Critical Essay Published on 32 Poems
Big thanks to 32 Poems for publishing my essay on Alex Dimitrov's powerful book, "Together and by Ourselves" (Copper Canyon Press, 2017) in conversation with Walter Benjamin’s “Some Motifs on Baudelaire”.
To call the poet Alex Dimitrov an heir of Baudelaire does not do his concerns with isolation and urban experience justice in their own right. Dimitrov’s expansive 2017 collection, Together and by Ourselves, moves through seasons and lifetimes, cities that I recognize as much by feel as by name, and relationships that I have also felt, even if I don’t have a name for them. Dimitrov’s work exists in a world where we correspond in emails without subjects, where we sleep with our cell phones in bed like companions. However, despite the hallmarks of his modern era, Dimitrov’s work is linked to Baudelaire through more than the lines of translated French that he quotes. Dimitrov and Baudelaire share a poetic landscape wherein they wrestle with the isolation of lived experience...