December 2011 News from New Directions
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New Directions Publishing
December 2011 News

Nicanor Parra wins the 2011 Miguel de Cervantes Prize

We begin with the wonderful news that Chilean poet — and physicist — Nicanor Parra has won the 2011 Miguel de Cervantes Prize, the world's highest Spanish-language literary honor. We at New Directions would like to say felicidades, and add that we are honored to publish his poetry in translation. Parra combines scientific precision with plainspoken language into what he calls "anitpoetry," a confrontational response to Latin American high rhetoric. Fellow Chilean Roberto Bolaño cherished his work above all others', and in the words of Edith Grossman, discussing our bilingual edition of Antipoems: How to Look Better & Feel Great:

If you expect the staid reflections of an elder poet, you've come to the wrong book. Parra is as vital, and funny, and confounding as ever.

And we couldn't resist sharing a short poem that is indeed "vital, funny, and confounding."

"A Resounding Zero"

It all came down to nothing
& of that nothing, there is very little left

You can buy the book here

 


The Adventures of Mao on the Long March Marathon Reading

The last New Directions 75th Anniversary celebration will take place on Sunday December 4, at the Jane Hotel, where New Directions, along with The 
New 
Inquiry,
 BOMB 
Magazine, 
and
 For Your Art, 
will
 host 
a marathon reading 
of Frederic 
Tuten’s 
visionary first 
novel
 The 
Adventures 
of 
Mao 
on 
the 
Long
 March, originally published 
in 
1971 and now proudly on our list.
 Starting at 3:00 pm (the doors open at 2:30), this 
five‐hour 
festival, 
free 
and 
open 
to 
the 
public, 
will 
bring 
together many notable
 participants, 
including Walter 
Mosley, 
Amy
 Hempel, 
Lydia 
Davis, 
Jon 
Robin 
Baitz, Kurt 
Andersen, 
Ross 
Bleckner, 
Deborah 
Eisenberg, 
Francine 
du 
Plessix 
Gray, 
A. M. 
Homes, Edmund 
White, 
Oscar 
Hijuelos, 
Vito 
Acconci, 
Hans 
Ulrich 
Obrist, 
David 
Salle, 
and Cecily Brown. All of the details are here.

 


New Directions and NYRB Classics celebrate the life and work of Albert Cossery

On Tuesday, December 6, join New Directions and New York Review of Books in celebrating the life and work of Albert Cossery. Participants will include Cossery translators Alyson Waters and Anna Moschovakis, the Paris Review's Robyn Creswell, and Bidoun's Anna Della Subin. The event will take place at Word Books in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. More information here.

New Directions and NYRB have both recently published Cossery novels, The Colors of Infamy and Proud Beggers, respectively.

 


Tomas Transtromer's Nobel Prize acceptance ceremony

On December 7, poet Tomas Tranströmer will be presented the Nobel Prize for Literature.  Tranströmer, who suffered a dibilatating stroke in 1990 that left him unable to speak or use his right arm, will perform on the piano in lieu of giving a speech. Many fanous composers have created pieces specially composed to be played solely with his left hand. Other participants in the ceremony will include: actor Kristina Adolphson, actor Krister Henriksson, pianist Roland Pöntinen, opera singer Jeanette Köhn, Gustaf Sjökvist's Chamber Choir, conductor Gustaf Sjökvist with an Uppsala Chamber Soloist, among others. You can watch the entire ceremony live here.

 


Memories Look at Me

By Tomas Tranströmer
Translated by Robin Fulton

Memories Look at Me is Tomas Tranströmer’s lyrical autobiography about growing up in Sweden. His story opens with a streak of light, a comet that becomes a brilliant metaphor for “my life” as he tries to penetrate the earliest, formative memories of his past. This childhood life unfolds itself slowly in eight glistening chapters that gradually reveal the most secret of treasures: how Tranströmer discovered poetry.

“Like so many great poets before him, Tranströmer is forever reminding us that the world is not what it appears to be; that with mindfulness and close attention, you might get a glimpse of something vast and strange.”  ––John Freeman, NPR

 


Jerome Rothenberg turns 80

On December 9, join Jacket Magazine for a celebration of Jerome Rothenberg's 80th birthday. Poet, translator, editor, and anthologist Jerome Rothenberg will be joined by friends and collaborators for an exploration of his influential work. Papers on, and celebrations of, Rothenberg’s work will be presented by Susan Howe, Homero Aridjis, Carolee Schneemann, Ammiel Alcalay, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Anne Waldman, Bruce Andrews & Sally Silvers, Jeffrey Robinson, Pete Monaco, Charles Morrow, Anne Tardos,  George Economou, Rochelle Owens, Robert Kelly, Al Filreis, Mónica de la Torre, Ernesto Livon-Grosman, Nicole Peyrafitte, Lee Ann Brown & Tony Torn, Mark Weiss, Peter Cockelbergh, Ligorano-Reese, Danny Snelson, Diane Rothenberg, Hiro Sato, Ian Tyson, and others. More information here.

 


Kenneth Patchen turns 100

On December 13, at ACA Galleries in Chelsea, New York City, Boog City will host a celebration of the poet and artist Kenneth Patchen, who would have turned 100 this year. The event is free and open to the public. More information here

 


New Directions' gift books make great stocking stuffers

If you are looking for the best literary stocking stuffer, may we recommend:

Nikolai Gogol's The Night Before Christmas
A sardonic and comic Christmas story

Tomas Tranströmer's Memories Look at Me
A memoir in verse by the winner of the 2011 Nobel Prize in LIterature

Patti Smith's Woolgathering
Childhood memories from the 2010 National Book Award winner and legendary musician

The New Directions anthology of Christmas Poems 
A collection featuring poems from our long list of renowned poets

 


Publication News: The Poetry of Thought

For those expecting to find George Steiner's forthcoming The Poetry of Thought: From Hellenism to Celan on shelves in the coming days, we're regrettably being forced to push the publication date back slightly. Look for more news soon.

 


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