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Speaking the Unsaid: Book Launch of Natalie Eilbert's Indictus (That's Me!)


Join Natalie Eilbert as she launches her second poetry collection, Indictus, winner of Noemi Press's Poetry Award, into the world at a new favorite Greenpoint spot, Threes @ Franklin + Kent! Help her speak the unsaid, trouble her troubling subjects, and rupture the status quo. Her important, vital co-pilots include none other than DOTTIE LASKY, PAUL TRAN, and JAYSON SMITH. 

Dorothea Lasky is the author of five books of poems, most recently Milk (Wave Books, 2018). She teaches poetry at Columbia University's School of the Arts and lives in New York City. 

Jayson P Smith is a Bronx-born & raised writer, performer, & educator. Currently a 2017 Poetry Fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts, Jayson has received previous support from The Poetry Project, The Conversation Literary Festival, & Callaloo Creative Writing Workshop. Their work appears or is forthcoming in journals such as West Branch, NYLON, Gulf Coast, & The Offing. Jayson currently lives in Brooklyn (& at as founder of NOMAD Reading Series.

Paul Tran is Poetry Editor at The Offing and Chancellor's Graduate Fellow in The Writing Program at Washington University in St. Louis. Their work appears in The New Yorker, Prairie Schooner, and elsewhere, including the anthology Inheriting The War (W.W. Norton, 2017) and the movie Love Beats Rhymes (Lionsgate, 2017) with Jill Scott, Common, and Azealia Banks.

Here's some hype about Indictus:

Natalie Eilbert’s Indictus is the book of poems I want to be reading in these days. It is the counteragent, the cure, to a world that blames us for being ourselves. It is a book that quickly becomes a place to rest our weary loneliness, to give the unsaid a place to be said, as Eilbert decries both forcefully and plainly, “my cunt is star.” In the book, Eilbert reverts and subverts our expectations of the origin of things, reversing the power dynamic between her persona and the reader a million times over, creating a world where all of the great spiritual secrets sing their “devoted” and “stone” songs in the “veal-dark” of the afterlife. If you are lost, this book says, come home.
—Dorothea Lasky

Natalie Eilbert's Indictus summons what cannot be said while finding a way to articulate, with ferocity and exuberance and a clear and brutal vision, the violence of misogynistic systems and cultures and the ways in which they devour and destroy their inhabitants. It’s not just that this book doesn't waste words. It goes further than that. Each sound, line, breath is charged with an energy that is explosive. Indictus lays all its cards on the table so there are no doubts about just how high the stakes here are: "I didn't mean to assemble my whole career on lies, so now I blast holes in the men." Yet in this world of broken bodies, Eilbert's tenacity, her sheer drive to get to the end of a thought, to get the words onto the page, conveys a demand: to be honest, to resist, to live.
—Daniel Borzutzky

I will not say that Indictus is brave, or necessary, or fierce, or any number of coded adjectives used to describe work by women; words used violently: to dismiss, hush, step over. I will not laud Eilbert for her trauma, her deft vulnerability. Instead, I have removed all of the Homer from my bookshelves, and Dante, and Milton and Holden Caulfield, too. I trashed them all. In their place, Natalie Eilbert’s epic Indictus, the only journey of tribulation and discovery that I regard as true heroism. One could say this is a book of poetry by a woman who has endured unspeakable trauma and lived to bear its witness. One could also say, this book is an incredible document of survival. This book surprised and troubled and inspired me with its humor and sureness, with each poem’s subtle rhythm and control. No— “fierce” simply won’t do. Natalie Eilbert possesses—and expertly and gracefully wields—one of the most singular voices in American poetry today.
—Morgan Parker

In her dizzying second collection, Eilbert (Swan Feast) hypnotically propels readers through the relentless emotional turmoil experienced by victims of abuse. Her poems address both the natural resistance to and the inevitable necessity of exploring one’s own trauma. Eilbert sets the stage for that process through a confrontation with the unsaid: “Let me say of language that it is my currency and performs best when it is stripped of decorum.” Her style is genuine, generous, and unlabored, yet enigmatic in places. “You want to be turned in the dust because/ the dust makes you holy, the dust dries you/ out, the dust dusts your dust as oceans unto/ oceans as shame unto shame,” she writes. “The white lurch of a face is male. See/ how he sees me as dust dusts the dust, the dust’s instructions?” When Eilbert elucidates her abstractions into more tangible metaphors, her brilliance shines through: “Noise of a club// circles back in like a saccharine plague./ The sound of man like the fat that hugs the/ plunged sword.” Equally wise and perplexing, Eilbert’s poems reflect all the troubling ways “we understand others by breaking them apart.”
—Publishers Weekly