Inquiries: A Conversation About, Across, Within, and Inspired by Lyn Hejinian's The Language of Inquiry
by Kimberly Lamm, Melissa Buzzeo and Kristin Prevallet
Preface by Kimberly Lamm
I asked Kristin Prevallet and Melissa Buzzeo if they would like to discuss Lyn Hejinian’s The Language of Inquiry. I wanted to break beyond the privacy and silence that usually defines my reading practice, not only because this collection of essays addresses questions of community, but because of its intellectual density. I thought that like many of the best texts, like Gertrude Stein’s texts, the full complexity of Hejinian’s work would emerge in the shared relay of a conversation. Melissa and Kristin came to mind when I wanted to engage this formidable but deceptively straightforward text because I knew they can be both intellectually and emotionally responsive.
We met once without recording our conversation in order to see what sparked our interests. Both Kristin and Melissa share my respect for The Language of Inquiry; we all feel that it is an enactment of poetics in the best sense; it is both about poetry and poetic in its own way; it enlivens our understanding and appreciation for Hejinian’s poetry. Hejinian describes herself and language itself as restless, but what we all ending up appreciating about the book is its calm, meditative, sustained intellectual pursuit.
Predictably, different aspects of The Language of Inquiry piqued our individual curiosities. Kristin was appreciative of Hejinian’s thoughts on poetic form. Melissa was taken with the intertwining threads of spirituality and time. I was interested in Gertrude Stein’s crucial presence in Hejinian's thinking and the status of gender and feminism in The Language of Inquiry. We decided we would come to the next conversation ready with written introductions on these topics, and then the conversation could develop from those individual framings.
Questions about community evoked different and interesting responses from each of us. We had varied knowledge and understanding of the so-called “L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school” as a community of writers committed to defamiliarizing, highlighting, and subverting the discursive layers of language that commodify, and many senses determine American lives. While acknowledging that we always already live and circulate within real and imaginary communities, we articulated resistances to and suspicions of community: we have seen, in a variety of personal and professional circumstances, the hypocrisies of self-proclaimed communities. We also talked about risks and exposures, and situations in which voices are often and predictably usurped, silenced. These responses led us to questions and concerns about power and gender and the predictable exclusions along those lines.
Kimberly: When I was thinking about how to approach Hejinian’s work through the words feminism and gender, I thought about Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and the distinction she makes between Charlotte Brontë’s and Jane Austen’s work. Brontë’s work reveals the cracks and seams of rage; Austen’s work is polished and detached. Remarking on an “awkward break” in Jane Eyre, Woolf writes:
One might say...laying the book down beside Pride and Prejudice, that the woman who wrote those pages had more genius in her than Jane Austen; but if one reads them over and marks that jerk in them, that indignation, one sees that she will never get her genius expressed whole and entire. Her books will be deformed and twisted. (69)
And of Austen’s work, Woolf states, “Here was a woman about the year 1800 writing without hate, without bitterness, without fear, without protest, without preaching”(68). I think Hejinian’s work could be described well through this sentence; questions of gender and feminism are present in her work, but there is not much struggle or anger, and it is obvious, but worth saying, that Hejinian doesn’t foreground feminism and gender as explicitly as many other writers of her generation do.
I don’t like discussing what a writer doesn’t do, especially when the work is as rich and rewarding as Hejinian’s, but gender and feminism are not pursued as much as I would have expected. And yet, Hejinian does construct a genealogy of the L=A=N= G=U=A=G=E school poets with terms such as “utopia,” as well as the banners and components of 60’s political movements. In the essay “Barbarism,” Hejinian states, “The language movement originated as an utopian undertaking”(321). Also, in that same essay, Hejinian articulates an outline of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school’s basic tenets, one of which is that “racism, sexism, and classism are repulsive”(323). On the basis of the commitment explicit in these statements, I do feel somewhat justified bringing up the questions of feminism and gender, at least in the spirit of inquiry.
At the same time, The Language of Inquiry made me reflect upon what may be my essentialist understanding of women’s writing. What was I expecting from this text that I didn’t find? Do I assume that innovative writing by women will or has to deal with feminism, gender, and power? Perhaps it is better not to use feminism and gender as large and dull critical knives when approaching Hejinian’s work, but to think about it within particular ideas and practices. Her writing about knowledge might be one particularly rich place to see how her ideas of gender and feminism are played out. What do you think?
