Touch To Affliction
We are walking backwards into our lives. Our cities are incensed. They fester on our thighs. And we lick at them in garish immoderate delight.
When colour comes we run. We have no idea why.
Touch to Affliction is a text of ruins: ruins of genre, of language, of the city, of the body, of the barbarism of the twentieth century. At once lament, accusation and elegy, this work articulates the crumbling of buildings, the evisceration of language, the inhumanity that arises from patrie.
Acclaimed poet Nathalie Stephens walks among these ruins, calling out to those before her who have contemplated atrocity: Martin Buber, Henryk Górecki, Simone Weil. In the end, this work considers what we are left with - indeed, what is left of us - as both participants in and heirs to the twentieth century.
Touch to Affliction is political but never polemical. It lives at the interstices of thought and the unnameable. It is a book for our times.
'Though Touch to Affliction waltzes with the tides of violence, Nathalie Stephens writes without fear or compromise, “brazen and stumbling.” Touch to Affliction is a clean, stone Madonna, buckled and rife with violence and the possibility of exultation.'- Versemag
'Understanding is almost antithetical to the project Stephens seems to have assigned herself, that of unraveling or radically altering our sense of logic, of language, of narrative, of body, of desire, of words on paper. She wants the book to burn in our hands and, indeed, it does.' NewPages