On the flagged street
That day we happened to meet
You spoke to me so kindly
Asking courteously how I was,
That the air softened around me,
The dull impoverished city air,
With a little breeze you brought
From the west, from that place
By the sea where I first knew you…
After years of planning and production, Wake Forest University Press has published one of its most ambitious titles yet: Bone and Marrow/Cnámh agus Smior: An Anthology of Irish Poetry from Medieval to Modern. Fully bilingual, this anthology presents 15 centuries of Irish-language poetry across its 900+ pages, including many new translations, contextual notes, and introductory…Continue Reading
Wake Forest University Press will celebrate the publication of its latest anthology, Bone and Marrow/Cnámh agus Smior: An Anthology of Irish Poetry from Medieval to Modern, with a series of launch events organized with the anthology editors Samuel K. Fisher and Brian Ó Conchubhair. Planned events include a tour of Ireland from Belfast to Galway, with…Continue Reading
“As for the Quince” is an Irish-language poem written by Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill (the original title “An Crann”) then translated by Paul Muldoon into English. In the weeks when spring first dares to remind us that Nature’s sometimes subtle rhythms impact our entire wellbeing, this poem is a timely reflection of growth and loss….Continue Reading
In the distance
nothing but shimmering peaks
Nothing but ardent glances
Blackbirds and dovesContinue Reading
I can’t say
if it was the quiet
that woke me that morning
It’s all patience—my craft.
I’m like a fisherman
Waiting for a trout.
on the restored tracks
without entirely freeing herself as woman
from the vague bestiary that besets her…
Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin’s newest book The Mother House was published in the US this April, and it has been gaining praise across the board, including being chosen for the Irish Times Poetry Now Award. Despite finishing out the semester at home, WFU Press intern Emelyn Hatch conducted an interview with the poet via email to dig deeper into this shining collection.Continue Reading
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
Wake Forest University Press is thankful for all of you every day, but especially today. To express our gratitude, we’re once again running a Holiday Sale through the end of the year. All you have to do is enter the code (WFUP40) at the checkout and the discount will automatically apply itself. This sale includes…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
Hatred demands patience and deadened senses,
Hatred waits for its chance;
Hatred keeps a steady finger on the trigger
And won’t pull it till it sees the whites of the eyes
Like egg-whites-whites in its sights!
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