Epochal Reckonings (Winner of International Proverse Prize)
In Epochal Reckonings, poet, adjunct professor and editorial writer, J.P. Linstroth describes and responds to some of the crises of the first years of the 21st century. He aims, as he puts it, to cause concern, discussion, and surprise, as well as to evoke the emotions of anger, empathy, and sadness. The events covered include the huge migrations of people seeking to cross borders, whether in the Americas, Asia, Africa, the Middle-East or Europe, hoping for safety and a better life. Linstroth also shows and comments on human and natural acts of astonishing violence: the 9/11 destruction of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York; the Hurricane named Katrina of 2005; the Haitian earthquake of 2010. Linstroth portrays man’s inhumanity to man, whether callous, careless, mistaken, or deliberate: the police-killings of African-American youths; the genocide of Brazilian indigenous peoples; the torture of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison; mass school-shootings in the USA; and the Yemeni civil war. Linstroth describes his poetry as emergent and inchoate, outlining the struggles and sufferings of various groups during major crises in the 21st century, embodied by racism, extremism, violence, and tragedies too many to be told. These poems capture such calamities, defining their symbolic significance for many of those who have experienced these disasters of our times across the globe.