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Be Recorder : Poems

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Finalist, National Book Awards 2019 for Poetry

Author: Carmen Gimenez Smith

Published:2 Aug 2019


Be Recorder offers readers a blazing way forward into an as yet unmade world. The many times and tongues in these poems investigate the precariousness of personhood in lines that excoriate and sanctify. Carmen Gimenez Smith turns the increasingly pressing urge to cry out into a dream of rebellion – against compromise, against inertia, against self-delusion, and against the ways the media dream up our complacency in an America that depends on it.

This reckoning with self and nation demonstrates that who and where we are is as conditional as the fact of our compliance: “Miss America from sea to shining sea / the huddled masses have a question / there is one of you and all of us.” Be Recorder is unrepentant and unstoppable, and affirms Gimenez Smith as one of the most vital and vivacious poets of our time.

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