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Jean D’Amérique’s book-length poem peers into the ruins—left by the winds of colonialism, capitalism, war, and natural disaster—and sees a "crop of eyes" peering back.
In Jean D’Amérique’s book-length poem, each page is as brief as a hurricane’s eye, glimpsing the eerie territory his speaker traverses like an apocalyptic flâneur. His "body / a devastation inventory," his stroll a "walk / to curse the sidewalks," he peers into the ruins—left by the winds of colonialism, capitalism, war, and natural disaster—and sees a "crop of eyes" peering back. What others dismiss as broken, for D’Amérique, is a mirror in shards, "drinking up all the world’s rot / then spilling it all out in diamantine rays." The first of his books to appear in English, this work reclaims the visceral potency of poetry—it is food, it is "collars of blood," it is a garment sewn with "a thread of sobs."
Poetry. Caribbean Studies.
Excerpt @ Quarterly WestExcerpt @ Armstrong Lit
Conor Bracken is the author of HENRY KISSINGER, MON AMOUR (Bull City Press) and The Enemy of My Enemy is Me (forthcoming from Diode Editions). He is also the translator of Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine's SCORPIONIC SUN (CSU Poetry Center). His work has earned fellowships from Bread Loaf, the Community of Writers, the Frost Place, Inprint, and the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and has appeared in places like BOMB, jubilat, New England Review, The New Yorker, and Ploughshares, among others. He lives in Ohio.
Born in Haiti in 1994, Jean D'Amérique is a poet, playwright, and novelist. He splits his time between Paris, Brussels, and Port-au-Prince. He has published several collections of poetry: Petite fleur du ghetto (Atelier Jeudi Soir), recipient of a special mention from the Prix René Philoctète; Nul chemin dans la peau que saignante étreinte (Cheyne), Prix de Poésie de la Vocation; and Atelier du silence (Cheyne). Author of several plays, he has received the Prix Jean-Jacques Lerrant des Journées de Lyon des Auteurs de Théâtre for Cathédrale des cochons (éditions Théâtrales). His first novel, Soleil à coudre, was published by Actes Sud in 2021.