Voyager

New Yorker Culture Desk: Best Poetry of 2011 
National Public Radio 2011’s Best American Poetry
Publisher’s Weekly Top 10 Poetry for 2011 
The Believer Readers’ Favorite Poetry in 2011

"In 'erasing'—three times, and in an astonishing variety of poetic styles and verse forms—In the Eye of the Storm, the memoir of Kurt Waldheim, the noted Secretary-General of the UN who, after a decade in office was exposed as having been a Nazi SS officer, Srikanth Reddy has produced one of the great political poems of our time. Using, abusing, recycling, and reformatting Waldheim's own words, Voyager does what no "original" history poem could do: it exposes 'Waldheim's Disease' as much more than one individual's particular mendacity. Read it and weep—but also marvel at Reddy's bravura performance!"—Marjorie Perloff, author of The Vienna Paradox

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Facts for Visitors

2005 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry

"In this altogether brilliant collection, the various but carefully sequenced (and deeply consequential) poems unfold in a world undergoing eclipse. It is a transient, unsettling, and fascinating phenomenon, the casting of shadows by shadows (of experience, literature, language, the natural sun) traveling across the totality of the known world: here. The process does not produce negation. It is, on the contrary, an odd plus. And the darkness is never complete; it is surprised into perceptibility by sources of counter-illumination, among them wit, intelligence, and, above all (as underlying all), love."—Lyn Hejinian

"The present is a word for only those words which I am now saying" writes Reddy in this profoundly moving first collection. And, indeed, a search for the nature of the 'present' continuously animates this stunning, anguished yet level-headed attempt to reconstruct a history of our kind as if from some as-yet unknown vantage point. Striving for a complex objectivity, the book explodes prior notions of orientation—geographic, historical, cultural—and recovers from the debris a profoundly trustworthy reorientation, political as well as emotional. Reddy speaks to us fully self-conscious and, strangely, fully innocent. It is a mesmerizing voice."—Jorie Graham

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Changing Subjects

"True poetry goes where it will, and rarely by the shortest available path: Reddy's remarkable study shows how modern and contemporary poets make way for digression, and how their digressions work against familiar categories and hierarchies, reorganizing--as well as disarranging--our senses of reality en route. Marianne Moore's new model of education, Lyn Hejinian's disordered anti-plots, Frank O'Hara's casual conversations, and John Ashbery's figures for drifts and flows all lead, in Reddy's vivid arguments, not only into one another but into a high tide of twenty-first century work. This first book of criticism from a significant poet can both instruct and delight: it might even change a number of critical minds." --Stephen Burt, author of Close Calls with Nonsense

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Excerpts

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