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Gatekeeper: Poems

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What is the deep web? A locked door. A tool for oppression and for revolution. "An emptying drain, driven by gravity." And in Patrick Johnson's Gatekeeper--selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry--it is the place where connection is darkly transfigured by distance and power. So we learn as Johnson's speaker descends into his infer What is the deep web? A locked door. A tool for oppression and for revolution. "An emptying drain, driven by gravity." And in Patrick Johnson's Gatekeeper--selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry--it is the place where connection is darkly transfigured by distance and power. So we learn as Johnson's speaker descends into his inferno, his Virgil a hacker for whom "nothing to stop him is reason enough to keep going," his Beatrice the elusive Anon, another faceless user of the deep web. Here is unnameable horror--human trafficking, hitmen, terrorism recruitment. And here, too, is the lure of the beloved. But gone are the orderly circles of hell. Instead, Johnson's map of the deep web is recursive and interrogatory, drawing inspiration and forms from the natural world and from science, as his speaker attempts to find a stable grasp on the complexities of this exhilarating and frightening digital world. Spooky and spare, Gatekeeper is a striking debut collection and a suspenseful odyssey for these troubled times.


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What is the deep web? A locked door. A tool for oppression and for revolution. "An emptying drain, driven by gravity." And in Patrick Johnson's Gatekeeper--selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry--it is the place where connection is darkly transfigured by distance and power. So we learn as Johnson's speaker descends into his infer What is the deep web? A locked door. A tool for oppression and for revolution. "An emptying drain, driven by gravity." And in Patrick Johnson's Gatekeeper--selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry--it is the place where connection is darkly transfigured by distance and power. So we learn as Johnson's speaker descends into his inferno, his Virgil a hacker for whom "nothing to stop him is reason enough to keep going," his Beatrice the elusive Anon, another faceless user of the deep web. Here is unnameable horror--human trafficking, hitmen, terrorism recruitment. And here, too, is the lure of the beloved. But gone are the orderly circles of hell. Instead, Johnson's map of the deep web is recursive and interrogatory, drawing inspiration and forms from the natural world and from science, as his speaker attempts to find a stable grasp on the complexities of this exhilarating and frightening digital world. Spooky and spare, Gatekeeper is a striking debut collection and a suspenseful odyssey for these troubled times.

32 review for Gatekeeper: Poems

  1. 5 out of 5

    Wisconsin Alumni

    Patrick Johnson '12, MPASx'21 Author From the author: What is the deep web? A locked door. A tool for oppression and for revolution. “An emptying drain, driven by gravity.” And in Patrick Johnson’s Gatekeeper — selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry — it is the place where connection is darkly transfigured by distance and power. So we learn as Johnson’s speaker descends into his inferno, his Virgil a hacker for whom “nothing to stop him is reason enough t Patrick Johnson '12, MPASx'21 Author From the author: What is the deep web? A locked door. A tool for oppression and for revolution. “An emptying drain, driven by gravity.” And in Patrick Johnson’s Gatekeeper — selected by Khaled Mattawa as the winner of the 2019 Ballard Spahr Prize for Poetry — it is the place where connection is darkly transfigured by distance and power. So we learn as Johnson’s speaker descends into his inferno, his Virgil a hacker for whom “nothing to stop him is reason enough to keep going,” his Beatrice the elusive Anon, another faceless user of the deep web. Here is unnameable horror — human trafficking, hitmen, terrorism recruitment. And here, too, is the lure of the beloved. But gone are the orderly circles of hell. Instead, Johnson’s map of the deep web is recursive and interrogatory, drawing inspiration and forms from the natural world and from science, as his speaker attempts to find a stable grasp on the complexities of this exhilarating and frightening digital world. Spooky and spare, Gatekeeper is a striking debut collection and a suspenseful odyssey for these troubled times.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Simon Sweetman

    A quite extraordinary book of poems. About the deep web. Amazing blending of journalism and poetry here. New forms of both.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  4. 4 out of 5

    Andy

  5. 5 out of 5

    Travis Moore

  6. 4 out of 5

    AJ

  7. 5 out of 5

    Robin

  8. 5 out of 5

    Daisy

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shivon

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ali Townsend

  11. 5 out of 5

    Tom Johnson

  12. 5 out of 5

    Robert Vaughan

  13. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Becker

  14. 5 out of 5

    Andy Kristensen

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ariel

  16. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  17. 5 out of 5

    Poetry Daily

  18. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

  19. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  20. 4 out of 5

    Luke Gorham

  21. 4 out of 5

    Melinda

  22. 4 out of 5

    Leeann peck

  23. 4 out of 5

    Elijah Greiner

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rucha

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kim

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bree Dawn

  27. 4 out of 5

    Debbie

  28. 4 out of 5

    Karleigh Taylor

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  31. 5 out of 5

    Caitie

  32. 4 out of 5

    Jeb Haley

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