Claudia Rankine

  • Words Into Action

    The words from the United States Department of Defense's Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms that are used throughout Solmaz Sharif's incredible first poetry collection, Look (2016), show us how language can be both weaponized and disarmed. In Sharif's evocative, often fragmented reports, assemblages, family narratives, and personal accounts, terms like diversion, shadowing, celestial guidance, damage area, stop-loss, and dormant begin to break down, leak, and implode under the pressure of the poems that contain them. We are rarely given "official" definitions for these words, but we