Headlands Center for the Arts

Hazel White

california | writing
Affiliate Program 2019—2020
Affiliate Program 2012—2015

Artist Statement

Eleven years ago, I performed a 1-minute monologue, I Want You to End Racism, as part of a public art project by Tony Labat at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I’m a poet, but since then I’ve sometimes wanted, in anger about racism, to write didactic essays, or, in despair, to go silent. I’ve written poetry mostly about landscape until now. This year, I’m writing what I can no longer avoid writing. It wants out of me onto the page.

While at Headlands

This year I hope to finish a book of poetry about whiteness. I’m the adoptive mother of a young black man, in close relation for 20 years with his first family. Four years ago, I pursued a formal complaint against the San Francisco Police Department after an incident involving my son. I’m white, and English; I grew up 35 miles from Bristol, once one of the U.K.’s three major slave ports. The book is about whiteness and violence.

Selected Works

Hazel White, Sonnet to Dead Reckoning, response to sculptor Nathan Lynch’s installation at YBCA, 2014

Selected Texts

Poems from Vigilance Is No Orchard, Nightboat Books, 2018 (63.23K)

Walk for Two in the Ecotone of Language, Landscape, Nonviolence, Headlands Navigation Pamphlet, Key Room, 2017 (131.60K)

Time, mini essay from Biotic Portal at Strawberry Creek, a Creative Work Fund project, 2016 (75.09K)

Lauren DiCioccio’s Familiars, catalog essay, Jack Fischer Gallery, 2014 (41.97K)

I Want You to End Racism, from Tony Labat’s public art project “I Want You . . .”, SFMOMA 2008 (553.37K)