A Short History of Anger (Paperback)
Winner of the New Measure Poetry Prize
A multilayered book and performance, A Short History of Anger speaks through fragments, fractures, song, and the voices of a Greek Chorus. This lament confronts the massacre of Greek citizens in the 1922 Destruction of Smyrna, and the buried traces of this tragedy as they haunt the poet's family history. Governed by its musical, ritualistic construction, it excavates a legacy of genocide and displacement that resonates through successive generations.
What People Are Saying
"Joy Manesiotis is a brilliant poet, one who understands, that lyric, as Joseph Brodsky once insisted, is a soul's release into language. So, watch how the line-breaks, sentences, precise orchestrations and wonders of syntax work in her poems, how they move us to a different register of human emotions, how they open doors we did not know exist. Manesiotis is wonder poet, one whose work I admire deeply." -Ilya Kaminsky, author
of Dancing In Odessa and Deaf Republic
"When a great catastrophe, the genocide of the Greeks of Smyrna, is immured in silence, does collective horror harbor in the genes-the blood line a long fuse smoldering with hidden fire, 'Smyrna burning and burning....' How to speak of such things? But 'who will sing the moirolaia to help the souls cross over?' In answer, voices--ancestral, choral, personal-rise from the ashes in this eloquent moirolaia of Joy Manesiotis: recovered history, lamentation, remembrance, release." -Eleanor Wilner, author of Before Our Eyes: New and Selected Poems, 1975-2017
"When, in Anna Akhmatova's famous poem, she was asked 'Can you describe this?' about an atrocity she lived through, she replied, 'Yes, I can.' In A Short History of Anger, Joy Manesiotis lifts the same burden of responsibility to her own shoulders, and the beautiful, heartbreaking poem she made here could have been written a thousand years ago, or yesterday. And the terrible thing is, when I look up from this book, our landscape is the same as inside it: on fire. When no remedy is coming, poets at least make it possible to sit in the dirt and weep. Sit here with me. I would count it a privilege to hold your hand and keen these poems together." -Patrick Donnelly, author of Little-Known Operas, Nocturnes of the Brothel of Ruin, and The Charge
About the Author
JOY MANESIOTIS is the author of They Sing to Her Bones, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize. Recently, she has staged A Short History of Anger: A Hybrid Work of Poetry & Theatre-comprised of a Speaker and Greek Chorus-at international festivals and universities in the US and Europe.
Free Verse Editions
Series Editor: Jon Thompson