RainTaxi Review

poemsformillennium4POEMS FOR THE MILLENNIUM

Volume Four: North African Literature
Edited by Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour
multiple translators
by Brooke Horvath

The first two volumes of Poems for the Millenniumanthologized experimental poetries from the fin de siècle to the end of the twentieth century; the third gathered those Romantic and Post-Romantic poets out of whose work the several varieties of modernism emerged. All three volumes made room for writers from around the world but focused primarily on North Americans and Europeans. Volume Four, described by its editors as “a natural progression from its predecessors,” compiles work primarily from the Maghreb (North Africa from Tunisia west to Mauritania) and from al-Andalus (eighth- to fifteenth-century Moorish Iberia). Although their primary interest is poetry, the editors have made room for creation myths, folk tales, legends, riddles, pictographs, parables, and proverbs as well as excerpts from novels and from a great variety of nonfiction—from Ibn Sharaf al-Qayrawani’s eleventh-century “On Some Andalusian Poets” and Maimonides’s Guide for the Perplexed to Tahar Haddad’s 1929 plea for equal rights for women, Frantz Fanon on the “colonized intellectual,” and Malek Alloula on postcards and the colonial gaze. […]

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Pierre Joris

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist who has published more than 50 books, most recently, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (poems) from Chax Press and The University of California Book of North African Literature (volume 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series), coedited with Habib Tengour. Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader edited & translated by Joris, and Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, essays on Joris’ work edited by Peter Cockelbergh, came out in 2012. Forthcoming are Barzakh — Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press) & Breathturn Into Timestead:The Collected Later Poems of Paul Celan (FSG).

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