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Public Figures

Jena Osman

Publication Year: 2012

Public Figures is an essay-poem with photographs and text that begins with a playful thought experiment: statues of people in public spaces have eyes, but what are they looking at? To answer that question, Jena Osman sets up a camera to track the gaze of a number of statues in Philadelphia--mostly 19th century military figures carrying weapons. How does their point of view differ from our own? And how does it compare, say, to the point of view of other watchful military figures, such as drone pilots? In this book, Osman combines the histories behind these statues with poetic narratives that ask us to think about our own relational positions, and how our own everyday gaze may be complicit with the gun-sights of war. Public Figures illustrates how history is transformed, and even erased, by monuments and other public records of events. Through poetry, those histories can be made visible again.

Published by: Wesleyan University Press


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Public Figures

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pp. i-i

Wesleyan Poetry

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pp. ii-ii


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pp. iii-iii


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pp. iv-iv


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pp. 1-72

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pp. 73-73

Thanks to Homay King and Jonathan Skinner for help taking photographs. Thanks to Amze Emmons for help with the maps and with everything. Thanks to Thalia Field as always. Thanks to Rob Armstrong, Margot Berg, Laura ...

Photo Credits

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pp. 75-75


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pp. 77-78

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About the Author

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pp. 79-79

Jena Osman’s books of poems include The Network (2010, selected for the National Poetry Series in 2009), An Essay in Asterisks (2004), and The Character (winner of the 1998 Barnard New Women Poets ...

E-ISBN-13: 9780819573124
Print-ISBN-13: 9780819573117

Page Count: 92
Publication Year: 2012

OCLC Number: 812508343
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Public Figures

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