Jennifer Firestone - Holiday


Jennifer Firestone - Holiday

Paperback, 80pp, 8.5x5.5ins

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While ostensibly documenting a European vacation, Holiday interrogates historical narratives and artistic representations, examining patriarchal and nepotistic political and religious connections that are repackaged into the souvenir experience. From stripped reportage to dream fragments, Holiday positions the "traveller" in a hyperconscious lens that undermines conventional notions about the meaning of a holiday. Beneath the careful recording of art, food, and guidebooks' “most visited sites” are reverberations of war and power exposing the traveller's consumer culpability and the role of choice in demarcating and memorializing personal and historical trajectories.


"The poems in Holiday are not at ease. This is not a daybook of observations of another culture, but an anxious interrogation of what it means to be an individual (tourist) participating in one of the world's largest industries. The inherent privilege is complicated by the work's own unorthodoxy of language and ominous turns — “land excites you / but pictures develop as bleeding colors” — and if we turn our attention up from the tennis courts we'll see a vulture disturbing the air. The narrator of these poems looks for associations and when there aren't any she doesn't invent them. This is not a commodity." —Stacy Szymaszek


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