Headlands Center for the Arts

Emily Wolahan

california | writing
Affiliate Program 2017—2018
Affiliate Program 2016—2017

Artist Statement

I’m a poet interested in how expectations are challenged and reversed in art, history, and our personal lives. To the core a contrarian, I seek forms that push back against lyric and narrative expectations perceived and imagined, generous and overbearing. Most of my writing involves a rigorous practice of looking and the exploration of the ethics of looking has become central to my outlook and current projects.

While at Headlands

At Headlands, I will be working on two projects. The first is a docu-poetic account of an American soldier’s experience in France in World War I. Moving from a long prose poem based on original source material to a series of posthumous interviews, the manuscript explores the tension between a direct account and an invented one, memory and hatred of memory, and recorded and abandoned histories. My second project is a manuscript tilted Second-Epoch Landscape. This collection of poems, with a central long poem, plays with and pushes against the idea of the lyric, engaging at times in straight-forward lyric poems, while at other moments dipping into the epic. I find the setting of the Headlands directly inspiring to both projects because of the multiple, wildly different histories that have existed here, while the place also silences with its beauty.

Selected Texts

Still Lifes and Landscapes, Georgia Review, Spring 2017, Winner of the Loraine Williams Poetry Prize

Our Notes Say—, Tinderbox Journal, March 2017

When We Weary, What Art?, DIAGRAM 10.5

Personal Website