New Books

Remembering Janet Collins

Click here to view Time Out New York‘s slide show of the 92nd Street Y’s celebration of Janet Collins. To learn more about this phenomenal woman, check out her biography, Night’s Dancer: The Life of Janet Collins here.

New poetry, translated from Urdu

We are pleased to announce the release of Rococ and Other Worlds by Afzal Ahmed Syed, translated by Musharraf Ali Farooqi.

Afzal Ahmed Syed holds a unique place among contemporary poets of the Urdu language, as an acknowledged master of both the classical and modern Urdu poetic forms. The poems in Rococo and Other Worlds explore the mythology and historical realities of South Asia and the Middle East; their bold imagery creates narratives of voluptuous perfection, which remain inseparable from the political realities that Syed witnessed as a young observer of the violent separation of East Pakistan and emergence of Bangladesh in 1971 and of the Lebanese civil war in 1976. Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s sensitive translations bring this extraordinary work to English readers for the first time.

“A powerful narrative of human solitude and alienation, the gentle and at times explosive rhythms ofRococo and Other Worlds linger in the mind long after the poems are read and contemplated. A modern sensibility profoundly informed by the finest liberal traditions of classical Urdu poetry at its best.”—Muhammad Umar Memon, professor Urdu and Persian literature and Islamic studies, University of Wisconsin, Madison

“Rococo usually refers to baroque style, playful and elaborate rhythms and ornament, but other worlds also leap and scream from these poems—images of violent history as Tacitus, Goya, or Kafka saw it. A sense of danger pervades a desperate and eroticized human search for safety. It’s a dark vision, near surrealist, painfully unique.”—David Ray, author of Sam’s Book and After Tagore

From the Book:

Tell me a story
other than how from the museum
the witness table of the peace pact disappeared
other than that a continent is called by the wrong name

Tell me a story
other than that you do not like to kiss lips
other than that I was not the first man in your life
other than that it was not raining that day
– From “Tell Me a Story”