Travelers Aid Society
Travelers Aid Society by Jeff Sirkin is a collection of poems intimately related to music, cities, and the insightful perceptions of a peripatetic speaker. The reader is led through different historical, socio-cultural, and political happenings and contexts by a keen observer. Sirkin reveals treasures in what we might otherwise take for granted and deem as mundane: a conversation at a bar, a plumber at work, cold winters in Buffalo, mornings with family reading the Cincinnati Enquirer, dealing with bureaucracy when crossing the Juárez-El Paso border, the Ohio River in the late nineteenth century, going through LPs, and more. Music appears interwoven throughout the book as a kind of soundtrack, including songs by Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bing Crosby, among others.
PRAISE FOR TRAVELERS AID SOCIETY
"Jeff Sirkin’s Travelers Aid Society charts a wayward swerve off the grid of received United States history lessons, a wanderer defying artificial borders. Whether Cincinnati, Buffalo, or Ciudad Juárez, Sirkin turns a city’s artifice aside and confronts its infrastructure instead: machines and the people whose labor operates them. A plumber repairing a drain. A bartender serving last call. These tender-hard (think Gen X punk) poems also document the speaker’s own consumer culture, his service economy. Thrilled to travel (post) cities with this keen-eyed poet."
Carmen Giménez Smith, author of Milk and Filth and Odalisque in Pieces
ABOUT THE POET
Jeff Sirkin grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. He writes on popular music and literature, and his work has appeared or is forthcoming in Mandorla;Forklift, Ohio; Puerto Del Sol; The Volta; and elsewhere. He currently teaches in the Creative Writing Department at the University of Texas, El Paso, where he also co-curates the Dishonest Mailman Reading Series.
Read Jeff Sirkin's blog at: travelersaidsociety.wordpress.com
Cover image by Jennifer Hill
Author photo: Marc Sirkin and Steve Hymon