I Scrape the Window of Nothingness: New & Selected Poems, by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu (hardcover)

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I Scrape the Window of Nothingness: New & Selected Poems, by Stella Vinitchi Radulescu (hardcover)

I Scrape the Window of Nothingness: New & Selected Poems is a selection from Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s English-language work published over several decades, along with a substantial collection of unpublished work. Melding the mystical, Surrealist, and Modernist traditions, Radulescu’s work is unique in American poetry. Words become tactile objects in Radulescu’s hands, and her poems enable us to experience language as if for the first time. As one reads these poems, gleaming fragments of experience accrue and begin to cohere in unanticipated ways, forming a monument to the mystery of existence.

(228 pp.)

“Remarkable for their condensed form, Radulescu’s poems privilege image over narrative, unpredictability over certainty, and pensive contemplation over exhilaration. Hermetic and shrouded from easy interpretations, the poems in this collection give voice, speech, and language stunning corporeality.”

—Roxana L. Cazan, The Chattahoochee Review

“This collection of new and selected poems from prolific and multilingual poet Stella Vinitchi Radulescu is charged with energy and possessed of an urgency difficult to find in much of contemporary poetry. I Scrape the Window of Nothingness reaches the reader at the level of the subconscious with poems that create an experience simultaneously surrealistic and dreamlike while also grounded, familiar. […] The poems in this collection are marked by a flexibility of language and startling imaginative leaps. In each, Radulescu’s work seems to be the careful reassembling of fragments of time into wholeness, […] her words so spare and polished they shine.”

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“Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s poems are rich in connotations, metaphysically profound in some great unlocatable fashion. Surreal, ethereal, some of the poems enact ghostly things, and a very powerful world view glitters and solidifies…. It’s a dark poetry shining with the ecstasy of the imagination let loose, a triumph of being, a war against banality.”

—David Dodd Lee, author of The Nervous Filaments

“Daunting to even try to put into a few words a poetry that is sui generis, whose moving language of images, displaced from any single set of cultural signs, seems the distillation of a thousand occasions, a legion of losses—a universal language ‘at the edge of spoken time,’ a vision ‘wildly sad, diffused, beautiful, a tactile absence.’ In this poetry of passionate paradox, embodied thought becomes the solid clarity through which what we can’t see is glimpsed.”

—Eleanor Wilner, MacArthur Fellow and author of Tourist in Hell

“Stella Vinitchi Radulescu’s poetry irradiates, like a magnetic field charged with mysteries, the movements and the rituals of her bright vision. One of the strongest characteristics of her poems consists in the unabridged relationship she establishes with words, a pact that sends us to their origins. The poet dares to carry the shadow of her own loneliness, keeping pace with that of her words, up to the line of a horizon where sky and earth, life and death merge.”

—Alexandru Lungu, editor of Zarathustra and Argo

“With constancy and felicity Stella Vinitchi Radulescu pursues her poetic course in a pertinent and already important trilingual oeuvre. [. . .] She remains faithful to a certain hermeticism that breathes more force into her work, whose mysterious form beats with the rhythm of life.”

—Michel Bénard, laureate of l’Académie Française and Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts & des Lettres

About the Author

Radulescu author portrait

Stella Vinitchi Radulescu was born in Romania and left the country permanently in 1983, at the height of the communist regime. She holds a Ph.D. in French Language & Literature and has taught French at Loyola University and Northwestern University. Writing poetry in three languages, she has published numerous books in the United States, France, and Romania. Radulescu’s French books have received several awards, including the Grand Prix de Poésie Henri-Noël Villard and the Prix Amélie Murat.

 

 

Sample from the book:

STELLA VINITCHI RADULESCU

untitled 1

eternity might fail
the test
of the forthcoming
night

: so deep inside
so close
to beauty    as tears
to the eye

untitled 2

how close is close
how green
is green when light
forgets
to shine    and birds
are stuck
in flight

or you
with deadly
hands
you push me into life

untitled 3

the truth belongs
to those
who never say
good-bye

or lie about
being
here    in love
with falling
gods

untitled 4

the agonizing sun
said no
when I was trying to hang up
my clothes

and my belongings    the rope
of days
and days to come all of the sudden
broke :

to be
for one more
night
instead of centuries
of dust

untitled 5

the rhyme is mean and tells ahead
the plot
before I even think
to lay it down

it litters all I have to say
or hide
on pages with no
end

while ending is the only way
to start this newly
settled
day

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Short Description

I Scrape the Window of Nothingness: New & Selected Poems is a selection from Stella Vinitchi Radulescu's English-language poetry published over several decades, along with a substantial collection of unpublished work. (228 pp.)

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