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Great Things for the Book of Things

[caption id="attachment_998" align="alignleft" width="157" caption="BOA poet Ales Steger. Photo by Joze Suhadolnik."]BOA poet Ales Steger. Photo by Joze Suhadolnik.[/caption] It was recently announced that Slovenian poet Aleš Šteger's book, The Book of Things, is a finalist for the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards. Šteger's The Book of Things is his fourth book of poetry, and the first complete volume translated into English. The edition's translator, Brian Henry, asserts in his introduction that this "is the ideal introduction to his work for English readers." Since his first publication in 1995, Šteger's poems have been translated into a dozen languages, including German, Spanish, English, Czech, and Bulgarian, which makes sense, given the international concern and frequent flouting of borders and boundaries voiced through his writing. Competing with Šteger and his translator, Brian Henry, for the top honor are four other books of poetry in translation. Three Percent highlighted the contestants and contest in a blog entry. Three Percent also recently reviewed The Book of Things, and said, of the topic and translation:
The feeling [in Šteger's poetry] is of a view into a private world that is not our own, a view mediated by things, here a bandage, a grater, an apple. There is something behind them: memories that are not ours and that we cannot understand, so it is a testament to Šteger’s writing (and Brian Henry’s constantly lucid translation) that we feel them. And what is important beyond that is this idea: that objects might not just be there for us or, perhaps less crazy, that they grow past functionality to become the talismans of our lives, that they are imbued with our personal histories.
The complete review is available here. The results of the Best Translated Book Awards will be announced Friday, April 29th at 9PM at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City. The announcement will be part of the PEN World Voices Festival.


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