Summer Reading #3: Idra Novey Recommends…

My god is this a man, by Laura Sims (Fence Books, 2014)


Laura Sims Book


Each time I read the news of another horrific mass shooting in the United States, I return to Laura Sims’ haunting third book My god is this a man. With a skill for artful repetitions reminiscent of Gertrude Stein, Sims isolates and mixes single statements from Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and mass murderer Bill Heirens and other sources, shaping their voices into poems of paralyzing familiarity. On each rereading, I find the questions subtly posed in My god is this a man about isolation and connection feel ever more urgent and central to the century ahead. –Idra Novey


Idra-Novey158-300x400-c-default Idra Novey is a member of Princeton’s creative writing faculty and the author of the poetry collection Clarice: The Visitor, as well as Exit, Civilian, selected by Patricia Smith for the 2011 National Poetry Series, and The Next Country, a finalist for the 2008 Foreword Book of the Year Award in poetry.  Her work has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, the Leonard Lopate Show, and in Slate, The Paris Review, American Poetry Review, Guernica, and Poetry.  She has received awards from the Poetry Foundation, the Poetry Society of America, the National Endowment for the Arts, Poets & Writers Magazine, and the PEN Translation Fund.  Her most recent translation is Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. This fall, she will be teaching an undergraduate course on Literary Translation.