Riding the Highline


Artist Statement: Riding a freight train is such a wild, visceral experience, and my brother and I wanted to explore a style of film that could accommodate both narrative and poetry. We wanted to tell a personal story, but we also wanted to capture the scale and raw beauty of the ride. So much of traveling is about novel experience, about encountering the unknown, but another part, perhaps a larger part, is about the private way in which new experiences shape us and allow us to change. I wanted the film to capture the way these elements are internalized, the way they’re processed, and turned into poetry.



About Author


Kai Carlson-Wee is the author of RAIL (BOA Editions, 2018). He has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and his work appears in Ploughshares, Best New Poets, New England Review, Gulf Coast, and The Missouri Review, which awarded him the 2013 Editor’s Prize. His photography has been featured in Narrative Magazine and his poetry film, Riding the Highline, received jury awards at the 2015 Napa Valley Film Festival and the 2016 Arizona International Film Festival. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow, he lives in San Francisco and is a lecturer at Stanford University.

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