Sightseer in This Killing City - Eugene Gloria
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A fourth collection from a prize-winning poet whose “gift is breathtaking” - Naomi Shihab Nye
Eugene Gloria’s Sightseer in This Killing City captures the surreal and disorienting feelings of the present. In the wake of recent presidential elections in the United States and in the Philippines, Gloria’s latest collection sharpens his obsession with arrivals and departures, gun violence, displacement, cultural legacy, and the bitter divisions in America. Through the voice of Nacirema, the central persona of the collection, we are introduced to a character who chooses mystery and inhabits landscapes fraught with beauty and brutality. Gloria quotes melodies from seventies soul and jazz, blending the urban lament of Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane with the idiom of Stevie Wonder and Fela Kuti. Sightseer in this Killing City is an argument for grace and perseverance in an era of bombast and bullies.
“Jazzy, surreal, neon-lit, Gloria’s new poems describe a culture of violence in the Philippines and especially America.” —The New York Times Book Review, “New & Noteworthy”
“Sightseer in This Killing City continues [Gloria’s] themes of family, silence, and wonder, but his poetry has evolved into an even more deft lineation: original phrasings, unique imagery, and lasting emotions. Gloria is full of surprises . . . We get the sense that [he] can write about anything, and can do it well—a rare gift.” —The Millions