The debut book from attorney and writer Jennifer A Sutherland.
Part prose poem, part lyric essay, BULLET POINTS considers an American courthouse shooting, its aftermath, and its echoes in law, history, and capitalism. Tracing a woman trial lawyer’s experiences of violence—from the intimate and domestic to the national—attorney and poet Jennifer A Sutherland brings a deeply perceptive tenderness to the reality of historical abuses grounded in law and capitalism. Drawing on acts of language and power, art and trauma, BULLET POINTS raises questions about the systems and structures that enable violence via a poetry brilliantly awake to this truth: “Language is one way of doing business across time and into spaces. Image is another.”
Poetry. Essay. Hybrid. Family & Relationships. Women's Studies.
“Jennifer Sutherland’s book-length poem BULLET POINTS is relentless, harrowing, and tremendously smart. With uncommon acuity and force, Sutherland chronicles experiences of both public and intimate violence, writing back from trauma and toward something new and necessary. This book is an absolute accomplishment.”—Natalie Shapero, author of Popular Longing
“A crucial addition to the literature, a sharp outline around a stopped heart. In
BULLET POINTS, Jennifer Sutherland writes her way into the body that remains back there. It is meaningful to make art out of any day, but maybe especially a day like this one.” —Patricia Lockwood, author of Priestdaddy
“BULLET POINTS is not merely a lyric; rather, it is a narrative of what happens when the space between ‘victim’ and ‘witness’ becomes collapsed. It is unflinching — an interrogation of both violence (particularly against women) and the retraumatizing nature of storytelling. Sutherland wields the precise imagery of a poet alongside the disciplined language of a lawyer, delivering us a profoundly necessary look into what we’ve allowed to be normalized in the United States. This is a story we need now.” —Stephanie Lane Sutton, author of Shiny Insect Sex
“A book-length poem composed for the purpose of binding and banishing a trauma, and which successfully does so, is called a masterpiece. Read and participate in a banishing spell, sealed by the grit-in-your-kneecap-skin, up-and-running-again determination that compels Jennifer Sutherland’s writing.” —Eve Ettinger
Jennifer A Sutherland is an attorney and an educator in Baltimore, MD. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, the Denver Quarterly, the I-70 Review, Parhelion, the Hollins Critic, and elsewhere. BULLET POINTS (River River Books, 2023) is her first book.