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Review: State of Emergency, by Soleïman Adel Guémar

Tony Frazer, 'The Art of the New', Poetry Review Volume 98:2, Summer 2008

Faced with certain biographies, the reviewer can only feel humbled. Poets in exile; fleeing terror; poets who died young; poets who are important in their native countries but treated as unknowns here; poets incarcerated. Nonetheless I have to sort out what might be worth the reader's attention... [The poems of Guémar] ...stand out here, and I rather feel they would in most company.

Soleïman Adel Guémar is an Algerian exile, and writes in French. The Arc volume offers a bilingual selection, very well translated. ...this book presents a cry of horror by a real poet, thereby demonstrating that such a poet... is one who converts sincerity into art. It is hard not to be affected...