Birds for a Demolition brings the vivid, surreal poetry of one of Brazil's most celebrated living poets into English for the first time.
"Manoel de Barros, born in 1916 in the wetlands region of Brazil, has received his country's highest literary honors, but his poetry has not been available in English. It's our good fortune that the skillful translator and poet Idra Novey has rectified the situation with the publication of Birds for a Demolition (Carnegie Mellon $16.95), a broad selection from nearly 50 years of de Barros's enchanting, at times surreal poetry."—Open Poetry Books
"These poems are tightly packed, sharp little lyrics cutting through the world. And it is a testament to Novey's poetic sensibilities as a translator that they are so dense, and yet so light. . . . Novey brilliantly performs de Barros' simultaneous un- and re-construction of himself and the natural world through language. Packed with luminous, inventive and often witty verse, [Birds for a Demolition] preserves the nothing at the core of poetry, nature and being."—Erica Mena, Three Percent
"Traveling through the landscape built by Barros is not an experience soon forgotten. His poems are all at once small bestiaries and collections of aphorisms, full of indubitable truths and made up of intensely, sometimes fragmented, lyrical moments in plain language; these poems are constantly raising the stakes of surreal, sensory delight."—E.C. Belli, Words without Borders
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Meet the Author
MANOEL DE BARROS, author of more than twenty collections of poetry, was born in the wetlands region of Brazil known as the Pantanal in 1916. He has received Brazil's highest awards for poetry multiple times: the Jabuti Prize in both 1990 and 2002, the Nestle Poetry Prize in 1997 and 2006, and the Ministry of Culture's Cecilia Meireles Prize in 1998. His unusual life and work were the subject of Joel Pizzini's 1989 film O Caramujo Flor.
Idra Novey's first collection of poems, The Next Country, was published in 2008. A book of her translations of poet Paulo Henriques Britto, The Clean Shirt of It, received a PEN Translation Fund Award and was published in 2007. She teaches in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where she is the director of Columbia's Center for Literary Translation.
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