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The Alphabet Conspiracy takes its name from a 1950s-era school filmstrip of the same title. With a cast that includes patron saints for country girls and criminals, a Revolutionary War hero, the Wolfman, a sin-eater, John Wayne, and Johnny Cash, these poems swagger and sulk through an educational film turned film noir, replete with femme fatales in love. The Alphabet Conspiracy is about the ways in which language itself can function as a plot, keeping us estranged from ourselves, but also about the way it can be used as a tool for recovering our truest selves.
This is the first book published in English by of the work of Brazilian poet Adelia Prado. Incorporating poems published over the past fifteen years, The Alphabet in the Park is a book of passion and intelligence, wit and instinct. These are poems about human concerns, especially those of women, about living in one's body and out of it, about the physical but also the spiritual and the imaginative life. Prado also writes about ordinary matters; she insists that the human experience is both mystical and carnal. To Prado these are not contradictory: "It's the soul that's erotic," she writes.
As Ellen Watson says in her introduction, "Adelia Prados poetry is a poetry of abundance. These poems overflow with the humble, grand, various stuff of daily life - necklaces, bicycles, fish; saints and prostitutes and presidents; innumerable chickens and musical instruments...And, seemingly at every turn, there is food." But also, an abundance of dark things, cancer, death, greed. These are poems of appetite, all kinds.
This selection and its somewhat haphazard direction of how so many of us interact romantically—on the surface—is a gentle reminder that be it fate, chance, or will, we appear destined to carry out our mission to couple and partner, no matter what the cause or effect. If we truly desire companionship, at all cost, there is probably someone out there seeking the same measure—for better or worse. Whether it is simply ourselves, or the likes of Nathanael West (“Day of the Locus”), Amadeus Mozart (“The Dogs of Amadeus”), Mark Twain (“Mark Twain’s Cigar”), Natalie Wood (“The Late Natalie Wood”), or the poor children who haunt the camps at Terezin and Auschwitz (“ Little Ghosts”), we are all in need of the dose of kindness that love’s dispensary provides if we are fortunate enough to find it, hidden or not, among us. Whether or not a higher power is at work to guide us and grant us “The Word,” or we are determined to discover a path towards salvation through the generous acts of others—or ourselves—we follow an unconscious path, at times, and seek refuge, where possible, in places and locations we might have never imagined to investigate and bear witness. It may be upon “The Road to Jerusalem,” aboard “The New Train,” or in “The Terminal of Grief,” yet we still search for solace and speak the only common language we understand, this pursuit of love we may even try to escape—but never deny.
Visions and Revisions of Lewis Carroll's Alice Books
Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) are among the most enduring works in the English language. In the decades following their publication, writers on both sides of the Atlantic produced no fewer than two hundred imitations, revisions, and parodies of Carroll's fantasies for children. Carolyn Sigler has gathered the most interesting and original of these responses to the Alice books, many of them long out of print. Produced between 1869 and 1930, these works trace the extraordinarily creative, and often critical, response of diverse writers. These writers -- male and female, radical and conservative -- appropriated Carroll's structures, motifs, and themes in their Alice-inspired works in order to engage in larger cultural debates. Their stories range from Christina Rossetti's angry subversion of Alice's adventures, Speaking Likenesses (1874), to G.E. Farrow's witty fantasy adventure, The Wallypug of Why (1895), to Edward Hope's hilarious parody of social and political foibles, Alice in the Delighted States (1928). Anyone who has ever followed Alice down the rabbit hole will enjoy the adventures of her literary siblings in the wide Wonderland of the human imagination.
Always Danger offers a lyrical and highly imaginative exploration into the hazards that surround people’s lives—whether it’s violence, war, mental illness, car accidents, or the fury of Mother Nature. In his second collection of poems, David Hernandez embraces the element of surprise: a soldier takes refuge inside a hollowed-out horse, a man bullies a mountain, and a giant pink donut sponsors age-old questions about beliefs. Hernandez typically eschews the politics that often surround the inner circle of contemporary literature, but in this volume he quietly sings a few bars with a political tone: one poem shadows the conflict in Iraq, another reflects our own nation’s economic and cultural divide. Always Danger parallels Hernandez’s joy of writing: unmapped, spontaneous, and imbued with nuanced revelation.
Selected Poems by Georgina Herrera
This bilingual volume of poetry (with DVD) introduces the unique voice of Cuban writer Georgina Herrera, whose poetry is inspired by her African heritage. Eliseo Diego calls Herrera's work poetry of origin, pain, heartbreak, and consolation. Herrera manages to transform her pain into central aesthetic components of her work, which point to a legacy of sorrow and sacrifice. Though she indeed has suffered, Georgina Herrera possesses courage, energy, and a penetrating intelligence accompanied by a profound sense of dignity and an age-old wisdom that enable her to "take to the hills" in order to go on and tell us the truths of her cultural memory, of her soul, and of her vast experience accumulated over 80 years full of anxiety, exclusion, violence, and discrimination. At the end, her self-definition is of dignity and empowerment, challenging the representation imposed upon black women.
In the long history of European prose fiction, few works have been more influential and more popular than the romance of chivalry Amadis of Gaul. Although its original author is unknown, it was probably written during the early fourteenth century. The first great bestseller of the age of printing, Amadis of Gaul was translated into dozens of languages and spawned sequels and imitators over the centuries. A handsome, valiant, and undefeatable knight, Amadis is perhaps best known today as Don Quixote's favorite knight-errant and model. This exquisite English translation restores a masterpiece to print.
In the long history of European prose, few works have been more influential and popular than Amadis of Gaul. It is a landmark work among the knight-errantry tales and probably derives from an oral tradition. Although its original author is unknown, it was likely written during the early fourteenth century, with the first known version of this work, dating from 1508, written in Spanish by Garci Ordóñez (or Rodríguez) de Montalvo. An early bestseller of the age of printing, Amadis of Gaul was translated into dozens of languages and spawned sequels and imitators over the centuries. A handsome, valiant, and undefeatable knight, Amadis is best known today as Don Quixote's favorite knight-errant and role model. Readers for centuries have delighted in his tales of adventure.
Following the convening of Hong Kong International Poetry Nights 2013, The World of Words is a collection of selected works by some of the most internationally acclaimed poets today. The poem of "amazing, how amazing it is, every night of the shining sun" by Lee Seong-bok (South Korea) is finest contemporary poetry in trilingual or bilingual presentation.