Poetry. LGBTQIA Studies. Women's Studies. Sade LaNay's HÄRTE is a straightforward and deliberate book of questions that—through generative translation and transceptual writing—cajoles readers to reconsider what can be gleaned from the brevity of innocuous interrogation. The follow up to their acclaimed debut DREAM MACHINE, LaNay's HÄRTE is a poetic sequence, a deft and edgy snare, risking everything to replicate linguistically the Sehnsucht survivors of trauma embody. Imbued with flecks of doubt, guilt, antagonism, and estranged desire, HÄRTE evokes the friction of language against language, interpretation versus misinterpretation, what one heard with what was said—how a perpetrator lingers and forces a survivor to define the borderland—perhaps the only heartland left to inhabit.
"What if the roots of language were revealed to be rot—read red—and the rooting of any self rotten-read flocking together? What if the asterisks of etymology catapulted us into a world not of origins but of unbeginnings, unmorred identities, mistaken selves taken at face value? Read sound for face, read failing or flailing for value. This is the world into which Sade LaNay's minimalist and often mercilessly accurate poetic interventions lead us, with straying astral risks, a world where one language is taken for another—is lost in another—durchquert eine andere—queers another whole-härtingly, confronting the violence in the mono-logical linguistic structures with which we go about censoring and self-censoring our daily lives and bodies. HÄRTE sings the singeing of new pathways through sabotaged sound—from poor to Porree to leak to Leaken. Are you redlich for it?"—Uljana Wolf
"Sade LaNay's brilliant HÄRTE appears at first to be an instructional language book consisting of abusive sentences, but the German 'translations' sonically permutate the sentences into beautiful, haunting, poetic statements that counteract, expose and undermine the violence of the English. With HÄRTE, LaNay finds in translation a moving survival strategy."—Johannes Göransson
"Sade LaNay writes from the space between the vulnerability of strength and the strength of vulnerability. Confident, revealing, beautiful, and painful. HÄRTE contains a subtle linguistic music and brutal confrontation. It's impossible to resist LaNay's poetry."—Aase Berg
"A challenge for those addicted to monolingual work, Sade LaNay's fascinating new collection, HÄRTE—German for hardness, cruelty—contains uncanny tercets composed between languages we mis/take and carry beyond linguistic convention. HÄRTE is the soft wax become hard seal, the malleable word violated to make an impression, trauma spoken in the confabulation of a generative translation con/founded to forge prolific signification. Trans/duction, trance/formation: musical, mystical, and harsh verse to be chewed in the mouth and the mind."—Lisa Rose Bradford
Sade LaNay is the author of DREAM MACHINE (co- im-press, 2014), self portrait (2018) and Härte (Downstate Legacies, 2018). I LOVE YOU AND I'M NOT DEAD won the 2021 Lambda Literary Award in Transgender Poetry.