“Liliana Ursu’s poems are like flowers at the edge of the abyss. They are beautifully clear and precise, but behind them one glimpses the presence of an ineradicable dark.”—Mark Strand
“Ursu writes poetry that is wild and unpredictable, on the brink of flying away beyond real and imagined borders. Her short poems are stunning, unforgettable, and expertly translated into exciting English texts by Sean Cotter.”—Ray Gonzalez
Lightwall refers to the angled casements built to reflect sunlight into basement apartments in Bucharest. These poems bring light where it ordinarily does not reach: Romanian trains, old suitcases, the medieval city where Ursu was born. Her poems connect her home in old Bucharest to her travels in the United States, and her Orthodox spirituality with her modern, Balkan context.
About dill, tarragon, and Ibiza
I cannot write the same way.
About jets, juniper, and January
About roundhouses, surroundings, and sleigh bells
the only ones who write the same
are hills and angels.
Liliana Ursu is a poet, prose writer, and translator. She has published seventeen books in Romania and three have been translated into English. Ursu produces radio programs in Bucharest, has received two Fulbright grants to teach at Penn State, and has also taught creative writing at the University of Louisville, Kentucky.
Sean Cotter has translated four books of Romanian poetry, including Zephyr’s volume of Liliana Ursu’s poetry, Goldsmith Market (2004).