The Forgotten World

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Pub Date 1 Aug 2021 | Archive Date 11 Aug 2021

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Description

In his third collection, poet Nick Courtright explores the world at large in an effort to reconcile selfhood as an American in the international community, while also seeking anchors for remembering a wider world often lost to view in our shared though increasingly isolated experience of reality. 

Beginning in Africa with investigations of religion and love, The Forgotten World then moves to Latin America to tackle colonialism and whiteness. From there it travels to Asia to discuss economic stratification and Europe to explore art and mental health, culminating in a stirring homecoming to troubled America, where family, the future, and what matters most rise to the forefront of consideration.

Through all of it, Courtright displays a deft hand, at once pained, at once bright, to discover that although the wider world seems farther away than before, the lessons it offers are more needed than ever.

In his third collection, poet Nick Courtright explores the world at large in an effort to reconcile selfhood as an American in the international community, while also seeking anchors for remembering...


A Note From the Publisher

Nick Courtright is the author of Let There Be Light (2014) and Punchline (2012), and is the Executive Editor of Atmosphere Press. His work has appeared in The Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, and The Southern Review, among dozens of others. With a Doctorate in Literature from the University of Texas, Nick lives in Austin with the poet Lisa Mottolo and their children, William and Samuel. Find him at atmospherepress.com, nickcourtright.com, and watching birds on his porch.

Nick Courtright is the author of Let There Be Light (2014) and Punchline (2012), and is the Executive Editor of Atmosphere Press. His work has appeared in The Harvard Review, Kenyon Review, and The...


Advance Praise

"Nick Courtright has not forgotten the world. In his poems, what tethers and separates us is visible. His language is graceful, self-aware, and highly memorable."

~ Eduardo C. Corral, Guillotine and Slow Lightning


"Nick Courtright's The Forgotten World begins with a "heritage like gum on a Walmart parking lot" and searches for a relationship with the world-what part of nature is a father, what purchase gives them a brother. In these poems the speaker, forever elsewhere, quests for a sense of self, for a new definition of family, for a fire that might make everything begin again."

~ Traci Brimhall, Come the Slumberless To the Land of Nod and Saudade


"These are poems that reach for elusive truths, as their speaker seeks to understand his place inside the world, inside whiteness, inside the magnitude of empire, inside the complexities of the human spirit. It's a search that resists the comfortable answers and leads readers to a space of restless astonishments."

~ Matthew Olzmann, Contradictions in the Design and Mezzanines


"The Forgotten World is a terrific book with a surprisingly wide range: it explores the world, the home, and the soul with honesty, dark humor, and love. In myriad landscapes and poetic forms, Nick Courtright skillfully depicts the complexities of balance and collapse-both the personal and universal-the past's and the ever-impending."

~ Jennifer L. Knox, Crushing It and Days of Shame & Failure


"In The Forgotten World, Nick Courtright explores the intersections of being a citizen of one country and the desire to live as a citizen of the world. It is a challenge, however, to embrace all and be embraced by all. What we find in these poems is keen observation of human interaction, an attempt to understand the world most us die not knowing, and the realization that most of us will remain mere tourists in this world, often nothing more than "beggars reaching for the cup of sadness.""

~ Octavio Quintanilla, If I Go Missing and 2018-2020 Poet Laureate of San Antonio


"In The Forgotten World, Nick Courtright weaves a challenging and unflinching exploration of nearness and distance, "the unmasked faces of others," and the temporary nature of the self. It's a journey of questioning, of the subject position of the speaker, as outsider and participant, as well as of the reader, in the face of cultural implication and personal atonement. It's not a safe journey or book, but one we need to remember."

~ John Gallaher, Brand New Spacesuit and In a Landscape


"Structured like a travelogue, the speakers of The Forgotten World are ever aware of their fraught and fragile relationships to the people and places around them, of the damage white men like themselves so often inflict upon the planet. There is tenderness in these pages, and humor, and a reminder that to live and love at all is a miracle."

