Poetry. Translated from the French by John Taylor in a bilingual edition. This book offers a representative selection of Pierre Voélin's poetry, ranging from his early books Sur la mort brève / On Brief Death (1984) and Les Bois calmés / The Calmed Woods (1987) to recent works such as Y. (2015) and Des voix dans l'autre langue / Voices in the Other Language (2015). In other words, since La Nuit osseuse (The Bony Night) section of On Brief Death was written during the years 1976-1980, this SELECTED POEMS spans four decades and reveals the Swiss poet's recurrent themes of amorous exaltation (and loss), an individual's relationship to nature (and especially to a rural environment), the possibilities of a spiritual quest in the contemporary world, as well as the writer's role (or vulnerability) with respect to political iniquity or persecution. Up to now, Voélin has remained very little known in English-speaking countries. Yet he is one of the most important figures in contemporary Swiss francophone poetry. Born in 1949 in the village of Courgenay and then raised in the nearby small town of Porrentruy, both of which are located in the hilly Jura region of Switzerland, Voélin is a key poet in a generation that also comprises Frédéric Wanderlère (b. 1949), François Debluë (b. 1950), José-Flore Tappy (b. 1954), and Sylviane Dupuis (b. 1956). It is a generation that has sometimes chosen thematic directions differing from those taken by their Swiss mentors, namely Anne Perrier (b. 1922), Philippe Jaccottet (b. 1925) and Pierre Chappuis (b. 1930), and that has conceived new poetics to continue to question man's place in the cosmos.
Pierre Voélin (b. 1949) was born in Courgenay and then raised in the nearby small town of Porrentruy, both of which are located in the hilly Jura region of Switzerland. He is one of the most important figures in contemporary French and francophone poetry and his work is featured, notably, in Philippe Jaccottet's highly selective bilingual anthology, Die Lyrik der Romandie (Nagel & Kimche, 2008). He has written twelve volumes of poetry and two collections of essays. In 2016, he won the Prix Louise-Labé for his most recent poetry collection, Des voix dans l'autre langue (La Dogana, 2015), which is entirely translated here. This first English-language translation of his work offers a vast representative selection of his poetry, ranging from his early volumes On Brief Death and The Calmed Woods to recent books such as Y. and the aforementioned Voices in the Other Language. These four decades of creativity reveal the poet's recurrent themes of amorous exaltation (and loss), an individual's relationship to nature (and especially to a rural environment), the possibilities of a spiritual quest in the contemporary world, as well as the writer's role (or vulnerability) with respect to political iniquity or persecution.
Author City: FRIBOURG SWI
John Taylor was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1952. He has lived in France since 1977. Among his many translations of French, Italian and modern Greek literature are books by Philippe Jacottet, Jacques Dupin, Jose Flore Tappy, Pierre Voelin, Pierre Chappuis, Pierre-Albert Jourdan, Catherine Colomb, Lorenzo Calogero, Alfredo de Palchi, Elias Petropoulos and Elias Papadimitrakopoulos. For Black Square Editions he has translated Jacottet's PONGE, PASTURES PRAIRIES (2021). He is the author of several volume of short prose and poetry, most recently, THE DARK BRIGHTNESS (Xenos Books, 2017), Grassy Stairways (The Mad Hat Press, 2017), REMEMBRANCE OF WATER / TWENTY-FIVE TREES (The Bitter Oleander Press, 2018) and a double book co- authored with Swiss poet Pierre Chappuis, A Notebook of Clouds and A Notebook of Ridges (The Fortnightly Review Press, 2018). In 2020 Red Hen Press reprinted his first two books, The presence of Thing Past (Storyline Press, 1992), and Mysteries of the Body and the Mind (Storyline Press, 1998).
Author City: FRA