"Defacing the Monument is a call for poets and other creatives to get to work. This work will begin when poets begin to challenge their own writing by questioning how they themselves may be implicated and complicit within structures of violence. As they do this, they will become better able to recognize when to speak and when to stay silent."
Defacing the Monument tops the SPD Non-fiction bestseller list!
"Briante asks us to reimagine the way we see the border and the lives it encompasses — to interrogate the false sense of normalcy ... and to “reframe and recontextualize every exception and every unexceptional atrocity.”
High Country News
Defacing the Monument received a STARRED review at Publishers Weekly! Check it out here.
Now available from Noemi Press and Small Press Distribution!
“Defacing the Monument wrestles with the ways in which lives are registered and not registered within entrenched systems of extraction and division…”
From WORDS ARE THE CURRENCY OF THE BODY: READING SUSAN BRIANTE’S DEFACING THE MONUMENT AT THE BORDER by Honora Spicer in The Adroit Journal
Briante’s essay “Little Christmas” first published in Essay Daily (December 20, 2019) has been named an honorable mention in the Best American Essays 2019.
Bodies Built for Game: The Prairie Schooner Anthology of Contemporary Sports Writing, edited by Natalie Diaz features Briante’s essay “Off Sides” as well as work by Claudia Rankine, Hanif Abdurraqib, and Ada Limón, among many others. Order it here.
“Defacing the Monument accomplishes the important work of demonstrating the same self-examination it asks of its readers, offering a way to critically think through written forms of power and into poetic practices.”
"I recommend those books and Susan Briante’s “Defacing the Monument,” which uses documents, newspaper articles, quotes, and typographical images in a very exciting way. I’m always interested in hybrid works."
Claudia Rankine in The Boston Globe
“"Briante’s multimodal text invites readers to imagine new ways of living that benefit all of us, not just the privileged few."
The Georgia Review
“Defacing the Monument is defiant of genre and unceasing in its ferocity of mind. Briante, restless and self-reflective, sources the desires and politics that undergird documentary works while crafting a cultural critique through literary, visual, and sonic forms.”
From “The Limit of Lyrical Thinking,” an interview with Susan Briante and Roberto Tejada in the Los Angeles Review of Books. Read the full interview here.
"I want [Defacing the Monument] to continue the legacy of a work like James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men that documents while interrogating the documentary act. …And I hope it might serve as a guidebook for anyone who wants to write or offer aid in this moment of crisis.” Read the full interview with Susan Briante here.
Briante heads to Patagonia, AZ, in July to serve as Faculty Liaison for the Southwest Field Studies in Writing program, the only program in the country that sends graduate creative writing students to amplify voices and expand dialogue on issues related to the border. Follow their blog posts here.
After a short hiatus, Briante’s back in the studios of KXCI producing new episodes of Speedway and Swan, a free-form hour of poetry, music, and conversation. Keep an eye out for upcoming episodes with Ruth Ellen Kocher and Jen Hofer. Can’t wait? You can stream all of our past episodes here.