~ Amorak Huey, Boom Box and Seducing the Asparagus Queen


"The Forgotten World questions what it means to be alive and what matters most. Nick Courtright writes as a witness of the everyday spirit. He uncovers the "artifacts of memory" and sews them into song. What a joy it is to sit back and listen."

~ Noah Falck, Exclusions and Snowmen Losing Weight


"...a bold and daring approach that arises from the inert need to acknowledge privilege and play a part in moving humanity forward...The Forgotten World strives to remind readers of the inherent and deep-seated struggles of navigating global citizenship in an unfathomably, beautifully complex world." — Independent Book Review

"Nick Courtright has not forgotten the world. In his poems, what tethers and separates us is visible. His language is graceful, self-aware, and highly memorable."

~ Eduardo C. Corral, Guillotine and...


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Available Editions

EDITION Hardcover
ISBN 9781649219190
PRICE US$22.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 9 members


Featured Reviews

Pros: Nick's writing style was easy to follow and picture in my head Global worldview for understanding different places Rich vocabulary Poignant topics discussed through prose Cons: Would have loved to see some other 'hard' topics discussed that are common in terms of human rights around the world Didn't love the cover as far as the huge font

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This small collection of poems is highly relevant and moving. Recommended for young adults and teens especially to better understand immigrant experience and build empathy. Excellent.

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*3.5 rounded up to 4* The Forgotten World is not one journey, but two. The first is an international excursion, seen through the eyes of the poet; the second is a voyage through the mind of the poet himself. I will admit that at first, I wasn't feeling the travelogue style of the collection, not because I don't appreciate traveling to foreign places, but because I found myself wrestling with the lens through which these places were being presented. It felt, at first, like Courtright was dancing precariously close to the fine line between self-awareness and navel-gazing. As a woman whose family hails from a nation that is treated like a playground for the white and wealthy, I've developed something of a low tolerance for the "punish me, I'm a white colonizer" trope. To quote the poet, "... I looked through the screen to see the screen I was seen through", and having lived my life on the objectified end of what is often referred to as the "white gaze", even the most compassionate of voyeurs is still a voyeur. However, I am also a firm believer in allowing people to speak their truth, and there was a vulnerability in the fact that this is Courtright's own truth. How he feels about it isn't for me to judge, and there is a marked sincerity in his poetry that cannot be denied. Courtright is indeed very much so aware of himself as an individual and sees himself as a continuation of a heritage that has wrought much destruction across the world. He alludes to atrocities that span centuries and continents, and I have an appreciation for using art as a tool for expanding awareness. What redeems Courtright and this collection of poetry is the fact that he doesn't stew indulgently in white guilt (thankfully), and instead makes peace with simply trying to be a better person and raise better people. He also contends with a number of other themes such as mental health, the tumultuous state of America, and his complicated relationship with religion. I particularly enjoyed Courtright's poems about love - love that is nearing its end, love that has gone up in flames, and the enduring kind of love that one pours into their children. In the end, these are the poems that won me over. Thanks to Nick Courtright and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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A great collection of stories like poetry covering a vast number of countries and the issues with these countries. I enjoyed reading the poetry from the United States section as I felt a great connection with these poems.

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Short, interesting read. Stream of conscious poetry. Or seems so to me. It flows well, I felt lulled reading it, if that makes sense. I enjoyed it, felt enlightened by it, liked the lay out of it- around the world with it's many issues. Readers who like books written in verse will love it.

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This is a searing, self-reflective manifesto on the damage done by men, and white men in particular, to the world and to others. It's never self-pitying or defensive, but instead grapples with big ideas and difficult topics with aplomb and sensitivity.

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This collection of poems by Nick Courtright attempts to reconcile the global with the personal as he chronicles his world travels and return home to America. Each step along the way reveals his desire and effort to find a place in this world as he wrestles with internal flaws and external turmoil. I enjoyed reading his thoughts, was fascinated by the snippets of insight and honesty revealed throughout these poems, and found Courtright's voice to be consistently authentic as he told his story through the lens of the world. Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC of this book!

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