My Lorenzo, by Sébastien Smirou

Sébastien Smirou
translated from the French by Andrew Zawacki
Poetry, 120 pages, offset, smyth-sewn
ISBN 978-1-936194-08-7 original paperback $14
Publication date: May 15, 2012

MY LORENZO is an elegant, funny, often sad meditation on the fifteenth-century Italian statesman, art patron, and poet Lorenzo de Medici. Obliquely and eccentrically narrated, it is as concerned with physical arrangement as it is with linguistic ambiguity and matters philosophical, political, and sentimental. MY LORENZO is striking visually for its justified stanzas and tableau-like shape. Reading the book is akin to touring the Uffizi, its Renaissance paintings hung meticulously on the walls.

MY LORENZO combines traditional form with an unapologetically modern idiom that draws on pop culture and shuttles vertiginously between theoryspeak and speakeasy slang.

(This work, published as part of a program providing publication assistance, received financial support from the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States and FACE [French American Cultural Exchange]).

Sébastien Smirou is the author of three volumes of poetry, all published by P.O.L.: UN TEMPS POUR S’ÉTREINDRE UN TEMPS POUR SE SÉPARER (2011), BEAU VOIR (2008), and our present volume, MON LAURENT (2003). Smirou is a psychoanalyst, with a specialization in working with troubled children. He lives in Montrouge, on the outskirts of Paris.

Andrew Zawacki is the author of three poetry books—PETALS OF ZERO PETALS OF ONE (Talisman House), ANABRANCH (Wesleyan), and BY REASON OF BREAKINGS (Georgia). Coeditor of VERSE, editor of AFTERWARDS: SLOVENIAN WRITING 1945-1995 (White Pine), he has also co-translated Aleš Debeljak’s WITHOUT ANESTHESIA (forthcoming from Persea). He teaches at the University of Georgia.

Available from: Small Press Distribution and Burning Deck.