Melissa: One place I thought she did address gender and feminism very interestingly is when she talks about the distinction between “identity” and “entity.” In the essay “Common Sense,” when defining the distinction between identity and entity, Hejinian writes,
This dichotomy entails a conflict between identity (one’s selfsameness, the consistency of what is perceived of one now with what is remembered of one from the past and expected of one in the future – that is, the way one is seen as a basis for being recognizable—and, perhaps, judged) and entity (a lively, enduring, past and futureless present, creative force of mind—neither woman nor slave, unclaimable and free).(368)
Hejinian talks about Gertrude Stein’s ability to speak from a position of entity because entity was somehow located for her in the household and she sees that as a historically feminine sphere. Another place that I saw her addressing gender was in the unique motion of her form. It is a movement that I find to be almost identical to the political one of 20th century feminist writers. Just as Susan Howe went back and empowered Emily Dickinson’s words by letting them reverberate and multiply in meaning, free of obscurity in twentieth century air, so does Hejinian revisit her smaller earlier breaths—“A pause, a rose, something on paper”—by attaching them to the breath-confidence and multiplicity of meaning that comes from time. In My Life, one line gives birth to a dream-like and self-reflexive meditation. Her speech is no longer small. She has become part of her own tradition.
Kimberly: My sense from that piece is that there is a freedom from the restraining definitions of gender in the domestic sphere. Perhaps we should go there; it is an interesting understanding of Stein, and one that might contribute to recent work such as Janet Lyon’s work on the salon in modernism. On page 367, Hejinian writes:
But for Gertrude Stein, it was in the household sphere, in the domicile, that freedom was possible, not so much because the domestic was a feminine domain (the household being historically the only realm in which women could engage in seeing rather than being seen), but because (and here Stein turns the Greek topology inside out) it was a world, as she puts it, not of human nature but of the human mind.
Melissa: Right. She isn’t saying the domestic sphere is distinctly feminine, but it is still a space for women to be feminine whether Stein chose to claim it as that or not. Her mind could be a human mind in a household sphere; if she moved outside of her particular living situation, she would be viewed as a woman, not as a thinker, someone incredibly capable of talking about masterpieces and genius. In her household she did not have to engage with a narrative she didn’t create, which is part of Hejinian’s idea of happiness, “atelic goal-free, aimless” and is a happiness that is opposed to the plots and conditions of unhappiness.(371) I think you can definitely see these ideas in terms of a feminist practice.
Kimberly: You can, and it is vital for writers to claim that sort of freedom, but given that Stein was not only talking about genius and masterpieces, but wanted her work to be recognized within those worldly categories, the domestic sphere cannot (and did not) remain the world in which women have the freedom to claim the will of their minds.
Kristin: Elsewhere in The Language of Inquiry, Hejinian implies that her problem with equating writing that is fragmented, illogical, and without closure as “feminine” is that it
suggests some external realm where desire exists independently of language. To Hejinian, Hélène Cixous’s notion of the “feminine textual body” is too limited, because, as she writes: “The desire that is stirred by language is located most interestingly within language itself”(54-56).
Kimberly: I think the way she expands the idea of desire away from the confines of sexuality and the sexualized body is really interesting.
Kristin: So maybe the mind’s inquiry into language results in a genderless text. For that to be true, there needs to be a social context in which a woman can be respected as a thinker. I think the household was that sort of context for Stein, and this is what I think Hejinian has been finding in her community.
Melissa: How do you think Hejinian finds that perception—that she is a mind first and foremost—in the community?
Kristin: Well, certainly she feels that the company of writers with whom she is acquainted always respect and support her ideas.
Kimberly: I think it is important to have “entity” as an ideal, even a utopian ideal. At the same time, “Common Sense,” as well as the other essays on Stein, don’t acknowledge how much Stein struggled to have that intellectual space as her own. Often in very comical ways, Stein writes about how her brother Leo continually dismissed her work. So one aspect of Stein’s history is an act of freeing herself from perniciously gendered influences before her mind could possess its own freedom. That doesn’t mean that Leo or patriarchy or anyone else could limit her ability to think freely as a mind, but it took some actual circumstances to make that freedom of mind possible.
