Green-Wood
Green-Wood

Forward by Brian Teare 

Poetry | $17.95
paperback, 172 pages, 6 x 9
Publication Date: forthcoming
ISBN: 978-1-937658-88-5

A cultural biography of Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, and a cry of mourning for a post-9/11 world of perpetual war and environmental violence

In Green-Wood, the author wanders Brooklyn’s famous nineteenth-century cemetery, where the burial ground becomes a portal through which she can explore her own trauma after September 11, and uncover the historical and national traumas leading up to that event. For the author, Green-Wood becomes not only a place of death, but also survival in the midst of death. Green-Wood bears witness to the ways in which people and things are entangled with one another in vast nets of connection.

 

“The leafy [Green-Wood] cemetery through which Cobb walks in the years after 9/11, during the ensuing wars in the Middle East, during her mother’s cancer treatments, and during her own treatments for infertility, does indeed serve as the ground on which public and private histories are founded, the ground of her historical identity as a United States citizen in the twenty-first century. “I walk against the backdrop of war,” she writes, “the toppling of the Hussein statue, declaration of end of hostilities. Continued bombings. names of dead in the paper.” Yet Cobb complicates the traditional patriarchal view of the earth’s humanizing work by contextualizing it within the high price the earth pays for its unpaid and often unsung cultural labor: “I walk by bulldozers, mowers, pesticide sprayers with yellow warning placards: keep out for 24 hours.” Alert to the fact that earth’s metaphysical role in western culture has for many centuries been coextensive with the role it has played in capitalism, industrialization, imperialism, and globalization, Green-Wood never pretends that the terms that make us human do not hold the humus hostage.”—BRIAN TEARE