2015 National Book Award Longlist, Poetry

Marilyn Hacker

A Stranger's Mirror Marilyn Hacker, credit Alison Harris
A Stranger's Mirror
(W. W. Norton & Company)
ISBN: 978-0393244649

National Book Foundation: In the process of writing your book, what did you discover, what, if anything, surprised you?
Hacker: A suprise more after writing the book than during its writing: there are several poems directly or indirectly about Syrian exiles and refugees, and the situation in Syria, a popular revolt for political reform that turned into a civil war. At the time I wrote the poems, I knew several Syrian political refugees, but their situation was not a subject of general public discourse in Europe and the United States. Now, unfortunately—with half a country's population fleeing carnage and seeking refuge—it is.


Drawing on two decades worth of award-winning poetry, Marilyn Hacker's generous selections in A Stranger's Mirror include work from four previous volumes along with twenty-five new poems, ranging in locale from a solitary bedroom to a refugee camp.

About the Author

Marilyn Hacker is the author of thirteen books of poems, including A Stranger’s Mirror (Norton, 2015),Names(Norton, 2010), andDesesperanto(Norton, 2003), an essay collection,Unauthorized Voices(Michigan, 2010), and thirteen collections of translations of French and Francophone poets including Emmanuel Moses, Marie Etienne, Vénus Khoury-Ghata, Habib Tengour and Rachida Madani.DiaspoRenga, a collaborative sequence written with the Palestinian-American poet Deema Shehabi, was published by Holland Park Press in 2014. Her awards include the National Book Award, the Lenore Marshall Prize in 1995 forWinter Numbers, two Lambda Literary Awards, the 2009 PEN award for poetry in translation, the 2010 PEN Voelcker Award and the international Argana Prize for Poetry from the Beit as-Sh’ir/ House of Poetry in Morocco in 2011. She lives in Paris.


- poetryfoundation.org/bio/marilyn-hacker


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Photo credit: Alison Harris