Jerrod Schwarz is an MFA graduate of the University of Tampa. He is also the managing poetry editor of Driftwood Press. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Cultured Vultures, HOOT, The Fem, and many others. His first small collection titled The Crop was published by Rinky Dink Press in 2016.

[REVIEW] Diorama of a People, Burning by Bradley Harrison


Ricochet Editions

33 pages, $15.00


Review by Hannah Rodabaugh


Several years ago, when I first read Ronald Johnson’s radi os, an erasure text with Milton’s Paradise Lost as source material, I was fascinated by the construct of erasure in the meaning of language. Though the intended product was inconsistent in its desire towards an aesthetic reading experience, it asked questions about interpretation and intention which were interesting in their own right. Put in a different way, a need for structure to display a level of content seemed the point of the erasure. These types of texts often contain intentions in making meaning as one of its forms of making meaning.

In this vein, Bradley Harrison’s short collection Diorama of a People, Burning is neatly exposing these intentions. The chapbook is a wave-like series of text erasures. (This wave-like structure might be intentional, as many references to the catastrophic flooding in Iowa a few years ago occur intentionally and often.) The erasures center around six prose poems. Each prose poem has a series of three corresponding increasingly erased versions that follows it.  In all but the last series, they are in order of least to most erased, which gives us a sense of everything falling away as we read. Continue reading