Interview with Raquel Lanseros

Could you reflect on your relationship to the telephone, in the past or in the present, and say something about how this might have informed your poem?

The telephone has played an important role in my life, as it has in all those of my generation. We have grown up with the possibility of hearing voices from afar, so the physical absence has not always meant lack of presence. We have had the opportunity to be close to those who were not by our side and that has been paramount, as I reflected in my poem.

How did you go about producing the work for this project? Were there any materials, anecdotal, literary or otherwise, that proved generative for you?

In the weeks during which I was writing the poem, I learned of the death of a good friend. I had been texting unanswered messages to him for a while and I was worried. The outcome affected me so much that it became the trigger for the poem.

How much was the recording of the poem, and the format(s) through which the poem will be reproduced (i.e. a public phone booth and mobile app), a consideration in the composition?

I always very much take into account sound, intonation and the rhythm of my poems, because I am used to reading them aloud to audiences. So, the fact that the poem is actually going to be listened to didn’t mean a change to my creative process.

Do you have any thoughts on how the project might have affected the way that you think about the relationship between poetry and telephony, or between writing and technology more broadly?

It’s often a good thing to be proposed an interesting topic to write about, since it means a challenge to the poet, an opportunity to enter creative paths that otherwise one would never have traveled. Technology is very present in our lives and it is a good idea to start extracting its poetic side and reflecting on its influence on us.

Are there any other reflections you can make about the process of producing the poem, or your participation in the project?

I especially enjoyed the fact of immersing myself in the world of telephony from the most sentimental and least pragmatic angle. I believe that all human inventions are finally subject to our way of feeling and interpreting the world.

May 2020