“Ariana Reines is a go-for-broke artist who honors her traditions by being like no one else. Some of us have made a fetish of our stupidity, pretending to forget history, and some of us have made a fetish of despair, congratulating ourselves on melancholia, but Ariana is too brilliant and too alive for either of those sad luxuries. Her poems and various performances and even her posts are fetishes in a much deeper sense: they are sites of (and screens for) irrational and transpersonal powers. I am convinced of the authenticity of the summonses she receives and the summonses she issues and when I read her I am reminded that all of this is a calling before it’s an identity or career. Her voice—which is always more than hers alone—is a dialectic between the very ancient and the bleeding edge. I just looked up “bleeding edge” on Wikipedia and here is what it says: “A technology may be considered bleeding edge where it contains a degree of risk.” There might be “a lack of consensus.” Or “a lack of testing.” There might be “industry resistance to change.” With Ariana’s art the risks are real and we should run them.”
—Ben Lerner (Bomb Magazine interview, Fall 2014)
Ariana Reines is a, mostly, Queens-based writer and multimedia artist. Her books include The Cow (Alberta Prize, 2006), Coeur de Lion(2007); Mercury (2011), A Sand Book (2017), from FENCE, and The Origin of the World (2014) from Semiotext(e). TELEPHONE, her first play (2009) was commissioned by The Foundry Theatre and received two Obie Awards; a Norwegian translation will premiere in Mollebyen, Norway in 2017. FRANCESCA, a play by Nathalie Rozanes based on writings & performances by Reines premiered at the National Theatre of Belgium in 2016. She has taught at Columbia University, the European Graduate School, NYU, Tufts, Naropa, and The New School,. In 2009 she was Roberta C. Holloway Lecturer in Poetry at the University of California-Berkeley. She will be teaching poetry at SLS Georgia 2017.
Find her poetry from “THE SADDEST YEAR OF MY LIFE” on Lenny Letters here.