Smugglers by Ales Debeljak

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Synopsis

The poems in Smugglers move through rapid historical shifts and meditations on personal experience, exploring the depths and limits of comprehension through the people and geography of the Balkans. Ultimately, Aleš Debeljak's urban imagination creates a mosaic—intimate and historical—of a vanished people and their country. Every poem in Smugglers is sixteen lines long—four quatrains, a common form for Debeljak. This structural regularity is reinforced by a commitment to visual balance, with each poem working as a kind of grid into which the poet pours memories and associative riffs.

From "Bookstore":

At least you are blessed. Winter's here. In darkness, awake
since yesterday, I came to browse again through the titles of old
books, wobbly skyscrapers, writers of my youth and stiffened honey.
No opening hours on the door, a minor poet with no woman

sits behind files in the front. I know him from when
we all shouted in one loyal voice, collected works on sale
for a handful of cents, read the holy Kapital
like zealots. Well, okay: not exactly all. Some of us took

another road . . .

Aleš Debeljak's books have appeared in English, Japanese, German, Croatian, Serbian, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Spanish, Slovak, Finnish, Lithuanian, and Italian translations. He teaches in the department of Cultural Studies at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.

Brian Henry is the author of ten books of poetry and won the 2011 Best Translated Book Award. He teaches at University of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia.

 

About Ales Debeljak

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Aleš Debeljak has published eight books of poetry and twelve books of essays in Slovenian. His books have appeared in English, Japanese, German, Croatian, Serbian, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, Spanish, Slovak, Finnish, Lithuanian, and Italian translation. Without Anesthesia: New and Selected Poems appeared from Persea Books in 2010. He has won the Preseren Foundation Prize, the Miriam Lindberg Israel Poetry for Peace Prize, the Chiqyu Poetry Prize in Japan, and the Jenko Prize. Debeljak teaches in the Department of Cultural Studies at the University of Ljubljana in Slovenia.Brian Henry is the author of ten books of poetry, most recently Brother No One (Salt Publishing, 2013). His translation of Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices appeared from Harcourt in 2008, and his translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things appeared from BOA Editions in 2010 and won the 2011 Best Translated Book Award. He has received numerous awards for his poetry and translations, including fellowships from the NEA, the Howard Foundation, and the Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences. He lives in Richmond, VA.
 
Published June 22, 2015 by BOA Editions Ltd.. 112 pages
Genres: History, Education & Reference, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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