Winner of The 2011 Best Translated Book of the Year Award
Winner of The 2011 Award for Best Literary Translation into English from the AATSEL
From his first book of poems, Chessboards of Hours (1995), Aleš Šteger has been one of Slovenia's most promising poets. The philosophical and lyrical sophistication of his poems, along with his work as a leading book editor and festival organizer, quickly spread Šteger's reputation beyond the borders of Slovenia. The Book of Things is Šteger's most widely praised book of poetry and his first American collection. The book consists of fifty poems that look at "things" (i.e. aspirin, chair, cork) which are transformed by Šteger's unique poetic alchemy.
Translator Brian Henry is a distinguished poet, translator, editor, and critic.
From Publisher’s Weekly:
Steger’s efforts sometimes bring to mind such Western European figures as Francis Ponge and Craig Raine, who also sought to make household things look new and strange. Yet Steger brings a melancholy Central European sense of history- his objects tend to remember, or cause, great pain: “It pours, this poisonous, sweet force,” Steger writes of “Saliva,” “Between teeth, when you spit your own little genocide.” (Nov.)
From Guernica, a Magazine of Art and Politics:
It is a rare treat to have an English translation before the ink has dried on the original. By which I mean, a mere five years after the book’s Slovenian publication, Brian Henry has brought these poems to life for those of us not lucky enough to read Slovenian. Henry’s translations are impressive for sheer acrobatics.
About the Author
Ales Steger: Aleš Šteger is the most prominent Slovenian poet of his generation: his work has won major awards in his own country and has been translated into numerous languages. His European publishers are among the most prominent in their countries: his German publisher is Suhrkamp which also publishes fellow Slovenians Slavoj Zizek and Tomas Salamun; his Italian publisher is Zandonai; his Spanish publisher is Pretextos. The Book of Things is Steger's most widely praised book of poetry. He is becoming one of central Europe's most prominent poets as well as one of its brightest stars in general.
Brian Henry: Brian Henry has published five books of poetry and edited other books. His next book, Lessness, is forthcoming from Ahsahta Press. He’s placed more than 400 poems in magazines in over a dozen countries. He has co-edited the prestigious international literary journal Verse since 1995, and co-founded Verse Press in 1999. He has reviewed poetry for the New York Times Book Review, Times Literary Supplement, The Kenyon Review, Boston Review, The Yale Review, and many other places. His essays on poetry have appeared in Virginia Quarterly Review, The Georgia Review, The Antioch Review, and in books published by Harvard University Press, University of Wisconsin Press, and Salt Publishing. He teaches at University of Richmond in Virginia.