Biotariat

David Herd: THROUGH the Border

David Herd
David Herd

I want to begin this series of commentaries on the Biotariat — a term I will use to explore the coming resistance of “bare life” — by looking at a poetry which directly addresses the legal excision of certain subjects. I have in mind here David Herd’s excellent 2016 Carcanet book Through, which, along with Herd’s organizing and editing of the Refugee Tales project and volumes, constitutes an extensive foray into the violence of borders and the creation and management of the state of exception. Herd explores the interpenetration of spaces and languages of, on the one hand, bordering and exclusion, and on the other, as a grassroots counter-system, spaces and languages of welcome and inclusion — thresholds, commons, and pilgrims’ paths.

I want to begin this series of commentaries on the Biotariat — a term I will use to explore the coming resistance of “bare life” — by looking at a poetry which directly addresses the legal excision of certain subjects.

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