The Interrogation: Poems
Michael Bazzett (Author)
DescriptionWho? A speaker at once questioner and questioned. An artist who embraces and resists what his work demands of him. "A naked / man in a crowd." What? Poems at once surreal and vulnerable, refusing to hide their uncomfortable truths behind their wildest imaginings. Where? In the mind, where "Nobody fails at meditation / like I do." Outside dreamlike cities. In the rich earth under a simple mattress. In new, disorienting fables and seemingly familiar folktales. When? As a child, spurning his mother. As a young man, seeking wisdom and peace. And as an older man, looking back at what he once was. Suffused in psychology, uncertainty, and desire, Michael Bazzett's The Interrogation is a darkly humorous and unsparingly honest catechism of the self. Why? these poems ask. Why our cruelty? Why our loneliness? And how do we connect?
October 10, 2017
5.7 X 0.8 X 8.6 inches | 0.35 pounds
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About the Author
Michael Bazzett is the author of The Interrogation; You Must Remember This, which received the 2014 Lindquist & Vennum Prize for Poetry; Our Lands Are Not So Different; and a chapbook, The Imaginary City. His poems have appeared in numerous publications, including Ploughshares, The Sun, Massachusetts Review, Pleiades, and Best New Poets. A longtime faculty member at The Blake School, Bazzett has received the Bechtel Prize from Teachers & Writers Collaborative and was a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. He lives in Minneapolis.
Praise for The Interrogation "Our lives are interrogated by strangeness in this brilliant collection by Michael Bazzett, his best yet. From the moment a city dissolved in the speaker's absence, I knew this book was something special, and how special it is to read the record of Bazzett's keen looking and bizarro dreaming. I didn't know I wanted poems about moles being comets or pubic hair performance artists, but I did. I needed this book. I needed to laugh and wonder and wince and gasp. I needed to see all this glorious seeing. You need this book too. You need to walk through Bazzett's funhouse and let these mirrors do their alchemy on you."--Danez Smith "Michael Bazzett's staggering new collection, The Interrogation, is the record of a poet curious about, and in dialogue with, absolutely everything. An island paradise? 'No stallion land, / but good for goats.' Death? 'A hole behind him / in the exact shape of his life.' If poems are buildings erected to house our wonder, then Bazzett has gifted us a metropolis--one teeming with life and endlessly hospitable to visitors. We are the beneficiaries of such good fortune, this generous making."--Kaveh Akbar "Like any good surrealist, Bazzett uses laserlike precision to craft his images."--Minneapolis Star Tribune "Bazzett encounters the disorienting juncture between fairy tale and nightmare in his latest collection. His works are often reminiscent of Russell Edson, bizarre poems that feature malevolence and a chilling atmosphere balanced by humor and twisted logic."--Publishers Weekly "The Interrogation reminds me that we always have the choice to revel in the striking strangeness of the world we live in, and that we do not have to accept anyone's life at face value, especially our own. In this daringly disarming world built of wondrous and wondering words, cities have faces, moonlight is poured into aquariums, a man with no mouth speaks, mothers prank call their sons, and fire has many names. 'Life is a joke best left unspoken, ' asserts the title poem, and the more I read of this adept and artful work, the more true that becomes. To read Michael Bazzett's poems is to reach through the thick veil separating us from the most tender, timeless, and true parts of ourselves that we both dread and cherish. I hope everyone will read this book."--Tarfia Faizullah "In The Interrogation, Michael Bazzett establishes himself as a keen questioner of the eye and ear; a poet fully able to construct and inhabit this world, and those beyond, through lush aural and visual engagement. With the lyrical dexterity and sonic authority of a master craftsman, Bazzett gleans epistemic truths from both natural and preternatural sources and delivers crisp, unforced poems of sheer beauty. Readers will find themselves rapt by Bazzett's audacious and perfect storm of song, symbol and earnest sight."--Airea D. Matthews "'You don't expect / our warmth / to be the thing / that obscures us, ' Michael Bazzett writes in a book that explores the limits of identity and definition. His work is a vivid reminder that imagination makes the world strange in order for us to see what we've forgotten or taken for granted. There's also one stop shopping here, as you'll get surrealism, lyricism, and narrative, often within the same poem, which makes his work both full and lithe. Best of all, he's a poet who'll take you where no one else can. You'll want to stay there."--Bob Hicok Praise for You Must Remember This "Michael Bazzett's poems keep pleasantly surprising me with their innocent brutality. I'm not sure I have any way to clearly describe this except to say that it is the sort of heart stopping honesty about humanity we see in work like Donald Barthelme's 'The School' or Toni Cade Bambara's 'The Lesson.' Both of these are short stories, I understand, but I'm okay with that because Bazzett's talky, lyrically twisted narratives seems to ride the same sort of line between story and poem that we see in Borges and chunks of Calvino."--Camille Dungy, The Rumpus "You Must Remember This is a book of unnerving wonders, one in which improbable events are narrated with strange intimacy, lucidity, and sly wit. But Michael Bazzett is much more than a writer of imaginative narratives. Somewhere beneath the surfaces of these wild and lovely poems, I hear the clashing of individual personality with popular myth. You Must Remember This is an amazing book, one that continues to whisper in my ear after I've put it down."--Kevin Prufer "Powered by the engine of the tricky dreaming mind, the poems in You Must Remember This are both hauntingly fable-like and delightfully idiosyncratic. Offering spectacular insight into the idea of longing for one's own estranged self, Michael Bazzett's poems are as tragic and unsettling as they are compelling and beautifully precise."--Ada Limón "A debut collection whose mercurial sensibility and loose-woven free verse place Michael Bazzett somewhere between Robert Hass and Patricia Lockwood. His pages stand out, amid so many other mildly quirky or eccentric first books, because their verse comes closer than most to presenting real people in his imagined world."--Publishers Weekly