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  Of Gods & Strangers

 

REVIEWS

 
A meditation on history and the imagination that bears witness to acts of genocide and to natural disasters in Ethiopia, Haiti, and Sri Lanka, Of Gods & Strangers interweaves lyrical, arresting accounts of our contemporary world with stories of "Empress Dowager" Tzu Hsi, last empress of China (1861-1908). An urgent reminder that poetry can offer us a social consciousness--"in my locked mouth an urge"--Of Gods & Strangers deftly traces the human dimensions of the "great modern machine," looking to recover "a future shining from the void."
 

 
   

 
   


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  Half-Lit Houses

 

Reviews


This collection of poetry documents a young girl’s very beginnings, the loss of her father, the father’s presence as a mythical figure in the speaker’s life. The collection is also punctuated by a movement backward in history, specifically to Hunan, China in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s. By moving backward, the speaker begins to imagine her life as a continuance of a long ancestry of loss and acceptance.

 

 

   
   

 

 


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  Language for a New Century:
Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East,
Asia, and Beyond 

 

REVIEWS

 

A landmark anthology, providing the most ambitious, far-reaching collection of contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern poetry available.
 
Language for a New Century celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. Some poets, such as Mahmoud Darwish and Bei Dao, are acclaimed worldwide, but many more will be new to the reader. The collection includes 400 unique voices from 55 countries writing in 40 different languages—political and apolitical, monastic and erotic—that represent a wider artistic movement that challenges thousand-year-old traditions, broadening our notion of contemporary literature.
 
Each section of the anthology—organized by theme rather than national affiliation—is preceded by a personal essay from the editors that introduces the poetry and invokes the readers to examine their own identities in light of these powerful poems. In an age of violence and terrorism—often predicated by cultural ignorance—this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanness and devotion to the transformative power of art.