Melissa: I want to talk about her definition of identity: it is the social relationship; it is the “I am I because my little dog knows me.” So, can you engage in some kind of social environment and still lose identity? And is that the only way to gain entity and get rid of gender, or be viewed as a mind? Your identity, as Hejinian describes it, is the correspondence between your past, present, and future. All these aspects of you that people recognize as you because they have seen them before, but also because they are mimicked and reinforced in society, in the social sphere.
Kimberly: So, are you asking how much entity is dependent upon identity? Or vice versa?
Melissa: Kristin suggested that the entity Stein found in her household sphere, Hejinian found in the community of L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. So how can a woman writer such as Stein or Hejinian be in a social space and still lose identity, therefore gaining access to entity?
Kristin: It is not about losing identity, but about resisting the idea that identity is the only thing that defines you as a writer or a person in the social sphere. Also, haven’t we established that when we talk about entity, we are talking about an ideal realm, at least in terms of gender?
Melissa: Aren’t you implicitly speaking narratively about Hejinian’s past?
Kristin: Probably. I see the whole book as a story-through-philosophy about how this woman came into her own as a writer, intellectual, and collaborator. In the recounting of how Hejinian arrived at this life of the mind, I thought of other women writers who have arrived there as well. There’s Anne Waldman who embodies IOVIS, the male energy source of Jove, who gives her the freedom to engage with a literary lineage that extends from Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams to Charles Olson. Interestingly, it is a transformation of and negotiation with the feminine, and a rejection of gender defined by sexuality that links the work of these two women. Of course their poetics are quite different, but I actually think Waldman and Hejinian deal with gender and the mind in similar ways. Both these women are models for me.
Melissa: What I am saying is that when Hejinian talks about identity, she talks about it as a correspondence between all the steps of your life, and the million ways you can make those correspondences. If the social sphere is so much about identity, and entity and identity are opposed, how can you exist even more as an entity?
Kristin: Entity and identity are not opposed; they are in conflict. It is not that she doesn’t believe that identity is in part determined by the social sphere, but rather that she perceives that the social sphere as contingent upon power structures and structures of language. The part of the book that cleared this up for me was when she was talking about teaching. She writes about forcing her students away from the personal and into the more social aspects of language (189).
Melissa: So you don’t think she believes that identity is rooted in the social sphere?
Kristin: She might believe it, but as an artist, thinker, and teacher that isn’t what interests her.
Melissa: What about her statement: “Identity was what The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas was about; entity is the substance of Stanzas in Meditation”(368). For Hejinian, writing about both Stein and herself, identity is about dialogue and distance from the self, her voice situated in someone else’s throat. She defines identity as “one’s selfsameness, the consistency of what is perceived of one now with what is remembered of one from the past and expected of one from the future—that is, the way one is seen as a basis for being recognizable—and, perhaps, judged”(368). I think that for Hejinian, identity is very much fixed to the power structures and the structures of language built into the social sphere.
Kimberly: Because of her notions of language and consciousness, you can think of gender as one point on a continuum, a point that you can perceive and understand as influential, but can move out of or away from, at least imaginatively. Hejinian’s use and understanding of entity seems quite Kantian: an a priori mind, an idea of mind that has to exist before you can conceive of something like identity. And perhaps responding to the pressure of identity politics on poetry in recent years, she wants to reassert the importance of that intellectual capacity.
Kristin: Okay, but I find that tricky since I am interested in the questions that surround the idea of the public intellectual. Where and when can questions of intellect and move into questions of being a citizen in the world, where issues of identity permeate the social sphere? And yes, in language, I can disrupt ideas about the social sphere, but the fact remains, the people who are reading this work share similar assumptions and identities.
Melissa: I don’t think writers need to address social struggles at every moment, or that anyone’s gendered experience is exactly like anyone else’s, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be negative. But to write about your experiences, and to write, like Gertrude Stein says, in your own handwriting, you have to put some an awareness of that struggle into your writing. The women’s writing I really like does that, but not didactically.
