Translations from Bark Beetle: Poems

Overview


In this inspired new collection, acclaimed poet and translator Jody Gladding takes the physical, elemental world as her point of inquiry, examining how language arises from landscape, and deriving a lexicon for these poems from the rich offerings of the world around her. In some poems, Gladding steps into the role of translator, interpreting fragments left by bark beetle or transcribing raven calls. In others, poems take the form of physical objects — a rock, split slate, an egg, a feather — or they emerge from ...
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Overview


In this inspired new collection, acclaimed poet and translator Jody Gladding takes the physical, elemental world as her point of inquiry, examining how language arises from landscape, and deriving a lexicon for these poems from the rich offerings of the world around her. In some poems, Gladding steps into the role of translator, interpreting fragments left by bark beetle or transcribing raven calls. In others, poems take the form of physical objects — a rock, split slate, an egg, a feather — or they emerge from a more expansive space — a salt flat at the Great Salt Lake, or a damaged woodlot. But regardless of the site, the source, or the material, the poet does not position herself as the innovator of these poems. Rather, the objects and landscapes we see in Translations from Bark Beetle provide the poet with both a shape and a language for each poem. The effect is a collection that reminds us how to see and to listen, and which calls us to a deeper communion — true collaboration — between art and the more-than-human world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Advance Praise for Translations from Bark Beetle

"In her latest collection, Stegner Fellow and Yale Younger Poet Gladding sets out to interpret the world for us; what, for instance, are we to make of the marks left by the bark beetle—or an egg or a feather or the Great Lakes? Her language is refreshingly forthright and punchy."
Library Journal

Praise for Jody Gladding

“Jody Gladding’s poems are original, beautiful, and fierce, sometimes enigmatic, but never gratuitously, only faithfully so. They bring to their world (our world) a unique mix of light, lightness, and depth: a world in which human feeling is not all the author’s concern—but more rare, like the human face in Bernifal.”
—Jean Valentine

"Jody Gladding limns interior and exterior worlds like no other. Words atomize on the page; pacing itself becomes a radical and spiritual force, elemental as the trees, stones, landscapes, skies, which infuse these meticulously exploratory and wondrous poems."
—Laurie Sheck

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571314550
  • Publisher: Milkweed Editions
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Jody Gladding’s most recent poetry collection is Rooms and Their Airs (Milkweed Editions, 2009). Her translations include Jean Giono’s Serpent of Stars and Pierre Michon’s Small Lives. She has been a Yale Younger Poet, Stegner Fellow at Stanford, Poet-in-Residence at The Frost Place, and has received a Whiting Writers’ Award and Centre National du Livre de France Translation Grants. Her work includes site-specific installations that explore the interface of language and ecology. She teaches at Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in East Calais, VT.
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Read an Excerpt


LOOK INSIDE TO SEE IF YOU’VE WON

That summer, butterflies flew regularly into oncoming traffic. We had become a race of giants and could not stop for them. We drove our inflated cars to our box stores and filled our giant shopping carts. Give us the
images, we cried. On the sides of delivery trucks there were giant tomato slices, squares of yellow cheese.
F R E E S U N D A E S W / C H I C K E N P RO M O T I O N S!
Someone had to arrange the letters on the sign. We had become a race of giants, every generation outgrowing the last. White admirals hovered at the level of the grilles. They were doing what they’ve always done, which is to flutter. Our vehicles had the blunt, aggressive faces of tanks. With fists too big for our forks, we cleaned our plates and ordered the dessert with sprinkles. The butterflies were not trying to tell us anything and anyway we wouldn’t have noticed. It was such a pretty drive.

on a box

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