Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014 Eleni Stecopoulos

On July 27th, we played our interview with Eleni Stecopolous. She sat down with us in April to record an interview focusing on her book Armies of Compassion, (Palm Press 2010). Eleni starts the interview explaining the book's title, which was drawn from the language used in 'compassionate conservatism' and faith-based politics as a way to justify war; the poetry within is an attempt to treat this language. The contradictory element of 'armies of compassion' is foregrounded in our conversation. The writing is informed by 9/11 and post-9/11 politics. The poetry is grappling with expressing and healing the body; Eleni considers how "the culture and labor warp us." Towards the middle of the interview,  we examined how philosophy informs Eleni's writing. After the top of the hour, we discussed the Western idea of somatization, that the body and mind are separated, and that the ways in which the body expresses the self is pathologized, rather than accepting that "the mind exists throughout the body." Eleni investigates the "intelligence of the body." From this interest, she curated "The Poetics of Healing" (see info below), with the Poetry Center. Some of her poems include writing by Artaud, who incorporated neologism, music and esoteric knowledge. We close the interview with Eleni's investigation of "domestic bodies."

Click here to listen

Eleni curated a series with the Poetry Center called "The Poetics of Healing," which brought together writers, artists, health practitioners, scholars, and activists to explore how healing is imagined and practiced, from the subtle body to the body politic. You can find out more at

Eleni's book Visceral Poetics will come out later this year.

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