The Republics

Playwright, editor, and poet Handal's fifth collection of poetry balances what she calls 'flash reportages' with vivid lyric and image. Built out of a patchwork of powerful blocks of monologue or narrative, and threaded with Spanish and Haitian Creole, the book's texture parallels those of 'a multicolored coat,' 'a mirror of unfinished voices,' and 'a scarf tangled in sepia.' . . . The poems spring forth with a spontaneity and urgency that counterbalance the restrained flourishes of her previous work. Handal watches and waits to 'catch what aches in beauty,' telling stories of Haitians and Dominicans with searing honesty. . . . Handal artfully captures the desire, the rawness of life, and the 'misery that burns the soul' of the people she encounters.
Publishers Weekly
Winner of the 2016 George Ellenbogen Poetry Award

“The Republics is a massively brilliant new work, a leap in literature we have not seen. It’s gripping, harrowing, and at times horrific while its form paradoxically is fresh, luscious, and original. Bypassing pity and transforming pain into language Handal stars. She has recorded like Alice Walker, Paul Celan, John Hershey, and Carolyn Forché some of the worst civilization has offered humankind and somehow made it art.”—Sapphire

88 Pages, 6.1 x 7.6 in.

March, 2015

isbn : 9780822963325

about the author

Nathalie Handal

Nathalie Handal is the author of Poet in Andalucia, Love and Strange Horses, a Gold Medal Independent Publisher Book Award winner, and is coeditor of Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia & Beyond. She is a Lannan Foundation Fellow, recipient of the Alejo Zuloaga Order in Literature, the Pen Oakland Josephine Miles Book Award, and an Honored Finalist for the Gift of Freedom Award, among other honors. She teaches at Columbia University and is the editor of “The City and the Writer” for Words without Borders magazine.

learn more
Nathalie Handal