Imanova Günel, (author) writes under the pen name of Günel Mövlud. As a translator of Russian to Azeri, she she has translated Victor Pelevin’s Amon Ra and extant Russian translations of Marquez and Stendhal. Born in 1981in the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan on the Armenian border, at the age of 12 she had to leave Karabakh with her parents because of the conflict. She studied theater arts at Baku University and has worked as an journalist for local newspapers on Azerbaijani societal issues. Her first book of poems Darkness and Us was printed in 2004. Most recently the books 5 xl and Response to the Late Afternoon appeared.
Günel’s joining a movement to end anti-Armenian propaganda in Azerbaijan elicited the attention of authorities and religious activists. She is currently based between Georgia and Germany, where she lives with her husband and child and is a journalist for the Baku chapter Radio Liberty and MeydanTV.
Arturo Desimone (translator) is currently based between Buenos Aires and the Netherlands. His poems and short fiction pieces have previously appeared in The Missing Slate, The New Orleans Review, Hamilton Stone Review, Counterpunch Poet’s Basement, Hinchas de Poesía and Acentos Review. The Spanish translation of his book of poems About a Lover From Tunisia is forthcoming from Audisea, an Argentinean publishing house for poetry and translations.
With special thanks to Nijat Qarayev for his support in the translation process and for explaining the historical and cultural references in Movlud’s poetry.
In this country I consider myself begrimed with so much guilt
that I must reject a small child’s embrace
If I could only show you one single reason to love me
perhaps you would tear your fingers
from the dark buttons of this computer
and embrace me
I ask only that you crush me in your embrace
as a forest serpent presses its prey,
but now I stand before you, waiting, and neither of us lift a finger
If we are to adapt, and develop a strange happiness here,
amidst the new skyscrapers–
we must then learn to exist without needing to hear the grasshoppers’ noise
from my rooftop, from a place close-by
If I cannot lose this night-spell and be contented
No one can love here