Kristin: And Hejinian’s writing does enact a gender that is in conflict, that is, in flux; her writing does negotiate that space, and particularly the way language and structure are played out on the page. This brings us to what interests me about The Language of Inquiry: Hejinian’s discussion of form and structure. It is when the poet discards notions of “speaking for” the world and of participating in the creation of truth-texts, that his/her language becomes open to being restructured. And the way Hejinian talks about this is really useful. She writes, “Form is not a fixture, but an activity”(47). I completely agree with that statement, because after you’ve decided that language cannot represent a unified identity, nor can it represent any notions of beauty or idealism, or an individual’s singular experience of the world, then the poet becomes a participant in the movement between self, world, and mind. My favorite thing about this is that once the writer is open to tearing through the house (putting the couch in the kitchen and the bed out on the porch), there is no longer any such thing as writer’s block. No longer is the writer worried about a unified source of inspiration; you’re just worried about finding forms in all the material that you’ve generated. What I respect most about Hejinian’s work is that her poetry uses language in such a way that it is in and of itself the form. Ok, you gals now can help me clarify these ideas.
Kimberly: In contrast to the dismantling of imagistic poetry, or, more precisely, the immediacy of perceptual exchange implied in imagistic poetry, I think Hejinian’s texts do invite readers to bring images that her texts suggest, but do not refer to explicitly, to their readings. And in that way, there is a kind of openness that involves the reader, openness quite different than many modernist texts. How do you connect these ideas to your thoughts (and Hejinian’s thoughts) about form?
Kristin: What I think is interesting about her discussion of form is exactly that kind of involvement with the mind of the reader. In terms of my own poetics, I think there is a negotiation that needs to be made between ideas of structure and ideas of content. When a writer removes poetry from the purpose of creating a unified truth, then you are restructuring language at some level, and that moment, as a writer, form and structure are crucial. And the way Hejinian talks about this is really amazing. Her work deploys and theorizes about language in such a way that it cannot be easily appropriated or consumed, but still partially relies on the perceptions of the reader.
Kimberly: I think Hejinian does think that language and forms do become fixed and therefore easily disseminated and exchanged, but the writer can always be involved in the activity of destabilization.
Kristin: Yes, and the reader is involved in that destabilization as well. Although that implies that the reader is rather educated.
Melissa: So, I am curious Kristin, what kind of forms are you are working in now?
Kristin: Right now, I am on a quest for forms. I collect newspaper articles and fragments of text from official documents, and am always looking for new ways to make the language of those sources intersect with poetic forms. I’ve found that there are ideas and exercises in both investigative poetics and inquiry-based poetics that are helpful to me in this process. Speaking historically, you have investigative poetics that is represented by Charles Olson, Ed Sanders, and Ed Dorn, and Anne Waldman. And then you have the poetics of inquiry, and The Language of Inquiry, which represents part of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school poetics. Actually, Kim and I were talking yesterday and we came up with a good distinction between investigative poetics and the poetics of inquiry. Could you repeat that?
Kimberly: Well, I would think investigative poetics seeks to find its discovery in the object and in the objective, and inquiry is far more speculative; I think of investigation in terms of the detective and inquiry in terms of the philosopher.
Kristin: That’s great. I am interested in the hybrid of those two forms. Collage might be an example of this, but I am not really interested in collaging language from different sources and then claiming them as my own. I like revealing the sources because doing so dismantles the idea that there is a transparent, ideal poem. The text becomes a collection of written material that you can see into, and perhaps use for information.
Melissa: So do you see form as some sort of container that can hold material?
Kristin: That is the question. Is the form a container for the text? No. And this is where I get a lot from Hejinian and her ideas about form as an activity. She takes the material and articulates it, but “without depriving it of its capacious vitality”(47). So form makes the material vibrant.
Melissa: Which forms do you think make materials vibrant?
Kristin: I think you can find vibrancy in a variety of poetic forms. I steal forms from other poets. I am really talking about shape on the page. I made a “webpoem” after reading The Language of Inquiry and thinking about our discussions. It’s called “Emergency Language Procedures”; it is based on an emergency card taken from an airplane (http://users.erols.com/prev/Upload/planeintro.html). That’s where Hejinian’s example is so helpful: form is a continual dynamic and allows the writer to investigate the way that language can find form, and take shape.
Melissa: Do you see form and content matching?
Kristin: I like to think that everything matches up, but I don’t know how to identify it anymore. There is so much content generated by America—most of it useless—and so much form—most of it “designed.” So I guess given the time we are living in, no, I don’t think there is a match. I guess that is one of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E school’s important contributions: they dismantled the idea that form is to content as wine is to the glass.
