You might think, from his jazzy apparel, that MoMa’s 2013 Poet Laureate Kenneth Goldsmith only ever dwells in happy thoughts. And yet, the latest of his 10 published books has made Stephen Colbert quite upset: Seven American Deaths and Disasters transcribes the first radio and television broadcasts of JFK’s assassination, the Columbine shooting, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. “When I read this I feel like I’m […] coming in to sample other people’s shock and tragedy,” Colbert told Goldsmith. “[I]t feels vampiric.”
This article originally appeared on Zola Books.