by Athena Farrokhzad
translated by Jennifer Hayashida
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This vital book exposes the dense tectonics churning beneath migrant dreams. Accusatory, loving, full of grief and sage truths, Athena Farrokhzad’s White Blight speaks eloquently to the troubled inheritance of diasporic survival. Through a litany of terse voices, Jennifer Hayashida’s sensitive translation describes the nexus of filial obligations and projections under which the narrator sinks from view. The intense beauty of devastation and the poignancy of betrayal emerge with startling frankness: “Your family will never be resurrected like roses after a fire.” “I have spent a fortune for your piano lessons / But at my funeral you will refuse to play.” These white lines make me ask, what has been bleached out in all of our stories? I read this book, and I remembered my humanity.
— Sueyeun Juliette Lee
It is hard to explain not just the resonance of Athena Farrokhzad’s work but of Farrokhzad herself. She is a major figure in Sweden, an outspoken feminist and leftist. She is also a stunning writer. On its surface White Blight is a story of migration, how it shapes and misshapes the familiar. Everyone in this poem has something to say about immigration’s trauma, on the impact globalization has on all sorts of intimacy, even as they are so rarely talking to each other. It is also a poem that moves through many registers. At moments it is mannered and metaphoric. At other moments frank and colloquial, intimate too. And Jennifer Hayashida has skillfully translated this complicated work into an ease of English.
— Juliana Spahr
In White Blight, Athena Farrokhzad evokes a language of feeling that is vivid and deeply familiar. The poem performs as intimately as memory, but with the direct language of confession or accusation. In this world, the family unit nurtures by prolonging disquietude, as there is no forgetting the ruptures of exile and immigration. Still these voices yearn to be proven wrong in a future they cannot predict. The pith and force of the language shines through in Jennifer Hayashida’s careful translation, both polished and knife-sharp.
— Wendy S. Walters
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Children of Another Hour
by Mara Pastor
Translated by Noel Black
Letterpressed, Hand-bound chapbook / $10
“Come, astronomer,/ and tell me your abysses./ That static that smashes/ into our heads every time we mend// a beginning.”
In this collection of twenty intensely imagined poems, Mara Pastor has built a whole universe of post-futuristic melancholy. These poems, despite their brevity, take on the human condition – love and death – in a world of cosmonauts, scientists, space travel, and post-apocalyptic gloom. They are concerned with the fleeting nature of our time here on earth (and in space), our inability to connect with each other, and also with our fate as a species. The poet Noel Black has rendered this work in an American English so natural and fine that it almost feels inevitable. This is the kind of book you keep in your pocket and your head for a very long time.
Mara Pastor (San Juan, 1980) is a poet, editor and translator. Her works include the books of poetry: Poemas para fomentar el turismo (La secta de los perros, 2012); Candada por error (Atarraya Cartonera, 2009) and Alabalacera, (Terranova, 2006). Mara’s creative and critical writings have appeared in several magazines and she is featured in such anthologies as Hallucinated Horse: New Latin American Poetry (Pighog Press, 2012) and Red de voces: poesía puertorriqueña (Casa de las Américas, 2012). At this time, she lives in Mexico City.
Noel Black lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, artist Marina Eckler, and their two sons. Co-founder with Ed Berrigan of LOG Magazine and publisher of Angry Dog Midget Editions in the late 1990s, he has since worked as a writer and producer for a wide variety of media outlets including The Stranger and WNYC. He currently works as a producer for KRCC public radio. He is the author of half-a-dozen chapbooks including Hulktrans (Owl Press) and In The City of Word People (Blue Press, 2008).
BY dagmara kraus
translated by joshua daniel edwin
HAND-BOUND CHAPBOOK / $10
Exuberant, darkly funny, and very smart, this long poem by German poet Dagmara Kraus makes music from a state of mind. Its voracious attitude to form and diction is both timeless and completely of this moment. Joshua Daniel Edwin has vividly brought Kraus’s neologisms, music, and rhythms into English with wit and authority. An extremely strong debut from two young poets.
Dagmara Kraus was born in Poland and raised there and in Germany. Her poetry and translations appear widely, including the poetry collections kummerang (KOOKBOOKS, Berlin, 2012) and kleine grammaturgie (Urs Engeler/roughbooks, Solothurn, 2013). She currently lives in rural France and is translating the diary of Polish poet Miron Białoszewski.
Joshua Daniel Edwin’s poetry appears in a variety of publications in print and online. His translations of Dagmara Kraus’ poetry were awarded a 2012 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant and a 2012 ALTA Fellowship. He lives in Brooklyn and is a member of the editorial board for the magazine Circumference: Poetry in Translation.
If I Were Born In Prague
By Guy Jean
Versions by Katie Farris & Ilya Kaminsky
Perfect-bound chapbook/bilingual edition (French & English) / $10space
Guy Jean is a member of the first generation of French-Canadian poets to re-discover the cultural heritage of Acadia, which Jean describes as, “a folklore truculent with daily life, local lore linked to universal legends and songs handed down from generation to generation rich in 17th century tavern songs and music going back to the troubadours.” This culture was devastated by the violent British takeover of the region. In Jean’s work the influence of this culture and history combined with the more familiar French poetics of Rimbaud and Michaux results in a work of haunting lyricism. The poems are both playful and mythic, while still seriously engaging in questions of inherited violence.
In If I were born in Prague Jean’s work is beautifully re-imagined in versions by Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky allowing English readers an entry point into the vital work being done by one of our neighbors.
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The Other Music: Selected Poems from the 1970s
by Francisca Aguirre
tr. by Montana Ray
PERFECT-BOUND CHAPBOOK / Bilingual edition (Spanish & English)/ $10
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