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ISBN: 978-1-73233-407-6
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Categories Chapbooks, Nomadic, Poetry

An Object in Motion

Publication Date: September 2018


In June of 2023, Black Lawrence Press welcomed numerous existing and forthcoming Nomadic Press titles to our catalogue. An Object in Motion was originally published by Nomadic.

An Object in Motion is the reckoning of firearms from the fictional through the physical, an exploration of these most vicious tools in regard to the bodies they impact and the narratives that have developed as a result. These poems and vignettes are hollow points in a culture of gun violence.


Echoing Claudia Rankine’s Citizen and Cornelius Eady’s Brutal Imagination, yet situated amid whiteness and gun culture, Newson’s raw collection documents a way of life where death and destruction are sport, unremarkable, even inevitable. He evokes a tenderness with the recitals of the quotidian in a world where you can hear the screen door slam shut, the flies buzzing nearby, and from there the reader examines the boundary between play-acting and real life, the obligation any of us might have to one another, how near death is, and whether a death is tragedy, irrelevant, or deserved. His inferences are startling like the sound of a gun going off at close range from the front porch, yet as for whether man or beast was the target, no one seems to care. His poems drape their weight over you like too-humid air, harbingers for a nationalist apocalypse that may come like thunder as soon as this afternoon, or never at all. Haunting. Empathetic. Predictive. Terrifying. A must read in our present moment.
Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of Real American, and the New York Times bestseller How to Raise an Adult

An Object in Motion is a vital contribution to the gun debate raging in the United States. Patrick Newson, who grew up in a town with “more guns than / citizens,” is intimate with both sides of the issue, and he examines with a fierce clarity every encounter with weapons and weapon wielders over his lifetime. Shapes of guns and their destructive force are even present in the layout of some of the poems. Both critical of and sensitive to the fear underlying the gun culture, Newson makes us painfully aware of our “system content with the rule of violence.” If there’s any hope for a constructive national dialogue, it’s with thoughtful works such as Newson’s that bring a deeper understanding of the causes and conditions of the epidemic.
Denise Newman, poet and translator, winner of the 2015 PEN Translation Award for her translation from the Danish of Naja Marie Aidt’s Baboon (Two Lines Press).

About the Author

Patrick Newson

Patrick Newson is a farmer, cidermaker, and food justice organizer living in so-called Oregon. He holds an MFA in writing from the California College of Arts and also attended the University of Oregon, receiving a degree in English. Sometimes he teaches at St. Mary's College of California, and other times he teaches at Lane Community College. His poetry, fiction, and journalism have been published obscurely, and his first book, An Object In Motion, was released to the world in 2018.

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