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The Book of Bodies
Date: 3rd June, 2022
Publisher: WHITE PINE PRESS
- Individual Poets
The poems in Ales Steger's The Book of Bodies roam across personal experience, human history, and the natural world to unlock intellectual and emotional connections. Ales Steger's The Book of Bodies directly follows-and builds on and veers from-The Book of Things. The 50 poems in The Book of Things focus on such everyday objects as umbrellas, chairs, and candles, and in so doing illuminate the human condition, particularly its propensity for violence, deception, and forgetting. The 50 poems in The Book of Bodies manage to be simultaneously more and less restrictive: half the poems are prose poems (of five paragraphs each) that roam across personal experience, human history (individual and collective), and the natural world to unlock intellectual and emotional connections; the other half are narrow stanzaless poems that focus on a single word. These poems have a sinuous, almost vaporous quality on the page-lines so thin that they serve as a response to the prose that dominates the first half of the book. Both types of poems in The Book of Bodies are essential to Steger's understanding of the world. "Esteemed American readers, Ales Steger is the real thing! He is the poet of inimitable gifts! He is one of the best Eastern European poets of his generation! It is the truth: Steger is a marvelous voice, one that takes some of the playfulness of his Yugoslavian compatriots Vasko Popa and Tomaz Salamun to the whole new level." - Ilya Kaminsky Slovenian writer Ales Steger has published eight books of poetry, three novels, and two books of essays. A Chevalier des Artes et Lettres in France and a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, he received the 1998 Veronika Prize for the best Slovenian poetry book, the 1999 Petrarch Prize for young European authors, the 2007 Rozanc Award for the best Slovenian book of essays, and the 2016 International Bienek Prize. His work has been translated into over 15 languages, including Chinese, German, Czech, Croatian, Hungarian, and Spanish. Four of his books have been published in English: The Book of Things, which won the 2011 Best Translated Book Award; Berlin; the novel Absolution; and Above the Sky Beneath the Earth. He also has worked in the field of visual arts (most recently with a large scale installation at the International Kochi-Muziris Biennale in India), completed several collaborations with musicians (Godalika, Uros Rojko, Peter N. Gruber), and collaborated with Peter Zach on the film Beyond Boundaries. Brian Henry is the author of eleven books of poetry, most recently Permanent State. He co-edited the international magazine Verse from 1995 to 2018 and established the Tomaz Salamun Prize in 2015. His translation of Ales Steger's The Book of Things appeared from BOA Editions in 2010 and won the Best Translated Book Award. He also has translated Tomaz Salamun's Woods and Chalices (Harcourt, 2008), Ales Debeljak's Smugglers (BOA, 2015), and Ales Steger's Above the Sky Beneath the Earth (White Pine, 2019) and Berlin (Counterpath, 2015). His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, the New York Times, Poetry, The New Republic, American Poetry Review, and many other places. His poetry and translations have received numerous honors, including two NEA fellowships, the Alice Fay di Castagnola Award, a Howard Foundation fellowship, the Carole Weinstein Poetry Prize, the Cecil B. Hemley Memorial Award, the George Bogin Memorial Award, and a Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences grant.