Following a book launch at Fordham University of her latest title, Free Ferry (Upper Hand Press, 2017), this Tuesday’s PoemAlley reader, Ann Cefola will share selections from her novel-length poem of the first artificial isolation of plutonium and its impact across two decades on an American family. Abutting science with mythology, Ferry depicts wife and mother Euridyce’s subsurface vacillation between the idyllic bubble of postwar suburbia and the Cold War threat of nuclear mundicide.
As a Witter Bynner Poetry Translation Residency recipient at the Santa Fe Institute, Ann is highly prized for the faithfulness of her English-language editions, such as last year’s The Hero (Chax Press). Tapping into the hero archetype and his exploits from all angles using dramatic wording and you-are-there texture, Helene Sanguinetti’s French is complemented by a “splendidly nuanced translation,” according to Cole Swenson, “in which nothing at all is lost; the English language gains a powerful and beautiful book.”
A winner of the Robert Penn Warren Award (judged by John Ashbery), Ann also translated the same author's Hence This Cradle, from Seismicity Editions in 2007, the same year her first chapbook was released, Sugaring (Dancing Girl Press), which, in featuring her own cover art, was viewed ” by Janelle Elyse Kihlstrom as an exercise in “synesthesia involving taste and color before even reading a line.”
The blend of relaxed rhythms with striking imagery are precisely woven into narratives of redemption, love and hope in Ann’s first full poetry collection, Face Painting in the Dark (Dos Madres Press, 2014), noted by Kevin Pilkington for such pieces as “Dance in the City” and “Blue Moon”.
“Velocity”, her 2015 contribution to Joel Allegretti's Rabbit Ears (NYQ Books, 2015), the first anthology of poetry about television, exudes a similar poignancy in its consideration of new film footage of John F. Kennedy just seconds prior to his assassination, released for the first time in 2007: