The hotel eden
Published Autumn 2018 (Carcanet)
'The poems in this collection are energised by themes of temporal and spatial progression. Seasons move on with a dream-like quality, the warm, hazy summer poems of the first part slipping into the cooler tones of autumn and winter as the poetic voice moves from place to place. Plants grow, bees buzz and the rural, provincial and domestic become transcendent. An exquisitely poetic sequence.'
--Review, September 2018, Poetry Book Society
HUNTING THE BOAR
Published Spring 2016 (CB editions)
Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
Interrogation, the routine
humiliation – stifled cries
like sex, like birth: expulsed from
(some concertina-wired town)
like the bodies she sees
on the world’s front page
dumped like dirty clothes
in front of the machine.
‘I want this to happen in a second / on the page,’ Brahic writes in ‘Stations in the Metro’. ‘But the mind keeps thinking other things.’ Poised and intimately crafted, Brahic’s poems flicker restlessly in their attention to everything – history, memories, food, desire – that is the present moment.
Beverley Bie Brahic is a prize-winning translator of Apollinaire, Yves Bonnefoy and Francis Ponge. Her previous collection, White Sheets, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize:
‘A book of craft, music and a collected vision of life that provides pleasure on every page.’
– Eavan Boland
‘Perhaps partly because of Brahic’s translation work, there’s a sense of joy in language . . .White Sheets is immensely readable, skilfully crafted and rich with ideas and feeling.’
– Katherine Stansfield, Magma
‘Brahic writes with singular, and non-sentimental, brilliance.’
– Ian Pople, Manchester Review
Published 2012 (CB editions)
Finalist, Forward Prize for Best Collection 2012. Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
In Paris, night falls without haste; starlings
. flock to the oak. A neighbour appears on her porch,
gives her white cloth
a conjuror's shake . . .
Brimming with light and wit and appetite, White Sheets is a book of clear-sighted affection in which neither grief nor love’s hard obligations can deflect from Beverley Bie Brahic’s delight in the pleasures of nature, art and the body.
‘These poems live and breathe in large subjects – elegies, memories, images. They move easily from urban pastorals to domestic portraits, never losing their blance, always commanding their narratives. This is a book of craft, music and a collected vision of life that provides pleasure on every page.’ – Eavan Boland
Canada-US Edition, published 2012 (Fitzhenry & Whiteside)
Beverley Bie Brahic has already received a PBS Recommendation and a Forward short-listing for the British edition of White Sheets, and it’s easy to see why. At a time when so many volumes of contemporary poetry are so uniform in both technique and content, White Sheets has a most pleasant variety; from translations from French surrealist, Francis Ponge, to renderings of Thucydides, from rhymed quatrains and third person narratives, to moving and loving poems about her elderly mother and the death of her father. The first poems in this book have a muscular almost stolid quality, and it is in this style that Bie Brahic elegises her father. She shows him surviving the evacuation of DDay, he himself, working to evacuate others and being wounded. Then Brahic moves the piece through time to the Peloponnesian War, in a surprisingly tender gesture which mimics but avoids the grandiloquence of Alice Oswald’s recent Memorial. And the overwhelming note in this book is tenderness, and that is no bad thing.
These poems are all resolutely grounded, perhaps in conscious contrast to Bie Brahic’s day job as a translator of such as Kristeva and Cixous. A number of these poems have their starting point with gardens or planting, and Bie Brahic is particularly good at placing the detail of plant names at strategic points in the poems to pin down a mood or development. And plants in this book are handled with the same loving tenderness as other objects are. Tenderness is necessary to handle the world and dispose things in it; not to control the world but to allow it to be most fully itself, ‘But a bantam – oh, it’s a fancy-dress hat / with an extravagant plume – and when I pulled them / from the branch I had nothing/in my arms – a beating heart / baffled by all the seasons of leaves.’(Compost)
Tenderness is also part of the erotic and sexual, about which Bie Brahic writes with singular, and non-sentimental, brilliance. This book is to be highly recommended.
Guillaume Apollinaire: The Little Auto
Translation, published 2012 (CB editions)
Winner of the 2014 Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation
Finalist, Northern California Book Awards
Just as they were posting the mobilization orders
We understood my comrade and I
That the little auto had driven us into a New Era
And although we were both already grown men
We had just been born
In late 1914 Apollinaire swapped the high life of avant-garde Paris for the mud and desolation of war in the trenches. But his poems of this period are wholly different from those that for English readers have come to define the genre of war poetry: exploding shells are compared to champagne bottles, and juxtaposed with the orgy of destruction are nostalgia for antiquity, impatience for the future, melancholy and exuberance.
Apollinaire died in 1918. The new translations in this bilingual edition comprise mostly poems written after 1914, but include ‘Zone’ (in the first English version since Samuel Beckett’s to match the original’s use of rhyme) and some other pre-war poems. A century later, they remain as daring and alive as when they were written.
‘Apollinaire’s is a poetry which invites you, and the world, in, instead of rejecting it in fastidious disdain . . . This beautifully produced yet cheap book is a way of reminding us about [his] genius, and showing us that high, ground-breaking art does not have to be intimidating or forbidding.’
– Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
‘Poet and pornographer, heretic and decorated war hero, Apollinaire was Cubism in action: eliding time and space in a single image, rhyming the profane with the profound . . . Writing as an infantryman during WW1, he seemed to humbly declare war on the very imagery of war – hewing trenches from nougat, hearing the popping of champagne corks in the barrage of bombs, and envisaging the souls of the fallen stitched together like pelts in a fur coat – juxtaposing the surreal and the all-too-real to give fresh sense of a senseless time, and find grace where there was only disgrace. Beverley Bie Brahic’s chiming new translations deliver these dispatches from the front line and the avant-garde, still vivid as a first kiss, livid as a raw wound.’
– Poetry Book Society Bulletin
Francis Ponge: Unfinished Ode to Mud
Translation, published 2008 (CB editions)
Finalist, Popescu Prize for European Poetry in Translation 2009
‘So here I am with my pebble, which intrigues me, touches unknown springs in me. With my pebble that I respect. With my pebble for which I want to substitute an adequate logical (verbal) formula . . .’ (‘My Creative Method’) Still radical, the poems of Francis Ponge (1899–1988) seek to give the things of the world, mute sharers of our existence, their due. Impatient with the usual baggage of literary description, Ponge attends to a pebble, a washpot, an eiderdown, a platter of fish, with lyrical precision; playing with sounds, rhythms and associations of words, he creates wholly new objects – ‘but which may be more touching, if possible, than natural objects, because human’. Picasso, Sartre and Calvino were among Ponge’s admirers. Over half of the poems in Unfinished Ode to Mud have not been published before in English. Beverley Bie Brahic is a poet (Against Gravity, 2006) and translator (Apollinaire, Cixous, Derrida, Roubaud). A Canadian, she lives in Paris and Stanford, California.
YVES BONNEFOY: URSA Major
Translation, published 2016 (Seagull Books)
YVES BONNEFOY: the present hour
Translation, published 2013(Seagull Books)
From the publication of his first book in 1953, Yves Bonnefoy has been considered the most important and influential French poet since World War II. A prolific writer, critic, and translator, Bonnefoy continues to compose groundbreaking new work sixty years later, constantly offering his readers what Paul Auster has called “the highest level of artistic excellence.”
In The Present Hour, Bonnefoy’s latest collection, a personal narrative surfaces in splinters and shards. Every word from Bonnefoy is multifaceted, like the fragmented figures seen from different angles in cubist painting—as befits a poet who has written extensively about artists such as Goya, Picasso, Braque, and Gris. Throughout this moving collection, Bonnefoy’s poems echo each other, returning to and elaborating upon key images, thoughts, feelings, and people. Intriguing and enigmatic, this mixture of sonnet sequences and prose poems—or, as Bonnefoy sees them, “dream texts”—move from his meditations on friendship and friends like Jorge Luis Borges to a long, discursive work in free verse that is a self-reflection on his thought and process. These poems are the ultimate condensation of Bonnefoy’s ninety years of life and writing and they will be a valuable addition to the canon of his writings available in English.
“Beverley Bie Brahic does a splendid job of translating the latest work of Yves Bonnefoy. She catches his unique combination of human detail and a groping for the beyond. . . . Brahic does full justice to the profoundly moving text—with its frequent shifts between the personal and the searchingly philosophical.”—Joseph Frank, author of Responses to Modernity: Essays in the Politics of Culture.
YVES BONNEFOY: THE ANCHOR'S LONG CHAIN
Translation, published 2015 (Seagull Books)
Widely considered the foremost French poet of his generation, Yves Bonnefoy has wowed the literary world for decades with his diffuse volumes. First published in France in 2008, The Anchor’s Long Chain is an indispensable addition to his oeuvre. Enriching Bonnefoy’s earlier work, the volume, translated by Beverley Bie Brahic, also innovates, including an unprecedented sequence of nineteen sonnets. These sonnets combine the strictness of the form with the freedom to vary line length and create evocative fragments. Compressed, emotionally powerful, and allusive, the poems are also autobiographical—but only in glimpses. Throughout, Bonnefoy conjures up life’s eternal questions with each new poem.
Longer, discursive pieces, including the title poem’s meditation on a prehistoric stone circle and a legend about a ship, are also part of this volume, as are a number of poetic prose pieces in which Bonnefoy, like several of his great French predecessors, excels. Long-time fans will find much to praise here, while newer readers will quickly find themselves under the spell of Bonnefoy’s powerful, discursive poetry.
Praise for Bonnefoy
“Few exceptions of contemporary French letters deserve the attention of the reading public in America more than Bonnefoy. . . . His writings are an important lighthouse on the contemporary cultural coastline.”—Hudson Review
“Bonnefoy’s poems, prose, texts, and penetrating essays have never ceased to stimulate both the writing of French poetry and the discussion of what its deepest purpose should be. . . . He is one of the rare contemporary authors for whom writing does not—or should not—conclude in utter despair, but rather in the tendering of hope.”— France Magazine
Yves BONNEFOY: Rue Traversière
Translation, published 2015 (Seagull Books)
Praised by Paul Auster as “one of the rare poets in the history of literature to have sustained the highest level of artistic excellence throughout an entire lifetime,” Yves Bonnefoy is widely considered the foremost French poet of his generation. Proving that his prose is just as lyrical, Rue Traversière, written in 1977, is one of his most harmonious works. Each of the fifteen discrete or linked texts, whose lengths range from brief notations to long, intense, self-questioning pages, is a work of art in its own right: brief and richly suggestive as haiku, or long and intricately wrought in syntax and thought; and all are as rewarding in their sounds and rhythms, and their lightning flashes of insight, as any sonnet. “I can write all I like; I am also the person who looks at the map of the city of his childhood, and doesn’t understand,” says the section that gives the book its title, as he revisits childhood cityscapes and explores the tricks memory plays on us.
A mixture of genres—the prose poem, the personal essay, quasi-philosophical reflections on time, memory, and art—this is a book of both epigrammatic concision and dreamlike narratives that meander with the poet’s thought as he struggles to understand and express some of the undercurrents of human life. The book’s layered texts echo and elaborate on one another, as well as on aspects of Bonnefoy’s own poetics and thought.
Hélène Cixous: Twists and Turns in the Heart's Antarctic
Translation, published 2014
Longlist, PEN Translation Prize 2014 (Polity Press)
Twists and Turns in the Heart's Antarctic is a compelling new volume in Hélène Cixous's search for lost time. Readers of earlier volumes - Hemlock and Hyperdream, among others - will reconnect with familiar characters: Eve, the elderly mother now in her hundredth year, Hélène, the daughter, who never expected to become a mother at 70, and the brother, childhood companion and rival. She has almost no time to write.
"You hate me! You hate me!" someone shouts. "You want me dead!" Is that a revolver on the table? Bang! Shot or door slammed? The brother storms out.
The Family is destroying itself.
Twists and Turns, like all Cixous's books, is a many-faceted text, whose narrative spins its webs in corners familiar to Cixous readers: corners with books and writers - Montaigne, Proust, Kafka, Derrida; a theater and plays; friendship, and love. It is a tale on the scale of Greek myth, about the inescapable entanglements of family relationships, that can lead one, in hyperbolic mode, to envision murder and suicide, for, as Cixous writes, "with love's force one hates." And yet, "everything twists and turns": this is a tale with profoundly touching reversals.
Hélène Cixous, Frédéric-Yves Jeannet: Encounters
Translation, published December 2012 (Polity Press)
"Isn't it … particularly difficult to 'speak' of your work?" Frédéric-Yves Jeannet asks Hélène Cixous in this fascinating book of interviews. "[I]t's only in writing, on paper, … that I reach the most unknown, the strangest, the most advanced part of me for me. I feel closer to my own mystery in the aura of writing it," Cixous responds.
These conversations, which took place over three years and cover the creative process behind Cixous’s fictional writing, illuminate the genesis and particular genius of one of France’s most original writers. Cixous muses on her "coming to writing," from her first publications to her recent acclaim for a series of fictional texts that spring, as, she insists all true writing does, from her life: the loss of her father when she was a child, and her relationship with her mother, now in her tenth decade, as well as with such friends as Jacques Derrida and Jacques Lacan. The conversations delve into Cixous’s career as an academic in Paris and abroad, her summer retreats to the Bordeaux region to write uninterrupted for two months, her work with Ariane Mnouchkine’s Théàtre du Soleil, her political engagements and her dreams. Readers and writers who have followed Cixous’s path-blazing career as a fiction writer who crosses boundaries of genre and gender while posing essential questions about the nature of narrative and life will find this a book that cannot be put down.
Hélène Cixous: Hemlock
Translation, published 2011 (Polity Press)
A compelling work of autobiographical fiction, Hélène Cixous's Hemlock weaves tragedy and comedy in its exploration of various human attachments: between an elderly but still truculent mother and her writer-daughter, between the mother and her sister, and between the writer and her vanished but nonetheless intensely present friend, Jacques Derrida, whose death is movingly evoked. "Here," she says in her preface, "the criss-crossing paths of my mother and my aunt will come to an end at last. When one old flower is left, what becomes of the other face?" Socrates is conjured up, along with the poisonous plants of Hamlet, the human comedies of Balzac and Proust, and other literary and philosophical ghosts who find themselves drawn into the fabric of Cixous's text: "I'm not sleeping," writes the protagonist. "A worm is drilling my brain. It's a phrase I heard in the hellish juice of the jusquiame. I pour it into my own ear. ‘I'm afraid Mama will die'."
In this new work Hélène Cixous continues to explore and expand the boundaries of narrative, slipping from thought to thought and from image to image, so as to render every action, fear and thought palpable to the reader.
Julia Kristeva: This Incredible Need to Believe
Translation, published 2009 (Columbia University Press)
Finalist for the 2010 French-American Foundation Translation Award
"Unlike Freud, I do not claim that religion is just an illusion and a source of neurosis. The time has come to recognize, without being afraid of 'frightening' either the faithful or the agnostics, that the history of Christianity prepared the world for humanism."
So writes Julia Kristeva in this provocative work, which skillfully upends our entrenched ideas about religion, belief, and the thought and work of a renowned psychoanalyst and critic. With dialogue and essay, Kristeva analyzes the inexorable push toward faith that, for Kristeva, lies at the heart of the psyche and the history of society. Examining the lives, theories, and convictions of Saint Teresa of Avila, Sigmund Freud, Donald Winnicott, Hannah Arendt, and other individuals, she investigates the intersection between the desire for God and the shadowy zone in which belief resides.
Kristeva suggests that human beings are formed by their need to believe, beginning with our first attempts at speech and following through to our adolescent search for identity and meaning. Kristeva then applies her insight to contemporary religious clashes and the plight of immigrant populations, especially those of Islamic origin. Even if we no longer have faith in God, Kristeva argues, we must believe in human destiny and creative possibility. Reclaiming Christianity's openness to self-questioning and the search for knowledge, Kristeva urges a "new kind of politics," one that restores the integrity of the human community.
Hélène Cixous: The Day I wasn't There
Translation, published 2006 (Northwestern University Press)
Tragedy and comedy intimately and movingly mingle in Helene Cixous's The Day I Wasn't There. Its narrator, who resembles Cixous, recounts the birth and death of her first child, a Down's syndrome baby she abandons to the care of her midwife mother. She uses this event to probe her family history and her relationship with her mother, a refugee from Nazi Germany; her dead father, after whom the baby is named; her doctor brother, who takes the infant under his wing; and her grandmother Omi. Cixous's elusive writing bears all the trademarks of her poetic and provocative style, vivid with wordplay, intense feeling, and a stream of consciousness that moves freely over time and place. Informed by psychoanalytical theory and always brutally honest, The Day I Wasn't There is above all an intimate study of a woman's inner landscape.
Hélène Cixous: Reveries of the Wild Woman
Translation, published 2006 (Northwestern University Press)
Born to an Algerian-French father and a German mother, both Jews, Helene Cixous experienced a childhood fraught with racial and gender crises. In this moving story she recounts how small domestic events - a new dog, the gift of a bicycle - reverberate decades later with social and psychological meaning. The story's protagonist, whose life resembles that of the author, endures a double alienation: from Algerians because she is French and from the French because she is Jewish. The isolation and exclusion Cixous and her family feel, especially under the Vichy government and during the Algerian War of independence, underpin this heartbreaking but also warmly human and often funny story. The author-narrator concedes that memories of Algeria awaken in her longings for the sights, sounds, and smells of her home country and ponders how that stormy relationship has influenced her life and thought. A meditation on postcolonial identity and gender, Reveries of the Wild Woman is also a poignant recollection of how childhood is author to the woman.
