Daniel Borzutzky’s latest collection of poetry, The Performance of Becoming Human, draws hemispheric connections between the US and Latin America, specifically touching upon issues relating to border and immigration policies, economic disparity, political violence, and the disturbing rhetoric of capitalism and bureaucracies. To become human is to navigate these borders, including those of institutions, the realities of over- and under-development, and the economies of privatization, in which humans endure state-sanctioned and systemic abuses. Borzutzky, whose writing Eileen Myles has described as “violent, perverse, and tender” in its portrayal of “American and global horror,” adds another chapter to a growing and important compilation of work that asks what it means to be both a unitedstatesian and a globalized subject whose body is “shared between the earth, the state, and the bank.”
Chilean-American poet Daniel Borzutzky is the author of The Performance of Becoming Human, recipient of the 2016 National Book Award for Poetry. His other books include In the Murmers of the Rotten Carcass Economy (2011); Memories of my Overdevelopment (2015); and The Book of Interfering Bodies (2011). Borzutzky has translated poetry collections from Spanish, including Galo Ghigliotto’s Valdivia (2016); Raúl Zurita’s The Country of Planks (2015) and Song for His Disappeared Love (2010); and Jaime Luis Huenún’s Port Trakl (2008).
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