Poetry. California Interest. LGBTQIA Studies. VIA NEGATIVA, often used to talk about the divine (a way of describing what something is by describing what it is not), is a book about the more difficult ways of talking about the ecstatic world. Half grappling with divinity and the many manifestations of gender/the self, and half an ars poetica, VIA NEGATIVA is a gorgeous holy dunking, a submersion into a rich field of lyricism and emotion that yearns to leave the reader clear-eyed and bright by interrogating the vocabulary used to speak about desire, the divine, and literature. Presented as a series of linked lyric pieces, the book spans a range of forms, including lyric fragments, single strophes, and prose poems, gracefully unified by an ongoing concern with the damage done by language, as well as its redemptive potential. With subtlety and skill, Westhale reminds the reader that sensory experience is irrevocably changed once it is relayed in language.
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July Westhale is a poet, translator, and essayist living in Oakland, CA. She is the author of VIA NEGATIVA (Kore Press, 2020), TRAILER TRASH (Kore Press, 2018) winner of the 2016 Kore Press Book Award, The Cavalcade (Finishing Line Press), Quantifiable Data (Alley Cat Books), and Occasionally Accurate Science (Nomadic Press). Her essays, poems, fiction, and translations are published in numerous journals, magazines, and anthologies. When July isn't writing, she's teaching and working as an editor for PULP Magazine, a publication devoted to sexuality and reproductive rights. She is also a community educator, working with all ages of students in all types of settings—in after school programs, community colleges, libraries, living rooms, bookstores, fields, etc. Her work focuses on dismantling the inaccessibility of creative writing and bringing it into a contemporary focus as a necessary way for marginalized communities to archive their experiences. She is currently at work translating Patagonian poet, Rolando Cárdenas (1933-1990), with the hopes that her project will bring English-speaking audiences the work of writers censored and/or disappeared as a result of the 1973 coup d'état in Santiago. July has received support and funding from the California Humanities Council, the University of Arizona Poetry Center, Alley Cat Books, Poets & Writers, Writing by Writers, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Lambda Literary Foundation.Author City: OAKLAND, CA USA