Subtexts by Dan Brady
In an innovative form, Dan Brady plays with the methods of erasure poetry to create something entirely new. His new book, Subtexts, is a collection of ten poems (in 88 pages) that uncover the networks of language and meaning through shifting layers of text. The poems concern themselves with some of the greatest threats humans face in 2022—from climate change, to the surveillance state, to America’s mental health crisis—and how our future hinges on our ability or failure to communicate.
Experimental while still accessible, Brady’s self-erasures find the freedom to say all that there is to say—and to reveal even that which is left unsaid.
Praise for Subtexts
“Brady’s poems contract and unfurl as you read them. I don’t want to spoil the surprise, but imagine what mysteries would be revealed if you took a cell sample from the paper this book is printed on and looked at it under a microscope. What if you dissected the book’s spine or were handed an MRI of the writer’s brain? These excavations reveal beautifully layered and nuanced truths.”
—Matthea Harvey, author of If the Tabloids Are True What Are You?
“The poems in Dan Brady’s Subtexts build a world for us on their own terms as each page dives deeper into the personal and the communal through expansion and contraction. Brady’s play with form teaches us how to be better readers, to listen closely to what is being said and perhaps more importantly to the unspoken. Between the lines are moments of joy and pain, of confusion and surrender. ‘I want you to know that I am here. We are here together,’ Brady writes. Together we grow into, through, and towards language.”
—Eloisa Amezcua, author of Fighting Is Like a Wife
“Modeled after Eugene Leroy’s layered paintings, these poems assemble and dissemble themselves right before the reader’s eyes. This is an exciting form that complicates the content of what we say and what lies just below the surface of our intent and meaning.” —Jen Fitzgerald, author of The Art of Work
“These poems are an accumulation and an erasure, it’s a mystery and a maze with the key built into its guts…The form of these pieces really works to amplify and distort the content. It’s hard to capture just what the poems do, so you might well have to grab a copy and see for yourself. Just know that it’s something that can alter the way you are in the world in the way that good things do.” —Tony Mancus, author of All the Ordinariness
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