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On Ammiel Alcalay, at Warscapes

By Harriet Staff

Ammiel Alcalay

Claudia Moreno Parsons reviews two recently published/re-published books by Ammiel Alcalay: from the warring factions and a little history. From Warscapes:

Ammiel Alcalay, whose lineage can be traced to Robert Duncan, is a poet who delves into the violence and the history of war and emerges with stories to tell. He has been engaged in poetry for a long time now, and the past few years have seen two important works come out, both from re:public/Upset Press: in 2012, a reprint of the 2002 book-length poem from the warring factions, and in 2013, a little history, a detailed, winding conversation and history of twentieth century poetics (among other things). Alcalay describes his work as an attempt to be that “which actually represents radical forms of consciousness and engagement with historical circumstances” (173). from the warring factions is a long poem about war, a poem that drifts and shifts, elegantly describing and thinking about this world. Lines are quoted verbatim from sources as disparate as political speeches, documentaries, UN documents, poets both contemporary and ancient, and the nineteenth century Pequot orator William Apess. Alcalay turns the straightforward business of war – the news reports, the magazine articles, the speeches – into a new form, placing them side-by-side on the page and in the process asking us to reconsider what we think we’ve heard, seen or believed.

Can’t wait to read these two books! Learn more at Warscapes.

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Posted in Poetry News on Friday, March 14th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.