by Lynn Melnick ’97

Published by YesYes Books (2022)

In this searing new volume, Lynn Melnick dives head-first through concentric waves of personal and generational trauma with her trademark fearlessness. Evincing a complex mind shaped by the late 20th century’s misplaced priorities, Refusenik interrogates misogyny and anti-Semitism across time and a shifting global landscape—from a football field in Los Angeles to a Russian shtetl to a beloved daughter’s Brooklyn bedroom. Variously unraveling and allowing for intricate tangles of anger, nostalgia and love, these agile poems furrow deeper into the terrain of Melnick’s much-celebrated earlier titles, arriving at a profound and pressured understanding of what it means to be a contemporary American.