Fifty years ago, in July 1969, human beings embarked on an epic journey to land on the moon. Now, in July 2019, poet Ken Hunt utilizes NASA's Apollo 11 voice transcription document, a chronicle of the first six days of that mission, to create The Odyssey, an erasure poem of star charts carved from the technical jargon and offhand remarks found in that transmission. The resulting text is both a progressive investigation and a commemorative homage to a major historic event; it will transport you from the surface of our planet to the eerie territory of outer space, a realm populated by the disembodied voices of ghosts, gods, and lost explorers.
The Odyssey compares the astronauts of the 20th and 21st centuries to seafarers of ancient Greek literature, mythic figures who devoted their lives to endeavours of discovery and understanding.
Praise for The Odyssey:
"Like the first footprints of a sailor disembarking on an undiscovered island, Ken Hunt's The Odyssey transforms the landscape. Each word is a blip, a wow, a tiny galley afloat on the Sea of Tranquility. Loaded with the loot found by sifting and sorting through the speeches of Luna's suitors, The Odyssey is an epic in miniature, a hymn in the dark. Others will follow, and surely find their way home." —Derek Beaulieu, author of a, A Novel and Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions
"Just as the moon is formed from parts of the earth scattered by an interstellar collision, the erasure poems in Ken Hunt's The Odyssey reimagine the disembodied voices of the Apollo 11 lunar mission to create spectacular intersecting orbital trajectories involving amazement, fear, classical deities, conspiracy theories, and the contested space between dominance and discovery. If the moon's "rough country / ought to be a / book," this is it. These remarkable and otherworldly poems impress like constellations in the night sky and footprints in the dust. I cannot guarantee you will safely return to earth." —Adam Dickinson, author of The Polymers and Anatomic