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The Wandering Radiance: Selected Poems of Hilde Domin

(translated by Mark S. Burrows)
Book Launch

Sunday, March 17, 2024
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Join translator Mark S. Burrows at the Maine Jewish Museum for a fascinating discussion of the recently published The Wandering Radiance: Selected Poems of Hilde Domin in honor of Women’s History Month. Domin is among the most beloved and widely recognized writers of post-war Germany, though until now she has been relatively unknown among English readers.

Because of her Jewish identity, Domin and her husband fled Nazi Germany in the 1930s, spending 22 years living in exile, the last 14 in the Dominican Republic (because of which she adopted the surname “Domin”). The couple returned to Germany in 1954 — among the few German-Jewish artists and intellectuals to do so — after which Domin rose to nearly unprecedented fame and acclaim.

Burrows’ artful translation gives English readers first-time access to Domin’s exploration of a life in postwar exile (“All my ships/have forgotten about harbors/and my feet the way”) and how poetry carried her through it in “the not-world//stretched out/between//word and word.” Domin reminds us never to give up, and that a way forward is worthy of lyricism, recognition and dignity.

About the poet: Hilde Domin (July 27, 1913 – February 22, 2006) is the pseudonym of Hilde Palm (née Löwenstein), a German lyric poet and writer. Domin was among the most important German-language poets of her time. As a result of the increasingly virulent antisemitism in Nazi Germany, she emigrated to Italy in 1932 with her friend (and future husband) Erwin Walter Palm, a writer and student of archaeology. With Hitler’s visit to Rome and the acrimonious atmosphere of fascist Italy under Mussolini, the couple was prompted once again to emigrate. In 1939, they went to England, from where they frantically tried to obtain a visa to any American nation; the only country that accepted them was the Dominican Republic, where they emigrated in 1940 and lived for 12 years. In 1954, Domin and her husband (whose family had been murdered by the Nazis) returned to Germany, where Domin lived as a writer until her death.

About the translator: Mark S. Burrows is a poet, translator, and professor of religion and literature at the Protestant University of Applied Sciences in Bochum, Germany. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, the Cortland Review, Southern QuarterlyWeavings, and many other periodicals.

Registration is free but required.