Daniel Borzutzky on Brian Tierney
I admire the energetic drive in this set of poems. The language in these poems is hardened, vibrant, self-assured, rhythmic, and there is a careful consideration of sound, of alliteration, of syllabic configuration. "Having a body was a form of courting peril," writes Brian Tierney. And this sense of peril, of doom, of foreboding, builds outward from the core of the writing to take us to a disaster which is, at once, invisible, and always centered in a body. And yet while the concerns here are localized in breath and voice and flesh, Tierney does not shy away from the public, the national, the global. While writing about imperialism, race, citizenship, police violence, the removal of one's rights, labor or "the syntax of conscience," Tierney powerfully investigates how we relate to ourselves and our communities amid the traumas that are on display, and the traumas that leave gaps and absences in those dreams that cannot be saved.