Steven Zultanski reading from Honestly at the 2018 Book*hug Spring Launch

The third book in a trilogy that explores the limits of individual expression, Honestly is an intimate, quiet, and unresolved little book about talking and listening.

It begins with research into a forgotten relative who was kicked out of the author’s family after he was jailed for conscientious objection to WWII, and who then moved to New York to become a composer. From there the poem swerves into a series of minor-key personal anecdotes, interlaced with conversations with friends about work and relationships. Throughout, communication is framed by the economics and psychology of the home. Dialogue takes place in close quarters—constrained by money, space, ego, and empathy.