Institut Ramon LLull




Gemma Gorga’s BOOK OF MINUTES forthcoming in English

Literature.  USA,  31/05/2019

Imagine a book of hours condensed into a book of minutes: that is the project of these compact, lyrical prose poems. They locate the metaphysical within the domestic, moving seamlessly from philosophical speculation to aphorism to condensed narrative to brief love letter to prayer. In the space of one or two paragraphs they openly think about language, about existence, about beginnings and endings both large and small; not afraid to talk about God or love, their leitmotif might well be light.

One hears a dazzling array of echoes in Gemma Gorga's poems: Wallace Stevens, Rainer Maria Rilke, Hans Christian Andersen, Francis Ponge, George Herbert, and Emily Dickinson. Yet Book of Minutes feels very 21st-century in its range of diction: in one breath a poem talks about the soul, in the next, about diopters or benzodiazepine. In the space of a few sentences, or phrases, each prose poem creates a tiny world, a microcosm, one is always reminded, that is constituted by words.

Gemma Gorga is widely known and celebrated in her native Catalonia, where she has published six volumes of poems, but is almost completely unknown to English-language readers. This is the first volume of her work translated into English.

Sharon Dolin is the author of six books of poetry, most recently Manual for Living (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2016). Her 2008 volume Burn and Dodge received the AWP Donald Hall Prize in Poetry.


Gemma Gorga's Book of Minutes, in Sharon Dolin's beautiful translation, is by far the best book of prose poems I have read in the past decade. Like a house mirror, each prose poem here "retains the memory of all the souls who have gazed at themselves inside it." The result is spellbinding and surprising, as the voice of these poems searches for the mystery within the mundane. —Ilya Kaminsky

Gorga is a magician, her short, vivid prose poems perfect little houses where an instant, poignant to joyful, is captured. "The mouth is small" begins the last poem, but by then Gorga will have told you a story as big as the world. In Sharon Dolin's masterful translation, every page of Book of Minutes shimmers with life. —Jesse Lee Kercheval

Dolin's thoughtful and supple translation of Gemma Gorga's moving prose poem collection is a welcome and timely contribution to world literature. —Rowan Ricardo Phillips


Listen to Gemma Gorga on Lyrikline!

Translator Sharon Dolin will be signing books at the AWP confence in Portland, OR, on March 29th, 2019.



Translation by Sharon Dolin

Oberlin College Press, April 2019



A consortium of:

Generalitat de CatalunyaGovern Illes BalearsAjuntament de Barcelona

This website uses its own and third party cookies to offer better browsing. By browsing in it the user agrees to the way we use cookies. Users can prevent cookies from being generated and erase them by using the options on their browser. Blocking cookies may mean that some of this website’s services and options do not work properly.

Cookies are small pieces of data that websites send to browsers and which are stored in users’ devices: computers, mobile telephones, tablets, and so on. Their purpose is to improve the experience of using the website, as these archives make it possible for the website to remember information about the user’s visits, such as preferred options or language. In this way the website personalizes its content and becomes more agile and useful for the user.

By browsing this website users agree to cookies being installed in their equipment that enable us to find out the following information:

Types of cookies

This website uses session, or temporary, cookies and persistent cookies. Session cookies merely keep data while the user is visiting the website. Persistent cookies store the data on the device’s hard drive so that it will be accessible in more than one session.

Depending on the type of data obtained the website can use technical cookies.

These allow users to browse the webpage and use the different options or services it contains. For example, controlling data traffic and communication, identifying the session, entering restricted access areas, requesting enrolment or participation in an event, using security features while browsing and storing content.

Personalization cookies.

These allow users to access the website with some general characteristics that are either already predefined in their hard drive or defined by the user. For example, the language, the type of browser used to access the website, the chosen content design, the geo-location of the device or the regional configuration from where access takes place.

Statistical analysis cookies

These make it possible to monitor and analyse the behaviour of visitors to the website. The information gathered is used to measure a website’s activity and to produce users’ browsing history, making it possible to improve the service.

Third party cookies

Third party cookies that manage and improve the services offered can also be installed. For example, statistics services like Google Analytics.

Managing the cookies in my browser

Users can allow, block or erase the cookies installed in their device by configuring the browsing options.

If the use of cookies in the browser is blocked, some services or functions of the webpage may not be available