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To All The Failed Poems

A failed poem is a flying car that the poet herself would bet against, a free pass to tinker and woe. Say she gets electrocuted, slips on oil-slick. Say an… Continue reading ?

NYC event: PEN World Voices Festival

This year's PEN World Voices Festival runs 1 through 7 May, with an impressive programme. The focus is apparently on ("today's fractious relationship between") Gender and Power I hope to get to a number of these events, and report back on some of them.

NYC event: Russian Literature Week

In case the PEN World Voices Festival can't fill all your translated literature needs, it's also Russian Literature Week - 2017 in NYC from 1 through 6 May. All-Russian, of course -- but some interesting events.

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize

They've announced that this year's Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize will go (on 8 June) to Charlotte Collins, for her translation of A Whole Life, by Robert Seethaler; see also the Picador and Farrar, Straus and Giroux publicity...Show More Summary

Murakami on translation

I mentioned last month that Murakami Haruki had a new book out (in Japanese) about his translating-experiences (since, unlike US/UK novelists, he had devoted significant time to translating), ???? ???????????; see also the publisher's...Show More Summary

Palaeography Class Trip 2016/17

As we move into May, the regular pattern of visiting classes using Special Collections materials comes to an end. We have enjoyed bringing original material to a wide variety of […]

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize shortlist

They've announced the shortlist for this year's Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize -- the prestigious prize: "for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language". Several of these are not US-available yet (the Salvayre, the Sebastian); the only one under review at the complete review is Lisa C. Show More Summary

Blue Metropolis Literary Grand Prix

Anita Desai will pick up the Blue Metropolis Literary Grand Prix on Saturday; see also the nice overview/profile by Ian McGillis in the Montreal Gazette, Blue Metropolis honours Anita Desai with Literary Grand Prix.

Not One Day review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Oulipo-author Anne Garréta's 2002 prix Médicis-winning Not One Day, just (about) out in English from Deep Vellum. Choice quote from the book: For life is too short to resign...Show More Summary

And The Moon Is the only Kindness We See

  Dear Diane, Every time it rains, I think of you biking across Queens, and I pray you’ve already made it to work at Rikers. Often you arrive only to… Continue reading ?

Granta's Best of Young American Novelists

Another decade, another Granta 'Best of Young American Novelists'-list. Sigrid Rausing introduces the issue/list (with a couple of good titbits, such as: "NoViolet Bulawayo, a marvellous writer, unfortunately turned out not to be eligible,...Show More Summary

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award

The Australian/Vogel's Literary Award is given for an unpublished manuscript by a young Australian writer, and this year, as Stephen Romei reports, Vogel prize goes to novel reimagining Kafka's relationship with friend. Yes, Marija Pericic's...Show More Summary

Enigmas of Spring review

The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of João Almino's recent novel, Enigmas of Spring. Wide-ranging, it does include the nice quote: The world has too many images, words, and too much information, don't you think ? I want to sell silence.

International Prize for Arabic Fiction

They've announced that this year's International Prize for Arabic Fiction went to ???? ???? ('A Small Death'), a: "fictional account of the life of Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi", by Saudi (but now living in Canada...) author Mohammed Hasan Alwan;...Show More Summary

The Gray House review-overview

The most recent addition to the complete review is a review-overview of Mariam Petrosyan's The Gray House, just out in English from AmazonCrossing. Russian prize-winning, this is an impressive, big read -- though with its disabled adolescent...Show More Summary


I’m writing this blog post minutes after dragging myself out of bed, where I hit the snooze alarm twice. I can see pink in the sky out the window over… Continue reading ?

Austrian State Prize for European Literature

It is limited to European authors, but the Österreichischer Staatspreis für Europäische Literatur does have one of the more impressive winners-lists for a literary award -- and they've now announced (though not yet at the official site,...Show More Summary

Wellcome Book Prize

They've announced that The Heart (UK title: Mend the Living), by Maylis de Kerangal, has won this year's Wellcome Book Prize, "which celebrates exceptional works of fiction and non-fiction that engage with the topics of health and medicine and the many ways they touch our lives".

Positive Negation: Saying No in Poetry

The old creative writing class imperative to “write what you know” may have its place, but lately I’ve been thinking of the power of poetry not to “know,” but to… Continue reading ?

Recent Acquisitions: Long Essays, Bolivian Literature, an Italian Discovery, Paz’s Poetry

While I was traveling in Texas, and then upon my return home, I picked up many books, as I tend to do generally, regardless of where I am or why I’m there. Here’s a rundown of the latest. The Collected Poems of Octavio Paz — having long been a fan of the essays of this Nobel Continue Reading

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