Kim Triedman

poems & other disasters

Hadestown

WordTech Communications, 2013

“In his final penitential labor, the Greek hero Heracles descends into the underworld to capture Cerberus, the nether region’s three-headed guard dog–the West’s primordial pit-bull. In Hadestown, her wildly evocative and dazzlingly associative sequence of prose poems, Kim Triedman transforms the hero’s descent into a fraught road trip plumbing the cultural, social, and psychological depths. Part mythic quest, part post-apocalyptic travel narrative, Hadestown is a palimpsest that overlays traditional storytelling with shadows of immigrant passages and the dire conflicting histories of our own moment. In doing so, she has carried into the light a vision of our contemporary underworld. Euripides meets Blade Runner. Beckett meets Survivor.”

– Daniel Tobin

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“A gritty gut-punch of a book, Hadestown deliberately enervates Herakles’ great myth of suffering. Scattering the scraps of what-has-happened, it fixes a red-eyed gaze on a squalid present. Where gods would stride, Kim Triedman gives us skittish know-it-alls. Where the epic would arrive with brazen clarity, this arresting prose poem obfuscates with a menacing, sooty dust. As I read, I was certain that here, the fragmentary is as endangered by a bald coherence as it is by further disintegration; thus, the poet urges we clutch the shards, no matter how they might cut.”

– Douglas Kearney

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“Kim Triedman’s Hadestown is a topographical map of need and satisfaction. To read this book is to embark on a journey and to see the landscape anew…or as Triedman’s speaker says, “…we know we’ve never been here before, that the trip has only just begun. There will be stranger things than tangled kelp.” Here is a resilient addition to the tradition of prose poetry.”

– Jericho Brown

Excerpt

The way the kelp dries on the sand: that is what I mean. From a distance only a smudge along the shoreline, but up close tangled and cystic, gritty with flies. It doesn’t matter. When we pull ourselves up, we know we’ve never been here before, that the trip has only just begun. There will be stranger things than tangled kelp. At least the beach is empty – for that we are grateful – and the sand carries the warmth of some earlier sun. About the next leg we know little, only that we’ve made it thus far, only that the light is beginning to slip from the sky.

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