The highly anticipated new book from Brian Kim Stefans—FOR TRAPPED THINGS is a collection of poems written between, roughly, 2016 and 2021. Mostly short, lyrical, tart, angry with the government, with a lot of rhymes.
“FOR TRAPPED THINGS, the latest poetry collection from polymath Brian Kim Stefans, is a dizzying slalom, taking off from Olympian slopes of literary genre and allusion, flying through uncanny valleys between exquisitely dissonant verses of an alienated artist-intellectual and the omnivorous media feed of a doom-scrolling pop culture futurist. The poet makes his hard bed, then lies in it, feeling the lumpy truth.” — Harryette Mullen
“There’s a lot of enlightened and purposeful vamping going on in this book. Lots of chatter and digital noise. A psychic turbulence trapped in endless news cycles, tweets, and posts, trapped in tradition, in form. Brian Kim Stefans is toughing it out for us, making art as the only recourse to the onslaught. I also like this book’s commitment to lyric utterance in order to depict reality, no matter how unstable, or precisely because it is unstable as the poet asks: ‘Could it be the genius of the sky was a rumor?’” — Peter Gizzi
“If the crises in U.S. poetics is a conjointment of two forces — 1, the centrifugal forces of political ideologies (scattering minds to the ends of their wits) and 2, centripetal forces, wherein amassments of poetic insights take flight, but in fixed circular orbits straining towards a moral or ethical center (but find no single core) — then we can think of certain poets that evade being crushed by this Rude Tug and Tossing, just long enough to make New Sense, by way of a New Poetics as a resistance to these battered cultural landscapes we call Country. Brian Kim Stefans’s poems are actual updates on the way things bop & roll in our epoch. Already a master of making idiolects dance on the page, Stefans outdoes himself in this truly riveting collection.” — Rodrigo Toscano
Poetry. Asian & Asian American Studies.
Brian Kim Stefans is a poet, digital artist and theorist. His poetry publications include VIVA MISCEGENATION: NEW WRITING, What Is Said to the Poet Concerning Flowers and FREE SPACE COMIX. Recent books include a collection of translations, FESTIVALS OF PATIENCE: THE VERSE POEMS OF ARTHUR RIMBAUD, and Word Toys: Poetry and Technics, a series of essays concerning poetry and philosophy. Stefans is a professor in the English Department at UCLA.