In The Book of Redacted Paintings, the narrative arc follows a boy in search of his father’s painting, but it is unclear whether the painting exists or not. The book, a poetry collection, is also populated by a series of paintings. Some are real, incomplete, and/or missing, while most are redacted from reality. The withdrawn paintings concept is the emotional arc of the book, a combination of wishing one could paint the pieces he/she/they envision and the feeling of something torn out of a person due to a traumatic upbringing. A sort of erasure ekphrasis, to foresee artwork that was never painted.
The Book of Redacted Paintings
- BLACK LAWRENCE IMMIGRANT WRITING SERIES SELECTION -
"These fragments form a fascinating book, leaving plenty of empty space in which each of us may find pieces of ourselves, connections within the openings in our histories."
"Honest, real, and lyrical, Arthur Kayzakian’s The Book of Redacted Paintings arrives at a moment in current events when poetry and art in our everyday life could not be more critical."
"With his 'The best translation of/darkness is a victory flag,' Arthur Kayzakian divests the victory flag of its connotations of glory and joy and makes the book of redacted paintings (Black Lawrence Press, 2023) an indictment of all displacements, all erasures and all wars."
"This powerful collection was awarded the inaugural Black Lawrence Immigrant Writing Series award, and it’s easy to see why it would stand out to a jury."