Hélène Cixous: Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint
Translation, published 2004 (Columbia University Press)
Who can say "I am Jewish?" What does "Jew" mean? What especially does it mean for Jacques Derrida, founder of deconstruction, scoffer at boundaries and fixed identities, explorer of the indeterminate and undecidable? In Portrait of Jacques Derrida as a Young Jewish Saint, French feminist philosopher Hélène Cixous follows the intertwined threads of Jewishness and non-Jewishness that play through the life and works of one of the greatest living philosophers.
Cixous is a lifelong friend of Derrida. They both grew up as French Jews in Algeria and share a "belonging constituted of exclusion and nonbelonging" -- not Algerian, rejected by France, their Jewishness concealed or acculturated. In Derrida's family "one never said 'circumcision'but 'baptism,'not 'Bar Mitzvah'but 'communion.'" Judaism cloaked in Catholicism is one example of the undecidability of identity that influenced the thinker whom Cixous calls a "Jewish Saint."
An intellectual contemporary of Derrida, Cixous's ideas on writing have an affinity with his philosophy of deconstruction, which sought to overturn binary oppositions -- such as man/woman, or Jew/non-Jew -- and blur boundaries of exclusion inherent in Western thought. In portraying Derrida, Cixous uses metonymy, alliteration, rhyme, neologisms, and puns to keep the text in constant motion, freeing language from any rigidity of meaning. In this way she writes a portrait of "Derrida in flight," slipping from one appearance to the next, unable to be fixed in one spot, yet encompassing each point he passes. From the circumcision act to family relationships, through Derrida's works to those of Celan, Rousseau, and Beaumarchais, Cixous effortlessly merges biography and textual commentary in this playful portrait of the man, his works, and being (or not being) Jewish.
Jacques Derrida: Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius
Translation, published 2006 (Columbia University Press, Edinburgh UniversityPress)
Jacques Derrida argues that the feminist and intellectual Hélène Cixous is the most important writer working within the French idiom today. To prove this, he elucidates the epistemological and historical interconnectedness of four terms: genesis, genealogy, genre, and genius, and how they pertain to or are implicated in Cixous's work.
Derrida explores Cixous's genius (a masculine term in French, he is quick to point out) and the inspiration that guides and informs her writing. He marvels at her skillful working within multiple genres. He focuses on a number of her works, including her extraordinary novel Manhattan and her lyrical and evocative Dream I Tell You, a book addressed to Derrida himself and one in which Cixous presents a series of her dreams. Derrida also delves into the nature of the literary archive, the production of literature, and the importance of the poetic and sexual difference to the entirety of his own work.
For forty years, Derrida had a close personal and intellectual relationship with Hélène Cixous. Clever, playful, and eloquent, Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, and Genius charts the influence these two critical giants had on each other and is the most vital work to address Cixous's contribution to French thought.
Hélène Cixous and Roni Horn: Rings of Lispector (Agua Viva)
Translation, published 2006 (Steidl)
Roni Horn's work ranges from unapologetically pretty color close-ups of striking young faces (This is Me, This is You) and darkly patterned studies of the surface of the River Thames (Dictionary of Water) to her playful abstractions and wordplay-filled installations inspired by the French feminist theorist and writer, Hal ne Cixous. Rings of Lispector draws in turn from the work of one of Cixous's own favorite authors, the Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Horn has covered a floor with interconnecting rubber tiles and passages from Lispector's Agua Viva, arranged in rippled circles. The piece reflects on architectural space and poetic force, encouraging viewers to experience the rubber physically underfoot and to view the words from above. This disorienting act of location, characteristic of Horn's exploration of the possibilities of language as a sculptural form, addresses inner emotions with the idea of landscape. All this is documented in two slipcased volumes, with an essay by Hélène Cixous.
