Experience “The Poetical Resurrection of Alamar”

Alamar, the home of award-winning Cuban poet Juan Carlos Flores, is the setting for his collection, The Counterpunch and Other Horizontal Poems)/El contragolpe (y otros poemas horizontales). Constructed as a self-help community in eastern Havana, Alamar is the largest housing complex in the world. Flores’s highly structured texts, organized into “art galleries,” present prose paintings of a big place in very small form.

Flores builds a poetic landscape with repeating structures that mirror Alamar’s five-floor walkups. Exploring life and dream on the flat surfaces of the poems, he gives fleeting glimpses of perception and survival at the urban margins. As the poet ages, so ages Alamar itself. Yet both find renewal through poetry.

The eighty poems in this bilingual edition offer the first English translation of a complete Flores collection. It will also be of interest to Spanish-language readers seeking access to Cuban literature abroad. Award-winning scholar and translator Kristin Dykstra has compiled an introduction in which she presents Flores, his literary contexts, and references in his poems. Because Flores made specific requests regarding translation, fascinating notes also clarify and expound on choices Dykstra makes in the English version.

Juan Carlos Flores is a well-known and widely respected Cuban Poet. He won the 1990 David Prize, a national award for emerging writers, for his first book of poems, Los pájaros escritos. His second collection, Distintos modos de cavar un túnel, won the prestigious 2002 Julián del Casal prize from UNEAC, Cuba’s national union of artists and writers. His third book, El contragolpe (y otros poemas horizontales), was published by Letras Cubanas in 2009.

Kristin Dykstra, recipient of the 2012 National Endowment for the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship, translated Reina María Rodríguez’s Other Letters to Milena/Otras cartas a Milena. She has also translated two books by Cuban poet Omar Pérez as well as Angel Escobar’s Breach of Trust/Abuso de confianza.

The Counterpunch (and Other Horizontal Poems)/El contragolpe (y otros poemas horizontales) breathes interpretive and musical life into the exciting syncopated prose poetry written by an author whose voice is genuinely distinctive among that island’s post-revolutionary generation.”
—Roberto Tejada, coeditor of the journal Mandorla: New Writing from the Americas and author of National Camera: Photography and Mexico’s Image Environment, Celia Alvarez Muñoz, and the poetry collection Exposition Park 

The Counterpunch (and Other Horizontal Poems)/El contragolpe (y otros poemas horizontales) is a major literary event; it provides a complex and formally innovative understanding for the lives and culture of a distinct locale. Dykstra’s translations are superb, and her essay and notes are profoundly informative.”
—Hank Lazer, author of Lyric & Spirit, as well as seventeen volumes of poetry including N18 and Portions

208 pp / 1 B&W illustration
ISBN: 978-0-8173-5813-6 Paper
ISBN: 978-0-8173-8837-9 Ebook
Price: $19.95

UA Press Fall 2016 Catalog

The University of Alabama Press is pleased to announce the release of our Fall 2016 catalog, which introduces twenty-eight upcoming new titles and thirteen books being published in new paperback editions. To view the catalog, simply click on the cover image below or visit Issuu.com/UniversityOfAlabamaPress, where you can peruse each of our six most recent catalogs.

On the cover of the Fall 2016 catalog is an image from Shot in Alabama. This is a sumptuously illustrated photographic history of the state from 1839 to 1941 describing the phenomenon of photography as a cultural force and examining the widest spectrum of vernacular photography: Alabama-made photographs of everyday people and places, the photographs that fill dresser drawers and shoe boxes, and the vast array of images against which Alabama’s more unusual images can be measured.

UA Press Fall 2016 Catalog Cover

Fall 2016 Catalog

Other highlights include Alabama: The Making of an American State, a sweeping and engaging presentation of Alabama’s rich history just in time for the state’s upcoming bicentennial celebrations. In a similar vein, Alabama Politics in the Twenty-First Century is an expansive and accessible primer on Alabama state politics, past and present, which provides readers with an in-depth appreciation and understanding of the twenty-second state’s distinctive political machinery.

We are also pleased to release three new titles in our Jews and Judaism: History and Culture series. A consummate story of change and adjustment, integration and melding, Edgar and Brigitte reconstructs the experience of German Jewish immigrants in early nineteenth-century America. Next, To Stand Aside or Stand Alone is a landmark collection of previously unpublished interviews with Reform rabbis concerning their roles in the civil rights movement. Candid and revealing, the interviews make evident a remarkable range of attitudes and actions—from fervent engagement and personal sacrifice to apathy and indifference—that have been hitherto undocumented. Finally, The Essential Hayim Greenberg is a landmark collection of essays by the founder of the Labor Zionist movement in America and a foremost writer, thinker, and activist in the fields of twentieth-century Jewish culture and politics.

