Valzhyna Mort, born in Minsk, Belarus, made her American debut in 2008 with the poetry collection Factory of Tears (Copper Canyon Press). Her second book is Collected Body (Copper Canyon Press, 2012). Mort received the Crystal of Vilenica award in Slovenia in 2005 and the Burda Poetry Prize in Germany in 2008. In 2010, she received the Lannan Foundation Literary Fellowship and the Bess Hokin Prize from Poetry Magazine. She has been a resident poet at Literarisches Colloquium in Berlin, Germany, and Internationales Haus der Autoren Graz, Austria. Her English translations of Eastern European poets have appeared in New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008). Mort writes in Belarusian at a time when efforts are being made to re-establish the traditional language, after governmental attempts to absorb it into the Russian language have been relinquished. She reads her poems aloud in both Belarusian and English. She lives in Washington, DC.
Something Indecent: Poems Recommended by Eastern European Poets
Publication Date: December 1, 2013
Something Indecent is intended as a kind of symposium on European poetry. Seven contemporary Eastern European poets—Adam Zagajewski, Vera Pavlova, Tomaž Šalamun, Aleš Šteger, Nikola Madzirov, Eugenijus Ališanka, and editor Valzhyna Mort—introduce us to poems by writers who have become for them windows onto the world. They were asked: Who are the best representative poets of your region? Your generation? And, more broadly: Who are your favorite European poets of the 20th century? What European poets, across the millennia, are most important to an understanding of your particular region? Spanning thousands of years and thousands of miles, their surprising, often unpredictable choices—and the reasons for those choices—are collected here, forming the latest entry in a poetic conversation carried across centuries, countries, and traditions. More than a presentation of contemporary Eastern European poets, Something Indecent is a conversation about how European poets view themselves, their contemporaries, their century, and the place of their region in the millennia.
Includes poems by Guillaume Apollinaire, Bertolt Brecht, Joseph Brodsky, Catullus, Paul Celan, John Donne, Zbigniew Herbert, Nâzım Hikmet, Antonio Machado, Czeslaw Milosz, Cesare Pavese, Raymond Queneau, Rainer Maria Rilke, Sappho, Anna Swir, Wislawa Szymborska, Georg Trakl, Tomas Tranströmer, César Vallejo, Paul Paul Valéry, and many others.