The New York Times rocked by Seven American Deaths and Disasters

“… it’s like nothing he’s done. It knocks the air from your lungs.”

The New York Times reviews Kenneth Goldsmith’s poetic re-crafting of mainstream media language in Seven American Deaths and Disasters. Goldsmith draws from the archival radio broadcasts that broke the news of terrible American events like the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and John Lennon, the Challenger explosion, and the September 11th attacks. The poems reveal the strange details that exist when tragedy interjects daily media – the unique language and difficulty of relaying tragic events to a national audience. The Times review features excerpts from the broadcast transcripts where love song lyrics are cut by breaking news updates and then returned to. Goldsmith draws our attention to these uncomfortable oddities.

The New York Times writes, “His book is about the sounds our culture makes when the reassuring smooth jazz of much of our broadcast media breaks down, when disc jockeys and new anchors are forced to find words for events that are nearly impossible to describe. This book is about language under duress.”

Read the full review by clicking the image:


7adad180Seven American Deaths and Disasters
by Kenneth Goldsmith