John Komurki’s Wörterbuch comprises a series of sparse and enigmatic texts. Resembling poetry, they are in fact abstracted from a multilingual dictionary published in Germany in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Excavated in this way from their their original context, these texts become a meditation on the ravages of war, and in particular its impact on civilian populations, as well as on how violence deforms language. In addition, however, they offer rare and unexpected glimpses of beauty among the ruins.
Komurki has been honored as rhe inaugural recipient of the Ricardo Bell Atlantic Prize of Young Poetry.