Poetry. Drama. The transistor, a tiny device capable of amplification and control, is the foundation of our digital world. Now comes "Transistor, who is sage, / and who is never seen despite the live feed," to conduct us on a breathtaking journey through that world, in this audacious first full-length collection from Esteban Oloarte. "Transistor broadcasts traffic reports, / powers of suggestion, chances of allegory, / and everyone exits in headsets as exiles." To read this book is to join that parade of exiles, to hitch a ride on an electron, flashing through the circuitry of modern life. Written in the shape of a bible, it is part prophesy, part wisdom literature, part jeremiad, with a bit of Song of Solomon eroticism for good measure, a secular sacred and profane text of social and cultural criticism. A set of "footnotes" run throughout the book like a plainsong chant, offering contrapuntal perspective from philosophers, academics, artists, and critics. More than anything, this is a celebration of the pure incantatory power of words, from a poet mad-drunk on language, a modern-day Delphic oracle. This is new, this is news, this is poetry like you haven't read before, and won't soon forget.
Esteban Oloarte is a Mexican-American poet. He grew up in a trilingual household, having lived in all three North- American countries. His chapbook, Transitions, was shortlisted for The 2020 Frontier Digital Chapbook Contest, and his poems have appeared in The Michigan Quarterly Review, The Massachusetts Review, and Arc Poetry Magazine. His first full-length collection TRANSISTOr was published by Broadstone Books in 2021. He currently lives outside of Mexico City with his partner Noriella, but, like David Lee Roth, can't wait to get back to the States.