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The Writer's Studio


Words without Borders March Issue
Image: Elana Kundell
 Mbira Experiment, 2009, Oil on Panel (Detail)
Correspondences In The Air: International Poetry 
The March Issue
We’re celebrating the publication of The Ecco Anthology of International Poetry, edited by Ilya Kaminsky and Susan Harris ofWords without Borders, by devoting the month to poetry. Reading poetry gives one a chance to overhear similarities, or what Anna Akhmatova once called “correspondences in the air”—that is, moments where authors of different geographical and historical circumstances, languages, and traditions seem to address each other in their works. In these correspondences we see the importance of dialogue, as poets return to their poetic origins in order to create something new. Listen in on Roberto Bolaño, Sergio Chejfec, Nyk de Vries, Charles Ducal, Alta Ifland, Jazra Khaleed, Luis García Montero, Yiannis Moundelas, Francesc Parcerisas, Mercedes Roffé, Tomaž Šalamun, Nikos Violaris, and Richard Wagner, and enjoy the conversations.
 

From "Tales of the Autumn in Gerona" 
by Roberto Bolaño 
Translated by Erica Mena 
A woman—I should say a stranger—that caresses you, jokes with you, is sweet with you and brings you to the edge of the abyss.more>>>

From the Figure 6 Into Ships
 
by Tomaž Šalamun 
Translated by Thomas Kane and Tomaž Šalamun 
You destroyed all letters.
You burned the heavenly garden. 
more>>>

Largo di Vitoria 
by Tomaž Šalamun 
Translated by Michael Thomas Taren 
Out of milk, out of strong skin jumps the big brother.
When the river flows, the berth sleeps. 
more>>>

Movements 
by Tomaž Šalamun
Translated by Thomas Kane and Tomaž Šalamun 
You went to heaven, Sir,
forgetting your legs. Should we bury them? 
more>>>

Roosters and Bones
by Sergio Chejfec
Translated by Elizabeth Polli
If when night falls in the kitchen
Someone leans over
To look in the sink, he will see 
more>>>

Black Lips 
by Jazra Khaleed 
Translated by Peter Constantine
Listen
You who chew on my solitude 
more>>>

Worth It (A Thursday Telephonically) 
by Luis García Montero
Translated by Katie King 
Around ten I call you
to say I have ten calls, 
more>>>

Then
by Francesc Parcerisas
Translated by Cyrus Cassells
Then with her hands
she’d crown her son’s head, 
more>>>

Shave
by Francesc Parcerisas
Translated by Cyrus Cassells
Observe yourself in the mirror,
unchanged yet strange, 
more>>>


Call Me At Home, Flambé
 
by Yiannis Moundelas 
Translated by Sarah McCann
darling, when it comes to strawberries
you’re like me 
more>>>

Day, A
by Yiannis Moundelas 
Translated by Sarah McCann
gulls woke me

and the sun 
more>>>

Hermes in Retrogression
by Yiannis Moundelas
Translated by Peter Constantine
With fingers—fingertips and edge of nail—
he plots fires with tongues of snakes, 
more>>>

Let Us Talk 
by Charles Ducal
Translated by Dustin Benner
First, we will bury you in the sand,
with your head free to speak 
more>>>

Situation: To Cast Off A Malady
by Mercedes Roffé
Translated by Margaret Carson
invite people over. invite everyone.  to a feast.  a big feast.more>>>

Night Does Not Fall
by Nikos Violaris
Translated by Peter Constantine
Night
does not fall
nor does it come 
more>>>

Half Sleep Half Death 
by Nikos Violaris
Translated by Peter Constantine
Half sleep
half death.
My hands in springtime 
more>>>

Lockjaw 
by Richard Wagner
Translated by Victor Pambuccian
I walk toward the mill
To meet my quiet father 
more>>>

Room
by Nyk de Vries
Translated by David Colmer
In that town there was a room I kept circling. It was near my girlfriend’s. 
more>>>

Bilingual Poem avec clichés
by Alta Ifland
Danse avec moi baby under the stormy sky 
more>>>

Elsewhere in the issue, Paolo Di Tonno and Marco Arnaudo'sBaudelaire, The Metaphysical Ostrich, and his pals ponder life and art, and John Taylor considers Alta Ifland

Book Reviews

The Way of the WorldFrivolous Women and Other Sinners/Frivolas y pecadoras
by Alicia Borinsky  
Translated from the Spanish by Cola Franzen and Alicia Borinsky
Swan Isle Press, 2009

Reviewed by Adam Eaglin
Alicia Borinsky’s book Frivolous Women and Other Sinners (Frivolas y Pecadoras) consistently surprises with its verve and stamina more>>>

The Museum of InnocenceHe and I
by Emmanuel Moses
Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
Oberlin College Press, 2009

Reviewed by Fiona Sze-Lorrain
Weaving like a riddle that begs for more questions, or a jigsaw puzzle that laments its missing pieces more>>>


  Recent Dispatches
God's Bit of Wood CoverGod's Bit of Wood
by Geoff Wisner  
Though better known in his later years as a film director, Sembène Ousmane (1923-2007) staked an early claim as one of Africa’s finest novelists.

God’s Bits of Wood, first published in 1960 and translated from the French by Francis Price, is not only one of the best novels to have come out of Africa but one of the best political novels of the 20th century.
more>>>


Op OloopRoberto Bolaño, Bounty Hunter
by David Varno
Bolaño’s preliminary note to Monsieur Pain, a short novel was first published in 1999 and appeared last month from New Directions, alludes to the author’s early desperation and tenacity.  He wrote the book in the early ’80s, and it was awarded a prize by the Toledo City Council in Spain.  Bolaño claims he never saw the book in published form, and continued pursuing “awards scattered over the map of Spain: buffalo prizes I had to go hunting like a redskin whose life is on the line.” more>>>

A New Venture 
by Ana María Correa
And Other Stories is a fledgling independent publisher of fiction in translation with a new, community-based approach. Editorial selection decisions will emerge from a consensus of readers, writers, and translators.

Stefan Tobler and Jamie Searle are developing two reading forums at LibraryThing. The Portuguese-language group is looking at titles by João Paulo Cuenca, Rodrigo Lacerda, Raduan Nassar, and Dulce María Cardoso. The Spanish-language group is considering the work of Guadalupe Nettel, Andrés Neuman, Carlos Gamerro, Norma Lazo, Victoria de Stefano, and Ricardo Waale. (Incidentally, Cuenca, Nettel, and Neuman are all members of the Bogotá 39.)more>>>

More from Dispatches
 

 


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