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Alta Ifland

Alta Ifland was born in Romania and emigrated to the United States in 1991. After teaching French for ten years, she left academia and switched from French (her second language) to English (her third language)....

Voice of Ice

Alta Ifland

Introduction by Gary Young
Visual art by Danielle Adair
Book 2 of 5, TrenchArt Parapet Series
Prose Poetry | $15.00
ISBN 13: 978-1-934254-03-5
Size: 9.25″ X 4.25″
Pages: 121
Binding: Softcover, Perfect


Winner of the 2008 Louis Guillaume Prize for Prose Poems, France

Voice of Ice is a series of prose poems about the estranged self living outside of one’s native land and away from one’s native tongue. Eastern European poet Alta Ifland writes first in French, then translates her work into English before returning to the original French for further revisions, a process of linguistic reconciliation as much as translation. Published in a bi-lingual, French/English edition, Ifland repeatedly turns to remembered images of her unnamed homeland to animate her unfamiliar home, creating, what poet Gary Young calls, in the Introduction, “a brilliant collection of prose poems document[ing] the quest for a coherent self, an authentic identity born out of the chaos of language and history.”

Praise for Voice of Ice

In transplanting her painterly European sensibility into an American poetic context, Alta Ifland creates and redreams the hauntingly surreal emotional landscapes of dislocation, desolate distances, and Redonesque disjuncture from which she shapes these ever-shifting, mad-and-mythic excursions—
in voices angry, awed, childlike, sardonic, she startles and disturbs, charms and exalts.

     – Wanda Coleman

There is a familiar strangeness at the heart of Alta Ifland’s Voice of Ice: a bland hotel room becomes, in its “geometric clarity,” a shelter from chaos; the rain turns to voices, hair, fingers, “red, coppery tongues” of fire; the Pacific light becomes a termite “burrowing deeper and deeper into silence.” Ifland’s poems take us into “the depths of all things rhymed,” where the known world becomes unknowable, and we greet it, emigrants on the border of a new language. With every page, Ifland invites us to cross with her “the threshold from one absence into another,” swept away by stories fabulous in every sense of the word.

– Terry Ehret

Links to more reviews:

A review by Leonard J. Cirino of The Pedestal Magazine

Her Circle E-Zine reviews Voice of Ice

A review by Desislava D. Taylor at The Chattahoochee Review

The Languages of Alta Ifland by John Taylor at Words Without Borders

A review from The Agony Column and a reading from the author

A review from Carpe Libris Reviews

Poetic Diversity’s Marie Lecrivain reviews Ifland’s work

A review from Lemon Hound

Flirting with the Unfamiliar An interview with Alta Ifland