As part of my ongoing effort to introduce the poetry of Krystyna Dąbrowska in English, I’m pleased to have another translation out in the world, this time in the wonderful New England Review. I love seeing so many different voices from different places in conversation. Thank you to Rick Barot and Carolyn Kuebler for putting forward such a compelling editorial gesture.
What a thrill to have a new translation in The Threepenny Review, which I have long upheld as the height of magazines for the literary reader. It’s interesting to find that the poem, Krystyna Dąbrowska’s “Wooden Figure of a Hunchbacked Dignitary,” takes on a new political aura in English in the U. S. And I’m honored to be in the company of David Ferry, Robert Pinsky, W. S. Di Piero, Wendy Lesser (editor extraordinaire), and others.
When I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, I became fascinated with the idea of oolitic rock, surrounded as the town was with limestone quarries and filled as it was with limestone buildings. Here we were, living within walls of skeletal fragments, grains of other organisms composed in concentric layers. I’ve carried the idea of those tiny ooids, or spherical granules, with me for years. And then I began to write about my grandfather’s physical and mental decline in the last years of his life. About memory loss and depression and experiences from WWII that kept upsetting him. And that image came back. What grains remain with us? What houses us? What haunts us? How fitting that MSWord wants to autocorrect “ooids” to “voids.” What are the voids that we inhabit?
Thank you to the editors of Alaska Quarterly Review for publishing the poem, “Oolite Lunch,” that resulted.
I have two new sonnets up at Connotation Press: An Online Artifact as part of John Hoppenthaler’s “Poetry Congeries.” Wonderful company there: Gary Jackson, Norman Dubie, and others.
Many thanks to Piotr Florczyk and the other editors at The Los Angeles Review for including my translation “Water Walking Balls” by Krystyna Dąbrowska in the Spring 2017 issue, out today. Dąbrowska is one of the most unforgettable voices to come out of Poland in recent years—a worthy successor to an extraordinary poetic tradition. You can read more of her work in English translation at Versopolis. Now to finish translating the full collection of her selected poems!
My poem “Washington, DC” from The Literary Review was featured on Verse Daily on April 18. Many thanks to the editors for attending to the health of poetry by publishing one new poem a day from excellent literary journals and books. Their archive is a veritable treasure trove of poetry.