Poetry Centre

Weekly Poem for 03 July 2018

  • Bouquet

    No, I won’t throw it out, for the sake of that tulip:
    still fresh and so white, that satiny curl –
    a sea-captain’s collar folded over his tunic,
    a theatrical backcloth, like a windowless wall.
    Its petals are like cupped and half-turned palms,
    its bloom a head, a gleaming cherry in its mouth. 

    …If it must go, let somebody else throw it out –
    as God will say of me when my turn comes.


    by Julia Nemirovskaya; translated by Boris Dralyuk


    The Poetry Centre recently launched our 2018 International Poetry Competition! Open until 6 August, the competition has two categories – Open and English as an Additional Language – and this year is judged by the highly-acclaimed poet Kayo Chingonyi. You can find full details and enter
    here

    If you’re a translator, you have only a few days left to enter the 2018 Stephen Spender Prize for poetry in translation! Translate any poem from any language, ancient or modern into English, and be in the running for a cash prizeand publication by the Stephen Spender Trust. There are three categories: Open, 18-and-under, and 14-and-under. The judges this year are Margaret Jull Costa, Olivia McCannon, and Sean O’Brien. You can find more details on the Trust’s website .

    Finally, we have just released our latest Poetry Centre podcast, in which Niall Munro talks to the award-winning Canadian poet Richard Harrison on his recent visit to Oxford. You can listen to the conversation via the Poetry Centre website .

    Notes from Candlestick Press: 

    ‘Bouquet’ is copyright © Julia Nemirovskaya, 2016. It is reprinted from Ten Poems from Russia published by permission of Candlestick Press in association with Pushkin Press.

    Julia Nemirovskaya is a Moscow-born writer and poet who now lives in the US and teaches at the University of Oregon. Her two collections are Moia knizhechka (My Little Book published in 1998) and Vtoraia knizhechka (Second Little Book, 2014). This poem first appeared in Russian in PLAVUCHII MOST: Russian and World Poetry Magazine, 2016 #1 (9), and will be published in Tretia knizhechka (Moscow: Vodolei, 2019).

    Boris Dralyuk is an award-winning literary translator and the Executive Editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books. He holds a PhD in Slavic Languages and Literatures from UCLA where he taught Russian literature for a number of years. He is co-editor of the Penguin Book of Russian Poetry and has translated Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry and Odessa Stories, both published by Pushkin Press. 

    Candlestick Press is a small, independent press based in Nottingham and has been publishing its sumptuous ‘instead of a card’ poetry pamphlets since 2008. Subjects range from Birds and Sheep to Tea, Kindness, Home and Puddings. Julia Nemirovskaya’s poem ‘Bouquet’ appears in Ten Poems from Russia – a first co-publication by Candlestick Press and Pushkin press. Candlestick titles are stocked by chain and independent bookshops, as well as by galleries, museums and garden centres. You can follow Candlestick on  Twitter or find it on Facebook.

    Pushkin Press was founded in 1997, and publishes novels, essays, memoirs, children’s books - everything from timeless classics to the urgent and contemporary.  Our books represent exciting, high-quality writing from around the world: we publish some of the twentieth century’s most widely acclaimed, brilliant authors such as Stefan Zweig, Marcel Aymé, Teffi, Antal Szerb, Gaito Gazdanov and Yasushi Inoue, as well as compelling and award-winning contemporary writers, including Andrés Neuman, Edith Pearlman, Eka Kurniawan and Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Pushkin Press imprints include Pushkin Children’s Books, Pushkin Vertigo and ONE.

    Copyright information: please note that the copyrights of all the poems displayed on the website and sent out on the mailing list are held by the respective authors, translators or estates, and no work should be reproduced without first gaining permission from the individual publishers. 

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