Contributor Reads

From two Neighbors issue contributors, two exciting new books of poetry: Mamasafari and My Beloved Had a Vineyard!

Andrea Jurjević is a poet and translator from Rijeka, Croatia. Her work has appeared in EPOCH, TriQuarterly, Best New Poets, Missouri Review, The Journal, Gulf Coast, and many other literary journals. She is the author of Small Crimes, winner of the 2015 Philip Levine Poetry Prize, and translator of Mamasafari (Diálogos, 2018), a collection of prose poems by Croatian author Olja Savičević. Andrea is a recipient of a Robinson Jeffers Tor Prize, a Tennessee Williams Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, a Hambidge Fellowship, and the 2018 Georgia Author of the Year Award. She works as a Lecturer in English at Georgia State University.

Praise for Mamasafari:

Olja Savičević’s poems and prose-poems tackle everything from the Devil to Pasolini, blue shoes to bicycles, the Bossa Nova to family portraits, and a precisely rendered sequence on Istanbul. Savičević is like the love-child of Carolyn Forche and Caesar Pavese: she possesses Pavese’s eye for street-life and grit in the cities she travels (both inside and out), and yet she imbues that portraiture with Forche-like notions of the poet as witness. Andrea Jurjević’s fine translations wrought in American-inflected-English present a Savičević who captures the rhythm of life that bends beneath the weight of history and isms to find the tiniest details that sing and resist. For, as she tells us: “The butchers will be behind bars, the ground that trembles will grow calm, but the deep satisfaction we call justice won’t come. Still: there’re many pleasures, that’s what’s worth focusing on.”
—Sean Thomas Dougherty, author of The Second O of Sorrow

 

Ryan Harper is a faculty fellow in Colby College’s Department of Religious Studies. He is the author of The Gaithers and Southern Gospel: Homecoming in the Twenty-First Century (University Press of Mississippi, 2017) and My Beloved Had a Vineyard, winner of the 2017 Prize Americana in poetry (Poetry Press of Press Americana, 2018). Some of his recent poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in the Cimarron ReviewChattahoochee ReviewAmericaAlligator JuniperAmerican Journal of PoetryMississippi ReviewBerkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere.

Praise for My Beloved Had a Vineyard:

Finding a poetic equivalent for the matter of our United States has been a preoccupation of many poets, Whitman, Williams, Crane, Hughes and Lowell only the most famous. In Ryan Harper’s work this same preoccupation takes on a theological inflection, in which matter and spirit must unearth what he calls “real relation.” Like Thoreau, like Frederick Law Olmsted, he thrives on the interface between human constructs and the natural world, as he discovers a poetry of sensory accuracy, cogent thinking, verbal intricacy and rhythmic subtlety. I know of no one in his generation with greater intelligence and finer aesthetic resources. Temperamentally unsuited for lavishing superlatives on poetic debuts, still I can’t avoid feeling that Ryan Harper’s is magisterial and profound. Welcome him.
—Alfred Corn, author of Unions

 

Their work in TCR is available in our online Archived Features, and we hope you’ll get to know them better.