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Srikanth Reddy (Author)


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Srikanth Reddy’s second book of poetry probes this world’s cosmological relation to the plurality of all possible worlds. Drawing its name from the spacecraft currently departing our solar system on an embassy to the beyond, Voyager unfolds as three books within a book and culminates in a chilling Dantean allegory of leadership and its failure in the cause of humanity. At the heart of this volume lies the historical figure of Kurt Waldheim—Secretary-General of the U.N. from 1972-81 and former intelligence officer in Hitler’s Wehrmacht—who once served as a spokesman for humanity while remaining silent about his role in the collective atrocities of our era. Resurrecting this complex figure, Reddy’s universal voyager explores the garden of forking paths hidden within every totalizing dream of identity.
Book One
Book Two
Book Three

Srikanth Reddy is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago and the author of a previous collection of poetry, Facts for Visitors.
“These recastings form a highly ambitious book of political poetry that speaks hauntingly of our world.”—Publishers Weekly
“The paradoxical lives of historical figures have long inspired poets, a tradition Reddy embraces and transforms in his audacious, deeply interrogative second collection. . . . Nuanced yet piercing.”—Booklist
“Through Reddy’s ‘erasures’ and the negative capabilities of his excavated text we feel, even if we cannot see, what’s missing, what’s gone—into outer space, into self-denial, into the ironies of history and of the role between the wielders of pens and of swords. We find ourselves—culpable, impressionable, alive—in the human space he has created.”—Chronicle Of Higher Education
“Srikanth Reddy’s much-anticipated second volume . . . assumes a planetary perspective on the 20th century.”—Publishers Weekly
“Reddy has fashioned an arresting, very personal voice by committing himself to using only words and phrases that appeared in—wait for it—Kurt Waldheim’s memoirs. In lesser hands, this could have been just another preposterous “project” book. Reddy is so gifted that the poems, despite their weighty origins, soar.”—Dan Chiasson New Yorker
“Voyager is a nuanced and haunting book of geopolitical, literary, moral, and spiritual inquiry.”—WBEZ-FM
“Instantly aphoristic, with the cultural authority of familiar music, Book One alone is enough to secure a poetic reputation. . . . Voyager is an indication of what is possible in the form. For its remarkable innovation, panoramic lyricism, and utter empathy, it may well endure.”—Broc Rossell Harvard Review
“The book itself is mesmerizing, and Reddy's lines are crisp and often eerily lovely.”—David Orr Npr
“Erasurists find their imaginative space by reading creatively. One of the genre's most creative readers in Srikanth Reddy. Not only is his erasure, the book Voyager, conceptually captivating, but the writing is amazing. Let me repeat that: the writing is amazing.”—Jeannie Vanasco The Believer Magazine
"An ambitious, richly imaginative work that poses vital questions about truth, authorship and narrative possibility in contemporary literature."—Mia Ayumi Malhotra The International Examiner
"Srikanth Reddy's Voyager unwinds at a hypnotic pace, as inexorable as a set of philosophic propositions, yet also strangely porous, like poetry. Gradually we come to understand words spoken by Escher in the poem, 'formal objectivity / might be / a personal matter,' but by then it's too late: we're hooked. It's is a work unlike any other, deeply moving, disturbing, and ultimately fulfilling."—John Ashbery

"In 'erasing'—three times, and in an astonishing variety of poetic styles and verse forms—In the Eye of the Storm, the memoir of Kurt Waldheim, the noted Secretary-General of the UN who, after a decade in office was exposed as having been a Nazi SS officer, Srikanth Reddy has produced one of the great political poems of our time. Using, abusing, recycling, and reformatting Waldheim's own words, Voyager does what no "original" history poem could do: it exposes 'Waldheim's Disease' as much more than one individual's particular mendacity. Read it and weep—but also marvel at Reddy's bravura performance!"—Marjorie Perloff, author of The Vienna Paradox

"Our greatest task (all imaginative) is to rid ourselves of the disastrous twentieth century by finding one single gift we can salvage from it. It is the task that Reddy sets himself in this strange, beautiful meditation on Voyager 2, and World War 2. The secret hope is hidden as if in a cloud of stars."—Fanny Howe, author of The Winter Sun: Notes on a Vocation

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