Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Poetry in the Archives
Below are the works of two contemporary poets who draw material and inspiration from archives. Both poets use fragments of archival documents in their texts and in doing so bring underrepresented histories into the present while e3xploring their resonance.
Publication Date: 2011-08-15
In November, 1781, the captain of the slave ship Zong ordered that some 150 Africans be murdered by drowning so that the ship's owners could collect insurance monies. Drawing entirely on the words of the legal decision Gregson v. Gilbert, the only extant public document related to the massacre of these African slaves, Zong! excavates the legal text to tell their stories. Memory, history, and law are woven together to create a poetry of fragments. Zong! is a lament that stretches the boundaries of the poetic form. Online reader's companion at http://zong.site.wesleyan.edu.
What's Hanging on the Hush by
Publication Date: 2017-08-15
What's Hanging on the Hush explores themes that range from race, gender and sexuality to loneliness, madness and grief. Russel samples material for her poetry from contemporary documentaries, first-hand accounts of the Spanish Inquisition, Victorian literature, Post-Modern philosophy, and vegetarian cookbooks. Representing a range of modes, from tight lyrics to sprawling, fragmented texts to language experiments, Russell's poems explore the struggle of being/making in the world.