"Borrowed Words" by Peter Wortsman

  • "Borrowed Words" by Peter Wortsman

Like a farmer rotating his crops, Peter Wortsman periodically ploughs words back into the mulch of meaning. Romanian émigré DADA poet Tristran Tzara (aka Samuel Rosenstock, 1896-1963) gave it a name: cut-up (or “découpé” in French). Wortsman reverts to cutups when he's too distracted, depressed, dumbfounded or deranged to write in the regular manner. As the isolation of virtual lockdown during the seemingly interminable Covid-19 pandemic stretches into its third year, Wortsman, a modern-day monk, languishes in the solitude of his cell, longing for meaningful communion. Absent belief in a transcendent being, cutups take the place of prayer.


Peter Wortsman


Author of work in multiple modes, including fiction, plays, poetry, and translation from the German, Peter Wortsman was a fellow of the Fulbright (1973) and Thomas J. Watson Foundations (1974), and a Holtzbrinck Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin (2010). His work has garnered a Beard’s Fund Short Story Award and an Independent Publishers Book Award, among other honors.

Twitter: @Wortsman

Facebook: @peter.wortsman

Instagram: @peter_wortsman

Website: https://www.peterwortsman.com/

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