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Historic Diary by Tony Trigilio

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Historic Diary Tony Trigilio BlazeVOX [books]

 Tony Trigilio’s Historic Diary (named after Lee Harvey Oswald’s account of his time in the Soviet Union) excavates the nightmarish record of the first Kennedy assassination, its auguries and aftermath, with a blue fury and an obsessive zeal that border on the Talmudic. What he finds there goes beyond chilling to a pure-product-of-America craziness that makes me tremble for my country. “I am waiting // for someone to / ride me, the / locomotive of history,” Trigilio writes, and his ticket beyond the grave takes us, willy-nilly, on this scarifying, brilliant, and disturbing ride.

—Rachel Loden


“Hegel makes no sense when everyone is looking at you,” confides the protagonist of Tony Trigilio’s Historic Diary, and he’s speaking from experience.  In this extraordinary work of imaginative reconstruction, Trigilio assembles a postmodernist Warren Commission Report from archival research, obituaries, interviews, and historical broadcasts surrounding the assassination of John F. Kennedy, only to discover, in the chaos of evidence, rumor, and falsehood, that no dialectical method can offer his speaker an escape from the prison house of paranoia.  By composing what Ezra Pound would have called “a poem including history” from this harrowing litany of Cold War casualties, however, he offers his reader the stark consolation of an elegy for the truth itself: “This is the story of what never happened, written ahead of time.”

—Srikanth Reddy


Richly varied and deeply brave, Historic Diary is both a page-turner that takes you into remote corners of the Kennedy assassination controversy, and a bold postmodernist collage of poetic styles, voices, and forms. This fine book will keep you rereading and reworking the fragments the poet offers until you are left with not only an oblique but fascinating portrait of Lee Harvey Oswald and the times in which he lived, but also a challenging poetic exploration of the nature of history itself.

—Martha Collins





Tony Trigilio’s books include the poetry collection The Lama’s English Lessons (Three Candles Press) and the critical monograph Allen Ginsberg’s Buddhist Poetics (Southern Illinois University Press).  With Tim Prchal, he co-edited Visions and Divisions: American Immigration Literature, 1870-1930 (Rutgers University Press).  He is a member of the core poetry faculty at Columbia College Chicago, and is a co-founder and co-editor of Court Green.          

Book Information:

· Paperback: 118 pages
· Binding: Perfect-Bound
· Publisher: BlazeVOX [books]
· ISBN: 978-1-60964-012-5

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