Quinn Gruber reviews three Ugly Duckling titles on or in translation: Except for This Unseen Thread by Ra’ad Abdulqadir; Say Translation Is Art by Sawako Nakayasu; and A Mano / By Hand by Nicole Cecilia Delgado. From the review of Abdulqadir: “Abdulqadir shows how the trauma of unending war weaves itself throughout everyday life: ‘we are exiled at home / blindfolded with lights.’ In Kareem’s translation, each word contributes to a strikingly tangible network of images that reveal the unseen thread of violence that undergirds these ordinary scenes: ‘the schools have gone to war’ and shopowners carry ‘their rifles on their knees.’ When ongoing trauma infuses all parts of life, we ask: ‘Even in this safe place / the strange clamor doesn’t stop?’”
Quinn Gruber reviews three Ugly Duckling titles on or in translation.
Editorial assistant Quinn Gruber reviews three multitudinous poetry titles: Ringing the Changes by Stephanie Strickland; Repetition Nineteen by Monica de la Torre; and Illusory Borders by Heidi Reszies. Of Strickland's book, Quinn writes: Ringing the Changes sounds through the highly precise patterns of English bell ringing, producing a “work that transgresses the boundary between thought as act and thought as content.” A series of twenty-three “bells” of text resonate in “many different interlocking dimensions” of climate change, racial justice, art, and performance; in the unique changes, “each of these pocket universes of social and economic reality has its own structure and forms, its own space and geometry.” In the overwhelming crises of the present, Strickland reminds us what the body can do: “It can reach out. It can look up.”