Friday, October 17, 2014

Three by Kibirov

Image courtesy of Asymptote

I'm happy to report that the fall issue of Asymptote includes my translations of three theological poems by Timur Kibirov, along with the audio recordings of them that I made in his Moscow kitchen this summer. Have a look, have a listen! And don't miss the sound of Ossetian plov crackling on the stove in the background.

The theme of the issue is mythology, and the editors have fit Kibirov neatly into it: "You'll find an aging Minotaur transplanted to Amsterdam's red-light district, Hamlet's Norse ancestor reincarnated in operatic form, and biblical vine-growers at a corporate event schmoozing up to their ultimate shareholder, God." (Yep, that last one is Kibirov's.)

For those of a Slavic bent, highlights of the issue include a profile of Kharkiv poet Serhiy Zhadan, an interview with Polish translator Danuta Borchardt, and an essay on Russian poetry by the ever-prolific Robert Chandler. Another item not to miss is Erik Langkjær's reminiscence of kissing a soft-lipped Flannery O'Connor, who was then suffering from lupus: "I hit her teeth with my kiss, and since then I've thought of it as a kiss of death."

Lastly, I love how the editors have picked my favorite Kibirov line to excerpt on the issue's main page: "Glory to God in the highest! Hee-haw, hee-haw!"