NOLA BOOK AND LITERARY NEWS

from Nathan C. Martin and Friends.

Mary Jo Bang at Tulane Oct. 21

posted Oct 20, 2013

 

Mary_Jo-3.jpg

Poet Mary Jo Bang will present a reading at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 21, in the Freeman Auditorium of the Woldenburg Art Center on Tulane University’s campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Bang is the author of numerous collections of poetry, including Elegy (2007), which won both the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. Her latest book is a new translation of Dante’s Inferno (2012), in which she takes bold liberties with the text and re-imagines the classic to often-terrifying results. Bang has received numerous honors and awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Bellagio Foundation, and a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University. Her poems have been included in multiple editions of The Best American Poetry. She is a professor at Washington University in St. Louis.

New Orleans-based author and Room 220 friend Zachary Lazar interviewed Bang last year for BOMB magazine about her Inferno translation:

Zachary Lazar Your translation is the first one I’ve ever read that actually scares me. You write in your introduction: “What’s the text equivalent of death metal music?” This seems to me a perfect justification of your approach: as time passes, and especially as technology evolves, we don’t get “better” at evoking terror but we do develop new styles that strike us with a new power. Because of this change in styles we can become numb to the old. Music, in the strict sense as well as the poetic sense, changes—it has to change. And not acknowledging this is basically reactionary, no?

Mary Jo Bang Given that language is multivalent, I wonder whether this version of Dante feels scarier to you because today’s language inevitably has today’s fears encoded in it, especially when we talk about bad behavior and its consequences. When we read language that’s been patterned today to sound like it did in the past, the risk is that we’ll read the text as if it only refers to that past moment, and that past moment’s terrors.

Also, by ironing out the syntax, the narrative arc of the Inferno is easier to follow. There’s more of a sense of drama. We’re better able to suspend our disbelief and identify with the characters, especially with the character called Dante whose quest for self-knowledge and salvation presents him with archetypal stand-ins for every possible kind of selfishness and evil.

Of course some people feel quite territorial about the poetry of the past and have a strong negative reaction to seeing it altered. Appropriation literature, which you could argue translation is, inevitably alters a text, and if someone is highly invested in the original, there’s no pleasure in examining the terms of an author’s or a translator’s tampering. The fact is, the original still exists. As a reader you can always go back to that.

Read the full interview at BOMB.

 

 

Hand-in-Glove Conference Guide

Hand in Glove Conference Guide
Essay by Amy Mackie, edited by Bob Snead, designed by Erik Keisewetter

This beautiful book, designed and printed by Erik Kiesewetter of Constance for the Hand-in-Glove Conference, includes a guide to all of the conference happenings Oct 17-20, 2013, an informative map of the artist run spaces on and around St. Claude Ave, and an extensive essay by Amy Mackie about the history of self organized contemporary art [...]

Photo by Sophie Lvoff in WE'RE PREGNANT

We’re Pregnant
Words by Nathan Martin. Photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano.

We’re Pregnant is a chapbook of short fiction by Room 220 editor Nathan C. Martin along with photography by Akasha Rabut, Sophie T. Lvoff, and Grissel Giuliano. The book contains three of Martin’s short stories—which explore in morbid fashion anxieties related to sex, disease, marriage, and childbirth—with images inspired by the stories from each of the photographers.

final_cover (2)

The People Is Singular
Poems by Andy Young and Photographs by Salwa Rashad

The People Is Singular, by local poet Andy Young and Egyptian photographer Salwa Rashad, is a personal response to the Egyptian Revolution. Rashad’s vision includes everyday people—Muslims and Christians, young and old, the foregrounded and the peripheral. Her perspective is from inside the events as they unfolded. Andy Young, a New Orleans poet married to [...]

curtain_optional (2)

Curtain Optional
by Brad and Jim Richard

In both poetry and prose, Brad Richard explores the influence of his father’s work on his own, as well as the experience of growing up as the son of an artist while becoming an artist himself. Jim Richard is a professor of painting at the University of New Orleans and has exhibited at the Solomon [...]

howtorebuild

How to Rebuild a City
Edited by Anne Gisleson & Tristan Thompson w/ design and artistic direction by Catherine Burke

Beautifully designed, sometimes fun, always informative, How to Rebuild a City: Field Guide from a work in Progress, is a reflection of the many ways that New Orleanians have realized our way towards recovery, actively and creatively engaging with our communities.

bitterink

Bitter Ink
by Brian Zeigler & Raymond “Moose” Jackson

BBoth originally from Detroit, cousins Brian Zeigler and Raymond “Moose” Jackson began collaborating while Brian was harboring Moose in Vermont during Katrina evacuation. While their doodling proclivities may have made them rustbelt exiles from the rest of their autoworker family, together they produce seductive aphorisms of wit and weirdness that provoke, confound and celebrate a [...]