Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Nida Sophasarun's poems refuse to sit still. The liveliness of her mind means that a household's collection of glasses are as worthy of her careful attention as exotic birds in far-flung places. The generosity of these poems means that her readers learn, in the grace of the poems' unfoldings, how the nonhuman elements in our worlds speak to the vulnerability of the individual who is looking for connection. Hers are lines you want to read slowly, out loud, delighting in the words as well as the twists and turns that they lead you through, because Nida Sophasarun is "telling you the truth / even if it's not all // completely true."
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Michael Swierz and Ying Xu translate Shu Ting
Shu Ting is the first contemporary female poet to gain mainstream acceptance from the literary establishment in The People's Republic of China. After coming of age during the turbulence of The Cultural Revolution, she was the only woman in "The Misty School" of poetry, whose other prominent members faced the kind of persecution American poets can hardly imagine. Ying Xu and Micheal Swierz are graduate students at the University of New Mexico, who met and forged a relationship over Shu Ting's words. As each helped the other understand the beauty and power of the modern world's two most widely spoken languages, Michael the poet and Ying the Academic, were inspired to record the translations, giving birth to these poems. As William H. Gass has said, "translating is reading, reading of the best, most essential, kind." So we are proud to give you Ying Xu and Michael Swierz reading and translating Shu Ting.