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Blazons

New and Selected Poems, 2000-2018

Marilyn Hacker

Cover of Blazons by Marilyn Hacker
RRP: GBP 11.99
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ISBN: 978 1 784107 17 8
Categories: 21st Century, American, Arabic, French, Humour, LGBTQ+, Translation, Women
Imprint: Carcanet Poetry
Published: March 2019
168 pages (print version)
Publisher: Carcanet Press
Also available in: Paperback, eBook (EPUB)
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  • Description
  • Author
  • Awards
  • Reviews
  • A Poetry Book Society Spring 2019 Special Commendation

    This generous volume collects new work by one of the most elegant and pertinent poets working in English. Hacker writes pantoums, sonnets, canzones, ghazals and tanka; she is witty, angry, traditional, experimental. Her poetry is in open dialogue with its sources, which include W. H. Auden, Hayden Carruth, Adrienne Rich, and latterly a host of contemporary French, Francophone and Arab poets. Hacker’s engagement with Arabic, almost a second language in Paris, where she lives, has led to her exchanges and engagement with Arabic-speaking immigrants and refugees in France, whose own stories and memories deepen and broaden her already polyglot oeuvre. Her poetry has been celebrated for its fusion of precise form and demotic language; with this, her latest volume, Hacker ranges further, answering Whitman’s call for ‘an internationality of languages’.
    Marilyn Hacker is the author of fourteen books of poems, including Blazons (Carcanet 2019), A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015) and Names (Norton, 2010), and an essay collection, Unauthorized Voices ( Michigan, 2010). Her sixteen translations of French and Francophone poets include Vénus Khoury-Ghata’s A Handful of Blue Earth (Liverpool, 2017) and ... read more
    Awards won by Marilyn Hacker Commended, 2019 Poetry Book Society Special Commendation
    (Blazons)
    'This unadorned empathy and Hacker's formal accomplishment establish an imprint on the page; an imprint which is never heavy or cloying but beds the poems on the page, makes them sit with solidity and a kind of inevitability. Hacker is a poet for whom the trajectory of the poem is patiently, but intensely controlled.'

    Ian Pople, The Manchester Review

    'There is no poet writing in English with a better claim for the Nobel Prize in Literature than Marilyn Hacker. Indeed, I view Blazons: New and Selected Poems, 2000-2018 as a brief for that case.'
    A.M. Juster, L.A. Review of Books
    'Very fine poetry... her translations were lovely'
    Leah Fritz, Acumen
    'The ghazal form is tailor made for Hacker's poetic gifts: poignant wit,precision handled with dash, aplomb, and a raised eyebrow, the dance on the fine line between too little and too much'
    Annie Finch, New Letters
    'Her forms are invariably generous, inviting the reader in as a participant which entrains our emotions like a melody... Marilyn Hacker has style'
    Norbert Hirschhorn, London Grip
    'She has rendered these forms supple, natural, and substantial and has filled them with energy both intellectual and emotional... her poems are works of heroic reportage from the front delivered in a crisp hard bitten New York colloquial style that is counterpoise to the architecture of the form.'
    George Szirtles, The Poetry Review, Summer 2019
     'It is difficult to think of a poet writing today who could surpass Marilyn Hacker's combined formal, sonic and linguistic dexterity... Hacker's poems reach with both hands towards an intimacy of place, language, knowledge and more. Even towards the lyric self, where there is sometimes a wry sensibility, there is also very often an acknowledgement of an in-betweenness. Relating perhaps to Hacker's own life as a Jewish American now living in Paris - the poet-traveller raises her shield, forms her report, hoists the herald, all of these in English and French types of blazons, in order to correspond with her reader, another, the self.'
    Sandeep Parmar, PBS Spring Bulletin 2019
     'Combining toughness with tenderness, uniting the personal with the political, using traditional forms for new and urgent purposes, reaching out to others and otherness, taking the poem into divided and often terrifying circumstances, Hacker's Blazons confirms just how uncompromising, lucid and lyrical her poetry is.'
    Maitreyabandhu
    Praise for Marilyn Hacker  'Marilyn Hacker's text is masterly and authoritative, in the same way as is Auden's, Rich's, Fenton's and the best of Brodsky's... she convinces us of the authenticity of a world as it exists in language, through mastery, delight, desire, passion and wit. The wit is sexual and rakish, the passion humane and dense, the delight is in the mastery that is both formal yet acrobatically flexible and free-spirited, often breathtaking.'
    George Szirtes, The Guardian
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