Friday, September 22, 2017 - 7:00pm
2421 Bissonnet Street
Houston, TX 77005

Conor Bracken will be joined by Analicia Sotelo and Paul Otremba.

“The poems of Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour manage to construct a Kissinger who is both a radioactive archetype for white patriarchal sociopathy and as tangible as a liver-spotted hand. Kissinger is translated to us by speaker-as-middle-man holding the tyrant’s “x-rays to the moon’s blue light,” as boy toy, apologist, and victim, disfigured by his dance with devil, anti-heroic in his collusion with tyranny with just a whiff of gallantry in his willingness to kiss and tell. These poems churn the guts and delight the senses, the language precise, juicy, with a napalm-shimmer, the diction creating a self-deluded truth teller, “striving towards a whiteness that’s translucent,” in turns absurd, hilarious, entertaining, post-traumatic, and terribly sad, drenched in a sort of post-coital shame and yet an unquenchable, awful desire. “As American/…As the cruise missile in his living room/we take turns straddling like a mustang,” Conor Bracken has written the perfect collection for our time.” —Diane Seuss

Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour is a forceful, unsettling collection not only for its latitude of address that finds complexity—psychological, sexual, and political—in the figure of a former statesman who appears, by turns, as sadistic paramour, war hawk, and blundering accomplice. Obtained from that summons are poems distressed by the seductions of whiteness, by the entitlements of masculinity, and by U.S. liability in the machinations of state terror elsewhere in the hemisphere. Ritualistic, and foaming at the mouth with abject laughter, Bracken’s poems are a purging of American infamy and about the messy compromises made when the exceptional romance is over.” —Roberto Tejada

Conor Bracken’s poems, which have been nominated for the Best of Net and received grants from Inprint and the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, appear or are forthcoming in Adroit Journal, Forklift OH, Muzzle, The New Yorker, and THRUSH. A graduate of Virginia Tech, a former poetry editor for Gulf Coast, and the assistant director of a university writing center, he received his MFA from the University of Houston, where he and his wife currently live.

Analicia Sotelo is the author of the chapbook Nonstop Godhead, selected by Rigoberto González (Poetry Society of America, 2016). Her poems have appeared in The New YorkerThe Kenyon ReviewBoston ReviewThe Antioch Review,Best New Poets, and elsewhere. Analicia is the 2016 Disquiet International Literary Prize winner in Poetry and is the recipient of scholarships from Squaw Valley and Image-Text-Ithaca. She holds an MFA from the University of Houston.

Paul Otremba is the author of two poetry collections, The Currency (Four Way Books 2009) and Pax Americana (Four Way Books 2015). He has published widely in journals, including The Kenyon Review, New England Review, Literary Imagination, Virginia Quarterly Review, Witness, and multiple appearances on Poetry Daily. In honor of his poetry, he has received multiple fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, a Barthelme Memorial Fellowship, a Krakow Poetry Seminar Fellowship, and a prize from the Academy of American Poets. His essays, poetry reviews, and food writing have appeared in Tikkun, The Houston Chronicle, Spoon Magazine, and the anthology American Poets in the 21st Century: The New Poetics. 

Henry Kissinger, Mon Amour Cover Image
ISBN: 9781495157684
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bull City Press - September 5th, 2017