The "damage done" in Susana H. Case's remarkable poetry thriller set in late 1960s New York City is of two orders. On the surface, this is the story of Janey, a fashion model whose death under mysterious circumstances serves as an opportunity for a corrupt FBI agent in the Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) to frame Janey's Black Panther lover for her death, making them both collateral damage in J. Edgar Hoover's clandestine war on anyone he deemed un-American. But on another level, as Case instructs us, the greater damage done is to democracy itself, to trust and faith in government, an enduring legacy of suspicion and division that serves as a cautionary tale at a moment when those divisions and distrust are more enflamed than ever. That's a tall order for a volume of poetry, but Case more than succeeds in this audacious, breathtaking collection.
Susana H. Case is the author of eight books of poetry, including DEAD SHARK ON THE N TRAIN (Broadstone Books, 2020) which won a Pinnacle Book Award for Best Poetry Book, was a NYC Big Book Award Distinguished Favorite, and a finalist for the Eric Hoffer Book Award. She is also the author of five chapbooks. Her first collection, The Scottish Cafe (Slapering Hol Press, 2002) was re-released in a dual-language English-Polish version, Kawiarnia Szkocka (Opole University Press, 2010). Her poems have also been translated into Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. With Margo Taft Stever, Case has co- edited the anthology I Wanna Be Loved by You: Poems on Marilyn Monroe (Milk and Cake Press, 2022). In 2021, she became a co-editor of Slapering Hol Press.