Here’s something interesting: if you preordered Elizabeth J. Colen’s Waiting Up for the End of the World: Conspiracies, then you had the option to add accompanying artwork with your order. First of all, I don’t think I’ve ever received artwork in the mail before, besides the mini-collages that EJC herself has sent me—usually in the form of CD covers. Secondly, how awesome is it that a book order comes with art? The artwork is great. I’m putting it in my boudoir. It will fit there perfectly.
In addition to the artwork, I also want to write about the book itself. This is the second full-length book of poetry by EJC. It deals with apocalyptic notions and conspiracy theories. I’ll be honest, given its subject matter, I didn’t know if I would like it as much as her first book, Money for Sunsets, which is painfully beautiful and more about the kind of emotional experience that interests me most. However, Waiting Up for the End of the World is equally beautiful and portrays the consistently purposeful use of language that has become synonymous with EJC’s work.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from a poetic book on conspiracy theories, but the themes and tone are gripping and consistent throughout. The order of the pieces, the progression, and the placing are all masterfully done. For conspiracy theory junkies, this book will add depth and intellectualize the hobby for you. Those for whom conspiracy theories have no real hold will find conspiracies as a theme an apt critique of our dire world, held together by beautiful use of language.