Tag: mei-mei berssenbrugge

2018 in Books

Books, Poetry, Prose, Theory and Criticism, Translation January 20, 2019

These are books I read, for the first time, with great joy and curiosity last year, not necessarily those that were published in 2018. If excellent recent books are missing from this list, it is probably  because I haven’t read them yet.

POETRY

Adonis. Concerto al-Quds. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. Yale University Press, 2017.

Ghayath Almadhoun. Adrenalin. Translated from the Arabic by Catherine Cobham. Action Books, 2017.

Nanni Balestrini. Blackout. Translated from the Italian by Peter Valente. Commune Editions, 2017.

Jasper Bernes. We Are Nothing and So Can You. Commune Editions, 2015.

Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge. Hello, the Roses. New Directions, 2013.

Wilson Bueno. Paraguayan Sea. Translated from the Portunhol by Erín Moure. Nightboat Books, 2017.

Marty Cain. Kids of the Black Hole. Trembling Pillow Press, 2017.

Serena Chopra. Ic: A Sociolinguistic Conspiracy Theory. Horse Less Press, 2017.

Mónica de la Torre. Public Domain. Roof Books, 2008.

Terrence Hayes. American Sonnets for my Past and Future Assassin. Penguin, 2018.

Johannes Heldén. Astroecology. Translated from the Swedish by Kirkwood Adams, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, and Johannes Heldén. Argos Books, 2017.

Ann Jäderlund. Which once had been meadow. Translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson. Black Square Editions, 2017.

Francis Ponge. Nioque of the Early-Spring. Translated from the French by Jonathan Larson. The Song Cave, 2018.

Laura (Riding) Jackson. Selected Poems: In Five Sets. 1970.

Lisa Robertson. Proverbs of a She-Dandy. 2018.

Nathaniel Rosenthalis. A Shirt for Today. Yes Poetry, 2018.

Muriel Rukeyser. The Book of the Dead. 1936.

Christopher Smart. Jubilate Agno. 1759-1763.

Eleni Vakalo. Before Lyricism. Translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. Ugly Duckling Presse, 2017.

Uljana Wolf. Subsisters: Selected Poems. Translated from the German by Sophie Seita. Belladonna*, 2017.

Zang Di. The Roots of Wisdom: Selected Poems. Translated from the Chinese by Eleanor Goodman. Zephyr Press, 2017.

NONFICTION

H. D. Notes on Thought and Vision and the Wise Sappho. 1919.

Jeffrey Kittay and Wlad Godzich. The Emergence of Prose: An Essay in Prosaics. University of Minnesota Press, 1987.

Cookie Mueller. Walking Through Clear Water in a Pool Painted Black. Semiotext(e), 1990.

Michael W. Twitty. The Cooking Gene: A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South. Amistad Press, 2017.

POST-SCRIPT

There are many excellent books I didn’t finish, through no fault of the book. I just got sidetracked or was forced to give up the book for something like re-reading a book I was teaching or writing my goddamned dissertation. A very few among these unfinished excellences:  Jos Charles’s feeld (which, thankfully, I’m now reading with my poetry workshop students),  Zadie Smith’s White Teeth,  about half a dozen volumes of translated poetry I’m reading for the BTBAs, and another half a dozen works of nonfiction that I will finish, yes, I will, in 2019.

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2016: Books

Books, Cinema, Comics, Fashion, Journals, Philosophy, Photography, Poetics, Poetry, Prose, Psychology, Theory and Criticism, Translation, Writing January 5, 2017

Bref, I read a lot of poetry translated from German and a lot of nonfiction translated from French. This is not very shocking. Much of my non-book reading happened at Asymptote: this reading (plus editing) is far more diverse and includes work by poets like Vicente Huidobro (Chile), Jan Dammu (Iraq), and writers who push at the limits of what translation means (the Special Feature in our January issue). One of my favorite pieces of this latter sort is Bronwyn Haslam’s anagrammatic translations of Nicole Brossard’s poetry (“Soft Links” becomes “Silk Fonts,” for example):

It’s nouns that gulp fire and life, one can’t tell if they’re Latin, French, Urdu, Veda, Cree, Mandarin, Aleut, Creole, Basque, English, secrete a number, deed, quorum, animal or accelerate old anxieties eddying before us in doubled somber contours full of luster and immense legends.

I also got to collaborate with my friend Michael Joseph Walsh to put together a different sort of experimental translation portfolio for Denver Quarterly 50.4 I have a few extra copies and would be happy to mail them to anyone interested (or you can subscribe). Joshua Ware’s visual translations of Celan appear as an online supplement to this portfolio here.

Photography by Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault

Photographs by Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault

For some years now I’ve been obsessed with a film by Yvon Marciano called Le cri de la soie (1996), which fictionalizes the life of pioneer psychiatrist Gaëtan Gatian de Clérambault. This year I read two texts relevant to this film, de Clérambault’s case studies of women who developed an unusual sexual “passion” for silk and other textiles: Passion érotique des étoffes chez la femme (1908) and its suite (1910). Read More