New Books from NER Translators: Psalms of All My Days

Cover image for Psalms of All My DaysNER contributor Jennifer Grotz has published Psalms of All My Days, a translation of Patrice de La Tour du Pin’s poetry from Carnegie Mellon.

Maurice Manning says: “The very idea of pursuing faith leads to the possibility of missing it or mistaking it or going wrong and, thus, one must learn to become comforted by uncertainty and paradox. Such is the tone of these songs of faith by Patrice de La Tour du Pin – anguish and hope are voices in the same choir. The justice Jennifer Grotz has given these difficult poems is clear – they shine with import and originality and the heart is in them still. It is a joy to have this book.”

Jennifer Grotz’s poetry was published in NER in issues 32.3 and 33.3.

Psalms of All My Days is available on Amazon and other booksellers.


Waiting for the Hurricane

From Jennifer Grotz’s “Listening,” in the current issue:

Water turns everything into a jewel
then puts a metal taste in the mouth
slowly replaced by dust. Which is why standing
in the rainy street you feel much richer than you are. Or, aware that everything will dry, much poorer.

You feel that way anyway in New York, and a little lost,
but let’s be honest, that’s what you want, to hide,
and like an owl, you’ve retreated not to high branches
but an anonymous skyrise.

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Announcing the new print issue: NER Vol. 33, #3

The new issue of New England Review is on its way from the printer, and a sample of the contents is available here on our website, both in WordPress and PDF formats. The full issue can be ordered online right here for only $10, including shipping.

In these pages, you’ll find new fiction by Norah Charles, David Guterson, Ihab Hassan, Stephen O’Connor, Leath Tonino, and Adrienne Sharp, appearing alongside new poems by Howard Altmann, Geri Doran, Robin Ekiss, Brendan Grady, Jennifer Grotz, Margaree Little, John Poch, Mark Rudman, and Jake Adam York.

In nonfiction, Sara Maitland uncovers the roots of our fairy tales in the forests of Europe; Anne Raeff reflects on the languages in which she writes her life; Craig Reinbold reports on his days in a classroom in a west side Chicago public school; and Myles Weber probes the life and reputation of Raymond Carver. Plus Isabel Fargo Cole‘s translation of fiction by midcentury German author Franz Fühmann and a brief philosophical investigation by George Santayana. This issue’s cover features artwork by the painter Caryn Friedlander. ORDER A COPY

Jennifer Grotz’s Lillian Fairchild Award

NER contributor Jennifer Grotz [32.3] has received the Lillian Fairchild Award, which is awarded to a Rochester-area resident who has “created extraordinary artistic work in any medium in the past year.” Her poem “Poppies,” originally published in NER 31.1, was included in The Best American Poetry 2011 (Scribner) and reprinted by The Paris Review Daily. In addition, The Needle (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) was selected by NPR as one of the five best books of poetry published in 2011.

Read (and listen to) Jennifer Grotz’s NER poems “The Forest” and “The Fog.”

Jennifer Grotz Selected for NPR’s Top Five

For NPR, Gregory Orr chooses Jennifer Grotz‘s new collection, The Needle, as one of five best poetry books of 2011 in “Truth and Beauty: 2011’s Best American Poetry.” (Grotz’s poems “The Fog and “The Forest” appear in the current issue of NER.) Orr also recommends NER poetry editor C. Dale Young’s book Torn, because, as Orr writes, “no critic can refrain from recommending more books than he’s supposed to.”

One of the few things almost everyone can agree on about contemporary American poetry is that no one can agree on much. At present, poetry is a jumbled landscape, with no single, dominant style and few living figures whose importance is accepted in more than one or two of the art form’s tiny fiefdoms. Although some might find this state of affairs discouraging, I think there’s good reason to be optimistic — poetry often needs to undergo periods of confusion to achieve the clarity for which we’ll later remember it. Here are five books that suggest that even if American poetry isn’t entirely sure where it’s going, that doesn’t mean it’s gotten lost.

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The Forest read by Jennifer Grotz

Jennifer Grotz’s new poems “The Fog” and “The Forest” are published in the current issue of NER, while the web site features audio recordings of Grotz reading these poems at The Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. An excerpt from “The Forest”:

There was a little carpet of stream so clogged with leaves

it had stopped being a stream. And such a surfeit of silence,
it had become a kind of sound
to which, for a while, you could pay attention. Though
it’s inaccurate, I want to say it was like staring at a light.
All you could do was sense it; then you had to recover,
by which I mean to wait for everything to grow dim again.
Then the mind was the only flashlight, a little bobbing beam
that would illuminate randomly and too little.

(“The Forest,” read by the author, Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, 2011)

[read more]

News & Notes | NER in Best American Poetry 2011

Editor Kevin Young selected the following poems from NER for The Best American Poetry 2011:

Jennifer Grotz, “Poppies” (31.1); Eric Pankey, “Cogitatio Mortis” (also 31.1); and Natasha Trethewey, “Elegy” (30.4).

Best American Short Stories 2011 noted fiction from NER among its “distinguished stories” of the year:

Kirstin Allio, “Green” (31.3); Thomas Gough, “The Evening’s Peace” (30.4), Beth Lordan, “A Useful Story” (31.1); Christine Sneed, “Interview with the Second Wife” (31.4).

Best American Travel Writing 2011 cited Eric Calderwood’s “The Road to Damascus” (31.3) in its “Notable Travel Writing of 2010.”


An excerpt from Trethewey’s poem “Elegy“:

I think by now the river must be thick
with salmon. Late August, I imagine it

as it was that morning: drizzle needling
the surface, mist at the banks like a net

settling around us—everything damp
and shining. That morning, awkward

and heavy in our hip waders, we stalked
into the current and found our places—

you upstream a few yards, and out
far deeper. You must remember how

the river seeped in over your boots,
and you grew heavy with that defeat.