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The Other Language, a book of poems by Mark Brazaitis, is, appropriately, about language. It's about English and Spanish, as in the title poem; it's about what we say and what we don't, or won't or can't, say; it's about what we can easily find words for and what we cannot. The Other Language is about Guatemala, a country ravaged by a thirty-six-year-long civil war. It's about Brazaitis' encounters in Guatemala, with North Americans as well as Guatemalans, and about what these encounters inspired him to think, feel, and remember. The Other Language is about love and passion. In the Guatemalan poems, the lovers can be equated with the country itself, which, for Brazaitis, is haunting and beautiful and painful to think of leaving. In the latter part of the book, the love poems-written to Brazaitis' wife and daughters-are both lighthearted and exuberant. The Other Language is about loss. It's about the devastating losses war brings. It's about the loss of a country-something Elizabeth Bishop, who also loved Latin America, understood. It's about the death of Brazaitis' father and the loss, or the potential loss, of so much because of global warming. The Other Language is about the redemptive power of words, of poetry, of beautiful language, to captivate people and bring relief. It's about the laughter and playfulness words can engender, whether it's in a monologue by a Prince Charming who has a surprising political and domestic agenda or in a whimsical reflection on what it means to turn forty. It's about the relationship between language and music, and how sound, whether from word or instrument, is sometimes enough to unite us-or at least bring us closer.
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Mark Brazaitis is the author of six books of fiction, including The River of Lost Voices: Stories from Guatemala, winner of the 1998 Iowa Short Fiction Award, and The Incurables: Stories, winner of the 2012 Richard Sullivan Prize and the 2013 Devil's Kitchen Reading Award in Prose, and a book of poems, The Other Language, which won the 2008 ABZ Poetry Prize. His writing has been featured on The Diane Rehm Show as well as on public radio in Cleveland, Iowa City, New York City, and Pittsburgh. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and technical trainer, Brazaitis is a professor of English and directs the West Virginia Writers' Workshop at West Virginia University.
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Book Description ABZ Press, 2009. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0980156017