Author Q&A: Marilyn Hacker

We are so lucky to have had the chance to check in with the prolific and award winning poet (and long time friend of Book Culture), Marilyn Hacker. Earlier this year saw the release of her newest collection, Calligraphies, and if you haven't already picked it up, we strongly encourage you to stop by the store and pick up a copy today. Marilyn answered some of our burning questions, and you'll find the responses below, along with the list of amazing books currently on her radar!


How did Calligraphies come together?

It’s a book of celebrations and displacements. Much of it was written in Paris, where I mostly live, and some in Beirut, where I was meant to be spending a year and a half as a visiting professor— in a a city I already knew, where I had friends and habits — cut short both by the ( secular and democratic) domestic unrest, the collapse of the currency, and then Covid. I still have a duffel bag of clothes and a box of  books waiting for me to return. 

What are you currently reading?

Reading with delight, and for the second time, Megan Fernandes’ I Do Everything I’m Told. Rereading, also, Fady Joudah’s Tethered to Stars. He is a friend, and there is an ongoing dialogue, about poetry, translation, languages and their politics. Another reread, Patricia Smith’s Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah.  And Zeina Hashem Beck’s O. Not poetry, the late Tony Judt’s Reappraisals. Rereading Mavis Gallant’s Canadian Stories, in the New York Review Books edition — she, too, was a longtime friend . Just finishing Annie Ernaux’s Les AnnĂ©es in French…..the best book of hers I’ve read. Grace Schulman’s Again the Dawn. I have always got a book of Marie Ponsot’s close by; currently it’s her last single collection, Easy

Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to the publication of?

Fady Joudah’s translation of Hussein Barghouti’s The Blue Light. It’s already published, but Terrance Hayes’ new collection of poems, So to Speak, and his collection of essays, Watch Your Language.

What’s next? Any upcoming book projects in the works that you can tell us about?

A book of selected and new sonnets — I hope close to half new! — to be published by Milkweed Editions in 2025. I hope to publish a collection of selected and new poetry  translations, mostly from French, a few from Arabic, all of contemporary (though not all living) poets. 


Marilyn Hacker is the author of nineteen volumes of poems, including A Stranger’s Mirror, longlisted for the National Book Award, and A Different Distance (with Karthika NaĂŻr). Her numerous honors include the National Book Award, the Lambda Literary Award, the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, the Robert Fagles Translation Prize, and the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry. She lives in Paris, France.

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Calligraphies: Poems By Marilyn Hacker Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781324036463
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - April 4th, 2023

I Do Everything I'm Told By Megan Fernandes Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781953534880
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Published: Tin House Books - June 20th, 2023

Tethered to Stars: Poems By Fady Joudah Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781571315342
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Published: Milkweed Editions - March 9th, 2021

Shoulda Been Jimi Savannah: Poems By Patricia Smith Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781566892995
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Published: Coffee House Press - March 27th, 2012

O (Penguin Poets) By Zeina Hashem Beck Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143136897
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Published: Penguin Books - July 5th, 2022

Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century By Tony Judt Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780143115052
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Published: Penguin Books - March 31st, 2009

Again, the Dawn: New and Selected Poems, 1976 - 2022 By Grace Schulman Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9781885983336
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Published: Turtle Point Press - November 15th, 2022

A Fairly Good Time and Green Water, Green Sky By Mavis Gallant, Peter Orner (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Mavis Gallant, Peter Orner (Introduction by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781590179871
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Published: NYRB Classics - April 26th, 2016

Easy: Poems By Marie Ponsot Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780375711879
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Published: Knopf - May 17th, 2011

The Years By Annie Ernaux, Alison L. Strayer (Translated by) Cover Image
By Annie Ernaux, Alison L. Strayer (Translated by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609807870
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Published: Seven Stories Press - November 21st, 2017

The Blue Light (The Arab List) By Hussein Barghouthi, Fady Joudah (Translated by) Cover Image
By Hussein Barghouthi, Fady Joudah (Translated by)
$21.00
ISBN: 9781803090832
Availability: Not In Stock - Usually ships in 3-5 Days
Published: Seagull Books - March 6th, 2023

So to Speak (Penguin Poets) By Terrance Hayes Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143137726
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Published: Penguin Books - July 18th, 2023

Watch Your Language: Visual and Literary Reflections on a Century of American Poetry By Terrance Hayes Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780143137733
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - July 18th, 2023