Talking to Emilia Phillips @ OmniVerse

Lisa: I don’t think there is a moment that feels extraneous in Signaletics, or ‘put on’, which can be a danger in that kind of braiding. You’re also agile in terms of form. There are many different forms in this book, which seems unusual for a debut. There are prose poems, and blank verse, there’s a “Ghost Sonnet” … can you tell us a little bit about the forms?

Emilia: Sure. What’s so weird about the forms in the book is that… in one way I’m very conscious of it, and in another way I’m not. It’s not like I set out to say ‘I have to have a prose poem, I have to have this fake sonnet that is not fourteen lines but is close to 140 syllables.’ But I think I ended up picking poems that formally ran the gamut, because if I am going to write on a similar subject in a lot of poems I want the form to rework it, so that the excessive tendencies in subject matter don’t seem so overwhelming.

I think form does a lot to mediate that. It distracts us visually and distracts us sonically, so that we inhabit the subject matter in very different ways. I was trying to provide different landscapes for the reader, and the landscapes may have the same foliage but the view is changed.

Read the whole interview online.

Translating Hanni Ossott @ Atlantean Poets

“Only radical devotion could stray so far from fidelity.”

—Chris Martin on Atlantean Poets


I’ve spent the last weeks translating Hanni Ossott for Atlantean Poets and the first few are up on the site today:

Wells on Ossott 


Hanni Ossott (1946- 31 December 2002) was a poet from Venezuela. A beautiful and tragic figure born in Caracas, she received her bachelor degree in the Universidad Central de Venezuela, where she was also a professor. She was awarded the José Antonio Ramos Sucre Prize and the Lazo Martí Prize and she worked as a translator and a critic.


Thanks for reading.