Today's poem is "In the Century of Mandatory Crying"
from The Rusted City

White Pine Press

Rochelle Hurt was forged from iron ore in the steel mills of Youngstown, Ohio. She studied at Ohio State and at UNC-Wilmington, where she completed her MFA. Currently, she lives in Cincinnati, OH, where she is pursuing a PhD.

Other poems by Rochelle Hurt in Verse Daily:
August 22, 2012:   "Honey the Sky Ain't Going" "Bad weather come, but best..."

Books by Rochelle Hurt:

Other poems on the web by Rochelle Hurt:
Four poems
Five poems
"The Humility of St. Teresa of Ávila"
"Poem in Which I Play the Runaway"
Two poems
Four poems
Four poems
"Third Surgery"
"Dorothy Tries"
"Poem in Which I Play the Runaway"
"Infection: My Sister Plays"
"Elegy Written in a Municipal Junkyard"

Rochelle Hurt's Website.

About The Rusted City:

"The Rust Belt Gothic is a new political-aesthetic category, wherein the ignored or statistical pain of the nation’s abandoned industrial heart is made to glow with a Poe-like anti-vigor, an undead (but unnatural) force. Rochelle Hurt’s Youngstown is rife with fairy-tale inmates—a smallest sister, a favorite father, a quiet mother—yet the ruling spirits of the place are not humans but the corpsey avatars of place itself—the shuttered factory, the ruined ballroom, the big hungry plural baby of ‘the century’ with its singular familiar, Rust. Rust paints its red sigil everywhere, blurring the inside and outside of bodies, homes, the city itself, which eventually, like a body, must split open to expose its red and rusty heart. This is a gory, half-delirious business, wonder- and grief-stricken, urgent and exacting, tender and hot, like an iron filing shifting in the palm."
—Joyelle McSweeney

"In Rochelle Hurt’s breathtaking mixed work of prose poetry and verse, a history of place is caked in a ‘deep layer of red dust.’ The Rust Belt's rattling structures and sutured-up asphalt roads are palpable here in every syncopated line and every musical sentence—in the flash of a worker's lunch pail and in each drink stirred by a rusty nail that leaves ‘iron orange streaks’ on readers’ tongues. And we know that this too is the taste of our blood. We know that in the broken heart of a country, what beats is the familiar pulse of a mother, a father, and siblings, slowly hammering scraps to hold family together. We know, from this new century, that it is art like this that endures."
—Oliver de la Paz

"As moving as it is formally innovative, Rochelle Hurt's The Rusted City is an elegy for the Midwest rust belt, and for a history that is not yet even past—and also the gorgeous tale of a family told through the eyes of its smallest daughter, who greets her rusted world with every magic word of childhood, all the serious play and terrifying loves of her youth."
—Matt Bell

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