World Beat: International Poetry Now from New Directions

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Eliot Weinberger
New Directions Publishing, 2006 - Poetry - 258 pages
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A celebration of contemporary poetry from around the world, World Beat: International Poetry Now from New Directions is a treasure trove that will satisfy and fascinate poetry lovers.

A mosaic of twenty-eight foreign and American poets, World Beat is an extraordinary compilation, unlike any other anthology, of the poetry being written today. For some seventy years, New Directions Publishing has brought literary America the world, introducing many of the world's most important, and at the time usually unknown, writers. Today, with a diminishing earth and an increasingly isolated United States, dialogue among the nations is desperately needed. On the poetic front, this dialogue assumes a particular potency and urgency. In World Beat, expertly edited by the remarkable writer and translator Eliot Weinberger, a new generation of New Directions poets from across the globe mingles in a euphonic cross-cultural chorus.

The collection opens with the last poem by Octavio Paz, a major work previously unpublished in book form, and then tracks through the writings of foreign and American poets that New Directions has published in recent years. From the haunting erotic lyrics of the young Albanian poet Luljeta Lleshanaku, to the powerful political insights of exiled Iraqi poet Dunya Mikhail, Israeli poet Aharon Shabtai, and Caribbean poet Kamau Brathwaite, to the lapidary beauty of Dutch poet Hans Faverey and the wild experiments of Chinese poet Gu Cheng and Japanese poet Kazuko Shiraishi, to Nobel Prize shortlisters Bei Dao of China, Inger Christensen of Denmark, Gennady Aygi of Chuvashia, and Tomas Transtromer of Swedenhere is a planetary greatest hits that also includes work by Canadian Anne Carson and a range of American poets (Susan Howe, Michael Palmer, Robert Creeley among them), whose works take on new resonances when read alongside their world-peers.
 

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World beat: international poetry now from New Directions

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Essayist and translator Weinberger has culled this sampler of 24 international poets mostly from the pages of their New Directions books. Recent American poets like Forest Gander, Rosmarie Waldrop and ... Read full review

Contents

Preface
DUNYA MIKHAIL
14
Gu CHENG
35
BEI
59
MICHAEL PALMER
83
AHARON SHABTAI
103
INGER CHRISTENSEN
123
GUSTAF SOBIN
137
JEROME ROTHENBERG
179
KAZUKO SHIRAISHI
185
TOMAS TRANSTROMER
191
KAMAU BRATHWAITE
203
CHARLES TOMLINSON
218
ROBERT CREELEY
226
NICANOR PARRA
236
Contributors
243

ROSMARIE WALDROP
147
GENNADY AYGI
159
HANS FAVEREY
169

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About the author (2006)

Eliot Weinberger is an essayist, political commentator, translator, and editor. His books of avant-gardist literary essays include Karmic TracesAn Elemental Thing(named by the Village Voice as one of the "20 Best Books of the Year") and, most recently, Oranges & Peanuts for Sale. His political articles are collected in What I Heard About Iraq--called by the Guardianthe one antiwar "classic" of the Iraq war--and What Happened Here: Bush Chronicles. The author of a study of Chinese poetry translation, 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei, he is the translator of the poetry of Bei Dao, and the editor of The New Directions Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry and the Calligrams series published by NYRB Classics. His other anthologies include World Beat: International Poetry Now from New Directions and American Poetry Since 1950: Innovators & Outsiders. Among his translations of Latin American poetry and prose are the Collected Poems 1957-1987 of Octavio Paz, Vicente Huidbro's Altazor, and Jorge Luis Borges' Selected Non-Fictions, which received the National Book Critics Circle award for criticism. He was born in New York City, where he still lives. Often presented as a "post-national" writer, his work has been translated into thirty languages, and appears frequently in theNew York Review of Books, the London Review of Books, and periodicals and newspapers abroad.

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