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Two Lines – 2003

Celebrations, gatherings, affairs, factions, feasts, salons, unions, orgies, sects, partners, leagues, cabals, defendants, accomplices, holidays, conspirators, partakers — the definition of “parties” for this tenth volume of the journal. TWO LINES is an engrossing theme-based journal of poems in translation, published by the Center for Art in Translation in San Francisco. It’s beautifully and cleverly done and, to its credit, includes only work published for the first time in English in North America. The historical framework is as expansive as the geographical scope, with poems from ancient times to the current moment. Poets include a few writers who may be well known to readers in the U.S. and many who certainly remain unknown here were it not for TWO LINES. All of the poems appear in their original language (Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, French from France and Senegal,  Finnish, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Provençal, Spanish from several Latin American countries, Uzbek, and more) and in translation, preceded by a bio of the poet and a short commentary from the translator about the process of creating the translation. Brief contributors’ notes at the back of the journal provide the translators’ bios.

Celebrations, gatherings, affairs, factions, feasts, salons, unions, orgies, sects, partners, leagues, cabals, defendants, accomplices, holidays, conspirators, partaker  — the definition of “parties” for this tenth volume of the journal. TWO LINES is an engrossing theme-based journal of poems in translation, published by the Center for Art in Translation in San Francisco. It’s beautifully and cleverly done and, to its credit, includes only work published for the first time in English in North America. The historical framework is as expansive as the geographical scope, with poems from ancient times to the current moment. Poets include a few writers who may be well known to readers in the U.S. and many who certainly remain unknown here were it not for TWO LINES. All of the poems appear in their original language (Bulgarian, Chinese, Danish, French from France and Senegal,  Finnish, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Provençal, Spanish from several Latin American countries, Uzbek, and more) and in translation, preceded by a bio of the poet and a short commentary from the translator about the process of creating the translation. Brief contributors’ notes at the back of the journal provide the translators’ bios.

The generous definition of “parties” keeps the work unpredictable (and often profound). Discovering what sort of “party” these poems and stories will evoke is part of the excitement. The translators’ commentaries are essential reading for lovers of language and those interested in the “art and craft” of translation. TWO LINES would be magnificent reading for college-level courses and writing workshops on world literature. At nearly 300 pages, there’s enough here now to keep a serious reader of international poetry engaged from May to May, when, for the last 10 years, the journal has been published. In 2004, however, the journal will begin biannual publication, with one theme-issue and one guest-edited issue which will focus on the literature of a specific region or language group. The editors have announced “power” as the next theme: muscle, electricity, fame, potency, beliefs, money, magic, authority, addictions, sway, resistance, establishment, mobs, physics, emotions, stars, royalty, knowledge, influence, fuel. Let me add one: TWO LINES. Powerful and exciting work. [TWO LINES, 35 Stillman Street, Suite 201, San Francisco, CA 94107. E-mail: [email protected]. This issue $14.95. www.twolines.com or www.catranslation.org] – SR

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