To Love the Abyss I Am: Reading Clarice Lispector
with Andrew Zawacki
Dive into two works by the radical midcentury Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. Widely recognized for the volatile strangeness of her work, which pushes language, genre, sexuality, and the experience of self to their limits, Lispector has exerted a powerful influence on contemporary literature. Readings include her most famous novel, The Passion According to G.H., and her final novel, The Hour of the Star.
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A 2015-16 Howard Foundation Fellow in Poetry, Andrew Zawacki is the author of five poetry books: Unsun : f/11 (Coach House, 2019); Videotape (Counterpath, 2013); Petals of Zero Petals of One (Talisman House,
2009); Anabranch (Wesleyan, 2004); and By Reason of Breakings (Georgia,
2002). A former Rhodes Scholar and Fulbright Scholar, he earned his doctorate from the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago.
Zawacki has also published four books in France: Sonnetssonnants, translated by Anne Portugal; Georgia and Carnet Bartleby, both translated by Sika Fakambi; and Par Raison de brisants, translated by Antoine Cazé and a finalist for the Prix Nelly Sachs. Anabranche, translated by Sika Fakambi, is forthcoming from Éditions Grèges.
His chapbook Georgia was co-winner of the 1913 Prize, while Masquerade won the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America. Arrow’s shadow was issued by Equipage in the UK, and Kaeshi-waza was published in Canada by The Elephants. More recently, Sonnensonnets appeared from Tammy, Waterfall plot from Greying Ghost.
His work has appeared in Poems for Political Disaster, Legitimate Dangers:
American Poets of the New Century, The Iowa Anthology of New American
Poetries, Great American Prose Poems, The Eloquent Poem, and other
anthologies, as well as magazines such as The New Yorker, The Nation,
and The New Republic.
A past fellow of the Slovenian Writers’ Association, Zawacki edited Afterwards (White Pine, 1999), an anthology of postwar Slovenian poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, in addition to editing and co-translating Aleš Debeljak’s new and selected poems, Without Anesthesia (Persea, 2011), assisted by a Slovenian Ministry of Culture Translation Grant. His translations of two poetry books by Sébastien Smirou, See About (La Presse / Fence, 2017) and My Lorenzo (Burning Deck, 2012), have earned him a National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowship, a French Voices Grant, and a grant from the Centre National du Livre.
He coedited the late expatriate writer Gustaf Sobin’s collected poems and serves as co-executor of Sobin’s literary estate. Zawacki has published criticism in the TLS, Boston Review, Chicago Review, How2, Jacket2, New German Critique, and elsewhere. He has held fellowships from the Salzburg Seminar, the Bogliasco Foundation, la Résidence Internationale aux Récollets, le Collège International des Traducteurs Littéraires, Hawthornden Castle, Le Château de Lavigny, and the Millay Colony, Saltonstall Foundation, and Bread Loaf.
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