mind right now is Benji Krusling’s book Glaring, put out by Wendy’s Subway. I read his book, and then I took his Poetry Project workshop in the winter, and it was really influential to me. So I’ve just been spending a lot of time with Glaring recently, and definitely excited about what Benji’s working on. And then there’s a series of essays by Irene Silt called The Tricking Hour, and Tripwire collected them as a zine. And that is something I return to all the time—Irene Silt’s work on sex work, organizing, capitalism, time, autonomy, power—really important work to me.
Another more theoretical contemporary work I’m spending time with is Sensational Flesh by Amber Jamilla Musser—about race, power, and masochism. So I’m really continuing to think about psychic implications of gender, racialization and power. We didn’t talk much about this, but there’s trends in the book around masochism and the staging of power dynamics.
ROSIE STOCKTON is a poet based in Los Angeles. Their first book, Permanent Volta, is the recipient of the 2019 Sawtooth Prize, and is forthcoming from Nightboat Books in 2021. Their poems have been published by Publication Studio, VOLT, Jubilat, Apogee, Mask Magazine, and WONDER. They are currently a Ph.D. Student in Gender Studies at UCLA.
DAVID BRAZIL is a pastor, poet, and translator. His books include Holy Ghost (City Lights, 2017), antisocial patience (Roof, 2015), and The Ordinary (Compline, 2013). With Chika Okoye, he was the founding co-curator of Black Life, a series featuring art and performance from the African diaspora hosted by the Berkeley Art Museum. A Talk on Rhyme has just been published by The Last Books, and figurae is forthcoming from the same press. David lives in New Orleans.