6 x 9
Jose Perez Beduya’s first book Throng takes us "inside the bright wheel" where selfhood and community whirl along the event horizon of an elusive center—the fused question of the Singular and the Common. Jennifer Moxley, who selected Beduya as the winner of the 2011 Plonsker Emerging Writers Residency, writes that in this book "a shimmering subjectivity—sometimes singular, more often plural—emits an intermittent signal, coming in and out of view like some mysterious lost ‘other’ flashing a pocket mirror against the sun in hope of rescue." In spare lyrics, evocative of what George Oppen called "the bright light of shipwreck," Beduya searches not just for the meaning of being numerous but how to sustain that numerousness, with "No trace showing / The quickest way back / No light caught / In the hair of the void." The poems are fierce, tensile, and assured, but also display a heartbreaking vulnerability: "Who belongs / To this wounded face / How do we / Extinguish our hands / In prayer." The ethics of beauty in the face of violence contend with and haunt the forms of political desire in this marvelous and unexpected debut.