Author: Andrew Zawacki
Publisher: Coach House Books (2019)
Poetry that aspires ‘to conjugate in a future imperfect,’ but a future nonetheless.
In his fifth poetry volume, Zawacki expands his inquiry into the possibilities and dangers of a ‘global pastoral,’ exploring geographies alternately enhanced and flattened out by digital networks, international transit, the uneven and invisible movements of capital, and the unrelenting feedback loops of data surveillance, weather disaster, war. Wheeling interference patterns of systems of meaning, from radio signals and runway signage to foreign phrases and babytalk, interact with the ‘langscape’ of English, while punctuation is retrofitted as coding. In creating a politically committed lyric form that opens all the dimensions of language —sonic and semantic, syntactic and graphic—Unsun sustains an oblique conversation with Paul Celan’s Fadensonnen, Chris Marker’s Sans soleil, and Michael Palmer’s Sun. Loosely structured by the settings of analog photography, the book features a suite of the author’s black-and-white, large format images alongside an adaptation of Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei and a series of fractured sonnets for—and from—his young daughter.