Julian Talamantez Brolaski
(USA, 1978)   
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Julian Talamantez Brolaski

Julian Talamantez Brolaski lives and works in Brooklyn, New York near the Gowanus Canal, one of the most polluted waterways in the United States and a recurrent setting in his poems.

Julian Talamantez Brolaski is a transgender poet, fluidly juggling the language he uses. He blurs the boundaries between Elizabethan English, hip-hop slang, #webtalk and ‘Urban Dictionary’ terms just as effortlessly as between sonnets and free-verse forms, between neologisms and deeply excavated etymologies. It is then of little surprise that his work should be reminiscent of Joyce’s Finnegans Wake on occasion, for example in Sloughing off the Gentlemanly Sports:

A gleam in the gloom with serpentine song
His sonnets are Shakespearian in their solidity, but their settings are thoroughly contemporary:

If I be fair, or false, or freaked with fear
If I my tongue in lockèd box immure
Blame not me, for I am sick with love.

The famous philosophical line from King Lear, ‘Nothing will come of nothing’ is reformatted by Brolaski, not to mention given a makeover:

n/thing will come of n/t

There are a striking amount of animals in his poems: beached whales, Irish sheep, horses, rats, cows, fish, starfish – all of them seen timelessly, as they are, in the past of the present of the future:

the fish begin to speak queerly
something that will never happen before

He debuted in 2010 with gowanus atropolis, which was followed by Advice for Lovers in 2011. A new collection, Horse Vision, is in preparation. He is also a country punk musician with Juan & the Pines, and works as an editor at Litmus Press.

© Erik Bindervoet & Robbert-Jan Henkes (Translated by Michele Hutchison)


gowanus atropolis, Ugly Duckling Presse, Brooklyn, NY, 2010
Advice for Lovers, City Lights, San Francisco, 2011
Horse Vision, Fulcrum Press, New York, 2014


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