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Soft Targets
Deborah Landau
$16.00 paperback
978-1556595660
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Soft Targets
Deborah Landau

Deborah Landau’s fourth book of poetry, Soft Targets, draws a bullseye on humanity’s vulnerable flesh and corrupted world. In this ambitious lyric sequence, the speaker’s fear of annihilation expands beyond the self to an imperiled planet on which all inhabitants are “soft targets.” Her melancholic examinations recall life’s uncanny ability to transform ordinary places―subways, cafes, street corners―into sites of intense significance that weigh heavily on the modern mind.

“O you who want to slaughter us, we’ll be dead soon/enough what’s the rush,” Landau writes, contemplating a world beset by political tumult, random violence, terror attacks, and climate change. Still there are the ordinary and abundant pleasures of day-to-day living, though the tender exchanges of friendship and love play out against a backdrop of 21st century threats with historical echoes, as neo-Nazis marching in the United States recall her grandmother’s flight from Nazi Germany.

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For Soft Targets, Deborah Landau

“Through the cadence of these poems, which sometimes resemble lullabies in their dreaminess and gorgeous lyricism, Landau captures the ways humans persist, despite our collective anxiety, in our longing for ‘something tender, something that might bloom.’”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“An essential meditation for our era.Nylon

Terse and yet lyrical, floating in white space on the page like stark, intimate thoughts, Soft Targets is a riveting example of how we cannot take the body out of thinking, and we shouldn’t.”—Literary Hub

 

“Deborah Landau has developed a style of writing poetry that reminds me of Maggie Nelson and Anne Carson, these long poems that feel dreamy because they are so lyrical. This is also her most political book.”—Major Jackson, The Boston Globe

Landau’s deft touch allows her to shape poems of subtle nuance and strength, poems that build paradox upon paradox...”—New York Journal of Books

 

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