Photo by Phil Thomson
Born and raised in Iowa, Daniel Khalastchi is a first-generation Iraqi Jewish American. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop and a recent fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, he is currently the Assistant Director of the Undergraduate Certificate in Writing Program at the University of Iowa. He lives in Iowa City and is a co-founder and editor of Rescue Press.
Hilary Plum interviews
Daniel Khalastchi over at the Kenyon Review
As I wrote, I kept coming back to a nameless narrator in an indefinable world that luxuriously wasted itself in the absurd and grotesque. I wouldn’t have recognized it during the writing process, but it seems clear to me now that the poems that make up Manoleria attempt to inhabit this “timeless” but “recognizable” geography because that’s the sad truth of how everything felt: this never was perfect, it won’t get much better, birds of some kind will always be pecking our wounds in the garden.
I had a painting by the artist Justin Richel over my desk, and I wrote every morning and afternoon poems that I didn’t really look at for three months. When I finally did go back and see what had come out of that specific time in my life, Manoleria was there. All packed up. All ready to go. I’ve worked on many projects prior and since completing that collection, but the actual writing of Manoleria was as uninterrupted and focused as I’m likely to ever get.
— Daniel Khalastchi is interviewed
The video from Daniel's Reading at UPenn Kelly Writers' House with Srikanth Reddy, which includes poems from Manoleria,
is now posted online
Reviews of Daniel Khalastchi's Manoleria