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Six Basque Poets


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Table of Contents

Series Editor's Preface/9, Introduction/10, Translator's note/27. Bernado Atxaga: Biography/31, The hedgehog/33, Adam and Life/35, Elegy/37, Death and the Zebras/37, The Days go by/41, Life/43, Life is Life/45, Silly Song/47, A Finnish Day/51. Felipe Juaristi: Biography/57, "It makes no difference, mixing West with East..."/59, Smoothy/59, Metropolis 2/61, The Isthmus of Panama/63, Vanity of Vanities/65, Nevsky Propsect/67, Auschwitz/69, Gardener/69, Geography/71, Rembrandt wants to paint infinity/73. Joseba Sarrionandia: Biography/79, Nautical Logbook/81, The Organist is Dead/81, Return Home/83, A Long Train/85, A Pile of Broken Shoes/85, The Ex-Prisoner's Mind/85, Literature and Revolution/87, A Runaway's Luggage/87, The Minotaur speaks/89, Poetic Proposal/91. Rikardo Arregi: Biography/97, Papers on the Pavement/99, The Sleeping Land III/99, 66 Lines from the City under Siege/103, The Moon Anywhere/107, Onassis Tavern/111, Territories of Music II/113, Telephone Promises/115, Love Poem I/117, Like Gilen of Aquitaine/119. Miren Agur Meabe: Biography/125, Code/125, Notes on How to avoid Memory Loss (2)/127, Brief Notes (1)/129, "Scoop the pale flow of my frozen half-moon..."/129, /131, Wild roses have gobbled up..."/131, Concrete Things/133, The Ant (II)/135, Water Dreams (III)/135, Aeolia (III)/137. Kirmen Uribe: Biography/141, The River/143, The Island/145, The Visit/145, Mahmud/147, The Cuckoo/151, Birds in Winter/153, Perfect Things/155, The Unsayable/155, Way Beyond/157, May/159. About the translator/161. About the editors/162

