Music for the Dead and Resurrected


In her book of letters to the dead, the prize-winning poet Valzhyna Mort relearns how to mourn those erased by violent history.

In Music for the Dead and Resurrected, Valzhyna Mort asks how we mourn after a century of silence and propaganda. How do we remember our history and sing after being silenced? Mort draws on intimate and paradoxical first-hand accounts of a past grandparent generation of the Soviet labor camps, redistribution of land, and massacres of World War II in Belarus. As her country is being run by a long-time dictator, the poet creates a ceremony of myth making for the erased history and family.

Music for the Dead and Resurrected is a space where the living and the dead can coexist sharing stories, where the Belarusian woods can act as witnesses of forgotten lives, and where musical form can create a new lyric mythology and an uncompromised language of remembrance. Mort, born in Belarus and now living in America, teaches us that the remembrance of private histories has a power to confront collective, violent American myths.