BAD THINGS HAPPEN is an experimental book length erasure poem. An erasure is a “found” poem in which the poet works with text from an original work to create something new. An erasure is often created in response to, or in conversation with, the original source text. Through purposeful decision-making, the erasure poet will subvert, challenge, question, or build upon the meaning and themes in the source text. Unlike a blackout poem (which presents the original redacted text with the new poem as a visual art form), an erasure constructs the new work into lines/stanzas, thus creating something separate from the original source text.
BAD THINGS HAPPEN is a book-length collection of erasure poems constructed in response to the book, Lord, Where Are You When Bad Things Happen? by Kay Arthur. Arthur’s book is a daily Bible study examining questions about the role of God in difficult life events and was written to an audience mainly of Evangelical Christians.
While creating the works in BAD THINGS HAPPEN, the author sought to take the viewpoint of someone who doesn’t claim the infallibility of the Bible or even necessarily believe in any sort of god. The reality in life is that bad things happen. Truly bad things happen. Even evil things. To Believers and Unbelievers, alike.
The erasure poems in BAD THINGS HAPPEN don’t necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of the poet, but are offered as food for thought and as a means for looking at life through the lens of someone outside the purview of modern Evangelical Christian thought and practice.