French Poet Marie Borel at SLC

Marie Borel, Sarah Riggs and Omar Berrada
Monday, November 27
Esther Raushenbush Library Pillow Room
5:30 p.m.

A reading by French Poet Marie Borel, celebrating the English translation of her acclaimed Wolftrot, translated by Sarah Riggs and Omar Berrada, will take place at Sarah Lawrence College on November 27 at 5:30 p.m. in the Esther Raushenbush Library Pillow Room. For more information, please call 914-395-2412.

According to the publisher, “Marie Borel’s Wolftrot turns the eternal metaphor of the sea voyage on its ear: here, the fleet is literal, and they’re literally (and literarily) lost. Aficionado of pun and double-entendre, Borel interweaves vignettes and character sketches with extended lyric dérèglement de tous les sens. This is an old-fashioned swashbuckler of a tale that we come to realize is, ultimately, all about language—the real voyage that we embark on every day, confident in the knowledge that we will never see its end.” The event is sponsored by the Faculty Groups in Literature and in Modern and Classical Languages, and the President's Office.

“Borel’s poetry is haunting beautiful and strange,” said literature faculty member Neil Arditi, “The conversation between American and French poets has often been a rich and productive one. Indeed, the American modernist poet Wallace Stevens went so far as to suggest that French and English formed “one language.” Borel, Riggs, and Berrada are working hard to continue (and resurrect) the kind of cultural cross-fertilization that is essential to the creative vitality of contemporary poets and artists. I hope the audience of this event comes away with an enlarged sense of the potential range of the poetry of our moment.”

Marie Borel is widely published in France, her other collections include Fin de citation (Spectres Familiers, 1996), translated into English by Keith Waldrop as Close Quote (Série d’écriture, 2003) and La lettre d’un oeil étranger. And she has translated into French works by Lyn Hejinian, Tom Raworth, and Rosmarie Waldrop, as well as five books of the Bible as part of the collaborative project La bible: nouvelle traduction, published by Bayard in 2001.

Sarah Riggs, born and raised in New York, is a poet, translator, and visual artist. Her book Word Sightings: Poetry and Visual Media in Stevens, Bishop, and O’Hara was published by Routledge in 2002, and two volumes of poetry, Waterwork (Chax Press) and 28 Télégrammes (Editions de l’Attente), are due out soon. Her other translations include Isabelle Garon’s Face before against, published by Seeing Eye Books. She has lived in Paris since 2001, where she’s an integral member of the bilingual poetry collective, Double Change, and director of the non-profit arts organization, Tamaas.

Omar Berrada was born and raised in Casablanca and has lived in Paris for the past twelve years. He translates from Arabic, French, and English, including work by Joan Retallack, Avital Ronell, and Rod Mengham, among others, and is active in the bilingual poetry collective, Double Change. He has worked extensively with radio, hosting France Culture’s La nuit la poésie and the daily summer program Lumières d’août, and he is a regular contributor to Les Lettres françaises.