Author: Tomaž Šalamun
Translator: Michael Thomas Taren
Publisher: Black Ocean (2015)
Slovenian poet Tomaž Šalamun (1941-2014) is hailed as one of the most prominent poets of his generation, renowned for his impact on the Eastern European avant-garde movement. He authored over forty collections of poetry in Slovenian and English, experimenting with surrealism, polyphony, and absurdism. In this collection, which he was preparing before his recent death, he shows his mastery of sound, of uncomfortable twists of expectations, and reveals alleyways into humanity with sharp, minty lines amidst physical chaos and violence. Šalamun has helped shape an era of poetics with his electric imagination, refusal of boxed-in logic and custom, and sophisticated concision. His voice will linger on for years to come in the influence it has left with artists, writers, and readers. For a career born from a violent world, he has left a beautiful Justice behind.
"By turns brutal and coy, gnomic and blunt, the Slovenian poet...insistently dismembers the world, only to slyly recreate and celebrate it."
"His poems will continue to defy categorization, but they will be remembered for the way they walked the tightrope between ecstasy and despair, the rational and the irrational, the sublime and the horrible."
"He is too slippery to be compared to anything...His work is elegant and ironic and often surreal and lined with dark laughter but it can also be sharp and forbidding. Nothing is lost on him."
"Salamun has exerted a great deal of influence on many younger poets...He's a world-class poet. He's easily the best poet of the Balkans, and one of the best of them all."