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Factory of Tears
Valzhyna Mort
$15.00 paperback
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Factory of Tears
Valzhyna Mort

In her first American publication, poet Valzhyna Mort contends with the joys and sorrows that comprise the heartache of self discovery. Factory of Tears, co-translated from the Belarusian by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright, juxtaposes youthful coming-of-age against the struggles of a nation's emergent vitality... Self identification, national independence, and the bounty of metaphor and language take us to an edge where everything is wild.

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For Factory of Tears, Valzhyna Mort

"[T]he searing work of Valzhyna Mort dazzled all who were fortunate to hear her [and] to be battered by the moods of the Belarusian language which she is passionately battling to save from obscurity."—Irish Times

"Mort... is a fireball... [she] takes an unflinching look at a violent world, referencing homeless dogs, dead men, terrorist attacks in Chechnya, stinging memories, bloody bodies, and forced silence. Personal, political, and passionate, Mort's poetry will surely sustain many reading audiences. Highly recommended for public and academic libraries."—Library Journal

"Mort... strives to be an envoy for her native country, writing with almost alarming vociferousness about the struggle to establish a clear identity for Belarus and its language."—The New Yorker

"What's most compelling about these poems... is that they are political, but obliquely, almost sneakily so."—Bookforum

"... in these fine translations by Elizabeth Oehlkers Wright and Franz Wright the Anglophone reader has for the first time an even chance at a body of [Mort's] work: the thematic and structural hinterland to a rare kind of sonic brilliance... Mort, though young, is a personal poet not least in the sense that her poetics are clearly her own. She gives the impression... of having emerged entire, her writing and its strategies coterminous... Her percussive, rhythmic diction, in both Belarusian and English, is impossible to read without filling the mouth."—Poetry Foundation

"Mort's style—tough and terse almost to the point of aphorism—recalls the great Polish poets Czeslaw Milosz and Wislawa Szymborska."—Los Angeles Times

"Factory of Tears charts progression of a strong female voice from a child's experience of the world seen from between grown-ups' knees to a young adult's, infused with vibrant sexuality and the desire to see the world on its own terms. The most beguiling feature of this work is how these viewpoints bleed into one another with biting, playful wit, and how, ultimately, the poetic voice strives to understand the world by interiorizing it."—Redactions

"[Mort] doesn't mess around trying to beautify what is not... and yet, she finds beauty in unexpected places."—Black Sheep Dances

"Chronicling the vibrant coming-of-age of an emerging nation, Factory of Tears touches upon the re-emergence of cultural heritage and national identity, and sometimes contentious fallout from such resurrections. A one-of-a-kind work of passion and insight."—The Midwest Book Review

"[Mort's] brittle, ragged fusion of the personal and political is visceral, skillfully combining the melancholic and elegiac with the wistful and bittersweet."—Reno News and Review

"[Mort] is most characterized by an obstinate resistance and rebellion against the devaluation of life, which forces her to multiply intelligent questions, impressive thoughts, and alluring metaphors, while her rhythm surprisingly arises as a powerful tool for the most dramatic moments of her verses... One of the best young poets in the world today."—World Literature Today

"What Robert Lowell said of Sylvia Plath—that 'language never dies in her mouth'—is how I feel about Valzhyna Mort. If you're American, you're lucky to have her among you."—Katie Ford, On the Seawall

"... Mort explore[s] the possibilities afforded to [her] by language that, just like us, departs and reappears more adept, each and every instance giving meaning to our most profound questions and predicaments."—West Branch

"One of the many reasons why Copper Canyon Press is such a treasure is its history of publishing books that present the poems in the poet's original language en face with the English translations."—Port Townsend and Jefferson County Leader

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