cover image Theory of Prepositions

Theory of Prepositions

Claude Royet-Journoud, , trans. from the French by Keith Waldrop. . Fence Books/La Presse, $12 (59pp) ISBN 978-0-9771064-1-7

Royet-Journoud is associated in France with poets Anne-Marie Albiach and Emmanuel Hocquard, both of whom American poet and translator Waldrop has published via Burning Deck, the influential small press he runs with his wife, Rosemary. The signature trait they share in their work is theoretical sophistication grounded in sensuality and emotional elasticity, resulting in poems at once abstract and immediate: "Having chosen the angle, photographs the muscle./ The image comes down. We're outside. Submitting/ and fallen." Waldrop's translation of these seven prose and verse sequences beguiles. This is the inaugural volume in Fence's La Presse series of contemporary French poetry in translation, edited by American poet Cole Swensen (The Book of a Hundred Hands ). It's a lovely first selection but galley-quality production may limit off-the-shelf sales. (May)