Above the Sky Beneath the Earth - Aleš Šteger - Translated by Brian Henry
$17.00, ISBN 978-1-945680-32-8
“Opening this book and reading lines like: "Esteemed doctor of culture! / Birds fly beneath the roots. / Computers are sweating. / At the poles, holes grow," one wants to shout out: Esteemed American readers, Ales Steger is the real thing! He is the poet of inimitable gifts! He is one of the best Eastern European poets of his generation!
It is the truth: Steger is a marvelous voice, one that takes some of the playfulness of his Yugoslavian compatriots Vasko Popa and Tomaz Salamun to the whole new level. What is that level? It's Steger's very own kind of wisdom: "Between truth and man / I choose waiting." What is the source of this wisdom? "I got stuck in silence" the poet says, "therefore I write." To which one might add: he knows loss, therefore his poems are beautiful.
In these remarkable translations by Brian Henry we are lucky enough to behold in English the work of this major Slovenian voice.”
--Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic and Dancing in Odessa
Aleš Šteger has published seven books of poetry, three novels, and two books of essays. A Chevalier des Artes et Lettres in France and a member of the Berlin Academy of Arts, he received the 1998 Veronika Prize for the best Slovenian poetry book, the 1999 Petrarch Prize for young European authors, the 2007 Rožanc Award for the best Slovenian book of essays, and the 2016 International Bienek Prize. His work has been translated into over 15 languages, including Chinese, German, Czech, Croatian, Hungarian, and Spanish. His first collection in English, The Book of Things, appeared from BOA Editions in 2010 and won the Best Translated Book Award.
Brian Henry has published 11 books of poetry, most recently Permanent State (Ahsahta, 2019). His translation of Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things appeared from BOA Editions in 2010 and won the Best Translated Book Award. He also has translated Tomaž Šalamun’s Woods and Chalices and Aleš Debeljak’s Smugglers. His translations have received numerous honors, including an NEA fellowship, a Howard Foundation grant, and a Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences grant.