This volume brings together, for the first time in English translation, all three books of poetry by this author, two of them published in his lifetime (Poems 1981/1991 and Last Poetry of Love and Illness 1992-1995) and one posthumously (Poems for a Skylark). Like any true poet, Lois Pereiro lived on the edge, between cultures, spending time outside his native Galicia in Madrid, learning foreign languages, travelling as much as he could. He was also the victim of toxic oil syndrome at an early age, which was followed by a heroin addiction and the contraction of AIDS. He died at 38, having been forced to write “with delicacy in a Pandora’s box of pain”.
From Unknown to Unknown is a selection of eighty poems by Manuel Rivas in Jonathan Dunne’s English translation. The poems are taken from the Galician book Do descoñecido ao descoñecido, which contains the author’s collected poems from 1980 to 2003, a total of six poetry books and some recent poems. In 2009, the author brought out a further collection, The Disappearance of Snow, which was published in English by Shearsman Books. Manuel Rivas is Galicia’s most international author. Much of his fiction has appeared in English, and three films have been made of his work (Butterfly’s Tongue, The Carpenter’s Pencil, All Is Silence).
This revolutionary book sets out to persuade the reader that the English language is not the result of years of haphazard evolution, a chaotic atom-like conglomeration of words, but a carefully planned whole in which each word has its place and is connected by a consistent set of rules. It is not a coincidence that earth is heart or soil is soul, for instance, or that salt makes us last (‘You are the salt of the earth’) but last is in fact lst. This book journeys from the Book of Genesis and Creation to Revelation and the Last Judgement through the English language, suggesting that language has something to tell us about the environment and that he who would be true to himself is inexorably pushed out on to the margins.
The plot of the book follows real events linked with the killing of Lasa and Zabala (in the novel, Soto and Zeberio) by GAL, a paramilitary group practising so-called state terrorism against ETA during the rule of the Socialist government in the 1980s. The protagonist Diego Lazkano, a writer and close friend of the victims, is caught between his sense of guilt and his uneventful career. Faced with a choice, he opts for his place in the sun like pine needles, which remain silent on one side and therefore survive. In an anxious time of intrigues and journalistic manipulations, a Bohemian life and the lack of any morals is a way to be generous with yourself. Even though this book doesn’t follow the standard process of the postmodern novel of intertwining new events and people, the destiny of the heroes appears and disappears permanently in its pages, which gives it the feeling of unreality, of a mirage, that is so important for any successful criminal-psychological drama. The novel received both the Spanish Critics’ Prize and the Euskadi Prize for Literature.
This book gathers the fourth and fifth books – Secession and Flesh of Leviathan – in Chus Pato’s pentalogy Decrúa. Her poetry is highly erudite and concentrated-experimental. Important themes for Pato are politics, language, gender and nation. But she also writes about migration and marginalization, about the nomads we all are. She emphasizes the image of the spirit staying at the edge of the abyss and sees not the end but green fields. An absence in which wonder finds a voice. A central figure in contemporary poetry and one of the most iconoclastic figures in Galician and European literature, Chus Pato’s book m-Talá broke the poetic mould when it was first published in 2000. Hordes of Writing, the third text in her pentalogy, was awarded the Spanish Critics’ Prize for Galician Poetry and the Losada Diéguez Prize for Literary Creation. Secession was chosen as the Book of the Year by the Revista das Letras, the literary supplement of the newspaper Galicia Hoxe.
Gökçenur Ç. was born and lives in Istanbul. He graduated from Istanbul Technical University and has an MBA from Istanbul University. In 1990 he started publishing poems in different literary magazines. He is the author of six poetry books. He also translates American and Balkan poetry. He has participated in many workshops and literary festivals in Europe, Asia and America. His poetry has been translated into 24 languages. He is the prime mover and co-director of the project Word Express (www.word-express.org) and also a member of the editorial board of the international literary magazine Blesok, based in Macedonia. His poetry is not only the careful selection of words and images, but also a fertile field on which he interprets the present and the future with a cinematic approach.
Ludmila Balabanova is a computer engineer and has a Ph.D. in literature. Her previous books include seven collections of poetry (two of them haiku books) and a book of criticism on haiku (Haiku: A Dragonfly Under the Hat. The Power of the Unsaid, 2014). She is the editor of the anthology Mirrors (101 Bulgarian haiku selected and edited by Ludmila Balabanova in Bulgarian, English and French, 2005). Her works have been published in numerous magazines and included in prestigious anthologies in Belgium, France, Germany, Holland, Japan, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, Sweden and USA. Her most important awards are: Basho’s 360th Anniversary Haiku Award, Japan, 2004; First Award for English Language Haiku at the International Haiku Festival, Constanta, Romania, 2013. In the composition of her haiku, Balabanova “relies more on heart than on intellect in her poetic art of one-breath revelation,” writes David G. Lanoue in his foreword.
Slave Gjorgjo Dimoski lives and writes in Ohrid, Macedonia. He is the author of more than fifteen poetry books. He is President of the famous Struga Poetry Evenings. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages and has received numerous prestigious awards. His poetry impresses most of all because of the artistry of his verse. In his writing he permanently turns to the phenomenon of the Word, of speech as the purpose or sense of his creativity and existence. His poetry embraces earth and sky, but also the spaces above and underneath: the presence of the eternal elder, God.
Vladimir Sabourin was born in Santiago de Cuba. He graduated in Bulgarian Philology in Sofia, where he lives and writes. He is the author of three poetry collections and five critical essays. He teaches classical and Spanish literature at Veliko Tarnovo University. Concerning his latest poetry book, The Worker and Death, the poet Kiril Vasilev writes that it is a combination of an ecstatic wish for justice, of anger without borders and overflowing sorrow. This is an epic-balladic collection in which social realism takes centre stage.
Onur Behramoğlu was born and lives in Istanbul. He is the author of two poetry collections and a book of letters from prison between two of his uncles, the famous writers Ataol Behramoğlu and Nihat Behram. His work has been translated into five languages. He is a columnist for the left-wing daily BirGün. He has declared that poetry is a struggle, not literature, and for this reason he never stands as a candidate for literary awards. He has represented Turkish literature at various poetry festivals in Berlin, Moscow, Sofia, Haifa. His style is reminiscent of a musical composition and full of ideas and themes that occupy the reader’s mind. He has a revolutionary interpretation of life.