Hawkey, Christian: sift
Action Books, paperback
Publication Date: October 1, 2021
In his first book since the critically acclaimed and influential VENTRAKL, Christian Hawkey's SIFT presents readers with fiercely resonant, interlingual inquiries into desire and power. Emerging out of Hawkey's co-translation of the Arabic (with Marouane Zakhir) of Moroccan theorist Abdessalam Benabdelali, SIFT calls attention to sifted speech, to what "catches in the throat," and how language refuses easy transmission. Cinematic in its unfolding and lyrically explorative across multiple Englishes, SIFT is a profound experiment in language by an ever-provocative poet.
"In this extraordinary collection, Christian Hawkey shows us the infinite porosity of words is the infinite porosity of worlds. Here, the lingual is neither mono nor multi. Rather, the transit of language beckons the unbecoming of settler colonial geographies. The prose is delicate, tender even, yet Hawkey unflinchingly addresses the grievous violence of our times. Coveting this book like a beaming secret, I found myself sneaking off to pet it. Sift convinces us to cherish every yield."—Jasbir K. Puar
"Created in the interstices of translation, SIFT is a formally intricate work that demonstrates a brilliant engagement with the etymological trails (and trials) of language and translation and their interpenetration with empire, colonialism, history, politics, and parenting. I did not want to leave this poem that urgently names what needs to be is."—M. NourbeSe Philip
"SIFT is a remarkable, radical book-length poem that simultaneously coils and uncoils throughout its etymological journey, destabilizing linguistic coloniality. Circling around and between Arabic and English, the poem's language is translingual, syntactically volatile, sonically playful, incantatory, mirror-like, and trans-marginated. Christian Hawkey's SIFT sings, laments, protests, and exists alongside Inger Christensen's alphabet."—Don Mee Choi