Influences: Discuss.

und jetz, Bhanu Kapil

Bhanu Kapil is a special animal. Author of The Vertical Interrogation of StrangersIncubation: a space for monstershumanimal [a project for future children], and Schizophrene, Bhanu travels the world for the advocation of experimentation. Her classes at Naropa have engaged architecture, somatics, biology and memory as ways to approach or navigate contemporary narrative and poetics. She keeps a blog entitled “Was Gertrude Stein a Punjabi?”


How Bhanu Responds:

You asked about influence.  I want to say: talking with Andrea Spain about Groszian biologies.  She is a scholar working in/upon/through the anti-colonial spaces of Mississippi and the South.  For my last work, SCHIZOPHRENE, I centered the text in a wider, longitudinal conversation on migration and mental illness, through the cultural psychiatry work of Kam Bhui, Dinesh Bhugra and Peter Jones.  My teachers in an earlier time, when I first began my journeys in the U.S., were Anthony Piccione (deep image)and Laura Mullen (contemporary fragment).  Laura Mullen now something else but still that too, through her work. An influence.  To press. The page.  Melissa Buzzeo and I did a hypnosis/palmistry exchange over ten years ago: a relation that keeps opening space, every day, for a text of great “devastation,” as Melissa would say.  Bay Area comrades and air have been important.  Coastal company. The conversations that happen in the Naropa and Goddard classrooms. Texts: Cixous-Haraway-Spivak. I’m forgetting something.  Feel free to print this verbatim. A preliminary account.  I love the poems of Mei-Mei Bersenbrugge, read aloud to me in Brooklyn.  And the poems of Miyung Mi Kim, read aloud to me in Oakland. And at night, in Colorado, I enjoy discussing the night sky, zombies and Egypt with my son: a profound influence, in so many ways.

–Alice Virginia


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