Radio Ethiopia

Tim Shaner


ISBN 978-1-963908-19-0              80 pages               $18.00


Tim Shaner's Radio Ethiopia: Testimony of a Development Brat, is a fantastic hybrid that reflects and refracts the memories and fluid identities of a boy raised in Ethiopia and Ethiopian and African and American and European national, colonial and imperial history. It is a whirling dervish of subjects and subjectivities, a tour-de-force of poetry and personal loss of a brother, sister, and sense of self, as found and reconstructed and reified in treasured pictures and odd mementos, images of album covers and Patti Smith lyrics, found and discovered quotes, convolutions of Rimbaud and Rambo as Renoirishly drawn self-portrait and anti-manifesto. We are carried through it all by the intensity of Shaner's search for understanding: of himself, of what it meant to grow up an expatriate American in Ethiopia, of his own ethical authority as a writer to seek an understanding that is necessarily bound up in the suffering and exploitation of others. All is defamiliarized and rigorously interrogated—and yet, what remains is has been both reckoned and felt, so that finally Radio Ethiopia dreams itself to a place of liminal possibility rather than a false, reassuring conclusion. Rich, rewarding, and gorgeous.

   —Mike Copperman, author of Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta



Tim Shaner is the author of Picture X (Airlie Press, 2014). He received a Ph.D. from SUNY-Buffalo’s Poetics Program in 2005. His work has appeared in The Poetic Labor Project, Plumwood Mountain: An Australian Journal of Ecopoetry and Ecopoetics, Colorado Review, The Claudius App, Jacket, P-Queue, Kiosk, Shampoo, Ambit, The Rialto and elsewhere. With Kristen Gallagher, he curated the Rust Talks series on poetics in Buffalo and edited Wig: A Journal of Poetry and Work, and he published, with Jonathan Skinner, the pamphlet Farming the Words: Talking with Robert Grenier (Field Books, 2009). Currently, he is a coordinator of the Windfall Reading Series at the Eugene Public Library. He teaches writing at Lane Community College.