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The Clean Shirt of It

The Clean Shirt of It

by Paulo Henriques Britto, Idra Novey (Translator)

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The first English translation of a full-length poetry title by acclaimed Brazilian poet Paulo Britto.


The first English translation of a full-length poetry title by acclaimed Brazilian poet Paulo Britto.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Esteemed in Brazil both as a poet and the translator of English and American writings from Lord Byron to Jack Kerouac, Britto deserves a firm hearing in the States: on the deft evidence of Novey's translations, the author is consistently thoughtful, humble and observant, both about the great themes of love and knowledge and about the rooms and cityscapes he depicts. Britto's long sentences and short lines carry more than a hint of Elizabeth Bishop: in "Scherzo," "enormous uncomfortable clouds/ rolled past the window/ like lazy pachyderms/ and sprawled out, unfettered." He wonders, often, whether he can portray any truth beyond the merely personal; the tactful, self-suspicious poem "Snake Charmer" seeks "a slender, venomous truth." In the more recent poems, his humility extends to self-abnegation: "no silence is ever enough." Yet he can also display virtuoso technique. Novey removes the rhymes from his many sonnets, but preserves the repetitions in a sestina, and keeps, too, the wild range of styles that differentiate the segments of his "Nine Variations on a Theme of Jim Morrison." This brief book makes an ideal starting point for what should be an international reputation. (July)

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Product Details

BOA Editions, Ltd.
Publication date:
Lannan Translations Series
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.40(d)

Meet the Author

Paulo Britto was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1951. His poetry awards include two of Brazil's most prestigious, the Biblioteca Nacional award, and the Portugal Telecom Prize. Britto is also one of Brazil's principal translators of British and American literature. He currently teaches at the Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro. Idra Novel is winner of a 2005 Poetry Society of America Chapbook Fellowship. Her poetry appears regularly in journals and anthologies, and she publishes book reviews and essays in Crossroads, Jerusalem Post, Review of Latin American Literature and Art, and elsewhere. She has taught in Columbia University's Undergraduate Writing Program and at the Catholic University of Chile in Valparaiso.

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