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Lindsay Turner + Sawako Nakayasu

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Join us as we welcome translator Lindsay Turner and poet Sawako Nakayasu, who contributed an introduction to this edition, as they discuss the collection and their relationships to it.


The contemporary Franco-Japanese poet Ryoko Sekiguchi's adagio ma non troppo is a series of prose poems that turns from its source text—a collection of love letters from the Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa to his fiancée—towards an imaginative exploration of cities, times, gardens, relationships, encounters, words, and poetry. As Sawako Nakaysu writes in her introduction to the text: "Although the book has its roots in Pessoa and his love, the object of Sekiguchi's love is a radiant, shimmering life of poetry in poetry—a life animated by the act of reading and writing it. Written in French and Japanese by Sekiguchi, and translated from the French by Lindsay Turner, the book is being published in a tri-lingual edition by Les Figues press this spring.

Originally from northeast Tennessee, Lindsay Turner is a translator and poet. Her first collection of poems, Songs & Ballads, is forthcoming from Prelude Books in 2018. Her translations from the French include The Next Loves, by Stéphane Bouquet (forthcoming) and a co-translated book of philosophy by Frédéric Neyrat, Atopias. Starting in fall 2018, she is a Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.

Sawako Nakayasu writes and translates poetry, and also occasionally creates performances and short films. Her most recent books are The Ants and a translation of The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika. Other books include Texture Notes, Hurry Home Honey, and Mouth: Eats Color—Sagawa Chika Translations, Anti-translations, & Originals, which is a multilingual work of both original and translated poetry. She has received fellowships from the NEA and PEN, and her own work has been translated into Japanese, Norwegian, Swedish, Arabic, Chinese, and Vietnamese.

Born in Tokyo, Ryoko Sekiguchi has lived in Paris since 1997. Her work has appeared widely in French and Japanese; her books in French include La Voix sombre, Manger fantôme, L’Astringent, Ce n’est pas un hasard, adagio ma non troppo, Deux Marchés, and Héliotropes. In addition to her recent culinary performances, Sekiguchi has collaborated with visual artists and sound artists including Suzanne Doppelt, Christian Boltanski, and Ranier Lericolais. Her translations into Japanese include works by Jean Echenoz, Mathias Enard, Atiq Rahimi, and Daniel Heller-Roazen.

Earlier Event: May 10
Lucas Mann
Later Event: May 16
Non-Fiction Book Club