Ed Luker

Poetry in crisis

Rob Halpern and Keston Sutherland

How to write a poetry that faces the continual crisis and extremity of violence within contemporary capitalism? This is a question that orients the work of two writers, the US poet Rob Halpern and the British poet Keston Sutherland. 

Stuart Hall, Brian Roberts, John Clarke, et al. write in Policing the Crisis (1978) that during the slow unfolding of crisis there is “a stripping away of the masks of neutrality.”[1] With the masks slipping off in our respective post-Trump and Brexit horizons, liberal commentators on both sides of the Atlantic stammer about how to put all this excess hatred back in the box, as if we could just return to business as usual.

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