Melissa: I think you are right; the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets don’t believe there is a total match. Hejinian writes, “When failing to attempt to match the world, you discover structure, the distinction, integrity and separateness of things”(56).
Kimberly: I find it is interesting that you have taken T.S. Eliot’s idea that “Immature poets borrow; mature poets steal,” but you have also rejected Eliot’s and Pound’s attention to the enactment of content within form.
Kristin: Whoa! Excellent. Take what you can; leave out what you will.
Kimberly: Time is a significant form for Hejinian; it restrains and liberates, sometimes simultaneously. Melissa, do you want to begin the discussion of Hejinian’s thoughts on time?
Melissa: In her preface to the 1998 edition of Gertrude Stein’s Three Lives, Hejinian writes that author had, in the conception of this work, “discovered something fundamental about the way time exists at the interior of a human life; it is within living that time has its sources”(277). Hejinian’s own work can be viewed through the dazzling prism of this discovery. From her early piece Writing Is an Aid to Memory, to her scholarship on Stein, Hejinian’s deep interest and work with time—envisioned both as concept and material—has been a pervasive theme.
She writes, “one longs to diminish the inevitable loss of oneself and one’s experience that time and morality bring about”(73). Instead of burying this loss or diminishing this longing, by creating out of it a fixed dichotomy (for instance between life and death or presence and absence), Hejinian answers it, calls to it. Out of the fear, the gaps, and the odd startling endpoints inherent in the construction of time, Hejinian constructs many fluid dichotomies and then proceeds to twine them, structurally and conceptually, around the other elements at play in her work. She does this not as an attempt to capture time, but as a way to coexist with it within its own fluidity—as a way to be as polymorphic as it is, as language is.
In the act of writing she seeks to reposition the center of time, to subvert its locus of stability and power. She wants to move, rather than be moved, and the lines that she wants to move are the perimeters of the human mind itself, bordered and muffled by a present that “seems always to be in the way”(357). Within this present, this source of identity and overwhelming power “lie events we might wish to recover or redo as between us and the future, in which our desires might be satisfied, our ambitions fulfilled or our visions realized, the present, though vexatiously elusive and seemingly momentary and minute, remains inescapably in place”(357-358). Hejinian is able to displace this landscape of constraints with her own site of swollen possibility. We see this process at work most specifically in her essay entitled “Language and Paradise.” Here, as in My Life, she revisits previously conceived poetic lines by expanding them and critiquing them, even as she lets them lie whole. Although she had earlier drawn her lips and stopped her phrase, she is able, through writing, to encapsulate a more fluid sense of time; to elongate that finished breath, to sweep in the gaps that had been left out and to re-utter more evenly now her earlier glimpses of the present-future.
The hesitant harnessing of time also allows Hejinian the chance to overstep her own constructed borders. Just as time “challenges the span of the self “(67), time frees the self, allowing the poet (as well as the reader drawn into the writing process), an entrance into a sort of circular dissociation. Hejinian is both reader and writer. She is both present and lost, even to what she is and once was. For her, “what stays in the gaps remains crucial and informative. Part of the reading occurs as the recovery of that information (looking behind) and the discovery of newly structured ideas (stepping forward)”(46).
In the fluidity of movement, in the lying in time, there exists no endpoint, no beginning and no stable fixed well of a voice. Nothing, not even a life, is closed.
We read this fluidity most beautifully perhaps in My Life. For instance, the opening line “A pause, a rose, something on paper” absorbs and is imprinted upon the continual revisitations of that line; it becomes drawn out in “A moment yellow.”
Kimberly: What you’ve so beautifully articulated connects to what I have been thinking about in terms of Hejinian and Stein. Stein defines genius as talking and listening simultaneously. In her lecture “Portraits and Repetition,” she states, “One may really indeed say that that is the essence of genius, of being most intensely alive, that is being the one who is at the same time talking and listening”(290). So, there is conscious attention in Hejinian’s work, (and I don’t think I can talk about this as well as you have in terms of time, but I can talk about it in terms of meaning) of putting a word down, marking the page, and being very conscious of the way that word nails down and limits possibilities, but then also acknowledging the infinite possibility within that choice at the same time. She “talks” from the word and “listens” to its possible reverberations as well. So, time hinges on the word in a way. Once you put the word on the page, imaginative time expands from that word.
