by Aase Berg
translated by Johannes Göransson
Paperback / 96p. / Poetry / $14.95
In this, her first single-volume collection to be published in English, Aase Berg works a wicked necromancy in her poems. Filling each page with fluids and viscera she plunges into the palpable, pulsating center of our psyche—pulling up fistfuls of nightmares at once strange and familiar. To read this book is to glimpse the ecstasy you always suspected lay at the heart of every rapturous horror. With Deer [Hos rådjur] was Berg’s first full-length book of poetry, originally published in Sweden in 1996. Since then she has published four more books in her native language, exploring the divine terror throbbing beneath the surface of a naturalistic and barely human world.
Praise for With Deer
“Oh, you have taken it too far, Aase Berg, on this field trip to dismember an apocalyptic body that is self-bomb, culture-bomb; you are scratching at the interior of the bomb that has no exterior. Amusedly, bombastically, terrifyingly you scratch. Johannes Göransson’s translation is lush and boldly guttural and the two of you have my intestines by a leash. ‘One by one you turned my faces up/toward the sun’s surface/and drank them like deer water.’”
“Aase Berg’s poems deepdive through the perversity of nature, groping the outer edges of subjectivity. Along this super-charged border dichotomies infest one another—inside/outside, human/animal, animate/inanimate, macro/micro—and desire cannibalizes all. Think Hansel and Gretel on acid, think of the horrors of cookie dough. If this unflinching and awesome collection is the shape of modern poetry, then, as Bob Hope said in his 1965 United Artists modernist classic, ‘I’ll take Sweden.’”
“These poems have the scent of a lost hermetic text extracted from the oily black clay of a ruined forest. Long suppressed scenes of deliberate, feral ritual and the thrill of animal submission are herein joyfully revealed.”
Swedish poet Aase Berg began her artistic trajectory as a member of the radical organization, the Surrealist Group of Stockholm. Her first book, Hos rådjur (With Deer), was published in Sweden in 1996. Since then she has published Mörk materia (Dark Matter), Forsla fett (Transfer Fat), Uppland (Uppland) and Loss (Loss). Her first book to appear in English, Remainland: Selected Poems, was published by Action Books in 2004. She is considered one of the most influential and unique poets in Sweden, earning her translations into English and various European languages as well.
Johannes Göransson was born in Sweden, but has lived around the US for several years. He is the author of: Dear Ra (Starcherone, 2008), Pilot (Fairy Tale Review Press, 2008) and A New Quarantine Will Take My Place (Apostrophe Books, 2007)—and the chapbook Majakovskij en tragedy (Dos Press, 2008). He is also the translator of: Collobert Orbital by Johan Jonsson, Gingerbread Monuments by Victor Johansson & Klara Kallstrom, Remainland: Selected Poems by Aase Berg and Ideals Clearance by Henry Parland. He is the co-editor of Action Books and the online journal Action, Yes.