Invidual residences

ELEANOR STANFORD

From Monday, 22 November 2021 to Monday, 29 November 2021

ELEANOR STANFORD
Professor and fellowships adviser
Philadelphia, PA

Bio

Eleanor Stanford is the author of three books of poems from Carnegie Mellon University Press: The Book of Sleep (2008), Bartram's Garden (2015), and The Imaginal Marriage (2018). Her poems and essays have appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, the Harvard Review, the Kenyon Review, the Georgia Review, Subtropics, the Colorado Review, the Iowa Review, and many others. She was an NEA grant recipient in poetry in 2019. Other grants and fellowships include a Hadassah-Brandeis grant, a University of Florida research fellowship, and Fulbright research grant (2014/2016), which allowed her to spend time in Brazil researching traditional midwifery. Much of this research inspired her most recent book, The Imaginal Marriage. She was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Cape Verde Islands from 1998-2000, and speaks Spanish, French, Portuguese, and Cape Verdean Creole. She teaches academic and creative writing in the Philadelphia area, and also works as a fellowships adviser.

Project

I will be working on putting together a new collection of poems called The Fake Book, which takes its name from the collection of sheet music of jazz standards. Some of the poems have the titles of jazz standards themselves. The poems engage with and explore form and music in various ways, through both structure and content.

A Week of Poetry in Olot

I felt incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the week of 22-29 November 2021 at Faberllull Olot. I had come prepared to work on my current project, a book of poems entitled The Fake Book, a collection of poems which take their titles and inspiration from jazz standards. I was able to make significant progress on the manuscript, adding several new poems and gaining a better idea of how to organize and conceptualize the book as a whole. I also had the time to read a fair amount of poetry and prose to spark my imagination, and to do other activities that feed poetry-making--long walks, reflecting, exploring, immersing myself in a beautiful landscape, and talking with other artists.

Getting to know the other residents was also a lovely surprise. We ended up spending a fair amount of time together, going on hikes, visiting museums, and chatting and laughing at dinner. It was fascinating to get to know this diverse, international group of artists and writers, who brought an interesting mix of perspectives, interests and approaches to the group. I also particularly enjoyed the informal roundtables we arranged, in which each resident did a reading or presentation of their work. There was a real diversity of disciplines, genres, and styles that was quite inspiring and thought-provoking.

The hotel was well appointed and beautiful, a very nice, quiet place to work with incredible views and all the amenities one could ask for. The food was another highlight, delicious communal meals every morning and evening, and Emilio was a friendly and gracious server.

I was extremely grateful for the support and assistance of Pepa and Gavina with any and all needs before we arrived and while we were there, including the amazing tour of the area.
Overall, the residency at Faberllull Olot was a wonderful experience, one I will cherish for a long time, and which I am sure will continue to pay creative dividends. I will certainly recommend it to my artist and writer friends, and would love to have the opportunity to return someday!

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