Existing at the intersection between poetry and play, Deaf Republic is the story of a community that renders itself mute as an act of dissent and subversion against its prevailing military dictatorship. In no more than 80 pages, Ilya Kaminksy weaves together intelligent observation of individual and collective responsibility in times of political upheaval; with cuttingly stark and splendidly beautiful reflections of a life, of marriage, of parenthood, before the war and during it. It is a collection that brings the reader to their knees as the fragility, the transience, and the inestimable worth of a life is revealed.
Deaf Republic stands as a warning and a powerful question of our own collective silence in the face of our time’s atrocities. This is one of the finest poetry collections of recent times, and certainly the best this year.
“Deaf Republic is a perfectly extraordinary book. It is so romantic, and so painful, with such a stunning lightness of touch but such devastating weight. It speaks forward and backward, directly to – and beautifully beyond – the time of its creation in the way that only truly great literature does. I will keep reading it, again and again, as the world turns” – Max Porter