January 24, 2023
7 x 7 in.
In Famous Hermits, her sixth full-length poetry collection, Stacy Szymaszek departs from the annual journal form of her past three books yet still adheres to the belief that the potential for revelatory and revolutionary transformation exists in the power we have, when we claim autonomy, to organize the fabric of our day to day lives. Her New York City is present as a memory that interjects its expectations onto new Western and Southwestern landscapes that don’t recognize its logic. The concept of the famous hermit is born out of a desire to experience integrity, to not go forgotten, yet with a fierce need to separate from liberal ideas of what poetry should publicly perform. She invokes other kindred artists such as Dante, Bob Kaufman, Tina Modotti, and Jean Seberg as guides as she writes her own statements of renunciation and ultimately of middle-aged self-love.