34.1 | Andy Zuliani

A Present Absence: Reading Redaction Poetry

This article explores the disruptive affordances of reading erasure poetry and, more specifically, its redaction poetry subgenre. The article’s corpus is a multimedia selection that includes the headquarters of the National Security Agency of the United States (NSA), jayy dodd’s tweet “Inaugural Poem for [REDACTED],” Niina Pollari’s material poem “Form N-400 Erasures” and James Bridle’s video “Every Redaction” (2015). By close reading these aesthetic objects, Zuliani discusses how the concealment and censorship enforced by redaction is subverted when artists adopt it in their artistic production in order to challenge imposed meanings and produce critically different ones. By openly confronting these acts of censorship, “these poetic practices model new kinds of attention, new modes of active engagement that challenge the status quo” (105).