May 2012

5. 23 . 12

HGP's 10th chapbook for year two - Sulfur Water
Hyacinth Girl Press is adding a tenth chapbook to our second year's worth of publishing. It's been a very fun process watching this particular manuscript's various elements come together, and I am extremely excited/pleased/all of those superlative words to announce that HGP will be publishing Crystal Hoffman's first chapbook, Sulfur Water.

Crystal is one of the most talented poets and innovative performers I know and it's difficult for me to write this post without slipping into a "holy crap you guys this is so freaking cool!" sort of voice. Three of the poems in Sulfur Water have been translated - one into Arabic, one into Spanish, and one into French - making this the second chapbook we will publish with a translation element in addition to Brooklyn Copeland's Salt Ballads. Also, Tamara Fakhoury has created three images based on Crystal's poetry - one for the front cover, one for the back cover, and one interior piece. I love when we're able to have cover art created based on the chapbook itself, and having 3 pieces is kind of like editor Christmas for me.

Of the whole process of the chapbook and its various collaborations, Crystal had this to say:

"Sulfur Water's composition spans Baja Mexico, Vancouver, Lebanon, a hippie commune on Staten Island, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and the stripped second growth woods of coal country Pennsylvania where I was raised. I chose to include translations in this book, not only to reflect the disconnect, displacement, fusion, and amalgamation that went into the writing process, but also to present the magic possible when artists take the time to cross boundaries of symbolic patterns. You can grow new roots through it.

Each of the translations involved different levels of interaction between myself and the translator. With Rula, we met twice to ensure that the Arabic translation still contained all of the vital nuances of the words in English and to make sure the sound patterns still reflected the meaning on an aural level. Rula strove for perfection in both. Ghiwa and I sat next to one another in my kitchen smoking, drinking wine, reading and rereading in French and English, allowing for sacrifices and playing with possibility. The last translation, strangely the first, published also in The Poetry Society of New York's Translation Project, was entirely detached and filtered through a medium. One of Jessica's poems was among the batch that I translated into English for the project.

The inclusion of Tamara's artwork happened by happy impulse and was one of the most exciting aspects of putting this collection together with Hyacinth Girl Press. After falling in love with her work through a mutual friend at AUB, I sent Tamara the manuscript. We met and discussed some possibilities for her illustrations. What she produced is exactly the kind of uncomfortable, expressionist re-imagining of story through image and color that Sulfur Water wanted to be when it grew up. The deep connection and evolution of symbol that went into these collaborative processes becomes the primary cries of Sulfur Water."

Crystal Hoffman was raised by a truck driver bikers in the woods outside of a dead mining town in Pennsylvania.Thus explaining why her most important accomplishments to date are having broken doors and been reprimanded for climbing trees on three continents and nearly freeing a monkey within one week of assuming her first full-time teaching post. In terms of putting ink on paper, she is faculty editor of Rusted Radishes: The Beirut Literary and Arts Review and an editorial adviser for Patasola Press. Her poems have appeared in journals such as 3AMA Cappella Zoo, and Arsenic Lobster and are forthcoming in Menacing Hedge.  She co-founded and directed the performance troupe The TypewriterGirls with Hyacinth Girl Press editor Margaret Bashaar, for five years and Marcel Janco-style is still attempting to induce the Cabaret Voltaire spirit in the Middle East. She teaches creative writing and literature at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon.

Tamara Fakhoury is a philosopher, an artist, and a self-proclaimed dork. She is presently finishing her studies in philosophy at the American University of Beirut. Sunny Beirut has also excited her interest in archaeology. Her favorite artists are Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, and Wassily Kandinsky.

Ghiwa Sayegh is poet, dramatist, social activist, and burgeoning translator. She is presently experimenting with the use of multiple languages in a single piece. In addition to writing in Arabic, English, and French, she is presently in a love affair with Spanish language and culture. There also are rumors of her being a past and future musical prodigy. She is in the final year of her MA in English Literature at the American University of Beirut, where she is proud to say that she has recently been censored for blasphemy and vulgarity.

J. Rainey is co-founder of the multi-lingual reading series, Tri-lengua, and features in the Barcelona Prostíbulo Poético as Miss Quote. Her science fiction poetry collection, ENDOMA, is published by Knitting Guns Press.

Rula Baalbaki teaches writing and translation courses at the English Dept. at AUB. She studied English at AUB, where she also coordinated ESL and writing courses at the English Dept. She founded the AUB BOOK CLUB with a group of reader-students in 2002. Baalbaki has been translating literary books and translating and writing poetry since 2003. These include Said Akl's IF LEBANON WERE TO SPEAK and Ameen Rihani's essays collection AR-RIHANNIYAT.

5. 14 . 12

Catastrophe Theory by Susan Yount - for sale now!
Susan Yount's chapbook Catastrophe Theory is now available for purchase!

Susan Yount is editor and publisher of theArsenic Lobster Poetry Journal and madam of the Chicago Poetry Bordello. She received first prize in the Poetry Center of Chicago's 2010 Juried Reading, works fulltime at the Associated Press and teaches online poetry classes at the Rooster Moans. She recently completed her MFA in poetry at Columbia College Chicago and has published poems and short stories in many print and online publications.


Catastrophe Theory
by Susan Yount
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