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Et. In. Arcadia. Ego. – Szilárd Borbély and Intertextual References

Speaking of his poetry in an interview in 2005, Borbély claims that he doesn’t intend to discuss deep philosophical questions in his works. Instead, he works on solving the task of creating a system of rules that builds on his previous works, but breaks away from them or obliterates them. Admitting that he doesn’t think … Read More

Szilárd Borbély in English: Kafka’s Son

Circling back to Kafka shows the long-lasting effect of early experiences and influences continually revisited that is discernible in Borbély’s works. One step forward from the practice of “the novel writing itself,” Kafka’s Son seems to follow another modus operandi, that of the text itself rewriting itself. Borbély turns to Kafka’s texts three times by … Read More

Language is Cruelest of All: Szilárd Borbély in English

When in 2013 Borbély’s first novel The Dispossesed was published in Hungarian, the buzz quickly picked up and demand grew for an English translation. A literary sensation somewhere between memoir and fiction, the book posed an incredible challenge for the reader to digest, let alone the translator to interpret and present the text in a … Read More

Arms and Muses: Poems from Ukraine

“When arms speak, muses are silent” is the English paraphrase for an aphorism attributed to Cicero, albeit with a slightly different word order. Inter arma enim silent lēgēs is Latin for, literally, “For among arms, the laws are silent.” Currently both laws and muses are silent. Warnings such as “viewers discretion advised” or “Warning! Graphic content” … Read More

War Poetry: What Is It Good For?

With Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine, war is back on the minds of the West––even though, as Syria, Yemen, and other sites of conflict should remind us, it never really left. A recent New York Times essay by the Ukranian poet Ilya Kaminsky meditates on the role of poetry in times like these. Kaminsky’s own … Read More

An Evening with Natalie Díaz

Natalie Díaz is Mojave and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Tribe. She is also the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry at Arizona State University. Díaz is also a well-decorated poet with a Pulitzer Prize for her most recent Postcolonial Love Poem, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and the … Read More

Trethewey and the Casta Paintings

Natasha Trethewey has served as the 19th Poet Laureate of the United States (2012-2014), and as the Poet Laureate of the State of Mississippi (2012-2016). She has also published, to date, eight books of poetry. Thrall, published win 2012, was a Goodreads Choice Awards 2012 Finalist and a Best Poetry Finalist, a 2013 Southern Independent Booksellers … Read More

Summer Tales: One Poem, One Story

As the Summer Tales Book Club program is winding down, it’s time to reflect on some great moments of Summer Tales 2021. With over 40 students enrolled and active on and off since June 1, 2021, we were delighted to meet readers of different tastes and backgrounds in this virtual intellectual community. The books recommended … Read More

Confessions of a Part-Time Interviewer

Last week we had the pleasure of hosting poet Natalie Díaz for a Zoom reading and discussion, and a few weeks ago in late June we had author Carmen Maria Machado for a similar event. I had the particular pleasure of being the one to talk to both, asking them questions drawn from our preregistered … Read More