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EDITOR’S CHOICE

· Alessandro Portelli: Hard Rain. Bob Dylan, Oral Cultures, and the Meaning of History · My Name is Immigrant by Wang Ping · A Dream by Stephen Phillips · I Hope She Finds This by r.h. Sin · A Vertical Art: On Poetry by Simon Armitage · Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Women Do Not Want It · Else Lasker-Schüler: Ich weiß · Still Life by Jay Hopler · Bert Bevers: Nimmer schor is de maan · Freda Kamphuis: Wroeging · Harvest Lingo by Lionel Fogarty · Chaos, Crossing new poetry by Olivia Elias

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Alessandro Portelli: Hard Rain. Bob Dylan, Oral Cultures, and the Meaning of History

Bob Dylan’s iconic 1962 song “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” stands at the crossroads of musical and literary traditions.

A visionary warning of impending apocalypse, it sets symbolist imagery within a structure that recalls a centuries-old form. Written at the height of the 1960s folk music revival amid the ferment of political activism, the song strongly resembles—and at the same time reimagines—a traditional European ballad sung from Scotland to Italy, known in the English-speaking world as “Lord Randal.”

Alessandro Portelli explores the power and resonance of “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall,” considering the meanings of history and memory in folk cultures and in Dylan’s work. He examines how the ballad tradition to which “Lord Randal” belongs shaped Dylan’s song and how Dylan drew on oral culture to depict the fears and crises of his own era. Portelli recasts the song as an encounter between Dylan’s despairing vision, which questions the meaning and direction of history, and the message of resilience and hope for survival despite history’s nightmares found in oral traditions.

A wide-ranging work of oral history, Hard Rain weaves together interviews from places as varied as Italy, England, and India with Portelli’s autobiographical reflections and critical analysis, speaking to the enduring appeal of Dylan’s music. By exploring the motley traditions that shaped Dylan’s work, this book casts the distinctiveness and depth of his songwriting in a new light.

Alessandro Portelli is professor emeritus of American literature at the University of Rome and was for many years a faculty member of the Columbia Oral History Summer Institute. His books include The Text and the Voice: Writing, Speaking, Democracy, and American Literature (Columbia, 1994) and They Say in Harlan County: An Oral History (2011).

Alessandro Portelli:
Hard Rain.
Bob Dylan, Oral Cultures,
and the Meaning of History
Pub Date: May 2022
Columbia University Press
ISBN: 9780231205931
200 Pages
Format: Paperback
List Price: £20.00

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My Name is Immigrant by Wang Ping

This book of poetry is a song for the plight and pride of immigrants around the globe, including the U.S., China, Syria, Honduras, Guatemala, Nepal, Tibet and other places.

Whether they pull up their roots to flee war, the rising sea or drought, for religious freedom and freedom of speech, or simply to seek a better life, immigrants are the frontiers of civilization.

They are a force of nature, like salmon, monarchs, trees, water, and mountains, moving with rivers, the earth and universe.

Migration is the signature of life – no immigrants, no economy; no immigration, no civilization; no migration, no life.

We are all immigrants.

Wang Ping is Poet, professor, photographer, installation artist, author of 14 books and dancer.

My Name is Immigrant
by Wang Ping (Author)
Publisher: ‎ Hanging Loose Press (May 4, 2020)
Language: ‎ English
128 pages
ISBN-10: ‎ 1934909661
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-1934909669
2020
Paperback
$17.46

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A Dream by Stephen Phillips

 

A Dream

My dead love came to me, and said,
‘God gives me one hour’s rest,
To spend with thee on earth again:
How shall we spend it best?’

‘Why, as of old,’ I said; and so
We quarrell’d, as of old:
But, when I turn’d to make my peace,
That one short hour was told.

Stephen Phillips
(1864 – 1915)
A Dream

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I Hope She Finds This by r.h. Sin

From New York Times bestselling author, r.h. Sin, comes a care package of two new poetry and prose collections boxed together in an elegant slipcase.

R.H. Sin is a New York Times bestselling author of poetry books.

He lives in New York with his wife, poet Samantha King Holmes, and two kids.

