Headlands Center for the Arts

Ari Banias

california | writing
Affiliate Program 2020—2022

Artist Statement

I’m a poet who is interested in and deeply skeptical of the lyric tradition and what it obscures, its reinscriptions of power and value, and whether and how any of that can be upended in language. Critical of this tradition, I work in and alongside it. My poems come from grief and attention and uneasy questions.

While at Headlands

I will complete edits to my second book of poems, A Symmetry. Throughout this work, I write from within psychic interiors and from the physicality of public grounds, finding charged symbolic registers embedded in the seemingly ordinary. The poems look to trouble the near-equivalencies and repeated gestures that produce myths of an ordered reality, and the reality of a violent order not uniformly visible. I also plan to continue work on an ongoing poetic erasure of Janice Raymond’s The Transsexual Empire, and on translations from the modern Greek.

Selected Texts

“Meander / Μαιανδρος,” The New Republic, 2020

“Fountain,” Poetry, 2018

“Curriculum,” PSA, 2019 Cecil Hemley Memorial Award selected by Kevin Killian

from “The Real Me,” bæst, 2020

Personal Website