A Year From Today
Poetry | $16.95
paperback, 136 pages, 8 x 8
Publication Date: 2018
ISBN: 978-1-937658-76-2

A distinctive, book-length poem written over the course of a year that carries forward the lineage of New York School poets.

A Year From Today traverses a many-layered urban terrain—social, political, poetic, animal—in a form more raw than a diary, weightier than a series of sketches, more idiosyncratic and implicated than a conceptual program. Among this volume’s many insights is how we spend our days detecting, minute-by-minute and phrase-by-phrase, an overarching aesthetic and moral design. It’s for the kind of grown-up who might say, “don’t/look for/who’s really in charge c’est moi.” And for the kind of sensitive brigand who might add, “maybe the way to go about this/is to stay within earshot & sip the Wild Turk.”

 

“Every flying thing needs a place to land, and even time is not immune to the allure of a poet with her sun in Cancer. A Year From Today builds time a nest in which to chill, which sounds soft, and is, in the way that Pasolini was soft, and New York City is also soft, and every line in this book is a soft inerrant heresy against that hard god productivity.  The passerbys, the test results, seasons, work crisis, and carb counts accrue unhacked, material, and unrefused in this final work of Stacy Szymaszek's notebook trilogy.  She makes a history here that perfects poetry's cool anti-valor, which I love, and it makes me happy we get to walk down the street with her.” —ANNE BOYER 

“In this growing compendium of days, now comprising three texts (Hart Island, Journal of Ugly Sites and other Journals, and this present volume), Stacy Szymaszek provides us new categories through which to engage a poetics of the archive. We ask as we read: what are the limits of material being, how many moments of looking and naming constitute experience, and what happens in the afterlife of an event, once it has become memory? An engrossing read: animated by the time and people passing through it yet refreshingly light on gossip.”—RENEE GLADMAN

“In ambulatory annotations, Stacy Szymaszek gives voice to the unregulated, circumstantial, stubbornly poetic unfolding of her days and nights. She is a remarkable chronicler of wakefulness, vacillation, and tenacity. As a handbook in duration, as well as a sequence of fragmented verismo arias, A Year from Today demonstrates the stringencies and pitched frequencies of artistic vocation, its thrills and its incremental dolors, and thereby gives us treasurable lessons in how to thrive under pressure.” —WAYNE KOESTENBAUM

PRAISE

"In the final book of her “trilogy of poetic journals,” Szymaszek (Journal of Ugly Sites & Other Journals) records, through snatches of quotidian thinking and doing, a self in the process of conducting a “structured walk.” The work is self-consciously constructed as a book-length poem composed of fragments, which accumulate urgency as Szymaszek moves through the seasons, taking “notes/ on the dreams of others as they speak them.” New York City as a site becomes a flexible repository for bits of language gathered from the street, workplace, medical facility, fellow writers and artists, and the overwhelming crush of “today’s sickening news.” For Szymaszek, this notebook for public consumption preserves the scale of transformative moments in juxtaposition to “a human life like high speed films of plants.” The book demands patience and persistence from its reader, who is asked to witness that “it’s hard to get to know someone/ to the point of prediction.” If Szymaszek’s goal with this journal is “to embroider/ a new universe with new information,” it succeeds both on its own merits and as a part of the larger trilogy."—Publishers Weekly