Mitochondrial Night

Coffee House Press
Free sample

Taking mitochondrial DNA as his guide, Lee explores familial and national legacies, and their persistence across shifting boundaries and the erosions of time. In these poems, the trait of an ancestor appears in the face of a newborn, and in her cry generations of women's voices echo. Stories, both benign and traumatic, travel as lore and DNA. Using lush, exact imagery, whether about the corner bar or a hilltop in Korea, Lee is a careful observer, tracking and documenting the way that seemingly small moments can lead to larger insights.

From Mitochondrial Night:

We’re drumming,
he explained, in the tradition
of shamans,
so the ancestors won't be so lonely.
Because spirits need us
more than we need them.
And for hours
they’ll listen to anyone

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About the author

Ed Bok Lee is the author of Whorled (Coffee House Press) and a recipient of a 2012 American Book Award and the Minnesota Book Award in Poetry. Lee is the son of North and South Korean emigrants—his mother originally a refugee from what is now North Korea; his father was raised during the Japanese colonial period and Korean War in what is now South Korea. Lee grew up in South Korea, North Dakota, and Minnesota, and was educated there and on both U.S. coasts, Russia, South Korea, and Kazakhstan. He teaches at Metropolitan State University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Other honors include the Asian American Literary Award (Members’ Choice Award) and a PEN Open Book Award.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Coffee House Press
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Published on
Mar 5, 2019
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Pages
131
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ISBN
9781566895415
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Language
English
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Genres
Poetry / American / Asian American
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Death, Grief, Loss
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Family
Poetry / Subjects & Themes / Places
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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This book was written to provide a genealogical account of my family history. There was a driving need to tell this story for the benefit of all of my family, but mostly for my children, Megan, Nicole, Natalie & Robbie, my two step-sons, Marc and Paul and all of those who will come after them.

Many hours, weeks, months and years searching the genealogical archives of the Mormon Temple, countless interviews, many trips to grave sites, monuments, and travels to far away places, went into this writing. To give an account of a family's genealogy can be a most complex and daunting task. The research alone can be overwhelming. I have tried to provide the reader with as much detail and accuracy as possible. My intent was to structure this book in a manner that will serve as a reference for those family members, and others as well, who might have the need and interest in knowing the ancestry of those denoted in this writing. The major portion of this book is based on written documentation. However, some of its content is based on verbal accounts and may be subject to some error. For this I sincerely apologize and welcome any and all corrections.

Many thanks and great appreciation to my mother, (Rev. Dr. Allie Mae Bellar-Allen), my stepfather, (Lloyd Christopher Allen), my uncle, (Clarence Knox Taylor), my brother in law, Dale Bonzo Etrata and all the other, for sharing their wealth of knowledge concerning the family histories represented in this book. Thanks for taking the time to share it with me. Above all, I must thank my wife, (Rita Teresa) for her support and understanding; the years and years of listening to me pour over data and digging up the past. She has heard me go over data from my research, recalling events names and places so much that she knows them better than I do.
My deepest gratitude to you all, and to you all I dedicate this book.
Many thanks to Dr. Allen for the many stories and accounts of her pass that inspired me to write this book. Without her I would never have begin the research that led to this writing.

I first became interested in genealogy when I was about twelve. It was then that my paternal grandmother first introduced me to a book entitled Genealogy of the Fell Family in America Descended from Joseph Fell. This book, which was published in 1891, included my grandfather, Charles McConnell Lightburn. I was struck by the time span covered by the book—nearly three hundred years—and was fascinated by the fact that all of the people in that book were related to one another and to me either by blood or marriage! My grandmother later gave me that book, and it became the first book in my genealogical library. My grandfather and my great-aunt Mary told me that their father had fought for the North during the Civil War by the side of his older brother, who was a brigadier general. This fascinated me. They also told me that there was a town in West Virginia called Lightburn. I couldn’t wait to find it on a map! My own genealogical research did not begin until the late 1970s when I requested the Civil War records of my great grandfather, Calvin Luther Lightburn, and his brothers from the National Archives. During the 1980s, I continued my research, albeit at a very low level of activity. It was not until the early 1990s when I moved to the Washington, DC, area that I became intensively involved in—some might even say addicted to—genealogy. The resources in the Washington, DC, area are extensive, and I ended up spending many happy (and sometimes frustrating) hours conducting research in the National Archives, Library of Congress, and the library of the Daughters of the American Revolution. By 1999, I had amassed a great deal of genealogical information, most of which was stuffed in cardboard boxes. I was encouraged to put what I had on paper by Faye M. (Brown) Lightburn, who had published her book, Revolutionary Soldier Samuel Brown and Some of his Family in 1993. So after attending several related sessions at the National Genealogical Society Conference in the States, which was held that year in Providence, Rhode Island, I finally screwed up my courage and plunged in. I published the original book in 2003. This book is the second and probably last edition.
Robin Kirkpatrick's masterful verse translation of The Divine Comedy, tracing Dante's journey from Hell to Purgatory and finally Paradise, is published here for the first time in a single volume. The volume includes a new introduction, notes, maps and diagrams, and is the ideal edition for students as well as the general reader who is coming to the great masterpiece of Italian literature for the first time.

The Divine Comedydescribes Dante's descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. Examining questions of faith, desire and enlightenment, the poem is a brilliantly nuanced and moving allegory of human redemption.

'The perfect balance of tightness and colloquialism... likely to be the best modern version of Dante' - Bernard O'Donoghue

'The most moving lines literature has achieved' - Jorge Luis Borges

'This version is the first to bring together poetry and scholarship in the very body of the translation - a deeply-informed version of Dante that is also a pleasure to read' - Professor David Wallace, University of Pennsylvania

Individual editions of Robin Kirkpatrick's translation - Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso - are also available in Penguin Classics, and include Dante's Italian printed alongside the English text.

Dante Alighieri was born in Florence in 1265 and belonged to a noble but impoverished family. His life was divided by political duties and poetry, the most of famous of which was inspired by his meeting with Bice Portinari, whom he called Beatrice, including La Vita Nuova and The Divine Comedy. He died in Ravenna in 1321.

Robin Kirkpatrick is a poet and widely-published Dante scholar. He has taught courses on Dante's Divine Comedy in Hong Kong, Dublin, and Cambridge where is Fellow of Robinson College and Professor of Italian and English Literatures.

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