Joudah and Khaled Mattawa, readers will experience the fascinating evolution of Nasser's style through his prolific, highly praised career, starting with samples of the rich textures and fertile symbolism of his 1979 debut Praise for Another Cafe. In selections from subsequent works such as Climbing the Mountain since Gilead, The Strangers Arrive, and Life like a Broken Tale, readers will trace Nasser's work as it develops into a mature style that, while more precise and direct, confidently encompasses broad horizons.
Publisher: Northwestern University Press
Number of pages: 184
Weight: 272 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
"The work of Amjad Nasser forms passages in and out of time, qualities of light and darkness, images that are never only images but sentences built on and out of the density and delicacy of his beloved and mysterious red stone city of Petra, place of living memory whose deepest origins remain secret. His poems are dramatic but the drama is built into the phrasing, the turning of the verses, the relentless nature of what comes at you from within and without, the primordial and newly minted, all at once. Stopped by Homeland Security before even reaching the border on his only attempted visit to the United States, Nasser's work truly comes from another world, one whose rhythms and texture we have long suppressed or destroyed." --Ammiel Alcalay, author of a little history and from the warring factions
"A Map of Signs and Scents offers a compelling understanding of the inertia that propels the machinery of history--something few American poets attend to. This puts Nasser in conversation with internationally prominent poets such as Czeslaw Milosz, Octavio Paz, and Derek Walcott." --Wayne Miller, author of Post- and The City, Our City
"This collection of new translations of Jordanian Amjad Nasser's poetry serves not only as a survey of his impressive body of work, but draws together poems that demonstrate Nasser's invaluable contribution to the global poetic aesthetic of the late twentieth century and beyond. Rich in images and ideas that emerge from the specific but speak to the universal, A Map of Signs and Scents is the perfect volume to experience Nasser's poetry for the first time." --World Literature Today
"Amjad Nasser's poems create new structures of the mind and heart. You find yourself not so much reading these pages as walking through them: line by line, poem after poem turns its phrase-corners to offer some new revelation, some reordered arrangement of the real. A Map of Signs and Scents extends the geography of the human in every dimension." --Jane Hirshfield, author of The Beauty and Ten Windows: How Great Poems Transform the World
"The sensibility of the Near East is in every line, the flavor and longing, the memories are like no other; yet he's compared favorably to Celan, Cavafy, Borges, Neruda, in classic structure and sensuality. Nasser's best gift is the ability to fold the ancient within the troubled 'present' with philosophical discourse and pungent imagery. Personal love, and love for this world, with all its sorrows, in lyric and poetic prose, show this man as a Master of the word in any language." --Grace Cavalieri, Washington Independent Review of Books
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