Headlands Center for the Arts

Caryl Pagel

ohio | writing
Artist in Residence Program 2017

Artist Statement

I am a poet and an essayist interested in performing a sprawling, highly associative consideration of the ways in which the observed material world can recall us to larger philosophical and aesthetic connections. I write via gathering; collecting information, anecdote, description, and critique of contemporary art, experience, landscape, and relevant textual material.

While at Headlands

While at Headlands I’ll work on a collection of essays entitled The Reality of the Unseen, an exploration of contemporary and outsider art, travel narratives, feminism, regional vacancies, rumors, Midwestern politics, and twice told tales. The essays span both centuries and continents and might be described as formally associative, taking the spiral as their structural inspiration; they investigate the unknown and unknowable, touching on such disparate people and mysteries as Spiral Jetty, Vivian Maier’s street photography, hallucinations, kidnappings, the Society for Psychical Research, Inger Christensen, faking one’s own death, and the Blue Grotto.

Selected Texts

“Alphabet,” Entropy, 2016.

“Out of Nowhere Into Nothing,” Wave Composition, 2015.

“Paul Revere’s,” Essay Press Chapbook, 2015.

Twice Told, H_NG M_N Books, 2014.

Experiments I Should Like Tried At My Own Death, Factory Hollow Press, 2012.