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Eyewear Publishing

Racecar Jesus

Racecar Jesus

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By Travis Mossotti

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Racecar Jesus, winner of the Christopher Smart – Joan Alice Poetry Prize, turns the wheel of western spirituality with equal parts western skepticism, and the poems work toward practical enlightenment the way a bricklayer might; only, what they’re building is the opposite edifice:


…I am a ruin of questions.
Where once there was a temple, only pillars.
Where once a roof, now only clouds
and darkness interrupted by the jest of stars.
- excerpt from DINNER WITH MY SPIRITUAL ADVISOR AT PEACEMAKER

Racecar Jesus converts the sacred into the ordinary—or perhaps, it’s the other way around.

Travis Mossotti’s previous collections are About the Dead, Field Study, and Narcissus Americana. Mossotti has been the recipient of the Miller Williams Poetry Prize, the May Swenson Poetry Award, and a Fellowship from the Regional Arts Commission. His fifth collection, Apocryphal Genesis, won the Alma Book award and is forthcoming with Saturnalia Books in 2024. He currently serves as a Biodiversity Fellow for the Living Earth Collaborative at Washington University. He lives and works in St. Louis.

 

 

Travis Mossotti’s Racecar Jesus made an impact from the very start with its immediately accessible voice and engaging style. The poems veer unpredictably, rather like a “Buzzfeed” channel, or a high velocity poetic consciousness careening headlong through 21st century Americana. There are lurid ruminations on God and spirituality, quirky, phenomenal imageries that provoke and delight, but there’s equally an eagerness to reach out and connect, to break through the habitual, the mundane, and to become more aware of “the catalogue of human sorrow [we] touch and withdraw from.” Mossotti has mastered the art of the confessional-conversational, combining wit with devastating juxtaposition, like an F1 jet-engine-fuelled Billy Collins on fire. - Jason Eng Hun Lee

 

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