If you’re in the market for a fascinating biography, look no further than Genius Belabored, the fascinating story of Ignaz Semmelweis, a nineteenth-century obstetrician ostracized for his strident advocacy of disinfection as a way to prevent childbed fever, a leading cause of mortality in new mothers at that time.

New this season, we introduce Calligraphy Typewriters, the first and only single-volume collection of Larry Eigner’s most significant poems, gathering in one place the most celebrated of the several thousand poems that constitute his remarkable life’s work. Also in the field of poetry, we launch The World as Presence/El mundo como ser, the debut of a gripping collection of poetry from Marcelo Morales, one of Cuba’s premier young poets. Rounding out our Cuban offerings, we present Campesinos: Inside the Soul of Cuba, a vivid and vibrant photographic testimony to the lives and spirits of the Cuban campesinos, the country people who dwell in Cuba’s rural landscapes.

Also, if your collection of famed southern author and folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham’s books consists only of the seminal Thirteen Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, now is the perfect time to add to your library with Jeffrey’s Latest Thirteen: More Alabama Ghosts, a deluxe, commemorative edition of additional ghostly stories from Windham’s home state of Alabama.

To view past UAP catalogs, visit Issuu.com/UniversityOfAlabamaPress.

Catalog Mailing List: To join our printed catalog mailing list, please sign up on our website or email a request with your name and address to mktg@uapress.ua.edu.

A Wise and Life-Affirming Study of Human Experience at the Brink

Harold K. Bush’s Continuing Bonds with the Dead examines the profound transfiguration that the death of a child wrought on the literary work of nineteenth-century American writers. Taking as his subjects Harriet Beecher Stowe, Abraham Lincoln, William Dean Howells, Mark Twain, and W. E. B. Du Bois, Bush demonstrates how the death of a child became the defining “before-and-after moment” in their lives as adults and as artists. In narrating their struggles, Bush maps the intense field of creative energy induced by reverberating waves of parental grief and the larger nineteenth-century culture of mortality and grieving.

Bush explores in detail how each of these five writers grappled with and were altered by the loss of a child. He writes, for example, with moving insights about how the famed author of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn found himself adrift on a river of grief when meningitis struck down his daughter, Susy. In his deeply learned exploration of Twain’s subsequent work, Bush illuminates how Twain wrote to cope with Susy’s death, to make sense of her persistent presence in his life, and possibly to redeem her loss. Passionate and personal, Bush’s insightful prose traces the paths of personal transformation each of these emblematic American writers took in order to survive the spiritual trauma of loss.

The savage Civil War was America’s shared “before and after moment,” the pivot upon which the nation’s future swung. Bush’s account of these five writers’ grief amplifies our understanding of America’s evolving, national relationship to mourning from then to the present.

Harold K. Bush is a professor of English at Saint Louis University and the author of Lincoln in His Own Time, Mark Twain and the Spiritual Crisis of His Age, and American Declarations: Rebellion and Repentance in American Cultural History.

“In this elegantly written book, Harold K. Bush interweaves biography, autobiography, psychology, theology, literary analysis, and cultural history to make striking revelations about five leading Americans—Stowe, Lincoln, Howells, Twain, and Du Bois—each of whom suffered the devastating loss of a child. In Bush’s masterful rendering, this heartbreaking experience caused shock and enduring sorrow even as it yielded some of the greatest literary meditations on faith and philosophy that America has witnessed. Continuing Bonds with the Dead is a scholarly tour de force and a deeply moving testament to the power of the human spirit in the face of personal tragedy.”
—David S. Reynolds, author of Beneath the American Renaissance: The Subversive Imagination in the Age of Emerson and Melville and Walt Whitman’s America: A Cultural Biography 

“In this profoundly moving and mysteriously hopeful book, Harold K. Bush speaks what Nathaniel Hawthorne memorably called ‘the heart’s native language.’ Bush’s own searing experience of loss and grief has enabled him to hear in the work of five outstanding American writers–from Abraham Lincoln to W. E. B. Du Bois–a deep undertone of sorrow and longing that sounded throughout their lives and continues to resonate in their works. Continuing Bonds with the Dead is a wise and life-affirming study of human experience at the brink. It is a book to be read with compassionate care and heartfelt gratitude.”
—Roger Lundin, author of Beginning with the Word: Modern Literature and the Question of Belief

Studies in American Literary Realism and Naturalism Series
Gary Scharnhorst, series editor


256 pp / 8  B&W illustrations
ISBN: 978-0-8173-1902-1 Cloth
ISBN: 978-0-8173-8954-3 Ebook
Price: $49.95

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