And someone without a ticket,
unbuttoned to the dusk, taught me
the courage to crack—never to shatter.
From “To Yearn Is to Walk on One’s Hands”
IlzėButkutė’s poems are peopled with dwarves and lovers, magicians and cats, who navigate both the daylight and the darkness of life and relationships, trying not to stumble. They contain both silences and all the hullabaloo of the Carnival.
These poems, drawn from her first two collections, dazzle not with legerdemain nor linguistic acrobatics but with Butkutė’s bold imagery and deep insights, her spare language brought into English by Rimas Uzgiris.
IlzėButkutėis a Lithuanian poet who studied photojournalism and worked in advertising. She is the author of two books of poetry, Karavanųlopšinės (Caravan Lullabies) and Karnavalųmėnuo (Carnival Moon), as well as a practical guide for workers oppressed by their employers, Atleisk savo šefa (Fire Your Boss). She won the Zigmas Gaidamavičius-Gėlė Prize in 2011 for best debut collection. Her poems have been translated into Basque, Catalan, English, French, German, Latvian, Russian, and Ukrainian.
by Ilzė Butkutė
translated by Rimas Uzgiris
Publication: Fall 2016
US Distribution: November 30, 2016