Publications

A remarkable collection of literary sketches and perhaps this author's best known work together with Merlin and Company (which was published by Everyman in 1996). Here the author from Mondoñedo takes us on a whirlwind tour of the local characters he meets (invents?) and the fantastical adventures they relate. The second in our series of Galician Classics, this new translation by Kathleen March promises to reintroduce the reader to the joys of Cunqueiro’s unexpected world.

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 by chance 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.

Ákos Győrffy was born in Vác, Hungary in 1976. He has four poetry collections and three books of essays. One of the most important elements of Ákos Győrffy’s poetry is the stories they contain. His voice is passionless; the lyrical ‘I’ does not wish to say more than it has seen, or to interpret, just to reveal. With a story that shows a certain feeling, a mood, things that are neither visible nor catchable.

Who says young and old cannot live together? This book proves the opposite, when the old reach the age at which they start to think like children and the young are of that strange type that has a long nose, skin with spots and hair sticking out from behind like a horn. Young and old inhabit a single world in which museums are villains, umbrellas are insects, the world is smaller than the cemetery and the soul more rigid than that of the antelope. Here the most important vehicle is the tram, a journey on which is like climbing an 8,000-metre peak. You cannot fail to observe the author’s unconventional narrative, which is tight and compelling (the book won the Spanish National Book Award), for fearless ‘heroes’, not ordinary, but different people. Reading matter that is compelling in its rich fantasy and things that are said in other words.

Zahari Zahariev was born in 1989 in the town of Sliven, Bulgaria. He is a poet, writer, gardener and PhD student in philosophy at Sofia University. He is interested in magic realism and turning it into fantastic realism, in the syntactic and sensory illness of experiences and the invasion of literature into life. His poetry is an irresistible stream of vivid metaphors, a poetry of desire, a subconscious poetry that rejects reality only to absorb it later – he mythologizes its geography. Zahari Zahariev has published in various digital and printed editions. This is his debut poetry collection.

Rosalía de Castro is a Galician poet, an important figure of the Romantic movement in Galicia, known as the Rexurdimento. Her poems are saturated with unsteady grief, they are an unusual mixture of nostalgia, longing and melancholy. She is the author of three emblematic books; the date of the dedication of the first – Galician Songs – is celebrated each year as the Day of Galician Literature. Her life was marked by poverty and sadness, so an empathy for poverty and helplessness is a strong theme in her poetry, as well as the protection of women’s rights. She died at the age of forty-eight. Her tomb is found in the Pantheon of Illustrious Galicians in Santiago de Compostela. In her second and final book in Galician, New Leaves, she speaks of the heart in pain, the pain that softens stones, love gentle and sad as the breath of an angel, the needle of anger, the woe that survives death, death as the only remedy for life.

The anthology Four Times North presents poems by four contemporary British poets in Bulgarian. What they all have in common is that they live in the north of England. W. N. Herbert, whose roots are Scottish, is a university lecturer, known for his love of the linguistic find, the unexpected detail and the overlooked possibilities of language. Andy Croft is witty, critical of public issues, a frankly left and yet lyrical poet. He has taught creative writing to all sorts of “difficult” groups, from children to prisoners. Linda France, also a teacher of creative writing, is addicted to nature, to the silent world of plants, to those untouched by commercialization. Mark Robinson was executive director of the Arts Council (North East) and, during this time, refrained from publishing his own poetry so as not to create any doubt that he was in conflict of interest. His poems can be jokey or offensive; they are characterized by an elegant tone, a sense of the spirit of the local landscape and the directness of speech.

Petja Heinrich was born in Sofia in 1973 and has lived in Düsseldorf for two decades. She has published five poetry collections and a singular Lima with poetry in prose. She is the creator and engineer of the legendary literary magazine No Poezia. A cyclist who talks to birds. The poems in Lima are a model of one type of writing: association in a surrealist-Dadaist spirit. A funny game of unexpected connections and references in which words barely catch up with the associative thought. The interesting thing about this book is that everything is related to everything else in the most unusual way and we cannot count the plans because they are constantly shrinking and bursting, merging into one another. Lima is a blaze that brings to mind the picture of creatures fleeing or remaining in their seats after the explosion of a volcano or a corn kernel.

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