 

 

I Hope She Finds This
by r.h. Sin (Author)
Publisher: ‎Andrews McMeel Publishing
Dec 13 2022
Language: ‎English
Paperback: ‎360 pages
ISBN-10: ‎1524871133
ISBN-13: ‎978-1524871130
$29.49

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A Vertical Art: On Poetry by Simon Armitage

From the UK Poet Laureate and bestselling translator, a spirited book that demystifies and celebrates the art of poetry today

In A Vertical Art, acclaimed poet Simon Armitage takes a refreshingly common-sense approach to an art form that can easily lend itself to grand statements and hollow gestures. Questioning both the facile and obscure ends of the poetry spectrum, he offers sparkling new insights about poetry and an array of favorite poets.

Based on Armitage’s public lectures as Oxford Professor of Poetry, A Vertical Art illuminates poets as varied as Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, Marianne Moore, W. H. Auden, Ted Hughes, Thom Gunn, A. R. Ammons, and Claudia Rankine.

The chapters are often delightfully sassy in their treatment, as in “Like, Elizabeth Bishop,” in which Armitage dissects―and tallies―the poet’s predilection for similes.

He discusses Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize, poetic lists, poetry and the underworld, and the dilemmas of translating Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Armitage also pulls back the curtain on the unromantic realities of making a living as a contemporary poet, and ends the book with his own list of “Ninety-Five Theses” on the principles and practice of poetry.

An appealingly personal book that explores the volatile and disputed definitions of poetry from the viewpoint of a practicing writer and dedicated reader, A Vertical Art makes an insightful and entertaining case for the power and potential of poetry today.

A Vertical Art: On Poetry
by Simon Armitage (Author)
Publisher Princeton University Press
Section Poetry Criticism
Paperback
ISBN 9780691233109
May 24, 2022
Paperback
$22.95

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Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Women Do Not Want It

Women Do Not Want It

When the woman suffrage argument first stood upon its legs,
They answered it with cabbages, they answered it with eggs,
They answered it with ridicule, they answered it with scorn,
They thought it a monstrosity that should not have been born.

When the woman suffrage argument grew vigorous and wise,
And was not to be answered by these opposite replies,
They turned their opposition into reasoning severe
Upon the limitations of our God-appointed sphere.

We were told of disabilities–a long array of these,
Till one could think that womanhood was merely a disease;
And “the maternal sacrifice” was added to the plan
Of the various sacrifices we have always made–to man.

Religionists and scientists, in amity and bliss,
However else they disagreed, could all agree on this,
And the gist of all their discourse, when you got down in it,
Was–we could not have the ballot because we were not fit!

They would not hear the reason, they would not fairly yield,
They would not own their arguments were beaten in the field;
But time passed on, and someway, we need not ask them how,
Whatever ails those arguments–we do not hear them now!

You may talk of suffrage now with an educated man,
And he agrees with all you say, as sweetly as he can:
‘T would be better for us all, of course, if womanhood was free;
But “the women do not want it”–and so it must not be!

‘T is such a tender thoughtfulness! So exquisite a care!
Not to pile on our frail shoulders what we do not wish to bear!
But, oh, most generous brother! Let us look a little more–
Have we women always wanted what you gave to us before?

Did we ask for veils and harems in the Oriental races?
Did we beseech to be “unclean,” shut out of sacred places?
Did we beg for scolding bridles and ducking stools to come?
And clamour for the beating stick no thicker than your thumb?

Did we ask to be forbidden from all the trades that pay?
Did we claim the lower wages for a man’s full work today?
Have we petitioned for the laws wherein our shame is shown:
That not a woman’s child–nor her own body–is her own?

What women want has never been a strongly acting cause,
When woman has been wronged by man in churches, customs, laws;
Why should he find this preference so largely in his way,
When he himself admits the right of what we ask today?

Charlotte Perkins Gilman
(1860-1935)
Women Do Not Want It
Suffrage Songs and Verses

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Else Lasker-Schüler: Ich weiß

Ich weiß

Ich weiß, daß ich bald sterben muß
Es leuchten doch alle Bäme
Nach langersehtem Julikuß –

Fahl werden meine Träume –
Nie dichtete ich einen trüberen Schluß
In den Büchern meiner Reime.

Eine Blume brichst du mir zum Gruß –
Ich liebte sie schon im Keime.
Doch ich weiß, daß ich bald sterben muß.

