Say, Spirit: Selected Sonnets from Michelangelo Buonarotti
Translated in Three Voices by Alex Cocker
Cover Artwork by Tara Lee/Illustrations by Sophie Cocker
68 pages, run of 100, £12+p&p
Girasol #6. Our first full-length poetry collection is Sheffield-based poet Alex Cocker’s translations of Michelangelo’s sonnets, but with a catch: each sonnet is translated three times by three invented heteronyms, getting progressively queerer in the process. With its lyrical, funny, tender and intellectually playful performances of voice and translatorship, Say, Spirit probes the "trans" in translation through an investigation of language-in-motion's resistance to binary structures of thought and identity. Alongside the sonnets themselves – each presented in the original Italian and in three different Englishes – Cocker's mock-scholarly prefaces and "Footnotes from the Plato" look beyond the transgressive circulations of translation to encompass paratextual games, Michelangelo’s androgynous sculpture, and the queering of language itself.
Printed in Bristol in collaboration with local risograph studio 16 Tonne Press on recycled Malago white with transclear inners. Cover letterpressed on recycled Bier Weizen card using an Adana 8x5. Each of Tara Lee's four linocuts, based on Sophie Cocker's illustrations of Michelangelo's sculpture, feature on the cover of 25 copies. The four editions are called, therefore, Night, the Libyan Sibyl, the second Ignudo, and the Dying Slave.
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