Synopses & Reviews
Award-winning American poet Marilyn Hacker offers the brilliance of Lebanese poet Vénus Khoury-Ghata in an exquisite translation
the earth is so vast one cant help but be lost like water from a broken jug
There is no fortress against the wind
the winter wanderer must count on the compassion of walls
—from “She Says”
Translated by celebrated American poet Marilyn Hacker, Vénus Khoury-Ghatas She Says explores the mythic and confessional attractions and repulsions of the French and Arabic imaginations with poems that open like “a suitcase filled with alphabets.” Sex, barrenness, grief, and death—the backdrop of a war-ravaged country—are always at the edges, made increasingly urgent by lines often jagged and spare, their music unhaltered. Khoury-Ghata is a vital voice in both her native and adopted languages and we are pleased to present this important collection in English.
"Vénus Khoury-Ghata plants a new language with the seeds of an ancient one. The poetry of She Says cannot be contained by the old worlds of words, yet there she is in a household of wind and rain or within the realm of trees." Joy Harjo
"Vénus Khoury-Ghata's poems are striking for their combined innocence and wisdom. In Marilyn Hacker's pristine translations, the poems are dreamlike and real, mysterious and utterly true." Grace Shulman
About the Author
Vénus Khoury-Ghata is a Lebanese poet and novelist, resident in France since 1973, author of a dozen collections of poems and as many novels. She received the Prix Mallarmé in 1987 for Monologue du mort, the Prix Apollinaire in 1980 for Les Ombres et leur cris, and the Grand Prix de la Société des gens de lettres for Fables pour un peuple dargile in 1992. Her Anthologie personnelle, a selection of her previously published and new poems was published in Paris by Actes Sud in 1997. Her most recent collection Compassion des pierres, was published by La Différence in 2001. Her work has been translated into Arabic, Dutch, German, Italian, and Russian, and she was named a Chevalier de la Légion dHonneur in 2000.