Tales Of Muraski And Other Poems

Martine Bellen’s TALES OF MURASAKI uses the pillow book of Lady Murasaki as a starting point for a lyrical and narrative series of poems that explore language as they unearth the core of story. Rosmarie Waldrop, who selected this collection for the 1997 National Poetry Series awards, writes of Bellen’s poetry: “A multivalent, multidirectional logic dances across categories to a space where we cannot tell if a lover ‘is parting or a part of mist and memory, the path is endless.’ It takes our breath away as it leaps across continents and centuries, from Precolumbian Mexico to Japan, from myth to biology.” Publishers weekly observes, “Bellen is a sensualist with a taste for vernacular as refined as C.D. Wright’s; and a historian as steeped in the montage of character and setting as Susan Howe or Guy Davenport… Bellen’s giddy, insouciant renderings of our thickly mythic polish seem fresh.” Martine Bellen lives in New York, where she works in the publishing industry.

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Selected by

Rosmarie Waldrop