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National Poetry Month

9th April 2010

April is National Poetry Month –befitting of the drama of April weather: the misery of the torrential rainstorms, and the hope of the first crocuses and sunny days. Fordham has several poetry titles to help celebrate!

Debuting this month, Things That No Longer Delight Me is Leslie Chang’s latest book of poems. Chang was one of Poetry Daily’s featured poets, with her poem, “In the Language of the Here and Now.” The poems are remembrances of her family’s pre-Revolutionary past in mainland China and Hong Kong. Objects, from the everyday to heirlooms, spark a flood of memories and images, leading to poems rich with history and nostalgia. According to a recent Publisher’s Weekly review, Chang “reimagines lives with devotion and loyalty.”

Things that No Longer Delight Me was the recipient of the 2008-2009 Poets Out Loud Prize, awarded each year to a full-length poetry manuscript. Leslie will be signing books at the annual AWP conference this week in Denver.

New for Summer:

Across the River: On the Poetry of Mak Dizdar (forthcoming in June) is Fordham author Rusmir Mahmutćehajić’s meditation on the iconic Bosnian poet. Mahmutćehajić frames Dizdar’s work in philosophical questions of poetics, faith, and culture.

From Jonathan Stalling comes two titles: The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry and Poetics of Emptiness: Transformations of Asian Thought in American Poetry. New in paperback, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry was first published as an essay by Ernest Fenollosa in 1919. Edited by Ezra Pound, the essay remains today, nearly a century later, as one of the most well-known statements on the state of American poetry. Though Pound’s edited version of the essay is renowned, it obscures some of Fenollosa’s original material. This book presents both Pound’s version of the essay, and the full original, complete with handwritten notes and diagrams. Together, the two represent the most comprehensive compendium of the work to date. Forthcoming in May, Poetics of Emptiness expands on Stallings’ analysis of Fenollosa’s work within the larger conceptual framework of “emptiness.” The second half, on “transpacific Daoist poetics,” explores the career of poet/translator/ critic Wai-lim Yip and engages the weave of post-structural thought and Daoist and shamanistic discourses in Theresa Hak Kyung Cha.

Poets of the Italian Diaspora: A Bilingual Anthology is publishing in August, and is a celebration of the literature of the Italian diaspora. Between the years of 1870 and 1970, 27 million Italian migrants left the home country to seek new lives. For the first time, this anthology presents the enormity of this spread, featuring the work of Italian poets living in countries from Venezuela to Australia. The poems also have introductions and biographical information for each poet.

Also new in paperback is Heidegger, Hölderlin, and the Subject of Poetic Language: Toward a New Poetics of Dasein. Jennifer Gosetti-Ferencei dissects Heidegger’s system of thought, especially regarding Hölderlin’s poetry.

A backlist classic, Brooklyn Is: Southeast of the Island: Travel Notes is James Agee’s famous rumination on Brooklyn. Written in 1939, the prose poem remained unpublished until 1969, when Esquire printed it. One of the great love songs to Brooklyn, the poem captures the burrough’s essence in its winding rhythms. For the first time in book form, Brooklyn Is also features a foreword by Brooklyn novelist Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn and Fortress of Solitude.