Happy ‘pub’ days: Bell, Berta, Prior

By Kristen LaRue-Sandler — March 11, 2024

Covers of books by Matt Bell, Katie Berta and Matthew Prior

Three faculty members in the ASU Department of English announce new books recently launched or forthcoming this month. Works include fiction in translation, a poetry debut and an edited collection, touching on topics of climate futures, gendered violence and second-language acquisition research.

'Appleseed' (L'Atalante, 2024)

This French edition of Matt Bell’s 2021 novel was translated by Marie Surgers and released in February. From the publisher:

  • “Le monde avant les sécheresses incessantes, avant les incendies sans fin, avant les nouvelles infections résistantes aux antibiotiques, avant la montée des mers acides, les tornades et les ouragans. Avant que les sols ne meurent et ne s’assèchent, avant que les masques ne soient nécessaires dans les rues des villes, avant que les extinctions massives n’entraînent l’anéantissement du monde naturel.

    C’est le monde qui a été volé. Ce qui suit est l’histoire de la façon dont il a été perdu, de qui nous a coûté quoi, de ce que les coupables ont l’intention de faire avec ce qui reste.”

    [Summary translation by Google]: “The world before incessant droughts, before endless fires, before new antibiotic-resistant infections, before rising acidic seas, tornadoes and hurricanes. Before the soils die and dry up, before masks are required on city streets, before mass extinctions lead to the annihilation of the natural world.

    It is the world that has been stolen. What follows is the story of how it was lost, of who cost us what, of what the culprits intend to do with what's left.”

Bell is a professor in the ASU Department of English’s creative writing program and the director of the Worldbuilding Initiative in the Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics.

'Retribution Forthcoming: Poems' (Ohio University Press, 2024)

Katie Berta’s debut poetry collection was the winner of the Hollis Summers Poetry Prize. From the publisher:

  • “Influenced by Alice Notley, Eileen Myles, Rachel Zucker, and other poets of the New York school, the poems in 'Retribution Forthcoming' blend a talky, quick, funny voice with candid examinations of gender norms, class pressures, and the existential. Their speaker explores her mortality anxiety through her experiences of gendered exploitation, reflecting on bodily autonomy and the nexus of violences that women face. Using oblique and direct strategies, these poems recount sexual coercion, the ways consumerist society reinforces and reifies gender conformity and performativity, and the psychological ramifications of these abuses of power.

    'Retribution Forthcoming' examines selfhood, consciousness, and mortality as they intertwine with our identities and the ways those identities are politicized. At its core, though, this book is an account of sexual assault and its aftermath, exploring how trauma interacts with belief and our ability to trust others and ourselves.”

Berta is a faculty associate in the Department of English at ASU, where she earned an MFA in creative writing in 2011.

'The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition and Discourse' (Routledge, 2024)

Set for release at the end of March, Matthew Prior co-edited this volume in the press’s Handbook series with Brian Paltridge. From the publisher:

  • “This state-of-the-art volume offers a comprehensive and accessible examination of perspectives within the field of discourse analysis on the processes and conditions of second language learning, teaching, and use.

    Led by Brian Paltridge and Matthew T. Prior, this collection brings together leading global researchers in the field to guide readers through background theories, theoretical paradigms, methodological issues, and pedagogical implications by synthesizing current and past work, and setting a future agenda for discourse-oriented second language research.

    The book is a critical resource which will be indispensable for scholars and advanced students of applied linguistics, second language acquisition, education, and related fields.”

Prior is an associate professor in the ASU Department of English, where he directs the program in linguistics and applied linguistics / TESOL.