The twelve works that make up Drunken Boat 21’s translation section were not consciously chosen or organized around a guiding principle. We were unable to resist going back for just one more hit of experimental Rimbaud with Brian Kim Stefans’ “Les Assis (The Men Who Sit),” but this time set it against projects as far-ranging as Marci Vogel creatively interpolating the Middle French of Christine de Pizan and Jon Davis introducing us to Nasseer Hassan’s contemporary vision of Tahrir Square.
Drunken Boat’s assistant translation editor, María José Giménez, remarks on an emergent theme of cities and, moreover, a tangible interplay between people or voices in cities and both inner and outer landscapes. She opens the section with Roger Sedarat’s translation of “Taziyeh” by Haji Khavari, a piece that literally calls the reader in, both to this issue’s extraordinary rattle bag and to the remarkable work of a very young and surely soon-to-be-better-known Iranian poet.
On a less thematic and more intuitive level, Giménez describes "a cinematographic effect in a lot of the pieces with actors moving through and interacting with their environment. I find myself being pulled into and swirling around in scenes and their visual and sensory images, as if there was a greater permeability or exchange between me as a reader and the witness or actor in the scene."
In this issue, we are indeed called, invited, and pulled into Jen Hyde’s downriver trip to the Yellow Crane Tower, into the soundscapes of Nancy Naomi Carlson’s Abdourahman Waberi, into Neil Anderson’s meta-performance of the interlingual play in Federico García Lorca’s Six Galician Poems. May these powerful works and all of the others herein delight and challenge you. May they pull you in and spin you around as they have us.
Anna Rosenwong, Translation Editor
María José Giménez, Assistant Translation Editor