Dodie Bellamy is a novelist, poet, and essayist specializeing in genre-bending work that focuses on feminism, sexuality, cultural artifacts both high and low, and all things queer. She champions the vulnerable, the fractured, the disenfranchized, the fucked-up. She believes the spiritual and the political can be found in the most unlikely places.
“I love the essay as a form for I feel it can encompass everything; it's the closest prose can get to poetry without mimicking it. This fall Semiotext(e) will publish my third collection of memoirs/essays, following Pink Steam (2004) and Academonia (2006). The new book, When the Sick Rule the World, centers on questions of health and illness, both personal and societal. Written over a span of eight years, the collection begins with an investigation of whistling as a gender practice in a racially-torn and class-divided society. The book ends in tech-colonized San Francisco, with an urban witch performing a ritual that rips up the sidewalks.
‘I have close ties to the art world and have collaborated with many artists, including Raymond Pettibon and Lutz Bacher. The exhibit I curated of Kathy Acker's clothes was staged both at New Langton Arts in San Francisco and at White Columns in New York.
‘Is there any part of our being that isn’t to some extent “cultured”? I don’t think so. We are colonized on every level.… I’m compelled to take risks in my work, to write toward taboo, both content-wise and formally. This can create a lot of anxiety. To keep going I have to shut out my awareness of an audience and throw myself into my fictive world like some outsider artist perv. Think Henry Darger salivating over his nubile cut-outs. When I do that, subject matter becomes sculptural—these bits of material that I manipulate until everything makes sense in this alternate reality. Self-criticism comes in during gaps where I lose my focus, or sometimes when I’m up in front of a room giving a reading and I’m unexpectedly mortified, and there’s nothing else to do but to continue reading with an air of confidence while thinking, How could you write such sick fucking stuff?’
(Extract from Paris Review interview with Christopher Higgs)
Dates & times
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|14 Nov 2018||5:30pm - 7:00pm|
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