A Flag of No Nation (preorder)
A Flag of No Nation (preorder)
Forthcoming Winter 2018
(Purchase via Jewish Currents)
“Tom Haviv’s 'A Flag of No Nation' is a magnificent rendering of family history and migration, as presented through “this cascade of choices/we call our stories.” Dedicated to his grandmother Yvette, Haviv’s meditative and visionary book of poems gathers and disperses the ephemera of the past in a structurally inventive and fluid landscape of text, image, pixels and sound. The reader, set on a voyage at once mythical and digital, is dazzled by Haviv’s explorations of style and the concert of voices that guide the multitudinous sections of this book. The “shore of the song” in Island leads into to the thoughtful translations of recorded correspondence in Losslessness. The self and the pixel converge, and Yvette’s dreamy ontology sings via emails and voice recordings entwined with history. Rectangular Sun and A Flag of No Nation exemplify a work at once of the earth and nonmaterial, as they explore the purposeful imaginations of human communities. 'A Flag Of No Nation' recalls and reveres generations in a compassionate timescape that yields, like land appearing on the horizon, something sublime and unknown.” —Connie Mae Oliver
Tom Haviv's debut book of poetry, 'A Flag of No Nation', is a mix of narrative, documentary and performative poetics that meditates on world invention & collapse. The book traces the stories of Sephardic Jews in the 20th century, colonists in a white ocean, and performers enacting new rituals around a nationless flag. Through these stories, Haviv investigates the history of Israel/Palestine and the mythologies of nationalism. A warning against imperfect dreams, and an invitation to co-imagine something new, A Flag of No Nation reminds us of how the act of remembrance can help us re-envision the future.
Part one, ISLAND, is a narrative poem about an act of collective blindness that forms an industrious yet precarious nation. The sequence plays with the epic, the creation myth, the concrete poem & a range of other forms that press against each other as a world is built out of the white space of the page.
Part two, LOSSLESSNESS, is a series of poems based on oral history fragments of personal & family experiences in the Turkish Jewish diaspora in the 20th century. The poems will be connected to an online audio/video archive.
Part three, RECTANGULAR SUN, is selection of lyric poetry about public and private history seen through shifting, and sometimes shattering, layers of digital mediation.
Part four, A FLAG OF NO NATION, is a meditation on peace & paradigm shift in the story of Israel & Palestine. The series of instructional poems is part of larger project that has been performed internationally.
The book also includes an excerpt from the essay about the Hamsa Flag, which you can read in full on the online journal Protocols' website: http://prtcls.com/article/the-hamsa-flag/
Tom is a writer & artist from New York City. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Fence, Conjunctions, Prelude, Black Sun Lit, The Sakura Review, FEELINGS Journal & elsewhere. His website is tomhaviv.com.