"Nathaniel Mackey's Long Song": read, watch, and listen in Duke Today
Kamau Brathwaite and Nathaniel Mackey, 1990
Tomas Tranströmer: 1931–2015
César Aira meets Cecil Tayor
César Aira and László Krasznahorkai are finalists for the Man Booker International Prize 2015!
Clarice Lispector had a diamond-hard intelligence, a visionary instinct, and a sense of humor that veered from naïf wonder to wicked comedy.—Rachel Kushner on Clarice Lispector's The Complete Stories
Fairy Tales gathers the unconventional verse dramolettes by the Swiss writer Robert Walser. Narrated in Walser's inimitable, playful language, these theatrical pieces overturn traditional notions of the fairy tale, transforming the Brothers Grimm into metatheater, even metareflections.
Snow White forgives the evil queen for trying to kill her. Cinderella doubts her prince and enjoys being hated by her stepsisters; The Fairy Tale itself is a character who encourages her to stay within the confines of the story. Sleeping Beauty, the royal family, and its retainers are not happy about being woken up their sleep by an absurd, unpretentious Walser-like hero. Mary and Joseph are taken aback by what lies in store for their baby Jesus.
Available: April 20 2015
Dirty Poem was written in 1975 in Buenos Aires when Ferreira Gullar was in political exile from the Brazilian dictatorship. An epic work, it draws on the poet’s memories of his seaside adolescence during World War II and deals openly with the “dirty” shamefulness of a socioeconomic system that abuses its citizens with poverty, sexism, greed, and fear. The scholar Otto Maria Carpeaux wrote: “Dirty Poem deserves to be called ‘National Poem’ because it embodies all of the experiences, victories, defeats, and hopes in the life of the Brazilian citizen.”
Oh, my green city
my humid city
ever beaten by many winds
rustling your days at the entrance to the sea
my sonorous city
spheres of heavy winds
Hospital Series, a bruisingly intimate colloquy with an elusive lover, is Italian poet Amelia Rosselli’s virtuoso, subversive, neo-Petrarchan sequence of poems. Rosselli wrote much of the series in the mid 1960s after being hospitalized for a mental illness she suffered from for most of her life, and whose pain shapes her language and difficult vision. These explosive poems, a furious cacophonic crescendo of semantic and syntactic accumulations deeply admired by Pier Paolo Pasolini, place Rosselli among the greatest writers of her generation.
Translated by Roberta Antognini, Giuseppe Leporace and Deborah Woodard
A Hermit's Guide to Home Economics combines three long poems Robert Lax composed on the Island of Patmos, where he lived apart from the world. Lax writes humorously about his "hermit" life, as if he were King Solomon doing a stand-up routine. But he also writes like a mystic whose surroundings speak to him, and he uses the whole field of the page to explore the full potential of the word as image and the poet as citizen.
I just won't talk. I won't let on that I see what goes on in the world.