Poetry Book Club: Decade of the Brain by Janine Joseph

In the deeply personal Decade of the Brain, Janine Joseph writes of a newly-naturalized American citizen who suffers from post-concussive memory loss after a major auto accident.

The collection is an odyssey of what it means to recover—physically and mentally—in the aftermath of trauma and traumatic brain injury, charting when "before" crosses into "after." Through connected poems, buckling and expansive syntax, ekphrasis, and conjoined poetic forms, Decade of the Brain remembers and misremembers hospital visits, violence and bodily injury, intimate memories, immigration status, family members, and the self.

"Janine Joseph is a virtuoso of refraction and reflection, resisting metaphor in favor of immediate and vivid description in this remarkable account of a life-changing injury and the effort to recover memory, language, self. Formally inventive, these poems stay awake to the complexities of the human mind even in the midst of recovery from trauma, the way words are always slippery and elusive when we need them most to be solid objects. A fascinating, moving collection."
—D.A. Powell

"Along the stunningly crafted and radiant syntax of Decade of the Brain, I edge the edges of languages, bodies, selfhood, and estrangement, into experiences of disorientation. Joseph's speakers articulate the strangeness of living in relation to other past and simultaneous selves changed by injury, intimacy, notions of citizenship, and nation. Each line is a shock of words, then an unraveling. Dense with expansive, precise sound, this book is a stunning grappling with the possibility and powers of an irreconcilable self.”
—Aracelis Girmay

Janine Joseph is a poet and librettist born in the Philippines. She is the author of Decade of the Brain and Driving Without a License, winner of the Kundiman Poetry Prize. Her poetry, essays, and critical work have appeared in The Nation, The Georgia Review, Orion Magazine, The Atlantic, Pleiades, The Poem's Country: Place & Poetic Practice, Zócalo Public Square, VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, the Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-Day series, and elsewhere. Her honors include fellowships, scholarships, and residencies from MacDowell, Kundiman, Vermont Studio Center, Sewanee Writers' Conference, Bethany Arts Community, and the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. A co-organizer for Undocupoets, Janine is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Oklahoma State University and the 2022-2023 Dean's Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Virginia Tech.
Decade of the Brain: Poems By Janine Joseph Cover Image
ISBN: 9781948579308
Availability: Available - We'll have it for you ASAP!
Published: Alice James Books - January 17th, 2023

Event date: 
Monday, May 15, 2023 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
304 S. Elm St.
Greensboro, NC 27401