Cover Image: Faster, Annihilators!

Faster, Annihilators!

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Member Reviews

Reading a Poetry Collection is a strange thing. You cannot really spend a lot of time at once with it, the poems start to blur together. Which happened everytime I spent more than 15 minutes at once with this book.
I really loved sitting in the dark in my room and mouthing the words to myself in order to understand and recognize the poems structure. Some of these fell flat for me. Plenty might stick with me forever. I liked the themes explored and the way they were separated in the book. My favorite chapters were politics and hope. Plenty of these poems were dripping in anger, hurt and regret. Many were biting, yet beautiful.
All in all I will find myself returning to some of these again and again.

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Ⓑⓞⓞⓚ Ⓡⓔⓥⓘⓔⓦ

"𝑻𝒉𝒆𝒚 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒕 𝒂𝒃𝒐𝒖𝒕 𝒚𝒐𝒖𝒓 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒂𝒍 𝒉𝒊𝒈𝒉 𝒈𝒓𝒐𝒖𝒏𝒅 𝒏𝒆𝒗𝒆𝒓 𝒅𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒎𝒊𝒏𝒈 𝒊𝒕 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒃𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒊𝒓 𝒃𝒐𝒏𝒆𝒔 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒄𝒍𝒊𝒎𝒃 𝒕𝒐 𝒓𝒆𝒂𝒄𝒉 𝒊𝒕"

“Faster, Annihilators!” is a hard-hitting collection of poems that shines a light on the issues of expected conformity and the struggles of not fitting into society’s boxes.
One thing that struck me as I read this collection is how a lot of the poems have a dystopian feel to them. Considering Travis Hupp is writing about our current way of life, this made for quite an illuminating and unnerving, yet important, read.
The main themes I took away from this collection are on the flaws of modern civilisation, the question of how free people really are and the damage that arises from living in a society fuelled by capitalism. You get the feeling that Hupp has no option but to write on these matters as he “hunted inspiration to help [him] write anything other than this”. You can really feel the anger and frustration he has lived through due to society’s pressures and unfortunately many will be able to relate to that.
Other themes explored are LGBTQ, mental health and how dismissed it can be by those who should help us, corruption of those in power, control of the masses, hope and love.
Hupp expresses his experiences quite bluntly which helps to reinforce the collection’s subject matter. He also uses interesting imagery that perfectly depict ailments that can be hard to verbalise, such as describing anxiety/ depression as his “guts learn[ing] how to braid”.
This is quite a heavy read but is highly recommended. There is a satisfaction in having Hupp’s poems resonate with how hopeless and lost this fast paced life can make you feel.

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i had such high hopes for this one, i really did. the description made this book seem like it would be a very rich, complex take on queer masculinity that i often seek in poetry, but a lot of the poems fell so flat for me. the rhythms were interesting and it was refreshing to see rhyming pieces in an era dominated by free verse, but the subject matter felt so surface level to me. there were cliche elements that left me wanting more: more nuance, more viscera, more introspection. i know that this was written over a period of more than two decades, so it would make sense that some would read a bit more immature than others, but the vibe of this collection was kind of ranting, and the cadence of the pieces felt very repetitive as the sections moved forth.

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I enjoyed this collection. I found some of the poems really relatable and there were others that I simply skimmed over.

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Faster, Annihilators! is a poetry book I will be returning to for the rest of my life. It was a beautiful read. The poems were well organized into sections that flowed and followed very nicely. These poems were so well written, I was surprised to realize this was the author’s first published work. With writing reminiscent of the complexity of Lin Manuel Miranda with internal rhymes, and Dr. Seuss levels of alliteration, Hupp weaves poems that left me thinking, crying, and immediately wanting to re-read and study.

“Your Entire Regime”, “Free to Obey”, “The Voice Will Keep Returning” and “Under Wraps” stand out to me as poems I will remember for all time.

Perhaps I speak as part of the target audience for this book— a queer adult furious with the state of the United States and struggling with the realities of mental health—but I found these poems not only relatable, but comforting and inspiring. (I already want to work “Under Wraps” into my wedding next year). I fiercely look forward to returning to study these poems, and reading more by Travis Hupp in the future!

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