Below the Dead Language

We are indebted to the artist Mariam Ghani for alerting us to the remarkable work of the poet Solmaz Sharif, whose recently published Look explores and explodes the duplicitous language of state violence, as well as the unrelenting violence against language.

A morning of reading and research eventually led us to Sharif’s brilliant Kenyon Review “credo”, A Poetry of Proximity, excerpted below.

The images are taken from Ghani’s 2011 video The Trespassers, a subtle and incisive exploration of the ambiguous role of diasporic translators during the interrogations of detainees, deep inside the gulag of the Forever War.

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Solmaz Sharif:

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Here at DP, we have placed an order for Sharif’s Look with our local bookseller; once it arrives, we shall certainly have more to say about this important poet.


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