Friday, November 30, 2007

Press Release for The Splintered Face Tsunami Poems

Hanging Loose Press
231 Wyckoff Street phone: 212 206-8465
Brooklyn, New York fax: 212 243-7499

For immediate release:


Brooklyn – Hanging Loose Press will publish The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems the second English language collection by prize winning poet Indran Amirthanayagam on January 25, 2008.

Indran Amirthanayagam is a poet, essayist and translator in English, Spanish and French. His first book The Elephants of Reckoning won the 1994 Paterson Poetry Prize. The poem “Juarez” won the Juegos Florales of Guaymas, Sonora in 2006. Other books include El Infierno de los Pajaros, El Hombre que Recoge Nidos, and Ceylon R.I.P. Amirthanayagam has been a NYFA fellow in poetry as well as a grantee of the U.S./Mexico Fund for Culture for his translations. He was born in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). He is a member of the United States Foreign Service. This is his second book to be published in the United States.

Praise for The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems:
“These poems both about those who died in, and those who survived, the Tsunami of 2004 memorialize with anger and beauty one of the most devastating tragedies of our time. In its largeness of heart, bold artistry, and admirable desire to bear witness, Amirthanayagam’s consoling, life-affirming and triumphant volume reminds me of Neruda’s great Residence on Earth.”
—Jaime Manrique
“Indran Amirthanayagam’s densely woven Tsunami Poems display a perfect marriage of form and content. His rhythms, rhymes, and intricate consonantal endings as well as his precise images and mots justes ironically intensify the terror of the stories these poems tell—stories of real men, women, and children whose lives have been changed forever by a terrible natural disaster. This beautifully written and graphic sequence makes for fascinating reading.”—Marjorie Perloff

“Indran Amirthanayagam’s poems about tragedy and loss are woven with such fine irony. Each offers the poet’s consolation, challenging horror with the beautiful line.”—Richard Rodriguez

“In his powerful and vivid reenactment of the devastating 2004 tsunami and its aftermath, Indran Amirthanayagam rematerializes a composite but ‘splintered face,’ and conjures a myriad of voices, memorializing this incomprehensible tragedy. With plain-spoken eloquence and consummate skill, he presents a chorus of individual testimonials from survivors—including monologues by a Sri Lankan fisherman who lost his entire family, visiting tourists, a body builder, and a bereft but ever faithful priest—all who witnessed and survived ‘the shape of a giant wave’ rising to devour tens of thousands of lives.


“A deeply moving and wise book, The Splintered Face recognizes the great and small paradoxes inherent in the world, and among them: ‘the sea [as] father/ and mother,/ karma and dharma// and all other/ available terms,/ including fate.’ The poet understands how, while we still mourn for the lost and dead, we also engender ‘the ceremonies of innocence,’ and muster both hope and strength to carry on. Ultimately, Amirthanayagam’s poems celebrate the human spirit’s resilience, even when faced with unutterable loss.”—Maurya Simon

Hanging Loose Press, founded in 1966, publishes Hanging Loose magazine and individual collections of fiction and poetry. The press has received many awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.

Poetry, 104 pages For more information call:
paper, ISBN: 978-1-931236-82-9, $16.00 New York, Robert Hershon: 212 206-8465
cloth, ISBN: 978-1-931236-83-6, $26.00 Boston, Mark Pawlak: 617 491-6416

Please send tear sheets or two photocopies of any reviews.