abstracted Whistler painting of night sky with clouds, sparks, stars

Stardust Media

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Christina Pugh’s fifth book of poems explores the technologies both ancient and new that inhabit our contemporary cultural moment. Mapping an uncanny journey through the clusters of media we encounter daily but seldom stop to contemplate, Pugh’s focused descriptions, contrasting linguistic textures, and acute poetic music become multifarious sources of beauty, disruption, humor, and hurt. Here, Netflix and YouTube share space with eighteenth-century paintings, Italian graffiti, ballet, Kurt Cobain’s recordings, and even a collection of rocks. Whether technology is a vessel for joy or grief in these poems, it is always an expression of our continuing desire to invent and to mediate. At once personal archive and cultural barometer, Stardust Media traces the moving constellations of life in the distant twenty-first century, “a kaleidoscope / . . . half-filled with sky-blue glass-cut blossoming, / then labored to crystallize."

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