Erasure, Syria

Susana H. Case (Author)


This project started after the bombing of Syria on April 6, 2017 and ended with the story of a musical tour of hope along the Syrian refugee route, a story of art attempting to combat brutality. It uses news coverage of the U.S. attack on Syria, and subsequent events, to create a series of erasures. Because what happened to Syria is all about erasure of a country and its people, the goal was to use the form to erase war and leave art instead. I am, in Mary Ruefle's sense, creating a revision of the news, a form of deconstruction. Each poem takes a news article, daily, and deletes most of it. My only rules were that all the words remaining should be from one article and should retain the same sequence in both the article and the poem. I had intended to erase solely from The New York Times. But on day #11, there was no New York Times coverage of Syria. This resulted in my creating a totally redacted square. It was a symbol both of mourning and of the vacuity of news, as there was hardly any resolution of events in Syria. I decided to broaden my erasures to include largely Al Jazeera and, on a smaller scale, CNN. For reasons of aesthetics, redactions are compressed. Because the poems parallel the erasure of Syria, Syria is never mentioned in the poems. But, in the effort to push back against the erasure of Syria, Trump is never mentioned either, though the ghosts of both are, of course, present. -Susana H. Case

Product Details

Recto Y Verso Editions, Inc.
Publish Date
August 10, 2018
8.4 X 0.3 X 8.6 inches | 0.9 pounds
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About the Author

Susana H. Case is the author of five books of poetry, most recently "Drugstore Blue" from Five Oaks Press and "4 Rms w Vu" from Mayapple Press. Earlier works include four chapbooks and various academic monographs. Her work "The Scottish Café", from Slapering Hol Press, used wartime as a background and was also re-released in a dual-language English-Polish edition, "Kawiarnia Szkocka", from Opole University Press in Poland. Case's photographs have been published in numerous literary magazines. She is a Professor and Program Coordinator at the New York Institute of Technology in New York City.