Hélène Cixous: Dream I Tell You
Translation, published 2006 (Columbia University Press, Edinburgh University Press)
"I used to feel guilty at night. I live in, I always used to live in two countries, the diurnal one and the continuous very tempestuous nocturnal one.... What a delight to head off with high hopes to night's court, without any knowledge of what may happen! Where shall I be taken tonight! Into which country? Into which country of countries?" -- Hélène Cixous, from Dream I Tell You
For years, Hélène Cixous has been writing down fragments of her dreams immediately after awaking. In Dream I Tell You, she collects fifty from the past ten years. Cixous's accounts of her dreamscapes resist standard psychoanalytic interpretations and reflect her lyrical, affecting, and deeply personal style. The dreams, reproduced in what Cixous calls both their "brute and innocent state," are infused with Cixous's humor, wit, and sense of playfulness.
Dreams have always been a crucial part of Cixous's writing. They are her archives and it is with them that she writes. Without dreaming, Cixous writes, "I would crumble to dust." As in many of her other texts, Cixous's mother, father, daughter, and friends populate this work, which offers artistic and provocative meditations on the themes of family, death, and resurrection. Scenes of a daily life-getting a haircut, caring for her child, preparing for work-become beautifully and evocatively skewed in Cixous's dreams. She also writes of dreams, both amusing and unsettling, in which she spends an evening with Martin Heidegger, has her lunch quietly interrupted by a young lion, flees the Nazis, and tours Auschwitz.
The "you" of the title is fellow philosopher and friend Jacques Derrida to whom these texts are addressed. The book reflects on many of the subjects the two grappled with in their work and in conversation: the deconstruction of psychoanalysis, literary production, subjectivity, sexual difference, and the question of friendship.
Hélène Cixous: Manhattan
Translation, published 2007 (Fordham University Press)
Manhattan is the tale of a young French scholar who travels to the United States in 1965 on a Fulbright Fellowship to consult the manuscripts of beloved authors. In Yale University's Beinecke Library, tantalized by the conversational and epistolary brilliance of a fellow researcher, she is lured into a picaresque and tragic adventure. Meanwhile, back in France, her children and no-nonsense mother await her return. A young European intellectual's first contact with America and the city of New York are the background of this story. The experience of Manhattan haunts this labyrinth of a book as, over a period of thirty-five years, its narrator visits and revisits Central Park and a half-buried squirrel, the Statue of Liberty and a never again to be found hotel in the vicinity of Morningside Heights: a journey into memory in which everything is never the same.Traveling from library to library, France to the United States, Shakespeare to Kafka to Joyce, Manhattan deploys with gusto all the techniques for which Cixous's fiction and essays are known: rapid juxtapositions of time and place, narrative and description, analysis and philosophical reflection. It investigates subjects Cixous has spent her life probing: reading, writing, and the omnipotence-other seductions of literature; a family's flight from Nazi Germany and postcolonial Algeria; childhood, motherhood, and, not least, the strange experience of falling in love with, as Jacques Derrida writes, a counterfeit genius.
Hélène Cixous: Hyperdream
Translation, published 2009 (Polity Press)
Hyperdream is a major new novel by celebrated French author Hélène Cixous. It is a literary tour de force, returning anew to challenge necessity itself, the most implacable of human certainties: you die in the end – and that’s the end. For you, for me.
But what if? What if death did not inevitably spell the end of life?
Hyperdream invests this fragile, tentative suspension of disbelief with the sheer force of its poetic audacity, inventing a sort of magic telephone: a wireless lifeline against all the odds to the dearly departed.
It is a book about time, age, love and the greatest loss. A book which turns on death: on the question or the moment of death, depending on it, expecting it, living off it, taking place at once before and after, but at the same time turning against it, contesting it, outwriting it hopefully, desperately, performatively, as an interruptible interruption.
Hyperdream is a book of mourning, but also of morning, a tragedy-with-comedy and a universal family romance in which it transpires that the narrator is the veritable offspring of a “treasure of literature” in the form of a bed, purchased by her mother from a certain W. Benjamin in 1934, slept on for 40 years by her brother and dreamt of by her friend “J.D.”
Poems, published 2005 (Worple Press)
“It never fails to astonish me / how quickly the body knows what it wants,” begins ‘Never’, from Beverley Bie Brahic’s collection Against Gravity. Ranging widely in space, from France, where Brahic lives, to Italy, Ireland, California and her native British Columbia, these poems evoke worlds of taste and touch, sounds and smells: flesh and thought, and the inextricable mingling of the two.
“I doubt … we will see a more sensuous book, with as much control as this for a good while.” --George Szirtes
“graceful, sensual, smart.” --Thomas Lux