The Quick and the Dead: Alejandra Pizarnik Edition
The Quick and the Dead is a yearlong, multi-phase project that highlights the life, work, and legacy of a deceased writer by bridging their work to that of contemporary practitioners. In its second year, the program focuses on Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik (1936–1972), situating her work within the broader context of contemporary Latin American literature and translation. Over the course of six months, Wendy’s Subway will offer a variety of public programs including a reading group focused the writing of Pizarnik and her contemporaries, and a series of workshops on literary translation. The Quick and the Dead seeks to mobilize the creative and pedagogical potential of focused engagement with a single author through sustained reflection across a variety of public events and opportunities for cross-disciplinary encounters.
Reading & Discussion Group
“I Speak the Way I Speak Inside: Alejandra Pizarnik and The Translated Self”
Facilitated by Alexis Almeida
Sundays, February 9 - March 8 from 5-7pm
Capacity: 15 participants
Books are available for loan upon request (a $15/book deposit is required).
Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Preference will be given to participants who can attend all sessions.
In this reading group, we’ll look at the work of Alejandra Pizarnik, from her earliest poems, to her visual work, to the literary criticism and diaries she wrote throughout her life. We’ll consider her work within certain movements she was associated with—like surrealism and confessionalism—but will more importantly look at the way her particular usage of the yo poético/lyric I, and her interest in its “unmaking” complicates singular readings and can lead to questions about the translated self. We’ll read excerpts of Diana’s Tree, The Last Innocence, Extracting the Stone of Madness, The Most Foreign Country, and A Tradition of Rupture alongside work by Julie Carr, Dionne Brand, Julia Kristeva, Marosa de Giorgio, César Aira, Julio Cortázar, Susan Sontag, and others, and we’ll often respond with generative writing.
Reading list by date:
The Most Foreign Country, Essays & excerpts by César Aira, Julio Cortázar, and Alicia Genovese
February 16th—Subjectivity/Confession/yo poético
Diaries/Extracting the Stone, Essays & excerpts by Julia Kristeva, Julie Carr, Dionne Brand
February 23rd— Silence/Authorship
Diana’s Tree/A Tradition of Rupture, Essays & excerpts by Anne Carson and Dionne Brand
Extracting the Stone, The Last Innocence, Essays & excerpts by Marosa di Giorgio and Susan Sontag
March 8th—The Translated Self
A Tradition of Rupture and various translations of Pizarnik
Alexis Almeida grew up in Chicago. She is the author of I Have Never Been Able to Sing (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2018), and most recently the translator of Dalia Rosetti's Dreams and Nightmares (Les Figues, 2018), and Marina Yuszczuk's Single Mother (Spork, 2020). She teaches at the Language and Thinking Program at Bard College, and at the Bard microcollege at the Brooklyn Public Library. She lives in Brooklyn and edits Folder Magazine and 18 Owls Press.
“I Speak the Way I Speak Inside: Alejandra Pizarnik and the Translated Self” is sponsored by Humanities New York, a private, non-profit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, receiving federal, state, city, and private funding. It provides leadership and support across the state’s intellectual and cultural sectors through grants, programs, networking, and advocacy, in order to encourage critical thinking and cultural understanding in the public arena.