Helene Cardona's Blog

May 10, 2020

Life in Suspension wins the 2020 Independent Press Award

#IndependentPressAward in Poetry
#2020GabbyBookAward
"Dappled with transparent imagery, like the Mediterranean sunlight she grew up with, Hélène Cardona’s poems offer a vivid self-portrait as scholar, seer and muse." —John Ashbery

"Life in Suspension is a terrific and singular achievement. Very few poets I know could accomplish anything like it, let alone with such grace and clarity." —Stephen Yenser

"A tour de force of language and phonetics. Hélène Cardona’s pen moves from the human to the divine and back in a single sentence, and the result is uplifting and Life in Suspension La Vie Suspendue by Helene Cardona Life in Suspension La Vie Suspendue by Helene Cardona Life in Suspension La Vie Suspendue by Helene Cardona magical." —Joanne Harris

https://www.independentpressaward.com...
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November 20, 2019

Birnam Wood wins the 2019 Best Book Award in Poetry!

From American Books Fest:
http://www.americanbookfest.com/gener...
Birnam Wood is one of the most impressive collections of poetry I’ve read in recent years. Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona It is a work that can sit easily beside Seferis’s great poems of exile and return, or beside Elytis’s gigantic sequence of the Albanian campaign. This is Europe yearning: ‘Exalted were you in my dreams,/ Almost inaccessible like an island/ Sought and sought for years.’ —Thomas McCarthy, Poetry International
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November 18, 2019

Birnam Wood wins the 2019 Readers' Favorite Book Award in Poetry!

Birnam Wood by José Manuel Cardona is an elegant, epic, fecund odyssey of lyrical imagery, steeped in time-honored mythic tradition and yet endlessly inventive.

https://bookawards.com/book-award/bir...

Reviewed by Rich Follett for Readers' Favorite

Cardona is alternately stentorian and coy – his imagery swells like distant thunder even as it dances. In the truest Shakespearean tradition of using the oxymoron to forge new synaptic pathways, Cardona offers implacable, sublime juxtapositions of language which defy categorization. From Ode to a Young Mariner: "The sea is a bride with open arms/with stout rubber balls for breasts." This perfect union of seemingly unmarriageable images is closely followed by “Handsome men, hard as anchors torn/from the chests of a barbarian god.” This is the second sight of a true poet—a true master of incontrovertible word and image pairings which simultaneously sear and expand the brain. Birnam Wood is mind-expanding in the manner of the world’s finest literature—an epic adventure in verse, beckoning us to abandon all that we know for the promise a new way of seeing the world.

Birnam Wood by José Manuel Cardona has been lovingly and painstakingly translated from the Spanish by Cardona’s daughter Hélène. It is a rare pleasure in the world of poetry to read such an expert and devoted translation. Hélène Cardona’s affection for her father and respect for his genius orbit each other in every line. The magical bond between father and daughter is perhaps nowhere better expressed than in her father’s words, translated by a poet in her own right: “We arrived and the miracle happened.”

José Manuel Cardona’s Birnam Wood is a paean to the importance of awe to human survival. With its roots firmly planted in classical mythology, Birnam Wood leaps into the air time and time again and absorbs itself thoroughly in the mystery of returning to earth. Birnam Wood is inexplicably suspended between mortality and immortality; groundedness and blind faith; past and future; courage and fear—it is a song for the ages, fascinating anew with every turn of an eclectic, sirenic page.

2019 Readers' Favorite Book Award Gold Medal Winner in Poetry,. Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona
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July 8, 2019

Birnam Wood reviewed in Bookaccino

Rachael Daum's transcendent review of BIRNAM WOOD by José Manuel Cardona (Salmon Poetry) on Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Bookaccino:
https://bookaccino817043219.wordpress...
"In a world that needs more witches, this collection is a joy to read: the author gives the power to the reader to create the witch, our Circe, and carry her name and spells with us."
To read the full review:
https://bookaccino817043219.wordpress...
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June 17, 2019

Birnam Wood reviewed in World Literature Today

José Manuel Cardona’s Orphic Aubade: Review by Jordi Alonso:
https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/...
"Cardona’s collection harnesses the power of nostalgia in the Greek sense, a longing for home, to shine through the sadness of some of its poems to remind readers that “in the sunrises / memory comes back to” us, and we are richer for it. Hélène Cardona’s translation of her father’s Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona poetic anthology imbues the same reverence to the Old Masters of world literature, among them Homer, Góngora, and Shakespeare—from the last of whom the collection takes its title—into the fabric of its English lines as the originals show." —Jordi Alonso, World Literature Today
https://www.worldliteraturetoday.org/...
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June 14, 2019

Birnam Wood reviewed in The Los Angeles Review

Birnam Wood is a spell-binding, spell-bound book. José Manuel Cardona was one of many Spanish intellectuals exiled by the Franco government, and the poems reflect the anguish and longings of the exile, embodied most powerfully in the figure of Odysseus.
Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Sidney Wade, The Los Angeles Review
http://losangelesreview.org/review-bi...
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June 2, 2019

Birnam Wood wins the Pinnacle Book Award for Best Bilingual Book

Birnam Wood / El Bosque de Birnam, by José Manuel Cardona and translated by Hélène Cardona, Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona wins the Pinnacle Book Award for Best Bilingual Book and is a 2019 Eric Hoffer Book Award Finalist!

