Ron Slate's blog

Nine Poets Recommend New & Recent Titles

Welcome back to “Poets Recommend,” the Seawall’s semi-annual poetry feature. This season, nine poets write briefly on some of their favorite recently published titles. This multi-poet/title feature is posted here in April and November. Scroll down to read. The commentary includes:

Lisa Russ Spaar

on Watchful by Molly Bendall (Omnidawn Publishing)

on City Gate, Open Up, a memoir by Bei Dao, tr. by Jeffrey Yang (New Directions)

Zhao Zhenkai was 17 years old when Mao’s Cultural Revolution occurred in 1966. At his high school, he was among those who forced his teachers to wear incriminating placards around their necks, and who ridiculed, kicked and punched them through a gauntlet in the schoolyard. He had become one of the Red Guards.

on Stigmata of Bliss, three novellas by Klaus Merz (Seagull Books)

The most generous writers give the reader something to do, respecting their capabilities. The least generous ones explain too much, reflecting credit on themselves. The Swiss writer Klaus Merz has engaged his readers in such a way that he is beloved among Germanophones who regard his 1997 novella Jacob Asleep as a contemporary classic.

on Slight Exaggeration, an essay by Adam Zagajewski, tr. by Clare Cavanaugh (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

One day in the late 1990’s while teaching in Houston, Adam Zagajewski received a call from his friend Czeslaw Milosz in Berkeley. Milosz was then in his mid-80’s.

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