Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018

Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018

Regular price $16.95 $0.00 Unit price per

Author: Daniel Borzutzky

Publisher: Coffee House Press (2022)

In Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018, Daniel Borzutzky rages against the military industrial complex that profits from violence, against the unjust policing of certain bodies, against xenophobia passing for immigration policy, against hate spreading like a virus. He grieves for children in cages and those slain in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh. But pulsing amid Borzutzky’s outrage over our era’s tragedies is a longing for something better: for generosity to triumph over stinginess and for peace to transform injustice. Borzutzky’s strident language juxtaposes the horror of consumer-culture violence with its absurdity, and he masterfully shifts between shock and heartbreak over the course of the collection. Bleak but not hopeless, Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018 is an unflinching poetic reckoning with the twenty-first century.

Stunning. . . . Global capitalist ironies become punchlines but also give way to protests, from Chile to Chicago and beyond.”

–Urayoán Noel

“These poems apply a clarity of conscience and language to the surreal nightmare born of white supremacy and zero-sum-game capitalism. Borzutzky—like Reznikoff and Rukeyser, and Chilean poet Raúl Zurita, whom he has translated—reminds us that poetry is and has long been a tool of reckoning and refusal, a way of singing for what has been stolen, slaughtered, stifled. These are the songs we must learn to sing.” 

–Tracy K. Smith

Written After a Massacre in the Year 2018 is a montage for the systemic torque of our bodies. With stunning alacrity, Daniel Borzutzky emboldens a list of images into reality, as a broken witness—phenomenology of the murmuring poet’s ‘guilt of this innocent lung.’ Given rage to clean away the moral fiber of a culture led astray, we venture into the understructure of massacre with a book as a torch, providing humanity its navigation. Among these pages, emotional and spiritual selves gather to find cadence in perspective. ‘We break we are broken we are,’ transformation meets self-creation, daring subject to engage and render. Fractures of society are given multiple angles, to form our own entry points—each perception its own formation of equanimity. Line by line, we repeat the prayers that might heal those we love, ourselves included. Borzutzky offers us a testament to the written breath—to hear poetry’s fault line, running through each of us.”

–Edwin Torres

“I can't do anything but bow. This is lacerating work.”

–Achy Obejas