What better way, we thought, to further HFR’s mission of supporting emerging writers than to let a few of them speak their minds, and then broadcast that mind-speaking online! Voila the first installment of our podcast series. Poet Gabriela Jauregui and photographer Ellen Shershow-Peña talk about everything from cutting open dead birds to eating blood sausage to what projects they have up their sleeves next.
'To me 'The Grotesque' is not just icky, it's something fascinating.'
Ellen and Gabriela explore the difference between 'The Grotesque' and 'The Gross.'
'It just so happened that I was also collecting dead birds and had been for six or eight months. '
Ellen reads the description of her work (featured in Issue 42). She then discusses the inspiration for her "Inside out Bird" artwork and the process of collecting, conceptualizing, stuffing, and positioning that she carefully carried out to create those images.
'I kind of was fascinated by that process at the same time as I was still kind of obsessed with the pigs, and all of the sudden, you know, here was this poem.'
Gabriela reads her poem, "Blood Sausage," and discusses its origin. Gabriela, Ellen, and Beth then explore the meaning of the poem. Gabriela then describes her current projects.
"Looks like you could use a tissue, Paris."
Ellen describes her current project, in which she takes iconic images of pop stars and pastes herself into them. She then discusses some experiences she had while stuffing the birds for her last project, "Inside Out Birds," that is featured in Issue 42. Afterward, Gabriela describes her research for her poem, "Blood Sausage."
Track 05. 'I feel like animals have always been sort of mirrors of ourselves.'
Ellen and Gabriela explore the parallels between 'The Grotesque' and the animal world. This discussion sparks a conversation about the images of women's bodies in Grotesque writing. The podcast ends with the two writers discussing the surprising similarities between Ellen's photographs of "Inside Out Birds" and Gabriela's poem, "Blood Sausage."
Ellen Shershow-Peña lives and works in San Francisco. She has exhibited throughout the US, including SF Camerawork and Southern Exposure in San Francisco, Gallery 312 in Chicago and the Photographic Resource Center in Boston. She is a recipient of a National Graduate Seminar Fellowship at Tisch School of the Arts in New York City and a James Raymond Fellowship. She has lecutred and served as a juror at such diverse venues as Photo Lucida and a Coca Cola youth arts grant program, and acted as a nominator for the Headlands Center for the Arts Bridge Residency and the SECE award at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Ms. Shershow-Peña has a solo show opening at 31 Rausch Street in April, 2008. To view more of Ellen's work, click here.
Gabriela Jauregui received her MFA in creative writing from the University of California, Riverside, and is a PhD candidate in comparative literature at the University of Southern California, where she is also a Soros New American Fellow. Her first poetry collection, Controlled Decay (Black Goat Press/Akasic Books), is out in June. She lives in Los Angeles and Mexico City and is working on Ball Game, her first novel, as well as a new collection of poetry, Beast Language, which includes "Blood Sausage." To view more of Gabriela's work, click here.
The music in this podcast was composed by Andrew Ralston. He is currently working on a Bachelor's degree in Composition at Oberlin College.
Thanks to John Tynan and KJZZ for lending us the space and technology to record this.