Citizens of Beauty cover
Citizens of Beauty
Poems of Jean Sénac
Now available in English for the first time, translated by the poet Jack Hirschman, this beautiful collection of poems by the Algerian poet Jean Sénac (1926–1973) was originally published when he was forty-one. Sénac represented the hope of the new generation of Algerians who were celebrating their independence from France after 130 years of colonialism, and in the tradition of René Char and the early Albert Camus, he portrayed an Algeria whose land and people would finally sing with their own voice. Sénac celebrates revolution, love, and the body, beginning with the resonant verses: “And now we’ll sing love / for there’s no Revolution without love.” He sang, as well, of beauty: “No morning without smiling. / Beauty on our lips is one continuous fruit.”
Publication Date: April 1st, 2016
82 pages| 6 in x 9 in
Early Praise

Citizens of Beauty: Poems of Jean Sénac, translated from the French by Jack Hirschman, has been nominated for the 36th Northern California Book Award in Translation as one of the best works by a northern California translator published in 2016.  The Northern California Book Awards were established by the Northern California Book Reviewers (formerly BABRA) in 1981 to honor the work of writers and recognize exceptional service in the field of literature in northern California. The awards recognize excellence in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translation, and Children's Literature. The Northern California Book Awards are sponsored by Northern California Book Reviewers, Poetry Flash, Women’s National Book Association-San Francisco Chapter, Mechanics' Institute Library, PEN West, the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, and San Francisco Public Library.

“The life of this marvelous Algerian (by choice) citizen-poet was cut off tragically by a murder meant to silence him, but his poetry will have the last word as more translations—and hopefully as superb ones as this one!—are published in this country. Jean Sénac will be seen to be a peer of the likes of Federico García Lorca, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine. Sénac’s oeuvre is work of just such an exalted order.”
Pierre Joris, author of Barzakh: Poems 2000–2012 and coeditor of Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of North African Literature


Book AwardNorthern California Book Award in Translation, Poetry, Nominee

Book AwardWorld Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations
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