The aftermath of disaster is difficult to measure. The answer changes depending on your metric of loss: number of deaths, houses destroyed, families displaced. Some measures go beyond numbers. You can’t graph grief, hope, trauma, or what it took to survive. But you can collect them in poetry.
Patricia Smith’s Blood Dazzler, a 2008 poetry collection inspired by Hurricane Katrina, reads like a broken heart. It is open and honest and raw. The voices of those who survived Katrina, and those who did not, are both unspeakably sad and incredulous. “Louisiana,” says one nursing home resident in the