The Murderous Sky reviewed by Joyce Zonana

Check out this amazing review of Rosemary Daniell‘s The Murderous Sky, by Joyce Zonana at Feminism and Religion:

…Cixous reminds us that “we need the books that hurt us,” books that “strike us like terrible events,” written by writers who “play with fire . . . sometimes go as far as catching fire, as far as being seized by fire.”  Daniell is just such a writer, committed to a dangerous, difficult, fiery truth-telling, offering readers a descent into her and hence our own depths, where we too might find the “beautiful things” we may never have known we needed.

Diálogos at NOPF

The live (well, Zoom) event at the New Orleans Poetry Festival was Sunday, April 25, 2 PM CDT, when Diálogos Presented Readings from Recent Translations and Roundtable on Translating Experimental Works.  This reading/roundtable featured poets and their translators, with bilingual readings and discussions of the works and the translation process. On hand:

See the archive recording of the event here:

The New Orleans Poetry Festival returns

Lavender Ink / Diálogos is proud to be one of the founding organizers of The New Orleans Poetry Festival. The fest returns after a one-year Covid hiatus with a full month of online programming this April. The opening event features a hybrid performance of readings from the new anthology I Am New Orleans, and programming continues with readings, workshops and roundtables every day for the entire month. Everything is free and open to all to Zoom in. See the complete calendar and access events at


The Murderous Sky Reviewed at Like the Dew

Steve Croft has posted an engaging and thorough review of Rosemary Daniell‘s The Murderous Sky at Like the Dew. Croft writes:

Throughout these poems that move from the idyllic-seeming promise of childhood to the speaker’s children’s too often harrowing experiences of adulthood, it becomes quickly clear that we are in a realm of literature approached only in its highest and most serious forms, that is, the realm of tragedy.

This book will resonate to many of us with its treatment of very contemporary issues in the South and beyond, which is no doubt why it won the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Poetry Award.

Huapaya Reviewed at KR

“Huapaya’s poetry overwhelms; the words and images build against each other until they create the walls of their own world,” says Katherine M. Hedeen of Giancarlo Huapaya‘s Sub Verse Workshop. Hedeen reviews SVW and other works of interest in the March 2021 edition of Kenyon Review‘s Micro Reviews

Discovering a new world…

“Pure incomprehensible jibberish” is how a Goodreads reviewer classified Nabile Farès’ Exile and Helplessness, one of the three novels collected in the trilogy just released by Diálogos, Discovery of the New World. Despite this chilly reception on Goodreads, we consider the release of this  work—for the first time in English, and for the first time under one cover—to be one of our crowning achievements. Master translator and expert in North African letters Peter Thompson labored more than a decade with the translation of this often challenging text, including multiple meetings and consultations with Farès himself, prior to his death in 2016. Though it may not be a smash hit on Goodreads, Discovery of the New World should rank as a discovery of the first order for anglophone students of postcolonial literature.

Pierre Joris says in the preface to the book: 

The first thing that hits me every time I open or reopen one of Nabile Farès’ books is the immediacy of the intense struggle — simultaneously, the glorious success — of a text that stays at white heat by bending/bedding itself between what some would call the “genres” of poetry & prose.

Farès work is not so much incomprehensible as it is uncategorizable, which some of us see as an accomplishment rather than a failure.

Our North African collection was further enhanced, recently, by the release of the equally uncategorizable Agadir, by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine, translated by Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak. A recent review in Banipal said:

ln Agadir, Khaïr-Eddine has created “a dynamic, original, a revolutionary conception of writing” in which “literature is a beautiful weapon”. lt is at once a novella, a poem, a play, an extraordinary manifesto and, as he once called it, a “political essay”, in which a myriad of voices, including that of a narrator, speak out.

For a limited time, buy both these titles, either in paperback or ebook, and use coupon code “northafrica” to receive a 25% cart discount on checkout.

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Michael Clayton interview and review

An interview with Michael Clayton and review of Dead Roosters and Other Stories is up at Trueself. An excerpt:

Dead Roosters and Other Stories – recently published by Lavender Ink – is a striking collection of hardscrabble lives and dreams deferred. When I read Michael Clayton’s debut collection Larry Brown came to mind. In fact, bestselling author Amanda Boyden … compares him to Flannery O’Connor and Breece D’J Pancake.

