Enacting both the pain and heightened awareness of a body in crisis, Joshua Beckman’s latest collection of carefully assembled poetic fragments seeks to elucidate the synthetic reality of being sick and being medicated. Written from inside of illness and gathered over several years, these fragments or moments invite readers to contemplate how the compromised body transforms our conceptions of selfhood and our sense of the world. With a sincere reaching curiosity, the poems present a record of daily experience, but with the constant undermining presence of decay, memory, and death.
Joshua Beckman’s Animal Days provides a powerful example of how poetry can help us re-envision our relationship to the world amid disruption and catastrophe. Rather than elaborating on our inability to even recognize the world beyond the human, Beckman plunges into the darkness within our bodies to rediscover the intimacy of the life we’ve alienated. Animal Days challenges the notion that language is what separates humanity from other forms of life.
Nate Rosenfield, The Poetry Society of New York
Readers interested in the fragment as a form, or in the relationship of the body to perception will appreciate how Beckman unfolds and rearranges the physical phenomena he describes.
Joshua Beckman was born in New Haven, Connecticut. He is the author of many books, including The Lives of the Poems and Three Talks (Wave Books, 2018), The Inside of an Apple, Take It, Shake, Your Time Has Come, and two collaborations with Matthew Rohrer: Nice Hat. Thanks. and Adventures While Preaching the Gospel of Beauty. He is editor-in-chief at Wave Books and has translated numerous works of poetry and prose, including Micrograms, by Jorge Carrera Andrade, 5 Meters of Poems (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010) by Carlos Oquendo de Amat, and Poker (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2004) by Tomaž Šalamun, which was a finalist for the PEN America Poetry in Translation Award. He also co-edited Supplication: Selected Poems of John Wieners (Wave Books, 2015).
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
ISBN# 9781950268092 (5.5x9, 104pp, paperback)
ISBN# 9781950268108 (5.5x9, 104pp, limited edition hardcover)