Ecco to reissue two volumes of Nobel winner Tranströmer’s poetry

October 07, 2011

By Bob Minzesheimer, USA TODAY

Nothing like the Nobel Prize for Literature to boast a poet’s reputation — and readership.

A day after Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer was awarded the 2011 prize, one of his American publishers, Ecco, a division of HarperCollins, announced it’s reissuing two volumes of his poetry: For The Living and the Dead: A Memoir and Poems, and Selected Poems, edited by Robert Hass.

Both titles will be reissued in paperback next week, with e-books to follow.

Tranströmer’s other English translations include The Sorrow Gondola (published by Green Integer), The Great Enigma: New Collected Poems (New Directions), and The Half-Finished Heaven: The Best Poems of Tomas Tranströmer (Graywolf).

Tranströmer suffered a stroke two decades ago, which affected his ability to speak, though he has continued to write.

Ecco Publisher Daniel Halpern, who first published Tranströmer in 1987, said in a statement, “So much poetry, not only in this country but everywhere, too often feels small and exclusively confessional – it doesn’t look outward, it looks back at itself. But there are some poets who write a true international poetry and Tomas is among them. It’s his particular sensibility that runs through the poems that’s so deeply seductive. What a wonderful writer he is – lyrical and open, curious and intelligent.”

Hass, a former U.S. poet laureate who edited Tranströmer’s Selected Poems, writes of him, “Perhaps more than any other living poet, Tranströmer conveys a sense of what it is to be a private citizen anywhere in the second half of the twentieth century.”

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