Solmaz Sharif Archive
Solmaz Sharif’s language is spare and all the more sharp for what remains. Her poems explore “withoutness” in one’s history, and it’s through that withoutness that this collection takes shape, revealing an enormity of presence, of emotion, and of meaning.
While Solmaz Sharif’s poems tackle large subjects that concern large populaces, you can also see the power of the personal in her work. In fact, it is her personal journey that makes her 2016 collection universal: the closer you get to a subject, the more universal it becomes.
Reading recent poetry collections by Solmaz Sharif and Aria Aber in concert, we see that Sharif’s serves as a project that inscribes the militarization of everyday language and its consequent normalization of violence—groundwork that allows for a radical project like Aber’s to exist.
There are so many traumas coming to the center of our political life now, and what I am attempting to say, through the hundred breakdowns of speech, is that there are places where language is undone. The horror of it is always there, lives in the breath and the
November has been a heavy month. The results of the U.S. elections came in; Leonard Cohen passed away; and on Sunday 13th, France commemorated the 1-year anniversary of the Paris attacks.
I take the five students of my poetry micro-workshop outside to discuss Claudia Emerson’s latest collection Impossible Bottle. As we sit in the sun, bending over the brilliant bright book pages, a student points to the poem “Metastasis: Web” and volunteers to read it aloud before our analysis of