College of Idaho English professor Diane Raptosh is set for the release of her new book, American Amnesiac, which hits shelves Aug. 22. The book, published by Etruscan Press, is available in paperback for $16 at Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise (www.rdbooks.org), where Raptosh will sign copies during a 6 p.m. release event Aug. 22. The book also will be carried in Terteling Library on the C of I campus.
American Amnesiac is the fourth book published by Raptosh, who teaches courses in creative writing, literature and criminal justice at the C of I. Raptosh also is the Poet Laureate of Boise for 2013 and the Idaho Writer in Residence for a three-year term beginning in 2013. Her latest book is a dramatic monologue in verse spoken through the voice of amnesiac Calvin Rinehart upon awakening from his state of forgetfulness.
“I came upon the vehicle of the amnesiac who wakes up one day and is unable to recognize himself and the world he is living in,” Raptosh said. “This allows him the opportunity to ponder what it means to have an identity and to be a ‘self.’ It also allows him the opportunity to look around, from a fresh perspective, at the United States. The amnesiac narrator is concerned about a number of matters, such as environmental degradation and the criminal justice system.”
American Amnesiac can be read either as a series of discrete (untitled) poems or as one sustained monologue. Raptosh believes its debut is coming at an important time in American history.
“I was feeling distressed about the state of the United States,” Raptosh said. “And I decided that as a writer, I could offer a way to investigate the state of things in America. I chose to do that through my poetry.”
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another 11 Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.