A searing, pressing selection of poems that brings the lyric and documentary jointly in unheard of ways—unmasking and analyzing the threat of artifical disaster.

On September 20, 2010, an explosion at the Deepwater Horizon oil rig killed 11 males and started what may develop into the most important oil spill ever in US waters. On August 29, 2005, typhoon Katrina made landfall in Louisiana, resulting in a demise toll that continues to be unconfirmed. And in April 2014, the Flint water challenge started, exposing millions of individuals to lead-contaminated consuming water. this can be the litany of our time—and those are the occasions that Rebecca Dunham lines, passionately and brilliantly, in Cold Pastoral.

In poems that contain interviews and excerpts from executive records and different sources—poems that undertake the pastoral and elegiac traditions in a panorama the place “I can’t see the insects; I don’t listen the birds”—Dunham invokes the poet as ethical witness. “I owe him,” she writes of 1 guy tormented by the oil spill, “must study, ultimately, how you can look.” this can be the area she exhibits us, with no sentiment and with genuinely-earned attractiveness: Oysters decimated by means of freshwater free up. Tarballs floating within the Gulf of Mexico. A hungry mom and her little ones in a supermarket. Clouds of insecticides. 11 males lifeless. A silent spring.

Experimental and incisive, Cold Pastoral is a set that finds what poetry can—and, maybe, should—be, reflecting ourselves and our international again with beautiful clarity.

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