In celebration of the unique and book-loving Catalan holiday, 57th Street Books are thrilled to host Francesc Parcerisas on Still Life With Children: Selected Poems of Francesc Parcerisas translated from the Catalan by Cyrus Cassells and published by Stephen F. Austin State University Press. A Q&A and book signing will follow the discussion. Presented in partnership with the Joan Coromines Chair of Catalan Studies, the UChicago Department of Romance Languages and literatures and Institut Ramon Llull.
Francesc Parcerisas (Barcelona, 1944) is a Catalan writer and professor. He has published poetry, prose, essays and numerous translations. His first book, Vint Poemes Civils, appeared in 1966, his latest, Seixanta-un Poemes, in 2014. Triomf del Present gathers his poetry until 1983. His diary Un Estiu (2018) was greeted as one of the best modern classics. Still Life With Children is the first anthology of his work published in the US.
Parcerisas was director of the Institució de les Lletres Catalanes between1998 and 2003 and Dean of the same institution until 2016. Translated into several languages, his work as received many awards: in 2015 from the Catalan Government and in 2018 the Catalan Writers Prize. He is Emeritus Professor at the UAB in Barcelona and has been visiting professor at Beijing and Chicago.
About Still Life with Children
Cyrus Cassells' vibrant translations grow on the page as though the essence of Francesc Parcerisas' work has also moved forward in a Janus-like fashion. These translations are not simply the same poems in a different language; Cassells has crafted new poetry. The gentle and delicate rhythms of Parcerisas have been contracted into shorter lines that explore sharper cadences whilst Cassells carefully maintains a sensitive continuity in the opening feet. This is poetry for the ear first and the page second, Cassells has stronger consonants at his disposal, a resource that he skilfully exploits. The ultimate product of his labours is a short collection of poetry that reads and feels like a work of English Literature, a sensation that is perhaps the highest compliment one may bestow upon a Literary Translation.
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