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  • Empires of the Everyday by Anna Lee-Popham

Empires of the Everyday by Anna Lee-Popham

SKU: 9780771012365
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An ambitious and wholly original poetry collection that examines the ways that life is confined and sometimes defined by the city and the ubiquity and invisibility of state violence.

The poems in Empires of the Everyday give voice to the many “you” who move through a city—one that resembles many modern cities—where plywood shelters are demolished in pandemic winters. Where everyday violence is palpable, but the related media reporting is offhand, cool, distanced, piecemeal, uncontextualized.

In an attempt to access a more revelatory language, the poems spar with an AI translator, disturbing the disease of twenty-first century life that the city makes solid and covers up. Slavery, permanent war, and Empire titter in the resulting language, in its bending of what is possible, as only poetry can do. The poems trace the relationship between the human “you” and the machine “I” through five powerful, nuanced, and thought-provoking episodes. Anna Lee-Popham’s impressive debut collection is immersed in the current ruptures of the world, rendering a translation of Empire and beyond-Empire to a possible convergence for “you” and “I.”

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