Speechgrille — A Celan Poem for World Poetry Day

Yesterday I finished reworking my translation of Paul Celan’s poem “Speechgrille |Sprachgitter,” from the eponymous 1959 volume. Let me offer it here on World Poetry Day (as — rare occasion! — a second post on the same day on Nomadics blog). I will also add my commentary which takes off from Barbara Wiedemann’s in her German edition of The Collected Poems of Paul Celan. This translation will be published … Read more Speechgrille — A Celan Poem for World Poetry Day

The Endgame: Climate Change as Weapon

Thinking on these images from Mozambique, Zimbabwe & elsewhere I suddenly realize that what I had only dimly perceived or hadn’t wanted to believe was most likely true: the climate change deniers in power (or even those out of power or refusing to think on this for personal convenience) don’t do this simply out of a combination of obtuseness, stupidity, religiously motivated anti-science idiocy, and personal greed leading them … Read more The Endgame: Climate Change as Weapon

Attack on Beloved Gazan Novelist Atef Abu Saif

via ArabLit — Arabic Literature and Translation: On the evening of Monday, March 18, just after 5 p.m., some ten masked, armed men attacked Gazan novelist Atef Abu Saif and his neighbor Abdul Meni’m Jadallah while they were in the garden of Jadallah’s house. According to Haaretz, Abu Saif is in critical condition: It was last night when news of the attack on Atef Abu Saif began circulating among other Palestinian … Read more Attack on Beloved Gazan Novelist Atef Abu Saif

On Mahmoud Darwish Day, 13 Poems

via the always excellent ArabLit (Arabic Literature and Translation): The towering, generation-defining Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish (1941-2008) was born on this day in al-Birwa. To commemorate his entrance into our world on a March 13, we have excerpts from 13 poems and poemtexts. Follow the links for the more complete works: 1) “The Moon Did Not Fall Into the Well,” from  Journal of an Ordinary Grief, tr. Ibrahim Muhawi Muhawi’s translations … Read more On Mahmoud Darwish Day, 13 Poems

The Frame, The Sausage, The Oil: Humor and Politics in Algeria’s Protests

via the always excellent ArabLit  — Arabic Literature and Translation The pith and humor of Algerian protest signs will surely be an inspiration for literature to come: By Nadia Ghanem Since the official announcement on February 10 of this year that Algeria’s 82-year-old current president, Abdelaziz Bouteflika, was set to run for a fifth term on April 18, 2019, peaceful marches have been taking place across Algeria. Bouteflika, who … Read more The Frame, The Sausage, The Oil: Humor and Politics in Algeria’s Protests

Constantine, Algeria: “Makach al khamssa ya Bouteflika” — Photos by Habib Tengour

The demonstrations in Algeria are a breath of fresh air in & for the Maghreb. Women & children in the front rows. It looks like the country has finally woken up from a long, long sleep. During what came to be called the 2011 “Arab Spring” in Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, the “chape de plomb,” the leaden weight (the expression derives from a medieval instrument of torture) that lay over … Read more Constantine, Algeria: “Makach al khamssa ya Bouteflika” — Photos by Habib Tengour

Dante, Sollers, Paradise & A Neologism

Sunday afternoon reading in Philippe Sollers & Josyane Savigneau’s Une conversation infinie which Nicole brought back for me from Paris. Page 18, Sollers speaks of Dante: “In the Divine Comedy, Dante often invents new words; he is in the process of inventing Italian, to which one has to go back in his version of things. A very great love story, The Divine Comedy.Among other things he invents a word … Read more Dante, Sollers, Paradise & A Neologism

5 Books by Etel Adnan, Born on This Day

via ArabLit, a welcome homage to one of my favorite writers: Multilingual Lebanese poet, painter, and prose-artist Etel Adnan was born on February 24, 1925, in Beirut. This is her ninety-fourth birthday: As philosopher, poet, and painter, Adnan’s experimental and surrealist work has a wide range of influences, from Rimbaud to Jalal Toufic. She has been most prolific as a poet, and has published more than a dozen collections of … Read more 5 Books by Etel Adnan, Born on This Day

6 Poems: The Self-translations of Sargon Boulus

via Arabic Literature and Translation: The poet-translator Mona Kareem has an essay up in The Babel Review of Translations, issue D9: The essay, “He Goes to the Place: Sargon Boulus Translates Himself and Others,” is accompanied by five translations: two where Boulus translates himself, two of Auden, and one to make you read Derek Walcott’s “Love after Love” afresh. They are all side-by-sides and make their own masterclass in translation. As Kareem … Read more 6 Poems: The Self-translations of Sargon Boulus

Poets House on Kathleen Fraser (1935 – 2019)

You can tear up your lecture notes now, erase every phone number under my name and go shopping in someone else’s suitcase. I’ve changed my address again. –Kathleen Fraser Change of Address, Kayak Books, 1966 Poets House is saddened by the loss of poet Kathleen Fraser, who passed away this week. Poets House had a long relationship with Kathleen, who was once a student of Stanley Kunitz, our co-founder, … Read more Poets House on Kathleen Fraser (1935 – 2019)