There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair
by Tomaz Salamun


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Poems born in “a time of abrupt needs,” There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair catalogues those individual and imperative fancies that, in the cosmos of Tomaz Salamun, eternity aims to replace: A genealogy of dressmakers and songbirds. A topography of hulking oil tankers and coldwater flats. A biography that locates the poetic “I’” as, at once, a primordial being and a tamer of beasts, a monster and a guardian angel. With uncanny and sometimes harrowing grace, Salamun plumbs every reach of the imagination in search of a space where we can simultaneously delight in and mourn the disintegration of the body. And it is here, in this borderland of the unreal and the everyday, that love is consumed so its contours might not be forgotten, that life carries on in the dying wish that a bicycle might be purchased. There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair brings nine accomplished translators into collaboration for a new book by this “major Central European poet” (The New Yorker).

With translations by:

Thomas Kane
Peter Richards
Phillis Levin
Joshua Beckman
Ana Jelnikar
Christopher Merrill
Matthew Rohrer
Brian Henry
Anselm Hollo

Tomaz Salamun was born in 1941 in Zagreb, Croatia, and raised in Koper, Slovenia. He has published thirty collections of poetry in his home country and has received many prizes and fellowships at home and in the U.S., including a Fulbright and Pushcart Prize. As a young poet Salamun edited Perspektive, a progressive cultural and political journal. Communist authorities eventually banned the journal’s publication, and arrested Salamun. His first two books, POKER (1966) and The Purpose of the Cloak (1968), were released in samizdat. Salamun has won the praise of many poets, including James Tate, Robert Creeley, Robert Hass—who celebrates his “love of the poetics of rebellion,” and Jorie Graham, who calls his work “one of Europe’s great philosophical wonders.”

Review of Tomaz Salamun’s There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair in Galatea Resurrects

Erica Mena, for Cerise Press reviews Salamun

There’s the Hand and There’s the Arid Chair
Tomaz Salamun
$20; 128 pages
ISBN 978-1933996-12-7

Purchase print copies here, or write to