There are two angels in this book. One is Walter Benjamin’s Angel of History; the other is an unemployed and illiterate Puerto Rican man. Both angels are blown backwards into a future they cannot face. Scully’s poetry addresses head-on the intellectual and cultural degradation of an imperial order whose ambition appears to be to reduce the globe to a shrunken head on a stick.
James Scully was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1937. In the 1960s he was heavily involved in the anti-war movement in the USA. In 1973-74 he and his family lived in Chile; after the military coup their Santiago apartment was used as a safe house by the Movimiento de Izquierda Revolucionaria. He has published ten books of poetry, as well as translations of Aeschylus and of Quechua poetry from Bolivia. His other books include Line Break: Poetry as Social Practice, Vagabond Flags and, with Bob Bagg, The Complete Plays of Sophocles. He lives in Vermont with his wife.