Imperial Nostalgias

Imperial Nostalgias

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Author: Joshua Edwards

Publisher: Ugly Duckling Presse (2013)

Imperial Nostalgias is the second collection by poet and translator Joshua Edwards. Written in Mexico, China, Germany, Nicaragua, and during a train trip around the U.S. and Canada, the book reckons with itinerancy, innocence, and American privilege, while pointing toward a strange horizon.

"'Through a turnstile, past a diorama / of ruins, into the ruins themselves,' Joshua Edwards escorts us into the desert of the real in his haunting and prismatic second collection, Imperial Nostalgias. Deepening the archaeological excavation—or is it a salvage operation?—of his first book, Campeche, Edwards brushes the dust from the remains of history, desire, and nostalgia itself, to reveal 'ruins as diorama, ruins as sculpture, / birds as music boxes. Everything / moves toward metaphor and dream.' A breathtaking cascade of parables, images, lyrics, and aphorisms, Imperial Nostalgias is necessary work, and required reading for anyone who has felt the cold undertow beneath all beauty. 'Life,' writes this poet, 'is terrible enough without swans.'"

–Srikanth Reddy