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Language for a New Century

Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond

Tina Chang (Editor), Nathalie Handal (Editor), Ravi Shankar (Editor)

With a Foreword by Carolyn Forché


A landmark anthology, providing the most ambitious, far-reaching collection of contemporary Asian and Middle Eastern poetry available.

Language for a New Century celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. Some poets, such as Bei Dao and Mahmoud Darwish, are acclaimed worldwide, but many more will be new to the reader. The collection includes 400 unique voices—political and apolitical, monastic and erotic—that represent a wider artistic movement that challenges thousand-year-old traditions, broadening our notion of contemporary literature. Each section of the anthology—organized by theme rather than by national affiliation—is preceded by a personal essay from the editors that introduces the poetry and exhorts readers to examine their own identities in light of these powerful poems. In an age of violence and terrorism, often predicated by cultural ignorance, this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanity and devotion to the transformative power of art.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • April 2008
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33238-4
  • 6.1 × 9.2 in / 784 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

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