Spotlight series #85 : Eric Schmaltz

rob mclennan
2 min readMay 1, 2023

Curated by Canadian writer, editor and publisher rob mclennan, the “spotlight” series appears the first Monday of every month.

Artist Statement

This poem is excerpted from a book-length manuscript entitled Intimət, which investigates the tension between poetry as an expressive art form and the ever-evolving crises for truth, surveillance, and privacy. “Intimacy is not,” as Sun-ha Hong writes on contemporary technologies of datafication, “just about getting ‘in touch’ with our inner selves; it also turns us inside out.” If true, what does it mean to be a lyric subject under surveillance capitalism? This extract emerges from the second part of the manuscript — a long poem of found text, surveillance camera portraits, and confessional erasures — which documents and responds to my experience of undergoing a self-elected polygraph examination by a certified analyst in the summer of 2021.

Eric Schmaltz is Writer-on-the-Grounds in the Department of English at York University’s Glendon College, where he teaches and coordinates the Certificate in Creative Writing Across Contexts. He is the author of the poetry book Surfaces (Invisible Publishing) and numerous shorter works. His critical and creative writings have been featured in periodicals and anthologies, including Jacket2, Bomb, The Berkeley Poetry Review, The Puritan, The Capilano Review, and BAX 2020: Best American Experimental Writing (Wesleyan University Press). He holds a Ph.D. in English from York University and was a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow in the English Department at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Tkaronto (Toronto).