Jaclyn Hawkins on Hannah Kezema

For starters, I apologize for my delay in posting this introduction for Miss Hannah Kezema. It seemed each time I sat down to write said introduction, I somehow found myself sitting with Hannah at the creek, on our patio, at the bar a box of wine deep but definitely still engaging in intellectual, slurred discussions.

I first met Hannah during Naropa’s annual event, Women of Naropa. Apparently I told her of my first reading­­ – the nervousness, the out-of-body experience as you notice yourself reading aloud to a crowded room, the semi-blacking out of the whole thing so that when you’re back in your chair, you’re wondering what the fuck just happened. Anyway, Hannah recently told me how I had calmed her nerves prior to Women of Naropa, which I don’t exactly believe, but I do remember experiencing Hannah’s reading that night – she crumpled up each page and threw her words to the ground while reclaiming her opinions of womanhood and gender, ripping apart what we have been taught and conditioned towards. I remember thinking how much better her reading was than mine, so much fiercer and activism-y and empowering. I remember Anne Waldman in the front row, smiling and nodding during Hannah’s reading. #fierceasfuck

This past summer, I had the opportunity to work with Hannah during Naropa’s Summer Writing Program as co-Student Events Coordinators – which basically meant we had an excuse to drink copious amounts of red wine every night in the guise of creating panel discussions and student readings. We exchanged language and writing prompts. We put our feet in Boulder Creek and stacked stones and reminded each other to “be gentle with yo’self.” She worried about losing her bloodstone from CA Conrad … a lot. She wrote … a lot. I was fortunate to work with Hannah and get to know her as a writer and very dear friend. I was also fortunate to collaborate with her as a writer this summer. Below is a small sampling, forthcoming in [insert esteemed literary journal here].

Three bugs in my wine,

a forced collaboration –

pour out, and pour more.

Hannah is a writer who receives not one, but two scholarships in a school year (the Robert Creeley Scholarship and the Leslie Scalapino Scholarship). She is a writer who gets published in Bombay Gin’s 40th Issue, Semicolon, and the CORE International Journal of the Humanities that gets distributed in Paris. She is a writer who dreams with a bloodstone underneath her pillow. She is a writer unafraid to delve into her personal life and find geometry in language. She is an artist – photographer, painter, film connoisseur, singer and ukulele-player. I urge you, dear reader, not only to seek out her as a writer, but meet with her and split a bottle of red wine and get to know Hannah Kezema as an artist, a human, and a very dear friend.

Hannah Kezema is one of the features at the September 20th Bouldering Poets 8pm at Trident Booksellers and Cafe (940 Pearl St).

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