EP41circlePsychogeographical Romance:
Three Interviews
curated by Leonard Schwartz
with Yolanda Castaño, Magdalena Edwards, Forrest Gander
and Jennifer Scappettone

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In Psychogeographical Romance, Leonard Schwartz speaks with four writers (Jennifer Scappettone, Yolanda Castaño, Forrest Gander and Magdalena Edwards—the latter two on the poetry of Raúl Zurita) who are doing crucial work in the interstices between physical space, Orphic space, language and the sphere of the political. From the recognition of Venice as both a deep source of modernism and a prophecy for the future, as opposed to an avatar of the past, to the argument for Galician as a language that recalibrates our sense of European poetics, to the writings of the great Chilean poet Raúl Zurita as they conjure The Disappeared into a Nearness, these poets talk a miniature world into Being, and reveal it as our own.


“You go to Google Maps and see a satellite image of this phrase written in the Atacama Desert. And it’s still there, because they say that the children that live in that small town go every day and push up the sand so the words can still be visible.”
YOLANDA CASTAÑO is a Galician poet, painter and literary critic. She has been the General Secretary of the Association of Galician-Language Writers. She has published six poetry books in Galician and Spanish (Depth of Field and The second tongue are her most recent titles), several chapbooks and a pair of compilations. She has won poetry awards including the National Critics Award, the Espiral Maior Poetry Award, the Fundación Novacaixagalicia, the Ojo Crítico (best poetry book by a young author in Spain) and the Author of the Year Galician Booksellers’ Award, apart from being shortlisted for the National Poetry Prize.
MAGDALENA EDWARDS was born in Santiago, Chile, and raised in Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Her thesis on Raúl Zurita’s Purgatorio, written while an undergraduate at Harvard, led to a stint with the “Artes & Letras” section of Chile’s leading newspaper, El Mercurio. She received a PhD in Comparative Literature from UCLA with a dissertation on Elizabeth Bishop. Her work has appeared in the Boston Review, The Paris Review Daily, Los Angeles Review of Books, Rattle, The Critical Flame, Rewire Me and The Millions.
FORREST GANDER is a writer and translator with degrees in geology and English literature. His book Core Samples from the World was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Among his many translations are the recent Fungus Skull Eye Wing: Selected Poems of Alfonso D’Aquino and, with Raúl Zurita, Pinholes in the Night: Essential Poems from Latin America. Gander’s latest title is The Trace, a novel.
JENNIFER SCAPPETTONE is a poet, translator and scholar with particular interests in the reciprocal interference of language, architecture and public space. She is the author of the poetry collection From Dame Quickly. Exit 43, a cross-genre work on toxic archaeologies and salvage, is in progress for Atelos Press, with a letterpress palimpsest (A Chorus Fosse) out soon from Compline. She edited and translated Locomotrix: Selected Poetry and Prose of Amelia Rosselli, and is curator of PennSound Italiana, an audiovisual sector of the PennSound archive, devoted to contemporary Italian experimental poetry. Her visual and sound poems have been installed in Berkeley, Brussels, Chicago, Ghent, Nagoya, New York City, Los Angeles, Rome and Turin. She has collaborated with a range of architects, dancers, musicians and designers, including most recently Marco Ariano and Walter Paradiso, Kathy Westwater and Seung Jae Lee, Paul Rudy and AGENCY architecture.
LEONARD SCHWARTZ’s most recent collection of poetry is IF. His Cine-Poems and Other: Selected Poems of Benjamin Fondane comes out with The New York Review of Books in January 2016.




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Essay Press is pleased to announce the two winners of the 2016 Essay Press Open Book Contest judged by Carla Harryman: Litany for the Long Moment by Mary-Kim Arnold and Of Sphere by Karla Kelsey, which will be published in Fall 2017.