Voyager (excerpt)

Srikanth Reddy

To cross scenes out of a text would not be to reject the whole text. Rather, to cross out a figure such as to carry out programmes they approve the various regional economic commissions and inter-governmental bodies sometimes increases the implications. I had hoped to voice my unhappiness in the world thus. More and more, it seems to me the role of the Secretary General in this book is that of an alter ego. In a nightmare, Under Secretaries General, Assistant Secretaries General, and other officials of rank reported directly to me. I was given an office and a globe. But I wondered why the forest just beyond the window seemed so cold when it was, to be sure, rapidly burning.

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Srikanth Reddy’s latest book of poetry is Underworld Lit (Wave 2020). He is the author of Voyager, named one of the best books of poetry in 2011 by The New Yorker, The Believer, and National Public Radio; and his first collection, Facts for Visitors, won the 2005 Asian American Literary Award for Poetry. Reddy’s poetry and criticism have appeared in Harper’s, The Guardian (UK), The New York Times, Poetry, and numerous other venues. He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Creative Capital Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and is currently Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Chicago.

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“These recastings form a highly ambitious book of political poetry that speaks hauntingly of our world.”—Publishers Weekly

“Erasurists find their imaginative space by reading creatively. One of the genre's most creative readers is 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.”—Believer Magazine

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