"We arrived and the miracle happened.
It was the sea and the wind in the bells.
We came from far, from years
Thirsty as dust, from humble
fishermen’s nets on barren shore."

—José Manuel Cardona
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March 26, 2019

Fabulous review by Rich Follett of Birnam Wood in Readers' Favorite

https://readersfavorite.com/book-revi...

Birnam Wood by José Manuel Cardona is an elegant, epic, fecund odyssey of lyrical imagery, steeped in time-honored mythic tradition and yet endlessly inventive. Cardona is alternately stentorian and coy – his imagery swells like distant thunder even as it dances. In the truest Shakespearean tradition of using the oxymoron to forge new synaptic pathways, Cardona offers implacable, sublime juxtapositions of language which defy categorization. From Ode to a Young Mariner: "The sea is a bride with open arms/with stout rubber balls for breasts." This perfect union of seemingly unmarriageable images is closely followed by “Handsome men, hard as anchors torn/from the chests of a barbarian god.” This is the second sight of a true poet—a true master of incontrovertible word and image pairings which simultaneously sear and expand the brain. Birnam Wood is mind-expanding in the manner of the world’s finest literature—an epic adventure in verse, beckoning us to abandon all that we know for the promise a new way of seeing the world.

Birnam Wood by José Manuel Cardona has been lovingly and painstakingly translated from the Spanish by Cardona’s daughter Hélène. It is a rare pleasure in the world of poetry to read such an expert and devoted translation. Hélène Cardona’s affection for her father and respect for his genius orbit each other in every line. The magical bond between father and daughter is perhaps nowhere better expressed than in her father’s words, translated by a poet in her own right: “We arrived and the miracle happened.”

José Manuel Cardona’s Birnam Wood is a paean to the importance of awe to Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona human survival. With its roots firmly planted in classical mythology, Birnam Wood leaps into the air time and time again and absorbs itself thoroughly in the mystery of returning to earth. Birnam Wood is inexplicably suspended between mortality and immortality; groundedness and blind faith; past and future; courage and fear—it is a song for the ages, fascinating anew with every turn of an eclectic, sirenic page.
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December 31, 2018

Brilliant review by Thomas McCarthy of Birnam Wood in Poetry International

Poetry of Exile: Thomas McCarthy on José Manuel Cardona:
"Birnam Wood is one of the most impressive collections of poetry I’ve read in recent years." Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona
https://poetryinternationalonline.com...
"The late José Manuel Cardona, star poet of Ibiza, scholar, translator and literary victim of Franco, has died only very recently and his death has robbed Europe of one of its last links with a golden age of cosmopolitan, internationalist Spanish poetry. The fractures of the Spanish Civil War and the volcanic dispersal of Spanish genius as Fascism gripped Madrid has now, almost all of it, passed into the dismal history of Western Europe. Cardona was one of the last survivors, a witness of history, a heroic, unbowed Spanish soul. His peripatetic life in the service of the United Nations, a life that followed academic training in Nancy, Geneva and Barcelona, became a kind of metaphor of the mid-Twentieth century. He wandered because he was a political exile and he served the UN because, having seen the work of tyranny like Conor Cruise O’Brien or Sergio Vieira de Mello, he wished to place his intelligence and mental formation at the service of humankind. It was part of the sheer magnificence of intellectuals of Cardona’s generation that they never wavered in their belief in humanism, in our common humanity, despite all the provocation of world Powers involved in the Great Game. José Manuel Cardona never succumbed to cynicism despite that anti-Fascist life of exile and estrangement.
Near the end of his days El Bosque de Birnam: Antología poética was published as a late tribute by the government of Ibiza. The gesture ennobles them. Now it is available in the English language as Birnam Wood, a dual-language edition, published by the indefatigable Salmon Poetry on the windswept Irish Cliffs of Moher. The translation has been done by an equally talented poet, his profoundly gifted daughter, Hélène Cardona; and a great deal of Cardona’s baroque and classical intensity has been carried over into the English language."
For the whole review:
https://poetryinternationalonline.com...
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December 20, 2018

Birnam Wood awarded Best Translation in the Washington Independent Review of Books

Birnam Wood is awarded Best Translation in the Washington Independent Review of Books!

Maryland's new state poet laureate Grace Cavalieri writes in the Washington Independent Review of Books about Birnam Wood (Salmon Poetry): BEST TRANSLATION
Birnam Wood (El Bosque de Birnam) by José Manuel Cardona; translated from the Spanish by Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Birnam Wood El Bosque de Birnam (English and Spanish Edition) by José Manuel Cardona Hélène Cardona.
There’s something about Spanish poetry, this particular poetry, where nothing appears lost in translation. Its bold, declarative tone, elevated content, mystical moments, contemplation, and fire show through in Spanish and now English. Especially memorable are the 20 poems to Circe.
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Helene Cardona's Blog

Helene Cardona
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