The Sealey Challenge: (Selections from) Liberamerica

Monchoachi’s Liberamerica, translated by Patricia Hartland for Ugly Duckling Presse’s Señal series, is a beautiful book, and a difficult book, and a book that demands to be read far more than once. It’s also a pretty incredible book with which to end this year’s Sealey Challenge. First, a bit of a disclaimer. I don’t have the facility with French that I have with Spanish—mine is … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: (Selections from) Liberamerica

The Sealey Challenge: Transit Blues

Keijiro Suga’s Transit Blues, translated from the Japanese largely by the author himself, is a strange, often luminous little chapbook, a collection of poetry that explores space and time (and corvidae) with a deft, loving touch. “Walking as a Prayer,” the first poem in the collection, sets the tone for the rest of the book: sometimes meditative, always elegant, loving and deft and tender. Suga … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Transit Blues

The Sealey Challenge: New Moon / Luna Nueva / Yuninal Jme’tik

Women and the moon have long been linked, in cultures across the world. In New Moon, originally Yuninal Jme’tik in the poet’s native Tsotsil, Luna Nueva in her own Spanish-language translation, Enriqueta Lunez writes poetry of womanhood, words of woman born, reaching out to the moon. I’ll preface this simply: I’m going to need to read New Moon again, very soon. I read Clare Sullivan’s … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: New Moon / Luna Nueva / Yuninal Jme’tik

The Sealey Challenge: Cowboy & otros poemas / Cowboy & Other Poems

Cowboy & Other Poems, or Cowboy & otros poemas, written by Alejandro Alberrán Polanco and selected and translated by Rachel Galvin for Ugly Duckling Presse, caught my eye for the word on the cover, cowboy calling to mind all the gaucho literature I’ve ever read. (Borges’ “El Sur” made a big impression, okay? And so did “El guacho insufrible.”) I did not find any gauchos … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Cowboy & otros poemas / Cowboy & Other Poems

The Sealey Challenge: El lenguaje es un revólver para dos / Language Is A Revolver for Two

Mario Montalbetti’s El lenguaje es un revólver para dos, translated with grace and beauty by Clare Sullivan for Ugly Duckling Presse as Language Is A Revolver for Two, is poetry of the quotidian, small facets of the world writ large and stark and given a gloss of daily magic. A Revolver for Two sounds violent, at least to me, but there is little of violence … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: El lenguaje es un revólver para dos / Language Is A Revolver for Two

The Sealey Challenge: Listen! Early Poems 1913-1918

The introduction told me that the poetry in this City Lights Pocket Poets book would surprise me, since I probably knew the poet’s work from his epics. Elaine Feinstein was right: I was definitely (wonderfully!) surprised by Listen! Early Poems 1913-1918, early poetry by Vladimir Mayakovsky selected and translated from the Russian by Maria Enzensberger. I mean, I’d never even heard of Mayakovsky. I knew … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: Listen! Early Poems 1913-1918

The Sealey Challenge: The Territory Is Not the Map

It was poetry in translation today: Marília Garcia’s O país não é o mapa / The Territory Is Not The Map, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan. I know little about Marília Garcia; I have read few enough Brazilian authors, and I confess to some fleeting guilt, that I must read her words in translation rather than in Brazilian Portuguese. But I read Spanish … Continue reading The Sealey Challenge: The Territory Is Not the Map