The American debut of Basque writer Kirmen Uribe's "simple, devastating poems" (Bob Holman)
Whenever we're saddened everything looks dark,
When we're heartened, again, the world crumbles.
Every one of us keeps forever someone else's hidden side,
If it's a secret, if a mistake, if a gesture.
Kirmen Uribe has become one of the best-known Basque-language writers—an important contemporary voice from a vital but largely unknown language. Meanwhile Take My Hand presents Uribe's poetry to American readers in both the original and in the poet Elizabeth Macklin's skillful and award-winning translations.
In these poems are the drug addicts of Spanish fishing towns, the paved-over rivers of urbanized medieval cities, the remains of loving relationships, whether entirely uprooted or making do with a companionable silence. The Basque phrase Bitartean heldu eskutik, which became the book's title—Meanwhile Take My Hand—Uribe has said is "what you say when there's nothing at all you can say."