Melissa: I think this is also bound up with her ideas about entity. The present is considered both the essence and the shape of entity. Here creativity is boundless and unfettered. For Hejinian this quality of “presentness” is synonymous with what she calls the “creative force of mind,” a force that is “neither woman nor slave, unclaimable and free”(369). To live in the present is to place oneself on a powerful springboard. In the present, one is able to enact the intellectual process that you are talking about.
Kimberly: Perhaps living in the writer’s present also allows one to acknowledge and subvert the strictures of gender. So, not that these ideas need to map neatly on to each other, but would you say talking belongs to identity and listening belongs to entity?
Kristin: That gets us to a defining moment in L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poetry when common speech and language are separated—Bob Grenier’s proclamation, “I HATE SPEECH.”
Kimberly: Is that idea at work in The Language of Inquiry? I think the work goes back and forth between composed, written writing and the spontaneity of speech. Happily is partially a dialogue, or gestures toward dialogue, and loves the contingency of speech.
Melissa: Back to your question. I think she addresses this when she talks about Stein’s distinction between her famous aphorism “I am I because my little dog knows me” and her later expansion of that sentence “I am I because my little dog knows me but, creatively speaking the little dog knowing that you are you and your recognizing that he knows, that is what destroys creation”( 369). So from her position of entity, Stein is critiquing identity and also the dialogues—even the abstracted ones—that are inseparable from it. Located within her boundless, unmapped present, she is listening to herself and also to the distinct separate echoes of other people. I think that, to her, listening and entity are the spaces of knowledge that endow one with the capacity to critique and to see the self in the world.
Kristin: Do you want to say something about your investigation into the spiritual in Hejinian’s work?
Melissa: Sure. If there is a sense of the spiritual in Hejinian’s work, it is a muffled sense, a quiet composition of shadows bound tightly to the earth. Nearly definable in shape and stance precisely because they mirror the shapes and stances embedded in the structures of language, these shadows stand together as a landscape: enterable, obtainable, and desolate. The poet enters through the portal or film (she talks about language as a film) of landscape to paradise, but only to return, and to have the desire to return to the site of its own impulse or making. The poet comes back to the impulse that made and shaped paradise. This is a really great part of that essay: “...the poet seeks to go beyond the poem, to cross the very limit of language, and thus reach an unmediated, beatific experience of Paradise—one which, however, were it indeed to be such an unmediated experience would be unspeakable; Paradise can only be experienced in silence”(66). There is so much mirroring in her work—a sense of doubleness. That is why I think she is really interesting. Her twining of dichotomies is so interesting and so complex.
Kristin: What exists even more fundamentally is a very simple equation. She is trying to trace assumed forms and is attempting to show how those forms can be disrupted through language. That is why she is interested in confession, because it is a strange form. The confessor is trying to exist out of time and is therefore an interesting disruption of narrative.
Melissa: I think that is definitely true.
Kimberly: But isn’t part of what Melissa is trying to get at in Hejinian’s work is this idea that the writing develops its own structure of time, and the writer becomes suspended in that structure? Accountability becomes involved in that suspension because within that time the writer re-sees or revisits the choices she made in language. So Stein’s idea that there is no such thing as repetition, there is only insistence, becomes crucial. And this gets back what Melissa was saying in the opening comments. Hejinian is never addressing a particular reader or listener; she imagines that the reader responds to the text as she responds to her own writing, which isn't a model of poetic “communication,” and very important in the field of contemporary poetry for that reason.
Hejinian, Lyn. The Language of Inquiry. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.
-----, My Life. Los Angeles: Sun and Moon Press, 1987.
Stein, Gertrude. “Portraits and Repetition.” Writings 1932-1946. New York: Library of America, 1998. 287-312.
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1981.
A recent graduate of Cornell University, Melissa Buzzeo is a poet and teaches English at Pratt Institute.
Kimberly Lamm is a Ph.D. candidate in English at the University of Washington. She currently teaches English at Pratt Institute and Women’s Studies at Long Island University.
Kristin Prevallet is a poet and writer living in Brooklyn whose essays and poetic texts have recently appeared in Jacket, Poets and Writers, Skanky Possum, and Bombay Gin. She is a writer-in-residence at Teachers and Writers, and she also teaches at Pratt Institute.