The Stuff of Hollywood

Niki Herd

Forthcoming August 2024

The Stuff of Hollywood is a meditation on the pervasiveness of violence in America. In this book-length poem, Niki Herd relies on various modes—images, prose, and lyric and documentary poems—to reflect upon the quotidian nature of gun culture, police killings, and political unrest. From a busy Waffle House, to a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, to an Uber ride down a Chicago street, readers are placed in various “film” locations and watch as America becomes a character in its own absurd movie. In one section, excerpted language from the continuity script of D.W. Griffith’s 1915 The Birth of a Nation is juxtaposed with text from the January 6 congressional hearings, suggesting a fragile line between real and engineered brutality. Herd interrogates empire and the ways in which violence is consumed and normalized. The Stuff of Hollywood is an elegy for a country that never existed beyond the screen.

ISBN: 9781556596964

Format: Paperback

About the Author

Niki Herd is the author of the poetry collection The Language of Shedding Skin and the chapbook don’t you weep, and co-edited Laura Hershey: On the Life & Work of an American Master with Meg Day. Herd’s poetry, essays, and criticism appear in Gulf Coast, the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature, New England Review, Copper Nickel, Academy of American Poets (Poem-a-Day), Lit Hub, The Rumpus, Obsidian, and Tupelo Quarterly, among other journals and anthologies. She has received fellowships from MacDowell, …

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