Francesco Levato

from Arsenal/Sin Documentos




Francesco Levato is a poet, a literary translator, and a new media artist. Recent books include Endless, Beautiful, Exact; Elegy for Dead Languages; War Rug, a book length documentary poem; Creaturing (as translator); and the chapbooks A Continuum of Force and jettison/collapse. He has collaborated and performed with various composers, including Philip Glass, and his cinépoetry has been exhibited in galleries and featured at film festivals in Berlin, Chicago, New York, and elsewhere. He founded the Chicago School of Poetics, holds an MFA in Poetry and a PhD in English Studies, and is currently an Assistant Professor of Literature & Writing Studies at California State University San Marcos.

He writes: "Arsenal/Sin Documentos is a documentary poetics project that examines the criminalization of Latin American bodies through U.S. policy. It consists of a series of linked documentary poems composed of appropriated language from U.S. government documents, such as: the Immigration and Nationality Act; the U.S. patent for Taser hand-held stun guns; and materials from the Office of English Language Programs designed to instruct immigrants on assimilation into U.S. culture. The poems above are erasures from the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Use of Force Policy, Guidelines and Procedures Handbook—a set of policies that defines immigrant bodies based on their resistance to authority and assigns escalating levels of physical harm to those bodies based on that resistance."
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