Tuesday, March 7, 2017

2016 National Book Award Winner: “The Performance of Becoming Human” by Daniel Borzutzky

The Performance of Becoming Human by Daniel Borzutzky won the 2016 National Book Award for poetry. Last year was a highly politicized year, and it’s no surprise that this award went to a collection that’s also highly politicized.

Borzutzky covers it all.

Refugees and immigrants. The environment. Third World sweatshops. (Do you know the people who made your t-shirt? Do you have a relationship with them? Borzutzky asks). Torture. Illegal aliens. Unsafe working conditions. Wastewater treatment plants. Malnourished children. Police issues. The production of garbage. Violence.

The style is simple and plain, leading to a more devastating critique, a more devastating impact.

To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.

Photograph: Daniel Borzutzky.

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