Translated by Joseph Bienvenu
Illustrated by Thaddeus Conti
(Note: This title is in English only; see below for a free download of the original Latin text.)
180 pages: $16.00
Gaius Valerius Catullus is one of the best known and loved poets of ancient Rome, but translations of his work have often suffered from being “cleaned up” by prudish translators. Joseph Bienvenu’s new rendering brings the work into a contemporary English that captures Catullus’s voice and doesn’t shy away from the work’s overt eroticism and raunchy humor. Thaddeus Conti’s intimate illustrations further enhance the earthy tone.
This polished little book captures all the varied registers of the voice of the ancient Roman poet Catullus. Bienvenu responds directly and freshly to every nuance in every genre represented in the original text, from epigram, to lyric, to elegy and epyllion. It comes as no surprise to me, though surely a delight to savor, that it has taken a New Orleans poet to truly lock eyebrows with the most passionate and genuine Latin poet of antiquity.
—Stanley Lombardo, Professor of Classics, University of Kansas
A great poet of love—erotic and serious, erotic and witty, erotic and wounded—Catullus is also a great observer of the human condition: political, social, physical. He is as capable of taking on Caesar as he is of observing himself. These translations are alive and captivating, giving us a Catullus for our time and all time.
—Mark Statman, author of A Map of the Winds
Joseph Bienvenu is a poet and classicist with a B.A. in Classics from Loyola University of Chicago and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Books include Atom Parlor (2010, BlazeVox), Cocktail Poems (2011, Hobby Horse Press), Catullus: Selected Translations (2010, Verna Press), and Pool Hall Quartet (2008, Verna Press).
Thaddeus Conti is an artist and poet, whose drawings and paintings have been featured in many New Orleans art galleries. His two collections of poetry and drawings are aepoetics (2008, Lavender Ink) and b-sides that (2012, Lavender Ink), and his other previous published works include Coloring Book for the Criminally Insane (2013, Gallatin and Toulouse Press) and Listen Loud Listen Long (2011, Verna Press).