VOTM: What's the most unusual experience you've ever had at a reading?
HOFER: Probably when I read at Links Hall in Chicago, alongside some formerly incarcerated men who had spent years--sometimes decades--in brutal solitary confinement at the TAMMS high-security prison in Illinois, and were using performances of their own narratives of experience with our so-called justice system as a way to raise awareness and hopefully transform these prisons into more humane spaces for education and restorative justice. Amazing intersection of activism and creative production--an enormous contribution to my own thinking (and often anxiety) about what the uses of art/poetry might be in this difficult world we inhabit.
Then again, there was the time many years ago when a fellow approached me after a reading where I was met with particularly intense blank stares due to my tendencies to think and write non-linearly, and offered the following compliment: "you enunciate really well."
JEN HOFER is a poet, translator, social justice interpreter, teacher, knitter, book-maker, public letter-writer, and urban cyclist. Her recent and forthcoming poem sequences and translations are available through various autonomous small presses including: Atelos, Counterpath Press, Dusie Books, Insert Press, Kenning Editions, Les Figues Press, Palm Press, and Subpress. Her installation titled “Uncovering: A Quilted Poem Made from Donated and Foraged Materials from Wendover, Utah” is currently on view at the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Utah. She also writes letters for people in public spaces at her escritorio público, and makes tiny books by hand at her kitchen table in Cypress Park, Los Angeles.