Bloom

Bloom

Poems

Book - 2010
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Perseus Publishing
Bloom is the electrifying debut collection from one of our best emerging poets. It is as if a studio technician could "remix" poems by modern and contemporary poets so they retold the story of the Manhattan Project from the viewpoint of Louis Slotin, simultaneously putting Robert Lowell in whispered conversation with Ted Hughes on the current state of literary utopian projects. Here we see "Lista" swimming ghostlike through this palimpsest-narrative, inhabiting Slotin, and brashly "tickling the dragon’s tail" at the nucleus of untested notions of creation, stasis, and destruction. In Bloom, one of the most dangerous historical fulcrums of the last century is somehow made viscerally present again ? and, more wondrously, made to radiate outward into very current crises.


Blackwell Publishing
In May of 1946, on the day of a lunar eclipse, a Canadian physicist named Louis Slotin was in his last hours of work training his replacement on the Manhattan Project. Slotin's job was to bring a core of nuclear fissile material as close to criticality as possible. Nine months to the day earlier, his predecessor had performed this exact experiment on the same nuclear core, had an accident, and died. There was one further twist: Slotin's replacement, Alvin Graves, was having an affair with his wife. On the afternoon of May 21, Slotin, Graves, and other senior scientists crammed into a lab. For reasons that remain murky, standard safety procedures were ignored and the plutonium went critical --- a phenomenon scientists call a "bloom." Nine days later, Slotin died.

Michael Lista, a thrilling new voice in poetry, reimagines this fateful day in a long poem comprised of several threads: the mysterious events of May 21, 1946; the connection to Slotin's ancient predecessor Odysseus, creator of the Trojan Horse, the first weapon of mass destruction; and the link to Slotin's literary mirror, the cuckolded Leopold Bloom of Joyce's Ulysses. Bloom brilliantly draws together these stories, themes, and images, and moves us towards the untranslatable moment of human novelty and creativity: the eclipse, and the moment of the "bloom."

Publisher: Toronto : House of Anansi Press, c2010
ISBN: 9780887849510
Branch Call Number: 811.6 LIS
Characteristics: 76 p. :,map ;,22 cm.

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