Mahri Poetry Archive

This video features the Mahri poem “Tribal Code: A Three-Way Conflict.” Composed by Ṭannāf bir Saʿd ḤamtōtḤājj Dākōn recites the piece. The poem is one of over sixty pieces featured in the Mahri Digital Archive, a website devoted to the preservation and celebration of poetry in the endangered Mahri language of Yemen and Oman. The poems featured in the archive are broadly representative of the different genres of Mahri oral poetry and originate from across the core Mahri-speaking territory of eastern Yemen and western Oman. All pieces in the archive appear as a digital or video recording, accompanied by a transcription into Latin characters (with lexical notation) and a translation into English.

Sam Liebhaber, the director of Arabic Studies at Middlebury, received his M.A. degree in Comparative Semitics (2000) and his Ph.D. in Arabic Literature from the University of California, Berkeley (2007). Dr. Liebhaber has performed extensive fieldwork in Eastern Yemen and Dhofar where he has documented the oral poetic traditions of the Mahra, a community of bedouin pastoralists who speak an endangered language that pre-dates the arrival of Arabic to Southern Arabia. He is the author of an article written on the above poem. The article, entitled “Rhetoric and Rite of Passage in the Mahri Tribal Ode,” will appear in the Journal of Middle Eastern Literature (in press).


Apocalypse Now

New England Review contributor David Roderick and former NER editor T.R. Hummer are included in a new collection of poetry and fiction entitled Apocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days. The collection includes thirty-six literary and speculative authors, among them Margaret Atwood and Joyce Carol Oates.

David Roderick’s first book, Blue Colonial, won the APR/Honickman Prize and was published jointly by The American Poetry Review and Copper Canyon Press in 2006. He has published poetry and fiction in several journals, including The Hudson Review, The Missouri Review, Prairie Schooner, TriQuarterly, Verse, and The Virginia Quarterly Review. NER published his poems “Night in the Pawtuxet Woods”  and “Riparian” in Vol. 24, No. 2 and his poem “Omen” in Vol. 32, No. 1.

A former editor for NER (1990-1995), T.R. Hummer is the author of twelve books. His work has been published in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Atlantic Monthly, Paris Review, and Georgia Review. His honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship inclusion in the 1995 edition of Best American Poetry, and two Pushcart Prizes.

New Books by NER Authors: Red Army Red by Jehanne Dubrow

NER author Jehanne Dubrow has published a new collection of poems. From the publisher: “Displaying a sure sense of craft and a sharp facility for linking personal experience to history and politics, Jehanne Dubrow’s Red Army Red chronicles the coming of age of a child in Eastern Europe in the 1980s. In the last moments of the Cold War, Poland lurches fitfully from a society of hardship and deprivation toward a free-market economy. The contradictions and turmoil generated by this transition are the context in which an adolescent girl awakens to her sexuality. With wit and subtlety, Dubrow makes apparent the parallels between the body and the body politic, between the fulfillment of individual and collective desires.”

New England Review published Jehanne Dubrow’s work in volumes 26.2 and 30.1, and her poem Oenophilia appears on our site. Jehanne Dubrow is an assistant professor of English, creative writing, and literature at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. She is the author of three previous poetry collections, The Hardship Post (2009), From the Fever-World (2009), and Stateside (Northwestern, 2010).

New Books by NER Writers: The Golden Road by Rachel Hadas

From the jacket copy of Rachel Hadas’s new book of poems: “A central theme of The Golden Road is the prolonged dementia of the poet’s husband. But Rachel Hadas’s new collection sets the loneliness of progressive loss in the context of the continuities that sustain her: reading, writing, and memory; familiar places; and the rich texture of a life fully lived. These poems are meticulously observed, nimble in their deployment of a range of forms, and capacious in their range of reference. The Golden Road laments, but it also celebrates.”

Rachel Hadas is a professor of English at the Newark College of Arts and Sciences of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. She is also a poet, translator, and essayist. Her most recent books are The Ache of Appetite (2010), a collection of poems; and Strange Relation: A Memoir of Marriage, Dementia, and Poetry (2011). New England Review has published Rachel Hadas’s work eight times since 2003. Her most recent publication in NER, “Invisibility” was published in 2011 (32.1).

