Travelers Leaving for the City is a long song of arrivals and departures, centered around the murder of the poet’s grandfather in 1955 in a Pittsburgh hotel, exploring how such events frame memory, history and language for those they touch. The poems probe the anonymity of cities, and the crucible of travel. The historical impact of arousal, rage, regret, and forgiveness is seen in visions of interrogations and hotels. These poems explore how family bonds, and disruptions shape, the mind and language, all the while urging the reader to listen for traces of ancestors in one’s own mind and body.
Listen to Ed Skoog read the titular poem from Travelers Leaving for the City: