Craig Morgan Teicher
by Cathy Park Hong
$24.95 List Price
Cathy Park Hong’s poetry can be dark, depressing, grimly prophetic, and fun—often all at once. In Engine Empire, her third book, she examines how governments and companies use information to control people by throwing her voice in all sorts of surprising directions, assuming the personae of very odd, alliteratively bent characters from a fictional past and an imagined (yet possible) future whose experiences warn us about the realities of the present.
The book manages to be an entertaining read, even as it says stark and haunting things about race, love, technology, and the capacities of language to hide or reveal unwelcome truths. Hong has thought hard about the implications of her vocabulary: When she rattles off something seemingly funny and a bit cynical—such as “The snow is still beta. / You feel the smart
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