RARA-AVIS: FYI: Mediterranean Noir & Noir Poetry

From: Frederick Zackel ( fzackel@wcnet.org)
Date: 23 Feb 2006

A couple items popped up.

The first is Europa Editions, a NY-based publisher of translations of European crime noir. This was news to me, but I lead a sheltered life. Methinks I am catching reverberations from previous rara-avis accounts. Should I go check the archives?

According to the publishers website:

"Mediterranean Noir comes to us from the dark side, from society's underbelly, from the underworld, from the other side of Janus-faced mainstream culture and official history. The Mediterranean Noir novel is by definition a political novel inasmuch as it deals with social tensions, with crime, punishment, retribution. These novels do not always treat crime as an aberration, but often as part and parcel of our common, dappled humanity, a part that erupts to the surface of tough, seductive cities like Marseilles, Naples, and Algiers. They are written by men and women who often draw from their own personal and intimate knowledge of society's underbelly, and who, as such, also know how to celebrate beauty, light, the sea, the sun, the city's maddening vitality."

Folks might also want to check out Richard Siken's book of poetry "Crush" just published by Yale University Press. I don't know how totally noir this poet's debut work is, but the newspaper published this fragment from one poem, "Wishbone," this morning.

Do you know how it ends? Do you feel lucky? Do you want to go home now? There's a bottle of whiskey in the trunk of the Chevy and a dead man at our feet staring up at us like we're something interesting. This is where the evening splits in half, Henry, love or death. Grab an end, pull hard, and make a wish.

I feel at home with poetry like this. Does anybody know other noir poetry? What poets are worth checking out? Any noir collections? Anybody want to do one?

Best wishes

Fred Zackel

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