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December 2019/January 2020

Dr. Francesco Levato

Dr. Francesco Levato

  • What's your favorite book to read for fun?

    My reading tastes vary, and I don’t tend to have favorites. What I’m currently reading, and am quite into, is The Stormlight Archive, an epic fantasy series by Brandon Sanderson.
  • What's your favorite book to teach?

    Currently, I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing by Women

  • Do you have a favorite film?

    Again, don’t have favorites but I recently saw Parasite, by Bong Joon-ho and the sociopolitical commentary really resonated with me.
  • How do you spend your free time?

    Play Dungeons & Dragons

  • What's your biggest literary inspiration?

    Adrienne Rich, Murial Rukyser, Carolyn Forche, C.D. Wright, Charles Reznikoff, Mark Nowak, and Julianna Spahr, to name a very few. Adrienne Rich’s reflections on the intersection of poetry and politics have been particularly influential on my work, so much so that I tattooed the epigraph of her book “What is Found There” on my arm. The epigraph is a stanza from “Asphodel, That Greeny Flower” by William Carlos Williams, that reads “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet men die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.”

  • What's your cure for writer's block?

    Working with found language, chance operations, and textual collage.
  • What are you working on outside of class?

    My current project is a documentary poetics informed, videogame/VR art installation that examines immigrant detention at the border. It’s still a work in progress, but the game mechanics I’m considering will involve users interacting with objects that are representative of the for-profit immigrant detention process. Each object interacted with will have a set of texts associated with its role in the detention process, and each user interaction will collect these texts and compile them as a textual form of witness.