By Jim Redmond
The poems in Because You Previously Liked or Played explore a world that is increasingly mediated through technology; the personal and political struggle for meaning, connection, and reality run like a fever dream through the schizophrenic circuits of television, cyberspace, and virtual existence.
Publication Date: August 1, 2023
The poems in Because You Previously Liked or Played reveal an extremely online persona who finds life IRL challenging. In the reality of these poems, the reader confronts the difficulties and nuances of a world rendered more accessible, more instantaneous, but also more isolating, uncertain, even terrifying thanks to the internet. The speaker faces a social sphere that is bigger, faster, more politically unstable.
Lyricism and personal expression are interlaced with the language and syntax of chat rooms, gamers, e-commerce, in a way that troubles the dividing lines between the human and the inhuman, the authentic and the artificial, the real and the hyperreal. The self morphs into a sequence of failed firewalls and emotions. And yet, the speaker continues questing for answers, for meaning, for connection.
These poems provide an unflinching look at a wired existence, but they never lose their capacity for wonder, feeling, surprise.
Jim Redmond is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Get Back to Work, and the chapbook, Shirts or Skins. His poems have appeared in Blackbird, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Pleiades, Redivider, PANK, and Diagram, among others. Born and raised in Michigan, he received his MFA from the University of Michigan and a PhD in creative writing, poetry from the University of North Texas. From there he lived and taught in Lahore, Pakistan, before moving back to the U.S.