Headlands Center for the Arts

Dean Rader

california | writing
Affiliate Program 2017—2018

Artist Statement

My most recent collection of poems, Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry, is interested in three main concepts—aesthetics, identity, and America—and the degree to which these triangulate on both the personal and national levels. I am interested in why writers, artists, musicians, dancers, and filmmakers turn to art as a way to make sense of both history and the present. Wallace Stevens, arguably America’s most influential modern poet, writes that “Poetry is a response to the daily necessity of getting the world right.” We are living in vexing times; it seems especially important—in a form other than journalism—to get the world of human emotion and experience right.

While at Headlands

I am coming into the program at Headlands in a sort of good news/bad news scenario. The bad news is that I have no real agenda for my time here. The good news is that I have no real agenda for my time here.

2017 was a particularly exciting year for me; I saw the publication of two books of poems and some essays on painters and painting. So, while I have nothing that I am actively trying to finish, I am actively trying to figure out where to begin.

One of my books, Suture, is a collection of collaborative sonnets, written with the great poet Simone Muench. I enjoyed the process of collaboration immensely, so I am hoping for some element of inspiration/collaboration with some of the excellent artists at Headlands.

Selected Works

“America I Do Not Call Your Name Without Hope,” San Francisco Chronicle (2016)

“Paul Klee’s Winter Journey at the Beginning of Summer,” Kestrel (2012)

“Relational Self-Portrait,” Kenyon Review (2014)

“Self-Portrait as Wikipedia Entry,” Zyzzyva (2012)

“Still Live with Gratitude,” Narrative Magazine (2016)

“Self-Portrait in Charleston, Orlando,” Academy of American Poets, Poem-a-Day (2016)

“Elegy as Ecstasy: Rereading Motherwell,” Los Angeles Review of Books (2017)

Reading at City Lights

Reading at Glen Poetry Center

Quiet Lightning Reading, Modern Eden Gallery

Copper Canyon Press Reading, Associated Writing Programs Conference

Personal Website

http://deanrader.com