About the Author

Bernado Atxaga (Jose Irazu) was born in Asteasu, Gipuzkoa, in 1951, and belongs to the group of Basque writers who began publishing in their mother tongue, Euskera, in the 1970s. He graduated in economics from the University of the Basque Country and later studied philosophy at Barcelona University. His first short story, 'Ziutateaz', was published in 1976 and his first poetry collection, 'Etiopia', in 1978. Both works received the Spanish Critics' Prize for the best works in their categories in the Basque language. He writes in most genres: poetry, short stories, novels, essays and more. National - and international - recognition followed the publication of 'Obabakoak', which was awarded the Spanish Premio Nacional de Narrativa in 1989. 'Obabakoak' has been translated into more than twenty-five languages. The novels 'The Lone Man', 'The Lone Woman' and 'Two Brothers' have been translated into English, and his latest novel, 'The Son of the Accordion Player', appears in English from Harvill Press in 2007. His poetry collection, 'Etiopia' (its Spanish title is 'Poemas & Hibridos'), has been translated into French, Finnish and Italian, the latter receiving the Cesare Pavese Prize. Translations of many of his poems and short stories have been published in prestigious magazines throughout Europe and the Americas. Felipe Juaristi was born in Azkoitia in 1957 and studied journalism and sociology at the Universidad Complu-tense in Madrid. He was one of the founding members of the magazines 'Porrot' and 'Literatur Kazeta' and has worked as an editor in the Baroja and Bermingham publishing houses. At present he is a regular contributor to several newspapers and magazines. He has been a member of the Basque Academy of Letters since 2005. Juaristi's literary career has been rich and varied, not only because he has experimented with different genres (poetry, narrative and children's and young people's literature), but also because he has received many prizes. These include the Lizardi Prize for children's literature in 1992, the Euskadi Poetry Prize in 1998, the Euskadi Young People's Literature Prize in 2000, the Leer es Vivir Prize in 2001, and the 2002 Rosalia de Castro Prize awarded by the PEN club, Galicia, to honour his entire literary career. He has also been awarded the Spanish Critics' Prize several times for his poetry collections. Juaristi is also a novelist and prolific literary translator - Maupassant, Wilde, Zimnik, Futrelle, Breytenbach, Grossman, Celaya, Mirande, Aramburu and Otxoa are amongst the writers he has translated. He has taken part in numerous international festivals and his poems have been included in anthologies and published in magazines worldwide. Joseba Sarrionandia was born in Iurreta in 1958 and holds a degree in Basque philology. He has written for newspapers and literary magazines and translated literary works, and is currently a member of the Basque academy of letters. He was one of the founding members of the literary group POTT, which had a powerful influence in the development of Basque literature in the 1980s. His collaboration with ETA brought about his imprisonment in 1980; he escaped in 1985 and his whereabouts have been unknown since. He has been quite experimental throughout his literary career and, as well as exploring the traditional genres (poetry, narrative, essay), he has written hybrid texts that explore an innovative concept of literature. He is a renowned short story writer and, more recently, has written novels such as 'Lagun izoztua' (The Frozen Friend, 2001) and 'Kolosala izango da' (It Will Be Colossal, 2003). His work as a literary translator has influenced his development as a writer. Some of his translations include T. S. Eliot's 'The Wasteland', Coleridge's 'The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner' and Fernando Pessoa's 'The Mariner'. It is, however, his career as a poet which has earned him his reputation in the world of contemporary Basque letters, and his first book, 'Izuen gordelekHer poems have been translated into several languages and published internationally in magazines and anthologies and she has appeared in many European literary events and festivals. Kirmen Uribe was born in Ondarroa in 1970 and belongs to the first generation of writers whose whole schooling, from kindergarten to university, was conducted entirely in Basque. He holds a degree in Basque philology and has done postgraduate courses on Literary Theory and Comparative Literature at the University of Trento, in Italy. He has translated poems by authors such as Raymond Carver, Sylvia Plath and Mahmud Darwish into Basque. He is more widely known as a poet, but has also written books for children. His poems have been translated into several languages and published in international magazines such as the American 'New Yorker', 'Circumference' and 'Open City' and the Berlin-based poetry portal 'Lyrikline'. He has taken part in many international events in Europe and North America, and has given talks at universities in New York, Barcelona and Madrid.He has taken part in many multimedia projects and made video poems too. In 2003, together with three Basque musicians and an artist he set in motion the project 'Zaharregia, txikiegia agian. Una manera de mirar'. (Too old, too small, maybe) bringing out a CD and performing in New York, San Francisco, Munich, Berlin, Barcelona and Ireland. Uribe has worked in the cinema, and is writing his first novel. Amaia Gabantxo is a literary translator, writer and reviewer. Her work has appeared in journals such as 'Modern Poetry in Translation', 'Pretext', 'The Atlanta Review', 'Metamorphoses' and 'Transcrip't, as well as in the 'Times Literary Supplement' and 'The Independent' and in anthologies such as 'An Anthology of Basque Short Stories' (University of Nevada Press, 2004) and 'Spain: A Traveler's Literary Companion' (Berkeley, California: Whereabouts Press, 2004). She is the translator of Anjel Lertxundi's 'Perfect Happiness' (University of Nevada Press, 2007) and, at the time of writing, is translating Unai Elorriaga's 'Vredaman' (New York: Archipelago Books, 2007) and Laura Mintegi's 'Ecce Homo' (Txalaparta, 2008). She has written for multi-cultural, multimedia art projects both in England and the Basque Country, and taken part in poetry festivals in London and Dublin. She lives in Norwich, where she is completing a PhD in the School of Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. She has been awarded a Wingate Scholarship, received the Jury's Commendation in the BCLA Literary Translation Competition and been short-listed for the Asham Short Story Prize. Mari Jose Olaziregi (editor) was born in Donostia in 1963 and holds a PhD in Basque literature. She is a lecturer at the University of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain). She also has an MA on the Promotion of Reading Habits from the Ramon Llull University (Barcelona), and is currently completing an MA in Studies in Fiction at the University of East Anglia (UK). In 1997, Olaziregi was awarded the Becerro de Bengoa Prize for the essay 'Bernardo Atxagaren irakurlea' (Bernardo Atxaga's Reader). Since 2003, she has been the editor of the Basque Literature in Translation Series at the Center for Basque Studies (University of Nevada, Reno) and the director of the www.basqueliterature. com website. She has written numerous forewords for Basque novels and anthologies, and published essays in international journals, some of which have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Czech, Slovenian and Italian. She specialises in contemporary Basque literature and is renowned for her critical work on Bernardo Atxaga. She is the author of seven books on Basque literature; among them 'Euskal eleberriaren historia' (History of the Basque Novel, 2001), and 'Waking the Hedgehog: The Literary Universe of Bernardo Atxaga'(University of Nevada Press, 2005, translated from Basque by Amaia Gabantxo). She has edited anthologies such as: 'Etzikoak: Antologija sodobne baskovske knjizesnosti', published in Slovenian in 2006 and 'An Anthology of Basque Short Stories' (2004) which has been translated into Spanish, Russian and Italian. Olaziregi was a member of IBBY s executive committee in 2004-2006 and has been a member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language since 2000. She is the editor of 'A History of Basque Literature'.

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