Deaf Republic

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Faber & Faber, 2019 - Deafness - 96 pages
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FORWARD PRIZE 2019 SHORTLIST0POETRY BOOK SOCIETY CHOICE 20190The long-awaited new collection from Ilya Kaminsky: a remarkable parable in poems which asks us, what is silence?0Deaf Republic opens in a time of political unrest in an occupied territory. It is uncertain where we are or when, in what country or during what conflict, but we come to recognise that these events are also happening here, right now. This astonishing parable in poems unfolds episodically like a play, its powerful narrative provoked by a tragic opening scene: when soldiers breaking up a protest kill a deaf boy, the gunshot becomes the last thing the citizens hear - in that moment, all have gone deaf. Inside this silence, their dissent becomes coordinated by sign language. The story then follows the private lives of townspeople encircled by public violence: a newly married couple, Alfonso and Sonya, expecting their child; the daring Momma Galya, instigating the insurgency from her puppet theatre; and Galya's puppeteers, covertly teaching signs by day and by night heroically luring soldiers one by one to their deaths behind the curtain. At once a love story, an elegy, and an urgent plea, Deaf Republic confronts our time's vicious atrocities and our collective silence in the face of them.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - modioperandi - LibraryThing

A beautifully put together collection of poems. Ilya Kaminsky's Deaf Republic reads more like a stage play than just a collection of poems. It is a story. It is a parable. As the title suggests Deaf ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Dreesie - LibraryThing

Finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Poetry. Powerful. This book is an interconnected book of poetry--the poems tell a story of sorts. An unnamed occupied town, where, after a deaf boy is ... Read full review

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About the author (2019)

Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union and is now an American citizen. He is the author of a previous poetry collection, Dancing in Odessa, and coeditor of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry. He has received a Whiting Award, a Lannan Literary Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, and was named a finalist for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. His work has been translated into more than twenty languages.

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