Selected by Rae Armantrout as winner of the 1913 Prize for 1st Books!
Scott McFarland’s book O Human Microphone asks what became (or what will become) of the Occupy movement. It uses the movement’s ‘human microphone’ repetition technique to make us do a double take on the things empire is saying now and has been saying through the long American century. To do this he enlists (or co-opts) some of our country’s most expansive and vatic texts. Allen Ginsberg’s line, “America, I’m sick of your insane demands” becomes, “You’ll never get sick of our insane demands.” This is funny, infuriating, provoking. As McFarland continues (many pages later) “America, why aren’t your libraries full of tears?” How do we actually exhort now (or do we?) after decades of broadcast ideology? “O Occupy Wall Street/say maybe to spectacle/maybe to glamour.” McFarland lets the hard questions ring. -Rae Armantrout
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