Elevated Threat Level

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: New
Poetry. New lyric poetry by Rachel Galvin explores an ethical response to American comfort and its ties to war and exploitation. The poems in this collection reflect on news reporting, natural disasters, journalist safety, and the act of observing war from a distance as a civilian. Written in a variety of forms and registers--from elegies to faits divers to sonnets--ELEVATED THREAT LEVEL thinks about violence and the rhetoric used to convey it. The book is also a tribute to the print form of the newspaper.

"Perhaps every poem is a riddle for which the answer is the poem itself. Perhaps each of these adroit lyrics by the poet, critic, translator, and activist Rachel Galvin is a riddle for which the answer is the entire world in all its sad, brutal, and delightful contradiction. For surely every brief lyric in this book feels simultaneously triaged amidst a world of active damage and precisely poised, resourceful, nimble as a needle, quick as a stitch. For surely every brief lyric in this book has the dazzle and dismay of a candle, just as it goes out."--Joyelle McSweeney

"These ingenious, funny-sad, empathic poems are woundingly precise in their exposure of a pattern of world-damage, of power misused 'in our name.' The recent history spotlighted in Galvin's poems is nauseating, but it's rendered with such pleasurably incisive phrasing and sonic swerve that I look up from the book awake, clarified, galvanized to face again the music and the news."--Catherine Wagner

Publication Date: 
June 1, 2018