Why Shakespeare Today? As You Like It at Middlebury

From Middlebury College’s events calendar:

“Sweet are the uses of adversity . . .” This new production of William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy As You Like It is a melancholy tale of love and exile, set in the early part of the 20th century, as the old world tips into the new, and all is forever changed.

The story takes on new meaning against the backdrop of unrest in Europe and the development of the First World War, as the unrest between the characters reflects the larger changes of the period.

Directed by Cheryl Faraone and sponsored by the Theatre Program, this production closes on the 17th of November in the Wright Memorial Theater with performances at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

A Q&A follows the afternoon performance:

“Why Shakespeare Today?” Panelists Melissa Lourie of Middlebury Actor’s Workshop, Lindsay Pontius, the Town Hall Theater Director of Education and UVM Shakespeare professor Stephen Schillinger will join Director Cheryl Faraone to answer questions after the 2 p.m. matinee.

Tickets for the performances are six dollars for current Middlebury students, ten dollars for faculty, staff, children, and alumni, and twelve dollars for the general public. To purchase tickets, please see visit the online box office.

New Books by NER Writers: Mariposa’s Song by Peter LaSalle

“Mariposa’s Song is a tragedy that rings distressingly true to the bone—and never has Peter LaSalle’s prose sung so melodiously.”  —Madison Smartt Bell

From the jacket copy of Peter LaSalle’s new novel, Mariposa’s Song: “Pretty, twenty-year-old Mariposa has entered the U.S. from Honduras by way of Nuevo Laredo, without documentation. She now serves drinks and woos customers as a B-girl—sort of a dime-a-dance arrangement—in a shabby nightclub on the east side of Austin, Texas. Rough work, it’s at least giving her a start in America. Between the norteño and cumbia songs the DJ plays, a smooth-talking Anglo out-of-towner who calls himself Bill shows up at the club one Saturday night to sit and casually chat with Mariposa. He smiles and sympathizes; his flattery leads her to reveal the secret pain she has kept hidden so long. But Mariposa has no way of knowing that he’s being hunted by police throughout the Southwest. Even in Austin, far from the border, there are dangers more sinister than narcotraficantes or la migra. LaSalle’s intense, haunting novel beckons readers into the shadowy lives of undocumented workers in the U.S. and the difficult choices they must face. Written as a single book-length sentence, Mariposa’s Song is also a truly innovative achievement in the novel form itself, as it continually startles and satisfies with stylistic daring and sheer lyrical radiance.”

Peter LaSalle is the author of several books of fiction, including the novel Strange Sunlight and, most recently, a story collection, Tell Borges If You See Him, excerpts from which appeared in NER 25.1. Additionally, NER published LaSalle’s work in issues 22.4, 24.1, 27.2, 28.3, 30.3, and 32.4. His work has also appeared in Tin House, Zoetrope, Paris Review, Best American Short Stories, Best American Mystery Stories, Sports’ Best Short Stories, and Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards.

Mariposa’s Song is available from Powell’s Books and other booksellers.

New Books from NER Writers: Meme by Susan Wheeler

Susan Wheeler, published by NER in 1980 (3.1), is publishing a new book of poetry, Meme. From the jacket copy: “A meme is a unit of thought replicated by imitation; examples of memes, Richard Dawkins wrote, ‘are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches.’ Occupy Wall Street is a meme, as are internet ideas and images that go viral. What could be more potent memes than those passed down by parents to their children? Wheeler reconstructs her mother’s voice—down to its cynicism and its mid twentieth-century midwestern vernacular—in ‘The Maud Poems,’ a voice that takes a more aggressive, vituperative turn in ‘The Devil—or—The Introjects.’ In the book’s third long sequence, a generational inheritance feeds cultural transmission in ‘The Split.’ A set of variations on losses and break-ups—wildly, darkly funny throughout and, in places, devastatingly sad—’The Split’ brings Wheeler’s lauded inventiveness, wit, and insight to the profound loss of love. One read, and the meme ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ will be altered in your head forever.” Meme is available from Powell’s and other booksellers.