From poet Tess Gallagher, one of the translators of this new book by Liliana Ursu: ‘Like a ring of fire around fire,’ Liliana Ursu ends her poem, an image that also conveys the intensity of this book. Translating these amazing poems was like translating lightning. They left me singed and stricken but lifted by their illuminations, their sudden, piercing power. Co-existing with Ursu’s magical binding of the broken world with ‘word-shadow’ is her close, wide, child’s eye fixed tenderly on wild strawberries, on the bird’s egg fallen from its forest nest. She knows to leave the wasp’s sting in us, allowing us ‘great pain after great love.’
Liliana Ursu is an internationally acclaimed poet, prose writer, and translator, with eighteen books published in Romania. She has been translated into many languages, including three previous books in English. She lives in Bucharest, teaching courses in poetry and creative writing, producing occasional radio programs for Romania cultural, and writing. She has received two Fulbright grants and taught creative writing at the University of Louisville and at Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Her books in English include A PATH TO THE SEA (Pleasure Boat Studio, 2011), LIGHTWALL (Zephyr Press, 2009), and GOLDSMITH MARKET (Zephyr Press, 2003). Her first book in English, THE SKY BEHIND THE FOREST (Bloodaxe Books, 1997), translated by Ursu, Adam J. Sorkin, and Tess Gallagher, became a British Poetry Book Society Recommended Translation and was shortlisted for Oxford’s Weidenfeld Prize.