A Book Of Witness
Fiction by Jerome Rothenberg
A Book of Witness: Spells & Gris-Gris is Jerome Rothenberg’s passage from one century––one millennium––to another. Of the one hundred poems that comprise the book, the first half were written in 1999, the second in the two years that followed. But far more than a marker of era-shifting, this collection reestablishes the primacy of the poetic “I,” not in the sense of a confessional, personal voice, but of the grammatical first person as both a singular witness and conduit for others––a kind of prophecy. Often incantatory, the poems in A Book of Witness are a reaffirmation of self in the face of history’s darknesses, a shout for life against an indifferent universe.