Marilyn Hacker & Karthika Naïr
We are thrilled to virtually project ourselves from midday in Seattle to Paris in the evening for this virtual reading by esteemed poets Marilyn Hacker and Karthika Naïr. While both live in Paris, they, as so many others, weren’t able to see each other through the most locked-down periods of the pandemic last year. This poetic correspondence, using the renga form, let two poets adept in poetry’s beauty in ways both formal and not, write each other - and cast a line of connection to we readers as well.
"Two writers and friends, both translators of words, of movement, of motion itself, find themselves separate from each other in a city under lockdown, their own bodies isolated, the public world around them, the streets of Paris, emptied. In sinuous couplets they begin a correspondence, not merely a correspondence but a renga, a linking, an attempt at building a community, at recording a history, at imagining a future of touch again. Hacker's sublime handling of form, rhyme, and couplet is already legendary, and Naïr, with a subtle and dazzling choreographic sense of structure, meets her as the perfect partner." —Kazim Ali.
Marilyn Hacker is the prize-winning author of fourteen books of poetry, most recently Blazons: New and Selected Poems, and has translated the work of numerous French and Francophone poets over the years. Karthika Naïr came to Seattle in December 2019 to read from her magnificent work, Until the Lions, a rendering of female voices from the Mahabharata. She has written other works of poetry, fables, and librettos, working in performed works as well as on the page.
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