“When a collection like Malaria, Poems comes along, the world must take notice.”
“This is a frightening and important book.”
–Adrian Matejka, 2014 Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry
“For a year I’ve had a slim volume of poetry called Malaria buzzing around my head.”
Malaria kills nearly one million people each year. Hundreds of millions more are sickened by the disease, and many of them are permanently disabled. Billions are spent each year to understand it. Researchers know the molecular details of the interaction between the mosquito and our own red blood cells, and the myriad ways in which malaria impacts the global economy and the advancement of humanity. But what of the public?
Though its story is told in thousands of articles and in hundreds of books, many in the developed world are unaware of how prevalent malaria still is. Malaria, Poems testifies to the importance of bridging the chasm between science and art. It adds thread to a tattered and tragic global narrative; it is poetry’s attempt to reawaken care in a cold case that keeps killing. According to Cicero the aim of the orator is threefold: to teach, to delight, and to move.
Poets during the renaissance embraced this idea, and Malaria, Poems reinvigorates it. Allen Ginsberg called for a poetry of social consciousness, a “bare knuckle warrior poetics.” Cameron Conaway, a former MMA fighter, offers Malaria, Poems both as a response to Ginsberg’s call and as a new call to contemporary poetry.
Want a deeper glimpse into this issue before purchasing the book? Watch this: