Poetry. Literary Nonfiction. Translated by Sarah Riggs. Winner of the 2020 International Griffin Prize. An arresting new translation of poems, originally written in French, by one of our greatest philosopher poets. On October 27, 2003, Etel Adnan received a postcard from poet Khaled Najar, whom she had met in the late seventies. Originally in French, the poems it sparked collapse time, then expand it. War and love intertwine with coffee and bombs, memory and the present, evoking life in non-linear time. This translation by Sarah Riggs is the first in English.
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Etel Adnan was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1925, the daughter of a Greek Christian from Smyrna and a high- ranking Ottoman officer from Damascus. Her work as a whole is a faithful record of the times and places she has lived in Beirut, Paris, and in the San Francisco Bay Area. At least eighteen works by Adnan have been published in English. They include SITT MARIE ROSE (Post-Apollo Press, 1982); THE ARAB APOCALYPSE (Post-Apollo Press, 1989); SEA AND FOG (Nightboat Books, 2012), winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Lesbian Poetry and the California Book Award for Poetry; PREMONITION (Kelsey Street Press, 2014), NIGHT (Nightboat Books, 2016), SURGE (Nightboat Books, 2018), and TIME (Nightboat Books, 2019). Nightboat Books published the 2-volume set, TO LOOK AT THE SEA IS TO BECOME WHAT ONE IS: AN ETEL ADNAN READER, in 2014. In 2011, Adnan received Small Press Traffic's Lifetime Achievement Award. Her paintings, described by New York Times art critic Roberta Smith as "stubbornly radiant abstractions," have been widely exhibited, most recently at Documenta 13 and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Spanning media and genres, Adnan's writings have led to numerous collaborations with artists and musicians, including the French part of CIVIL WarS, a multi-language opera by American stage director Robert Wilson, performed in Lyon and Bobigny in 1985.Author City: SAUSALITO, CA USA
Sarah Riggs is a poet, translator, and visual artist. She is the author of WATERWORK (Chax Press, 2007) and Chain of Miniscule Decisions in the Form of a Feeling 60 Textos (Reality Street Editions, 2007). 60 TEXTOS (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2010), along with 28 télégrammes and 43 Post-Its were first published in France (éditions de l'Attente, translated by Françoise Valéry, 2006-9). She has also published a book of essays, Word Sightings: Poetry and Visual Media in Stevens, Bishop, and O'Hara (Routledge, 2002). The installation of her drawings, Isibilités, took place at the galerie éof in autumn 2007. A member of Double Change and director of Tamaas, she has taught at Columbia University in Paris with Omar Berrada. Riggs currently teaches at Pratt Institute.Author City: BROOKLYN, NY USA