Friday, June 26, 2009

Two Poems in Natural Bridge

The publications just keep coming lately. I’m on a lucky streak, I guess. The latest is two poems in Natural Bridge (ISSN 1525-9897), which is the literary magazine of the University of Missouri-St. Louis. This issue (No. 20, or 21 — both numbers are given on the cover — at any rate it’s Spring 2009) is guest-edited by the Irish poet Eamonn Wall. It features a few familiar names, such as Galway stalwarts Kevin Higgins and Susan DuMars, as well as a couple of other familiar Irish writers such as John Liddy. On a quick skim-through, Matt Rasmussen’s poem “Oh Stethoscope” also jumped out at me for its concise yet strange sense of language, and WCW-like short-line layout.

My two poems are titled “Dead Rabbits” and “Kells,” and these particular pieces continue the Irish or Irish-American themes of Ancestor Worship, I suppose, but from a different perspective. In time and place, if nothing else — yes yes y’all, the endless process of change called life. (I promise, though, I’ve been writing about other things than Ireland lately too....)

Order Natural Bridge through the first link above (although as of this posting they have yet to update their site), or for $8 from: Natural Bridge, Department of English, UMSL, One University Blvd., St. Louis, MO, 63121.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My Eugenio Montale

You didn’t know I could work my way through Italian, did you? Well, I have a translation or two of the great Italian poet Eugenio Montale in a brand-new anthology of his work entitled Corno Inglese, edited by Marco Sonzogni. The book is being launched on Wednesday 24 June 2009 at 6:30pm, at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura in Dublin, Ireland (located at 11 Fitzwilliam Square). Below is the full notice of the event from the Italian Cultural Institute’s website. Though this book-launch is free admission, due to limited seating places for this event must be reserved: RSVP (01) 662 1507 or 662 0509. (If you’re in Dublin on the 24th, please consider attending, and let me know how it goes.)


Dr. Marco Sonzogni has assembled a team of illustrious translators to increase the awareness of the works of Eugenio Montale in English speaking countries. Their efforts have culminated in the volume Corno Inglese, published by the Joker Edizioni in Novi Ligure.

This elegant and precious collection (15x21, 270 pages) is destined, thanks to the value of the translations, to become an important travelling companion for the many students of Montale.

We are proud to have contributed to the realization of this worthy and considerable enterprise which collects the best of Montale’s poetry translated in English.

It is an exceptionally comprehensive, original and relevant collection, covering Montale’s entire oeuvre, from his early poems to the posthumous collections. As well as a printed edition, Corno Inglese will be published as an e-book.


The collection of the translations included in this volume began in 1996, the centenary of Montale’s birth. The number of translators has expanded from a small constellation of stars (from Samuel Beckett to Paul Muldoon; from Robert Lowell to John Updike) to a galaxy of interpreters and interpretations from all over the world. This new anthology gathers a diverse band of translators who reveal the essence of Montale’s poetry.

The poems appear alphabetically by translator rather than in chronological order; challenge to convention is intended to engage the reader in a freer and fresher reading of each translation independently of the canon of the originals.

If there is “a Montale for everybody”, as fellow poet Giorgio Caproni has claimed, then Corno Inglese confirms this.

--Marco Sonzogni


To purchase the book, go to the Joker Edizioni website (the first link, above). If you look for me in the index of translators, I am listed alphabetically under my name in Irish, Mícheál Ó Beigléinn.