Enacting both the pain and heightened awareness of a body in crisis, Joshua Beckman’s latest collection of carefully assembled poetic fragments seeks to elucidate the synthetic reality of being sick and being medicated. Written from inside of illness and gathered over several years, these fragments or moments invite readers to contemplate how the compromised body transforms our conceptions of selfhood and our sense of the world. With a sincere reaching curiosity, the poems present a record of daily experience, but with the constant undermining presence of decay, memory, and death.
If you take a broad squint at our nation’s new poets you can find two general strategies: poets who are carrying the torch, and poets who are using it to start fires. And then we have Joshua Beckman. He seems to be doing everything.
—Daniel Handler, The Believer