Ellen Hinsey’s new book-length sequence, The Illegal Age, is a powerful investigation into the twentieth-century’s dark legacy of totalitarianism and the rise of political illegality. It explores the enduring potential for human beings to set neighbour against neighbour and commit final acts of violence. A book of lyrical reflection and prophesy, The Illegal Age chronicles the arrival of a new, disquieting reality unfolding in our midst.
As Marilyn Hacker has written, “In dialogue with Celan, Szymborska, Milosz… this is a daring text – for its political acuity, and for its demonstration of the power in poetry to recount, remember, move the heart while opening the mind.”Written in parallel with her first-hand research into the rise of authoritarianism carried out over the last decade, Hinsey’s volume warns that – rather than an “Age of Anxiety” – we may indeed be facing the start of the “Illegal Age”.
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