Language for a New Century

Language for a New Century Cover

Language for a New Century

Contemporary Poetry from the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond

By Tina Chang (Editor); Ravi Shankar (Editor); Nathalie Handal (Editor)

W. W. Norton & Company, Paperback, 9780393332384, 734pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2008

Language for a New Century celebrates the artistic and cultural forces flourishing today in the East, bringing together an unprecedented selection of works by South Asian, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian poets as well as poets living in the Diaspora. Some poets, such as Bei Dao and Mahmoud Darwish, are acclaimed worldwide, but many more will be new to the reader. The collection includes 400 unique voices political and apolitical, monastic and erotic that represent a wider artistic movement that challenges thousand-year-old traditions, broadening our notion of contemporary literature. Each section of the anthology organized by theme rather than by national affiliation is preceded by a personal essay from the editors that introduces the poetry and exhorts readers to examine their own identities in light of these powerful poems. In an age of violence and terrorism, often predicated by cultural ignorance, this anthology is a bold declaration of shared humanity and devotion to the transformative power of art.

About the Author
Tina Chang, author of "Half-Lit Houses", teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. New York-based poet, playwright, and writer Nathalie Handal performs and teaches worldwide. Ravi Shankar, founding editor of "Drunken Boat" and author of "Instrumentality", lives in Connecticut.

Pandit Ravi Shankar, the legendary Hindustani classical musician, was born into a musically-inclined Bengali family in Banaras, India. The melodious strains of his music swept across the globe, making him a unifying phenomenon of music in the East and the West. His peerless genius contributed enormously to world music traditions and led to innovative collaborations with other leading world musicians like George Harrison and Yehudi Menuhin. He is a recipient of numerous awards and titles including the Bharat Ratna, the Magsaysay, 2 Grammys and 14 doctorate degrees.

Handal is a poet, playwright, and writer, who has lived in Europe, the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and the Middle East. She is the poetry review editor for Sable (UK) and associate artist and development executive for the production company, the Kazbah Project. She teaches at Columbia University.