Personal Problem by Brendan Joyce
full length book of poetry — 6 x 9 | 60 pp.
release date: September 15th, 2023
Brendan Joyce's Personal Problem, a smart and smarting collection of communist poetry for our capitalist crisis. Joyce's sensibility is dreamy (but not in the twee way), droll (but not in the posh way), and thoroughly exhausted (but not in the way that gives up). The collection, with its alternatingly flat and fiery exegesis of precarity and wage work and endings and beginnings and climate catastrophe and even the economics of its own existence, transcends most of what's out there. Get it!
Natalie Shapero, author of Popular Longing
"In cigarettes, six months' rent / is a year": Brendan Joyce's thrilling poems keep time to the beat of capitalism. We're going down, but Joyce is here to bring "the wreckage in from the wreckage, / into the wreckage." If you don't read him, you will die alone, simple as that.
Michael Robbins, author of Walkman and Equipment for Living
On the heels of his 2020 debut Love & Solidarity, Brendan has returned with a brand new collection of poems that circle his obsessions; money, class, work and the political economy of ecological collapse. In order to find the language for the means of economic exploitation and immiseration, Brendan focuses on its tempo, reordering our perception of time in the way capitalism imagines it; as a series of equations between commodities.
Poems in this collection were born from Kay Gabriel’s Poetry Project workshop “wouldn’t it be possible to eat everything? Bernadette Mayer’s poetry experiments”, others merely the tedium and terror of chronic unemployment in an ongoing global pandemic, while living through a worsening climate collapse. Flipped suddenly from his comforts as a low wage service industry worker, Brendan tries to track the way the world attempts to put itself back together, regardless of its least empowered workers’ say.
Brendan Joyce is a poet, teacher and essayist, from Cleveland, Ohio. He has had his poetry featured in venues ranging from Poetry Daily to The Brooklyn Rail. He is the author of three books of poetry; Character Limit (2019), Love & Solidarity (2020) and Personal Problem (2023), as well as a forthcoming memoir surplus years.