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Today in International Lit

By David Varno

Belarusian Poetry in Central Park:

Valzhyna Mort will be reading with Laynie Browne and Cynthia Cruz on Thursday at the Arsenal in Central Park, as part of the Poetry from the Rooftops series sponsored by the Academy of American Poets.

See Mort's poem "maybe you too sometimes fantasize,", translated from the Belarusian by Franz Wright, which we published along with three others from last year's collection Factory of Tears. As WWB poetry editor Ilya Kaminsky wrote, Mort's wild, memorable poetry will surely define the way in which we Americans think of literature from Belarus in the years to come.


New Study Guides from New Directions:

Earlier this month, New Directions posted reading guides for several recent and classic books on Scribd, starting with César Aira's Ghosts, two for Sebald, and most recently Bolaño's The Skating Rink. The Sebald-based blog Vertigo writes that with the guides, ND has raised the bar over typical book club questions. Initially, Bolaño's was the most popular download, but the Sebald guides have surpassed it.

Also in ND news, Bolaño's preface to Borges's Seven Nights will no longer be included in forthcoming editions.

From the newsletter:

"Our website incorrectly stated that the new edition of Borges's Seven Nights features a preface by Roberto Bolaño. Although we had originally planned to include Bolaño's preface, contractual obstacles prevented us from doing so. We apologize for the inaccurate information. However, it is still true that Bolaño said íI could live under a table reading Borges.ë


Starred review in PW for upcoming Mahmoud Darwish volume.

This is the second collection to be translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah, and it is poised to build momentum for Arabic literature in English. Four poems from Joudah's translation of the 2007 collection, The Butterfly's Burden, are available to read in our April 2006 issue.


Have you ever wanted to attempt a translation of Serbo-Croatian poetry?

The website Serbo-Croatian Translation hosts a database of work by roughly a dozen poets (and growing), and invites visitors to submit translations in any language to build the site. Here's an example, with an English translation of Miroslav Antić's "Opomena" opposite the original.

Published Aug 18, 2009   Copyright 2009 David Varno

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