Read the entire interview here.

Two New Interviews

Two extensive and informative interviews have recently been published with Lavender Ink / Diálogos author/translators. 


Mark StatmanFirst, Leslie Tate begins an interview with Mark Statman on the topics of Exile Home, fatherhood, translation, Mark’s move into happy exile from Brooklyn to Oaxaca, and most everything else. Part 1 of a long interview.


Next, please check out this tandem interview with A Novel of London translator Will Firth and 2020 European Union Prize for Literature winner, Stefan Bošković at Asymptote, in which Jovanka Kalaba questions each about literature, politics, language, and the current state of Balkan letters.

Hank Lazer reviewed by John Yau

John Yau’s thoughtful and thorough review of Hank Lazer’s COVID19 SUTRAS on the Massart blog:

COVID19 SUTRAS is full of tenderness, empathy, anger, despair, sadness — the ping-pong ball of feelings bouncing this way and that. Lazer, in his isolation, slows down all of this so he can examine these states of being, while attempting to understand consciousness and what it means to be alive and alert to this mutating, contagious world, yourself both within it and not.

Yau compares the book, quite fruitfully, with William Carlos Williams’s Spring and All, which was also written on the fringe of a pandemic, the Spanish Flu, which ravaged the US and the world after World War I. Read Yau’s review here.


Agadir reviewed at Kenyon Review

With his explosive style, surrealist imagery, and political critique, Khaïr-Eddine was among the most important avant-garde writers of his generation. Translators Pierre Joris and Jake Syersak forge a biting idiom in English to convey the apocalyptic world of Agadir, as well as the creative violence of its language. A substantial introduction by Khalid Lyamlahy serves to contextualize the work in its historical and literary context. The publication of the English translation of Agadir in 2020, with its portrayal of “catastrophe, the place from which questions will unceasingly arise,” feels fitting—unsettlingly and urgently so. —PBC

From the September 2020 Kenyon Review online.


Hank Lazer’s COVID19 SUTRAS reviewed at Tears in the Fence

Ian Brinton reviews Hank Lazers COVID19SUTRAS at Tears in the Fence.

What was immediately recognised by Rae Armantrout when commenting on the importance of this collection of poems was that it ‘brings us the news in the way that 18th century ballad broadsides did to Londoners’:

‘Quatrain by quatrain, Lazer sings the present world, its viruses (covid and structural racism), and its beauties (animals, friendship, the shape of a sentence).’

Just as Hank Lazer’s earlier collection had presented the reader with the poem radiating outward this new collection offers us a world in which

‘each day is
in its

Angelus at The Modern Novel

AngelusThe Modern Novel site continues its focus on Diálogos books, this time with some long overdue attention to Ruxandra Cesereanu‘s Angelus. Like many of our authors, Cesereanu is little known in the US but well-known in her own country, Romania. Angelus is a thoughtful parable, complex and multi-faceted. Marius Conkan writes:

Angelus raises a series of questions regarding the society in which we live, offering, at the same time, possible solutions to (or at least, hypotheses on) the revitalisation of the sacred and the resurrection of symbolic depth for a (post)humanity characterised by the atrophy of imagination and the hypertrophy of pragmatic reason.…Ruxandra Cesereanu, in her parable-like novel, begins with the following question: what would happen if angels were to descend upon a Metropolis one day?

John Alvey at The Modern Novel sums it up this way:

I have mentioned on various occasions that I generally do not enjoy the navel-gazing novels that seem to be particularly in vogue at this time but much prefer a novel that has a thoroughly original and, preferable, complex story, that is totally unpredictable, that discusses a realm of interesting ideas, that delves into the dark recesses of the human (and, at times, extra-human) mind and raises as many questions as it answers. If you share my view, you will thoroughly enjoy this novel. You will get lost. You will wonder what is going on but you will also smile, you will be surprised, you will have much food for thought and, above all, you will have a first-class read.



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