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Jen Hofer

Born in San Francisco in 1971, Jen Hofer is a poet and translator.

Her translations include: Style (Kenning Editions, 2016), a translation of Estilo by Dolores Dorantes; Ivory Black, a bilingual edition of Negro marfil by Myriam Moscona (Les Figues Press, 2011); sexoPUROsexoVELOZ and Septiembre, a translation from Dolores Dorantes by Dolores Dorantes (Counterpath Press and Kenning Editions, 2008); lip wolf, a translation of lobo de labio by Laura Solórzano (Action Books, 2007); and Sin puertas visibles: A Bilingual Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by Mexican Women (Ediciones Sin Nombre and University of Pittsburgh Press, 2003). Her books include a series of anti-war-manifesto poems titled one (Palm Press, 2009); The Route, a collaboration with Patrick Durgin (Atelos, 2008); and slide rule (Subpress, 2002).

Recent handmade chapbooks include: Conditions/Conditioning (NewLights Press, 2014), co-written with TC Tolbert; En las maravillas/In Wonder (Libros Antena/Antena Books, 2012); un operativo (artist's edition, 2012); Lead & Tether (Dusie Kollektiv, 2011); and Trouble (Dusie Kollektiv, 2010). Her forthcoming books include the poem cycle Laws (Dusie Books); the hand-stitched poem The Missing Link (Insert Press Parrot Series); daily news: one week (Little Red Leaves Textile Series); Ah.Me.RICH.Ah (Your Exchange Value), a translation of Amé.RICA (Tu valor de cambio) by Uruguayan poet Virginia Lucas (Litmus Press), and a bilingual edition of books 1-4 of Dolores Dorantes by Mexican writer Dolores Dorantes (Kenning Editions).

Hofer is also a teacher, book-maker, knitter, public letter-writer, and urban cyclist. Her installation titled "Uncovering: A Quilted Poem Made from Donated and Foraged Materials from Wendover, Utah" is on view at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Utah through 2013. She works nationally and locally as a social justice interpreter through Antena, a language justice collaborative.

She currently lives and works in the Cypress Park neighborhood of Los Angeles, where she moved from Mexico City in 2002, and teaches in the MFA Writing Program at California Institute of the Arts, in the BFA Writing Program at Goddard College, and in the Graduate Writing Program at Otis College.

By This Poet

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future somatics to-do list

                                                            a love letter to traci akemi kato-kiriyama
 

does a voice have to be auditory to be a voice?
 
where in the body does hearing take place?
 
which are the questions that cannot be addressed in language?
 
which are the questions where promises lodge?
 
how do we hear what is outside our earshot?
 
when does distance look like closeness, feel like velvet sunrise cheek to cheek?
 
what are the objects, ideas, or experiences we drop beneath the more evident surfaces of our lives to the air or water or ground beneath? do we drop them purposefully? are they forgotten?
 
what word makes the body?
 
what body defies the word?
 
which figures, shapes, presences, haunts, methods, media, modes, ephemera, gestures, abandonments, models, anti-models, breaths, harmonics? which soil? which fields?
 
what does beginning sound like? what body does continuing form? what note does perseverance hum?
 
is a word a body?
 
which apertures? which hinges?
 
where does a body stand without settling?
 
through which holes does history break into our day?
 
where in the past does the future excavate?
 
where in the future does the past propel?
 
what are the distinctions between proximity and simultaneity?
 
where does a body resist without refusal?
 
can borders be exceeded? can borders be disintegrated?
 
where in the body does hearing take place?
 
where in the body does loving take place?
 
how do we make family with someone we do not know?
 
what do we carry with us and where in the body do we carry it?
 
might we be permitted a we this evening?
 
may I hold your hand? to feel your hand as its actual shape, clothed in its papery useful unequivocal skin, bones stacked like tiny branches, the balancing act of a bird, joints unlocking, span from thumb to pinky octaving out toward unfamiliar harmonics?
 
what space does the body occupy despite everything?
 
what does despite sound like? what does with sound like?
 
where does at take place? where does respite take place?