Award: Research & Development Grant

Discipline: Literary Arts

Project Collaborator(s):  

City/Town: Tucson

Year: 2019

Artist Website:

A longstanding preoccupation of my poetry is the individual person caught in the crucible of historical, social, and cultural forces, occurring in the present but often activated by the past and perpetuating it, and how the word as logos confronts that history.

Excerpt from Rebecca Seiferle’s R&D Grant application

Literary Artist Rebecca Seiferle’s grant supports the creation of a new manuscript. Combining prose poems, prose passages, and lyric poems, Meditations explores the intersection of public and private realms. 

Seiferle’s proposal draws upon contemporary experimental practices of hybrid forms and the structure of the modern sequence, an essentially lyrical structure that, simultaneously, allows for inclusions of non-lyrical passages. Her conception of this sequence is further informed by the haibun, a Japanese form. Often cast as a kind of pilgrimage and employing both prose and poetry haibun combines the narrative of a journey that is both internal and external with a lyric response to a moment, embodied in nature and illuminated by insight.

Beyond allowing the author to work primarily and intensively on this new manuscript, the grant will allow Seiferle to offer a number of free workshops, helping participants explore complex subjects that intersect with their own experiences within a hybrid lyric form.

Rebecca Seiferle was awarded a Lannan Literary Fellowship for poetry in 2004. Her most recent collection Wild Tongue (Copper Canyon Press, 2007) won the 2008 Grub Street National Poetry Prize. Previously, Bitters (Copper Canyon, 2001) won the Western States Book Award and a Pushcart prize. She has published two book length translations of César Vallejo: Trilce (Sheep Meadow Press, 1992) and The Black Heralds (Copper Canyon, 2003). Her translations are included in The Whole Island: Six Decades of Cuban Poetry (University of California Press, 2009) and Reversible Monuments: Contemporary Mexican Poetry (Copper Canyon, 2001). In 2004 she was awarded the Lannan Literary Fellowship for poetry. She was Tucson Poet Laureate from 2012-16. She was Jacob Ziskind poet-in-residence at Brandeis University and a visiting writer at Vanderbilt University and Hamilton College, She has taught workshops at the University of Arizona Poetry Center, the Fine Arts Center in Provincetown, Summer Literary Seminars in Vilnius, Lithuania, StAnza International Poetry Festival in St. Andrews, Scotland, Key West Literary Seminar, Port Townsend Writer’s Conference, and Gemini Ink, among others. She currently teaches in 24PearlStreet online workshops and lives in Tucson where she was Tucson Poet Laureate from 2012-16.

Author photo by Margaree Little