ISBN-10: 1556596464
ISBN-13: 9781556596469
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publish Date: 10/18/2022
Dimensions: 8.70" L, 5.70" W, 0.50" H

Your Face My Flag


Price: $17.00


Debut poems of stunning power and range from a China scholar and policy advisor

Torn between intimacy and estrangement, eros and politics,
history and futurity, Your Face My Flag is a riveting debut poetry
collection. Gewirtz explores the place of poetry in a globalized era, shaped by
escalating geopolitical tensions between China and “the West.” From the
factories where iPhones are assembled to riverside idylls where men have long
met for sex, these poems move restlessly across continents and through
centuries. In a world that conspires to dull us against the particular, Gewirtz
writes with sharp focus, recapturing memory and desire in stunning detail.

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Praise for Your Face My Flag

"Julian Gewirtz's exquisite debut collection . . . [renders] desire and self-determination: from the ironically redundant evasions of Cupid's arrival ('when he is not / here, it is as if // he is not here') to more adverse obliquities that gay westerners internalize ('looking at you from across / the street in a crowd') and that Chinese citizens must navigate as China descends into ever more dire forms of control and surveillance ('To use a man for his shadow / is to make a thing of him'). In poems about the dissidents Liu Xiaobo, Liu Xia, and Xu Zhiyong, and about an iPhone assembler who committed suicide at a Chinese factory ('When you place it in its box / do you imagine me'), Gewirtz, a specialist on China's modern transformations, combats state-imposed alienation, imagining the inner lives of people that the authorities would erase. His poems on western culture make an aesthetic of indirection–a Vermeer's interiority ('that world outside where she isn't'), a bog body's 'mute deserted face'–integral to his style of erudite disquiet. The effect is austere but beautifully illuminating."–David Woo, Harriet Books, Poetry Foundation

"Wonderfully enough, Gewirtz's collection is no epic, nor does it want to be. Instead, these poems revitalize an aspect of lyric poetry easily lost sight of–not that a poem must include history, but that a poem occurs within history and against it, too. . . . In this world where even the weather can be weaponized (see 'Own Weather'), Gewirtz writes lyrics not to spite history, but despite it. His vision recalls Wallace Stevens's definition of lyric work: 'A violence within that protects us from a violence without.' The hope here isn't to resolve or absolve us of our human complexity, but the ethic is better: to keep it open."–Dan Beachy-Quick, Colorado Review

"In a collection that's vividly detailed and layered, Gewirtz proves to be a wonderful storyteller, covering a wide range of subjects and frequently addressing social justice issues."–Library Journal

"There's astonishing range to Julian Gewirtz's Your Face My Flag, from technology's dehumanizing fallout to the weaponizing of the weather itself, from the history of relations between China and the West to sexual cruising. The poems explore the blur of desire and politics, of intimacy and empire, and in so doing, they make not just a space for the erotic but an argument for the erotic as strange restive haven, as permission: 'Everyone who loves me/begs me not to do/the dangerous thing.//Only you would let me.' I'm grateful for that–grateful, too, for the risks and provocations to which Gewirtz invites us in this resonant debut."–Carl Phillips, author of Then the War: And Selected Poems, 2007-2020

"Gewirtz's courageous collection of poems spans history, memory, and desire. It invents a language to describe the injustice and cruelty below the surface of the global economy and restore a humanity to its victims. These deep and allusive poems, in dialogue with Shakespeare and Whitman, are at the same time unflinchingly attentive to the present moment and what Gewirtz calls 'history on the loose'. Ultimately, his poems express what it might mean to be a human and a citizen in a world driven by the forces of unchecked technological advancement."–Xiaolu Guo, author of the National Book Critics Circle Award-winning Nine Continents

"'The new world was my husband, ' writes Julian Gewirtz, "like a surgeon specializing in the removal of voice.' These poems are uneasy relations between superpowers, studies in diplomacy and international trade made personal. Their sweep is historical; tone, erotic; mind, vast. In a world of invasive policing and artificial intelligence, Gewirtz makes a passionate case for our fragile human selves. It is an enchanting and affirming sensibility at work."–D.A. Powell, author of Useless Landscape, or A Guide for Boys

"Your Face My Flag is inflected with the inescapable desires that pulse through political urgencies, the contradictions in the laws of love, a self-aware lyric position. Gewirtz writes, 'To use a man for his shadow/ is to make a thing of him, ' a line that encapsulates the tender attention and thoughtfulness he brings to this complex subject."–Carmen Gimenez Smith, author of Be Recorder

Praise for Never Turn Back: China and the Forbidden History of the 1980s and Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists and the Making of Global China

book [is] a gripping read, highlighting what was little short of a revolution
in China's economic thought."―The Economist

account . . . is masterful: detailed, balanced, and illuminating . . . This is
a revelatory account of China's economic evolution, its debt to Western
economic thought, and its love-hate relationship with capitalism."―Publishers
starred review

remarkable book, written with poise and confidence . . . and illuminates the
beginnings of an economic idea that would transform China and change the
world."―Project Syndicate

book is... a tour de force on China, the theory of policy advising, and the
history of economic thought, all rolled into one."―Marginal Revolution

a gracefully written narrative of the unusual experiments with mixing economic
forms that facilitated China's economic boom...Nicely crafted and carefully
argued."―Los Angeles Review of Books

provides a dramatic and freshly detailed account of the terrifying years from
1976 to 1993, when China's central leaders held their breath and pushed their
country into the unknown by beginning to liberalize its economy." –Foreign

More Reviews


ISBN-10: 1556596464
ISBN-13: 9781556596469
Publisher: Copper Canyon Press
Publish Date: 10/18/2022
Dimensions: 8.70" L, 5.70" W, 0.50" H
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