The Syndicate of Water & Light (Paperback)
A Divine Comedy
Barrytown/Station Hill Press, Inc., 9781581771688, 154pp.
Publication Date: September 24, 2018
In subtitling this book "A Divine Comedy," the poet Marc Vincenz brushes up against Dante, and yet he does so “in the pulse of a breath, /waiting for the rain / to wash away the dream.” There is light here—not perhaps the roseate of the Florentine retinue—but one we can use right now: “All visions / gone, but this, a world, / a world / dancing ahead.” Vincenz questions notions of humanity, the potency and power of language over time, implying perhaps that codes have driven us throughout history and that the emergence of the AI will yield the next stage in its evolution. After a long night of the soul, where formal religion yields to love and imagination, we emerge to a healing space that is both inner and outer, physical and spiritual. The Syndicate of Water & Light gives us a sense that we can grow in knowledge and that we can change—if not, perhaps, the world, then at least within ourselves.
About the Author
Marc Vincenz is co-editor of the journal Fulcrum, international editor of Plume, publisher and editor of MadHat Press and Plume Editions. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, including Becoming the Sound of Bees (Ampersand Books, 2015), Sibylline (Ampersand Books, 2016) and the forthcoming Leaning into the Infinite (Dos Madres Press, 2018). His novella set in ancient China, Three Taos of T’ao, or How to Catch a White Elephant, is to be released by Spuyten Duyvil in 2018. He has also been widely published elsewhere, including in The Nation, Ploughshares, The Common, Solstice, Raritan, Notre Dame Review, World Literature Today, Los Angeles Review of Books, New World Writing, et al. Vincenz, who was born in Hong Kong and holds dual British and Swiss nationalities, is a multi-lingual translator of many contemporary German, French and Romanian authors. His latest work of translation, Unexpected Development (White Pine Press, 2018), by prize-winning Swiss novelist, poet and playwright Klaus Merz, was a finalist for the 2105 Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation. Vincenz has received fellowships and grants from the Swiss Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Witter Bynner Foundation for Poetry and the Literary Colloquium Berlin. He lives in Massachusetts.