Atomic Time, published by Nixes Mate Books

Nixes Mate Books, 2019

Where to order: Nixes Mate Books

Poetry for the age of apocalypse

I, poet, convoke this minyan of infidels/to mourn and to celebrate/what remains of our humanity.” Elissa Rashkin’s Atomic Time entranced me with a timeless voice, a voice as sharp and sorrowful as broken glass, a voice “reeking of murder/rain and apocalypse.” Rashkin unflinchingly examines the atrocities of the European ghetto, of the Middle Passage, of a “no-woman’s land.” The language is rich, muscular, and mournful, a “kaddish for the rest of us,” that recalls a pain both exotic and hauntingly familiar. Rashkin reminds me that hope is just as close, “Just behind that distant mountain/must be Jerusalem.” The voice is human and generous, giving the reader, “blood of petals . . . . a blessing, a goodbye.” Atomic Time is an important book for this volatile world.

Jennifer Martelli, author of My Tarantella