Hannah Kezema’s hybrid debut, THIS CONVERSATION IS BEING RECORDED, is a vibrant collection of poems and erasures of painted, dirtied, and flora-filled legal documents and interview notes from her experiences as an investigator and editor in the insurance fraud industry. Blurring documentary poetics, memoir, and visual mediums, Kezema examines the corrupt nature of the U.S. healthcare system and increase in workers' compensation claims amidst a global pandemic and climate change crisis. These poems were written as a means of survival during widespread tragedy, wildfires, and late-stage capitalism.
Layers upon layers. Poet disguised as a claims investigator? Hannah Kezema’s got salient eye & ear & scent & wit for the noir-like atmosphere of danger, suspicion, query, and protocol. Stories ordinary and weird, subplots, odd details (claimant dramatically killing a wasp during an interview). Always the foibles of the human realm. This Conversation is Being Recorded is a unique collection in the doc-po realm, weighing the ways and words of the world with insider surveillance, (how to dress as a female investigator!), heart, and philosophic soul. The visuals are magnetizing, layered as well. Case opened?” —Anne Waldman, author of Bard Kinetic
“Kinda like Tarkovsky’s Stalker, Hannah Kezema is our intimate guide into ‘the field,’ a temporal and liminal space that exists outside of the jobs of California, where ‘if someone dies at their job during their lunchbreak, their family may not be compensated’ and an injury acquired on a Monday morning ‘is a capitalist’s / favorite ammunition.’ In some of the most elegant and exquisitely sparse language I’ve ever encountered, we listen in on recorded conversations, look upon scenes that may or may not have happened (or did, but maybe not like that), and are shown by Kezema what capitalism is not only capable of, but does — to bodies, to lives, to space, and to time.” —Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta, author of La Movida
“Hannah Kezema, poet-painter extraordinaire, whose day job as a field investigator and editor in the insurance fraud industry engages the provocations of her occupation as a catalyst for a grounded engagement with what it means to be a person with a claim within a socio-economic system that is dismissive of pain and suffering, itemizing, and monetizing as it does, the hardships and losses. Working across genres and mediums with a probing intensity, sensitive to complexity, this book glistens with insights pertaining to language’s involvement with equity and compensation when the playing field is fraught with systemic failures. The presentation of claimant’s claims are the beating organs of these poems. Hannah Kezema, writing with an ethics akin to Silvia Federici and other feminist theorists of labor, gender, race, and corporality, blasts through the calcified disregard formed by structural inequity to alternative ways of attention and response. This Conversation is Being Recorded is a deeply moving chronicle of our time. Riveting, dynamical, empathetic.” —Brenda Iijima, author of Bionic Communality
Poetry. Hybrid. Art. Women's Studies.
Now Read This: May 2023 @ Vagabond CityAuthor Reading and Interview @ The Last Word
Hannah Kezema is an artist who works across mediums. She is the author of the chapbook, three (2017, Tea and Tattered Pages), and her work appears in Black Sun Lit, Grimoire, New Life Quarterly, Full Stop, Spiral Orb, and other places. She was the 2018 Arteles Resident of the Enter Text program, and she is currently the co-editor of Moving Parts Press's broadside series of Latinx and Chicanx poetry, in collaboration with Felicia Rice and Angel Dominguez.