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Gemma Gorga
Translated from the Catalan by Sharon Dolin
They weighed the body a few minutes before death. They weighed the same body a few minutes after death. They used simple arithmetic—subtraction—to determine the weight of the soul. I ponder it now, while holding this new book in my hands, the words still slick like the feathers of a newly hatched bird. I wonder if, once read, it too will weigh less. Like a body when it loses its soul.

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Gemma Gorga was born in Barcelona in 1968. She has published six collections of poetry in Catalan. Her most recent collection Mur (Barcelona: Meteora, 2015) won the Premi de la Critica de Poesia Catalana. Her new book of poems, Viatge al centre, is forthcoming in 2020. She is Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Spanish Literature at the University of Barcelona.

Sharon Dolin is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Manual for Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016). Her translation of Gemma Gorga’s Book of Minutes (Field Translation Series/Oberlin College Press, 2019) received grants from PEN and Institut Ramon Llull. Her memoir Hitchcock Blonde is forthcoming from Terra Nova Press in 2020. She is Associate Editor of Barrow Street Press and directs Writing About Art in Barcelona.

"Gemma Gorga's Book of Minutes, in Sharon Dolin's beautiful translation, is by far the best book of prose poems I have read in the past decade. Like a house mirror, each prose poem here 'retains the memory of all the souls who have gazed at themselves inside it.' The result is spellbinding and surprising, as the voice of these poems searches for the mystery within the mundane"
—Ilya Kaminsky

"Gorga is a magician, her short, vivid prose poems perfect little houses where an instant, poignant to joyful, is captured. 'The mouth is small' begins the last poem, but by then Gorga will have told you a story as big as the world. In Sharon Dolin's masterful translation, every page of Book of Minutes shimmers with life."
—Jesse Lee Kercheval

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