The weather softened in the last few days.
I took the air for raiment.
Sweet, Jesus, honey sweet the season!
Rocks melt. Nor ice nor reason hold.
I wake up, and my hands are sticky
With the smell of blood.
And though there’s not a smudge nor blot
In eyeshot, nor any soul
The WFU Press Holiday Sale is back! Use coupon code WFUPHOLIDAY at checkout and receive 40% off our entire catalog (forthcoming books excluded). The sale runs through Christmas, but order by Dec. 16th to ensure your gift arrives in time. Can’t decide what to get your friends and family for the holidays? We know gift-giving…Continue Reading
It’s easy to talk, and writing words on the page
doesn’t involve much risk as a general rule:
You might as well be knitting late at night
in a warm room, in a soft, treacherous light…
Starting with his 1976 publication of THE NEW ESTATE and finishing with the call-and-response translation work in FROM ELSEWHERE (2014), Carson guides us through his imaginative landscape in a new selection that includes poems from thirteen volumes written over nearly forty years.Continue Reading
October its brilliance
In its arms
the condemned leaves
with dying beautifully
This is the starkest hour of the shore
when it’s purged and cleansed as a Sabbath door.
There’s a brim of lather when the tide’s in
as the waves go on with their day’s washing.
A poem in Irish by Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, with a translation by Gabriel Rosenstock, from The Wake Forest Series of Irish Poetry, Vol. IV (2017)Continue Reading
The President of Planet Earth is Wheatley’s fifth collection, and his talent for a wide range of poetic styles and voices is on full display. Here we have prose poems, concrete poems, sestinas and sonnets, alongside more experimental forms. Wheatley draws inspiration from Russian Futurist poet Velimir Khlebnikov, Samuel Beckett, and Ian Hamilton Finlay, among others. The result is a fascinating and subversively comedic trek across land and time. In this interview, Wheatley tells us more about his daring new collection and the voices therein.Continue Reading
In the final week of National Translation Month, we’re featuring a unique kind of translation act. In From Elsewhere, Ciaran Carson translates poems by the French poet Jean Follain. However, the volume is different in that Carson pairs these translations with original poems inspired by them: “Translations of the translations,” as he explains in the preface….Continue Reading
In today’s selection for National Translation Month, we are featuring a Romanian poem by Ileana Mălăncioiu, translated by Irish poet Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin in her collection titled Legend of the Walled-Up Wife. As Ní Chuilleanáin writes in the preface to the book, “Mălăncioiu’s writing is valued in Romania as a moral force. A courageous critic of the former…Continue Reading
We’ve been posting translations to celebrate National Translation Month, and today we’ve chosen a French poem by Vénus Khoury-Ghata from her collection, Au sud du silence. Khoury-Ghata is a translator herself, most notably from French to Arabic for the magazine Europe, but this poem was translated into English by Michael Bishop for an anthology of French poetry…Continue Reading
Wake Forest Press has published books in translation for a few decades, and we’re proud to celebrate National Translation Month during September by featuring some of these poems over the next few weeks. Of course we offer quite a bit of Irish-language poetry in translation, but many of our poets have also translated from French and other…Continue Reading
This week’s poem comes from Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s most recent volume, The Fifty Minute Mermaid, a selection of which was included in The Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry. Ní Dhomhnaill’s narrative poem, “Melusine,” is based on folklore most famously captured by the 14th century French writer Jean d’Arras. In the tale, Count Raymondin meets the…Continue Reading
Don’t waste your time, Leuconoé, living in fear and hope
of the imprevisable future; forget the horoscope.
Today we’ve selected a poem by French poet and translator Claire Malroux, alongside the translation by Marilyn Hacker. As Hacker points out in the preface to this volume, these poems are “on the boundary” in many ways. “Perhaps one crucial boundary, sacrosanct and taboo, on which they stand,” she continues, “is that between languages, and their…Continue Reading
I remember a room on the seaward side—
The squall caught it from the south-west—
And rain a tattoo on the window
Unslackening since the fall of night,
Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill’s The Water Horse is a particular gem because of the collaboration of three great female Irish poets; Ní Dhomhnaill’s poems are in Irish, with English translations by Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin and Medbh McGuckian. These poems present other convergences, particularly the mingling of mythology with modern life as in today’s poem.Continue Reading
Finit Le seans a chuala uathu scéala an chleamhnais Is b’ait liom srian le héadroime na gaoithe— Do bhís chomh hanamúil léi, chomh domheabhartha, Chomh fiáin léi, is chomh haonraic, mar ba chuimhin liom. Féach feasta go bhfuil dála cháich i ndán duit, Cruatan is coitinne, séasúr go céile, Ag éalú i ndearúd le hiompú…Continue Reading
Wake Forest Press will publish The Miraculous Parish, a bilingual volume of Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s poetry this May. An activist and visionary, Mhac an tSaoi has paved the way for such female literary giants as Eavan Boland, Medbh McGuckian, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill. The Miraculous Parish solidifies her reputation as the…Continue Reading
The latest manuscript we’ve been working on in the press is Máire Mhac an tSaoi’s The Miraculous Parish. This book will feature poems written in Irish by Mhac an tSaoi, and translated by other poets into English. Here’s a sneak preview of one of her poems, written for a political cabaret in New York organized by…Continue Reading
The Destruction Of Sodom And Gomorrah, a painting by John Martin (1789-1854) In the spirit of Halloween we offer Ciaran Carson’s “Demotic Nocturne”, a tantalizing and chilling nighttime adventure that takes the reader on a technicolor journey that “disperses all the boundaries of hearth and home.” “Demotic Nocturne” appears in Carson’s collection In the Light Of, translated from Rimbaud’s Illuminations. Demotic Nocturne (Nocturne vulgaire) A breath…Continue Reading