Magyarazni

By (author): Helen Hajnoczky

The word “magyarázni” (pronounced MUG-yar-az-knee) means “to explain” in Hungarian, but translates literally as “make it Hungarian.” This faux-Hungarian language primer, written in direct address, invites readers to experience what it’s like to be “made Hungarian” by growing up with a parent who immigrated to North America as a refugee. In forty-five folk-art visual poems each paired with a written poem, Hajnoczky reveals the beauty and tension of first-generationcultural identity.

‘Because translation between cultures is always fraught – and yet somehow translate we must – Magyarázni explores language and cultural identity in the permeable space fomenting between family and society, word and image initiating us into a new alphabet of lived meaning. In reading we wonder along with Magyarázni’s wandering “you,” we care and get entangled in the “brambles of your cursive,” we too are “made Hungarian.”’ —Oana Avasilichioaei

‘Familiar but out of reach, Magyarázni reforms the language of home on the tip of your tongue, a language of knotted cursive and bubbled syntax; folksong and stovetop. Each letter blossoms as a hand-drawn flower and a sputtering drone of spits and pith. Magyarázni punctuates every I with a poppy seed, every C with the splinter­ed foil of a solemn treat. Mournful and personal, Magyarázni calls out for the language of family.’ —Derek Beaulieu

AUTHOR

Helen Hajnoczky

Helen Hajnoczky is the author of Magyarázni, shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, Poets and Killers: A Life in Advertising, shortlisted for Expozine’s English Book of the Year award, and the chapbook Bloom & Martyr, winner of the John Lent Poetry/Prose Award. She lives in Calgary, and can be found on Instagram @ateacozyisasometimes and online at ateacozyisasometimes.com


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Details

Dimensions:

104 Pages

0.4lb0.36in6.09in * 8.31in

Published:

May 01, 2016

Publisher:

Coach House Books

ISBN:

9781552453278

Book Subjects:

POETRY / Canadian

Featured In:

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Language:

01

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