Press Release: Weiner, From the Book of Giants
Taking its title from a set of writings found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, From the Book of Giants retunes the signal broadcast from these ancient fragments, transmitting a new sound in the shape of a Roman drain cover, in imitations of Dante and Martial, in the voice of a cricket and the hard-boiled American photographer Weegee, in elegies both public and personal, and in poems that range from the social speech of letters to the gnomic language of riddles. Out of poetry’s “complex of complaint and praise,” Joshua Weiner discovers, in one poem, his own complicity in Empire during his son’s baseball game at the White House. In another, an embroidered parrot sings a hermetic nursery rhyme to an infant after 9/11. The call for a five-minute silence throughout Europe in memory of those slain by Spanish guerillas triggers a meditation on the difficulties of responding to historical tragedy. And in a daring longer poem set in Berkeley, Weiner explores the relationship between political and aesthetic commitments and acts of self-invention.
Read the press release.