Earth, Milky Way: punctum books, 2023. 92 pages. ISBN-13: 978-1-68571-090-3. DOI: 10.53288/0507.1.00. OPEN-ACCESS e-book and $15.00 in print: paperbound/4.75 X 7.5 in.

By defamiliarizing the place we live, The Tales makes us aware just how dystopian it really is. Like the soldier whose stories change the course of civilization, Jessica Bozek is that rare communicator with the power to make us see the world a little differently.

~ Maggie Millner, Zyzzyva

The necessary thinking of disaster is perhaps the true province of poetry—not just in the history of American poetry but in all poetries—the song against the vanquishing night, the fairy tale as a means of warding off the demons, of keeping the children ‘inside’ the yard.

~ Sina Queyras, author of My Ariel and Lemon Hound

The Tales

Stitching together a post-apocalyptic history from the scraps of fairy tales, war memorials, hunting songs, and disparate scholarship, Jessica Bozek’s The Tales traces the violence that humans inflict upon one another. As the central narrative of the Lone Survivor becomes revealed through the mouths of various perspectives, Bozek investigates the language that victims and perpetrators alike use to make sense of (and attempt to forget) the aftermath of violence. From ordinary objects—family photographs, sweaters that unravel, old batteries, and lightbulbs—to the remnants of destroyed art and architecture, an annihilated nation is brought into reality, and the Lone Survivor’s story is simultaneously documented and invalidated, becoming “a memorial that will disintegrate over time, gray and fray as most of the dead did not have a chance to.”

This title is a second edition, released as part of punctum’s Special Collections project.

About the First Edition