The Logic of Yoo: AWP poetry event at Playwright's Theater
Beloit Poetry Journal will be hosting an AWP offsite event, a staged reading of Michael Broek's "The Logic of Yoo", an important political and social poetic series that the BPJ published as a chapbook last year. Introduction by Nick Flynn and followed by a Dialogue on The Literary Arts, Social Justice, and Poetry's Capacity to Change the World
Michael Broek, Lee Sharkey, John Rosenwald, Fred Marchant, Martha Collins, Dwayne Betts, Suzanne Parker, and Laura McCullough
Broek’s The Logic of Yoo explores the ambiguities of language that lead to evil. In it, the main character is a paid plagiarizer, someone who uses language for unethical purposes. When a PhD student commissions him to write a paper on the Bush Administrations’ John Yoo and the now infamous “torture memos”, the writer is forced to confront the slippery dark that resides in all of us, our complicity in the creation of language, law, and the roots of cultural collusion. Starting with the student who wants to buy the paper, all the way to those hired to conduct waterboarding interrogations, the Plagiarizer/narrator comes to indict himself as well, because from under the “hood” of his own complacent complicity, he looks into a mirror and sees “Yoo.” The Logic of Yoo searing exposure of the political consequences we often ignore. Broek’s waterboarding scene alone is enough to change an audience forever and is an unforgettable exfoliation of the American dilemma regarding torture and the human soul.
Praise for Broek’s The Logic of Yoo
--Mark Doty, winner of the National Book Critics’ Circle Award
"Michael Broek's remarkable three-dimensional chess game of a text investigates, through the most surprising of means, the notorious legal memo justifying the Bush administration's descent into moral darkness, a parallel universe of power and of pain invisible to most Americans. Broek's startling, multifacted, crystalline poem may be the only way to come close to talking about the strangeness of this hour in American life."
--Stephen Dunn, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in poetry
"The Logic of Yoo's dark humor is absurdist, as strange and perverse as the world is, and therefore has a continual feel of the true. Michael Broek is a large, new talent; his poem is alive with the deadpan difficulties of being alive."
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