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BTBA finalists

Russell Scott Valentino

The Best Translated Book Awards finalists for this year have been announced at Three Percent, and the books are being written up individually in a "why this book should win" mode by the jurists. They are of course all really good, but I snagged Nichita Stanescu's Wheel with a Single Spoke (in Sean Cotter's English translation) and couldn't help but be just a little irreverant, not towards the book, towards the whole idea of picking one that's best (Have a look Here). 

Mary Jo Bang's INFERNO

John James

A significant contribution to the ongoing dialogue on translation, Mary Jo Bang’s new version of Dante’s Inferno will certainly turn a few heads. Not only does Bang abandon the author’s renowned terza rima, she uses allusion and colloquialism to render the epic’s esoteric political backdrop accessible to today’s readers.


Nick Ripatrazone

Rose McLarney’s debut collection feels born of the same world as Irene McKinney’s first book, The Girl with the Stone in Her Lap. Both collections mine the grain and coarse chaff of the American pastoral, where “golden apples / glow in sheer skin,” and yet “Their weight breaks branches . . . and you fall in fruit.” McKinney moved from direct representations of her dark pastoral in later collections, yet those poems still contained the solemn whispers of place. McLarney’s debut arrives with equal weight as McKinney's, though McLarney appears willing to remain longer in this “harmed” world of “buildings abandoned by paint, the now unfarmed fields.”

McLarney imbues a particularly elegiac tone to her corner of the pastoral: this is a world on the brink of change, and not all of it is good. Nature’s shifts introduce “Autumn Again”:

Understanding the Essay: an interview with Patricia Foster, co-editor

Katharine Monger

We are pleased to announce Understanding the Essay, Patricia Foster's fourth anthology, co-edited with Jeff Porter!  Foster's previous editorial work includes Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul (Anchor/Doubleday, 1994), Sister to Sister (Anchor/Doubleday, 1996), and The Healing Circle, co-edited with Mary Swander (Dutton, 1998).


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