Mein Odem schwebt über Gottes Fluß
Ich setze leise meinen Fuß
Auf den Pfad zum ewigen Heime.

Else Lasker-Schüler
(1869 – 1945)
Ich weiß

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Still Life by Jay Hopler

Confronted with a terminal cancer diagnosis, Jay Hopler–author of the National Book Award-finalist The Abridged History of Rainfall–got to work.

The result of that labor is Still Life, a collection of poems that are heartbreaking, terrifying, and deeply, darkly hilarious.

In an attempt to find meaning in a life ending right before his eyes, Hopler squares off against monsters real and imagined, personal and historical, and tries not to flinch.

This work is no elegy; it’s a testament to courage, love, compassion, and the fierceness of the human heart.

It’s a violently funny but playfully serious fulfillment of what Arseny Tarkovsky called the fundamental purpose of art: a way to prepare for death, be it far in the future or very near at hand.

Jay Hopler was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1970. He earned a BA in English and American Literature from New York University, an MA in Creative Writing from the Johns Hopkins University Writing Seminars, an MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and a PhD in American Studies from Purdue University. His first collection of poetry, Green Squall (2006), was chosen by Louise Glück as the winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize; his second collection, The Abridged History of Rainfall (2016), was a finalist for the National Book Award in Poetry.

Hopler’s poems take as their starting point a formal virtuosity rooted in idiosyncrasy, passion of vision, and the beautiful (sometimes not-so-beautiful) violence of emotion. They are by turns plainspoken, erudite, opaque, clear, serious, and broodingly funny. Hopler is a dexterous poet, but never dogmatic. His poems make sense but not points; they think and reel and describe the broken world, without a wasted word. What the likes of G.M. Hopkins and Wallace Stevens and Robert Hayden carried out, Jay Hopler continues and expands upon, to gorgeous effect. According to poet Katie Ford, “Hopler’s vision and voice [are] both painfully complex because of how much of the world he allows to attach to him, to stake its claim on him.” Hopler is also an editor and translator.

His works include The Killing Spirit: An Anthology of Murder for Hire (1998), Before the Door of God: An Anthology of Devotional Poetry (edited with his spouse, poet and Renaissance scholar Kimberly Johnson, 2013), and The Museum of Small Dark Things: 25 Poems by Georg Trakl (2016).

The recipient of numerous honors and awards, including a Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation, a Whiting Award, the Great Lakes Colleges Association New Writers Award, two National “Best Books” Award from USA Book News, two Florida Book Awards, a Foreword Reviews Book-of-the-Year Award, and the Rome Prize in Literature, Hopler directs the program in creative writing at the University of South Florida.

Still Life
Jay Hopler (Author)
Publisher: McSweeney’s
Publish Date: June 07, 2022
Dimensions
6.36 X 8.5 X 0.46 inches
Language English
Hardcover
EAN/UPC 9781952119378
Price $18.00

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Bert Bevers: Nimmer schor is de maan

 

Nimmer schor is de maan

Zwier de korrels uit de aren, dorsers! Het bier en brood
van morgen moet jullie akkers uit. Op stille tenen verklaart
gelukkig de middag zich geduldig nader. Dat kreupelhout
onwillig is en de spar ontschorst. Dat regen op komst lijkt:

hoge wolken zijn gestreept als de borstveren van een havik.
De wijze weet dat de maan nimmer schor is en heeft een
naam die eigenlijk zachte dieren zouden moeten dragen.
Onderaan de dijk bloeit in pruilende klei de grote bevernel.

Bert Bevers
Nimmer schor is de maan
Gedicht
Verschenen in de catalogus Enghuizer dialogen, Hummelo, 2019

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Freda Kamphuis: Wroeging

Wroeging

Hij verzamelde geld. Oud geld, nieuw geld, geld. Zijn huis was van geld, zijn tafel, zijn stoel, zijn tv, zijn vrouw, zijn zoon, zijn baby, zijn 06, zijn laptop, zijn auto, zijn tuin, zijn muren, zijn ramen, zijn huidige geld, zijn toekomstige geld, zijn wereld, alles van geld. In een droom zag hij zichzelf, zijn armen griezelig veranderd in briefjes van tien, zijn ogen zich harden tot munten van twee, zijn hart tot toren van munten verhard, zijn beide handen uit munten gesmeed. Zijn vrouw die op de achtergrond zijn portemonnaie kust. Hij begon te huilen als een kind dat wakker schrikt in het geloof dat zijn pasgedroomde nachtmerrie werkelijkheid is, tot hopelijk een lieve mama deze ontkent en hem geruststelt. Hij huilde steeds harder en harder en harder tot en met de volwassene die ineens voelt, weet dat zijn nachtmerrie zijn ware nachtmerrie blijkt.

