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Jana L. Pickart

Jana L. Pickart

MA Arts Politics Class of 2015

BA Anthropology, University of Mary Washington

Jana L. Pickart is a poet and peacebuilder. She uses the sonnet form to confront the inherited legacy of silence surrounding death in her family. Her recent work is building towards combining poetry and digital art to further her quest to imagine the female body as a repository of emotions and memories and to process her experience of inhabiting this subjectivity.

Her graduate research at New York University investigated the possibility of using poetry and new media as peacebuilding tools to facilitate embodied healing after collective trauma. She has been accepted to numerous summer writing workshops most notably at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and at Tin House Writers’ Workshop to study with Gregory Pardlo. She has won tuition scholarships to attend a fiction workshop with Joan Silber at Sarah Lawrence College and to attend a poetry workshop with Matthea Harvey at the Juniper Summer Writing Institute. Her prior research and editorial experience includes positions with the Peacebuilding and the Arts Program at Brandeis University and with Boston Review magazine at MIT.

In 2015, Jana has twice applied to and been granted fellowships from Tisch School of the Arts to collaborate on an interdepartmental performance, (Re)Sounding the City, and to conceive a short film, When I Last Saw.

Jana is currently seeking further fellowship support and fiscal sponsorship to shoot, edit, and exhibit When I Last Saw, in which she records memory traces that situate her within a difficult matrilineal legacy of female bodies that failed to sustain life. Jana believes that creating art works in order to process personal and communal trauma can save lives.

What drew you to the MA Arts Politics program?

Randy Martin and his vision for the emerging field of Arts Politics

How did your experience in the program shape your work?

Applying for and receiving two grants from Tisch to further a collaborative project and then an individual project was an experience that allowed me to develop my ideas into concrete project plans.

What are you doing now?

Applying for writing fellowships and searching for a survival day job to pay the bills