Poetry. THE REDCOATS is a book of doubts. An elegy and celebration of those fragments of a specific American history always at risk of reduction to kitsch and irony. These poems attempt to manufacture a sense of identity from the contradictions of a self-consciously contemporary perception of these historical tropes, and the overwhelming sense of being ill-equipped to abide in those perceptions. Rather than applying a historical context to the contemporary, THE REDCOATS provides a contemporary context to the historic (in the manner, for example, of the painter Larry Rivers).This makes it perhaps a sad book, or a book with more dislocation than comfort, but with the ambition to find and occupy a space between, to at least temporarily balance the blind acceptance of a moral and nationalistic absolutism (which may also stand in here for a kind of New England spirituality) and a comic and ironic rejection of those mores in the face of contemporary life. THE REDCOATS recognizes a pressure to enjoy the spoils of our national mythology and the absurdity of anxiety in an age of easy antidote, modern medicine, and quotidian comfort. A history, however, not regarded with either pure rapture or dismissive disinterest but with an unsettling combination of both.
John LattaBrian Foley's Best Poetry Books of 2010@ No Tell Motel Poetry Blog
Ryan Murphy is the author of THE REDCOATS (Krupskaya, 2010) and DOWN WITH THE SHIP (Otis Books/Seismicity Editions, 2006). He lives and works in New York.Author City: NEW YORK, NY USA