Freda Kamphuis
Wroeging
Gedicht

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Harvest Lingo by Lionel Fogarty

Harvest Lingo is the fourteenth collection of poems by Lionel Fogarty, a Murri man with traditional connections to the Yugambeh people from south of Brisbane and the Kudjela people of north Queensland.

He is a leading Indigenous rights activist, and one of Australia’s foremost poets, and this collection displays all of the urgency, energy and linguistic audacity for which Fogarty is known.

At the centre of the collection is a series of poems written in India. Deeply empathetic, these poems are remarkable for the connections they draw between the social problems the poet encounters in this country – poverty, class division, corruption – and those he sees in contemporary Australia, besetting his own people.

Other poems tell of encounters between people and between cultures, address historical and cultural issues and political events, and pay tribute to important Indigenous figures. There are intensely felt lyrics of personal experience, and poems which contemplate Fogarty’s own position as a poet and an activist, speaking with and for his community.

Fogarty’s poems are bold and fierce, at times challenging and confronting, moved by strong rhythms and a remarkable freedom with language. They are an expression of the ‘harvest lingo’ which gives the collection its title.

Lionel Fogarty was born on Wakka Wakka land, at Cherbourg Aboriginal Reserve in south-east Queensland in 1957. Throughout the 1970s he worked as an activist for Aboriginal Land Rights, and in the 1990s, after the death of his brother Daniel Yock, protesting against Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. His poetry collections date from the early 1980s; his most recent collections are Connection Requital; Mogwie-Idan: Stories of the Land; Eelahroo (Long Ago) Nyah (Looking) Mobo-Mobo (Future), all with Vagabond Press, and Lionel Fogarty: Selected Poems 1980-2017, published by re.press.

Harvest Lingo
by Lionel Fogarty
Poetry
Giramondo Publishing
112 pages
Paperback, 21 x 14.8 cm
Published June 2022
ISBN 9781925336177
$25,00

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Chaos, Crossing new poetry by Olivia Elias

In her English-language debut, acclaimed French-language poet of the Palestinian diaspora Olivia Elias probes deeply into the upheavals of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries

Poet of the Palestinian diaspora, born in Haifa in 1944, Olivia Elias writes in French. She lived until she was 16 years old in Lebanon where her family took refuge in 1948, then in Montréal-Canada, before moving to France.

Her third and most recent collection, Chaos, Traversée, appeared in 2019. Characterized by terse, laconic language and strong rhythms, her poetry shows a deep sensitivity to the Palestinian cause, the plight of refugees and human suffering in general.

Her work, translated into English, Arabic, Spanish, Italian and Japanese, has been published in numerous journals and in anthologies.

Kareem James Abu-Zeid is a translator of writers from across the Arab world, including Najwan Darwish (Palestine), Adonis (Syria), Rabee Jaber (Lebanon), and Dunya Mikhail (Iraq). He has received an NEA translation grant, PEN Center USA’s Translation Award, a Fulbright Fellowship (Germany), and a CASA Fellowship (Egypt), among other honors. He is also the author of The Poetics of Adonis and Yves Bonnefoy: Poetry as Spiritual Practice.

Chaos, Crossing —translated by award-winning translator Kareem James Abu-Zeid—is a powerful chronicle of uprootedness, of times marked by inequality, injustice, and disconnection. These poems—presented here in a bilingual edition—seek the calm at the center of the storm, the still point amidst the chaos.

Chaos, Crossing
Olivia Elias (Author)
Kareem James Abu-Zeid (Translator)
Foreword by Najwan Darwish
Pub Date: 11/15/2022
Publisher: World Poetry Books
Product Number:9781954218079
ISBN978-1-954218-07-9
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 192
Price: $ 20.00

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