news | Tuesday May 10, 2022

New at Talonbooks

Hot off the presses comes Un, the inaugural poetry collection of longtime activist, writer, and community organizer Ivan Drury. Un is a cry against imperialist violence past and present. From Afghanistan to Iraq, Cuba to Congo, suburban neighbourhoods to blacksites, Un challenges conventional Western narratives of global events, shining light on injustice and the individuals disappeared in empires’ pursuits of their own political interests.

Ivan Drury explores global power dynamics, powerfully juxtaposing scenes from sites of stability to sites of conflict. From “Enter the Municipality of Blacksite (A Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone)”:

“the mayoral candidates
all wear “Homes Now!” buttons
all engage earnestly
on the side of the debate
to ban plastic shopping bags…

where I grew up
families fell normally apart.”

Deeply sensory, Drury employs the auditory to underscore the unsettling sensation of violence becoming quotidian. From “Noise and the Stacking”:

“vehicle noise
refrigerator noise
machine noise
the noise of streetlights…


an F16

and on the baby monitor:
he’s crying something’s woken him”

The theme of having been undone, unmade, and rewritten is sown throughout the pages of this collection. Drury pulls from sources such as the U.S. Armed Forces Survival Manual, The New York Times, and Al Jazeera to contextualize and recontextualize impersonal and dehumanizing narratives.

Un is a big-voiced collection that asks us how we might forge a more humane and just future. Pick up your copy here.

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