Translated from the Slovene by Matthew Rohrer and Ana Pepelnik
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Originally published in Slovenia in 2006 as Koža, Skin is Tone Škrjanec’s first full-length collection to appear in English. Škrjanec’s poetic credo is not to be but to let be. His poems exist between the world of things and the mysteries of consciousness in language that is direct, shape-shifting, and lyrical. The underlying poetic procedure is assembly. His aim is to magnify and celebrate. The work in Skin is humming with the landscape, the city, and as the title suggests, the human body. Škrjanec’s is the poetry of a mindful observer.
Tone Škrjanec, the noted poet and translator, was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 1953, and is widely regarded as belonging to the literary vanguard of his generation. He graduated in Sociology from the University of Ljubljana, had a short career teaching, and worked as a journalist for ten years. Since 1990, he has been a program coordinator at the Cultural Centre KUD France Prešeren in Ljubljana.
Matthew Rohrer is the author of seven books of poems, most recently Destroyer and Preserver. He has co-translated poems by Tomaž Šalamun (with the author), Virgil Banescu (with the author), and Volker Braun (with his mother). Ana Pepelnik is a poet and translator who was born in Slovenia in 1979. She has translated many American poets into Slovene, including Elizabeth Bishop, James Schuyler, and Noelle Kocot.
"These poems are solitary reports from the edge of loneliness. While reading Škrjanec, ‘foxes with shiny eyes may come’ to witness the writer carving from the world a silent language where ‘too many words is not enough words."
— Emily Kendal Frey