Denise Newman

Denise Newman

Denise Newman

Denise Newman is a poet and translator. She is the author of three collections of poems, The New Make Believe, (The Post-Apollo Press, 2010), Wild Goods (Apogee Press, 2008), and _Human Forest _(Apogee Press, 2000). Her translation of The Painted Room by the Danish poet Inger Christensen is distributed by Random House UK, and her translation of Azorno, also by Christensen, was published by New Directions, 2009. Her poems, collaborations, and translations have appeared in Denver Quarterly, Volt, Fence, New American Writing, ZYZZYVA, and elsewhere. For the past decade, she has also been collaborating with composers, providing lyrics for choral works.

cover image of the book Azorno


by Inger Christensen

Translated by Denise Newman

Set in modern Europe, Azorno is a kind of logic puzzle or house of mirrors, concerning five women and two men. One of the men is a writer named Sampel, the other is the main character of his novel, Azorno. All the women are pregnant by Sampel, but which of them is really the narrator? Has someone been killed? Is someone insane? Is the whole story part of Sampel’s book, or Inger Christensen’s? Reminiscent of the works of Georges Perec and Alain Robbe-Grillet, Azorno illuminates the prevailing theme throughout Inger Christensen’s great body of poetry and fiction: the interplay of perception, language, and reality. As Anne Carson said, “Like Hesiod, Inger Christensen wants to give us an account of what is — of everything that is and how it is and what we are in the midst of.” Ending with the struggle between two merged characters, Azorno simultaneously satisfies and unsettles, leaving us with a view of reality unlike any other.

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