In his first book of poetry since the critically acclaimed and influential Ventrakl, Christian Hawkey’s Sift presents readers with fiercely resonant, interlingual inquiries into desire and power. Emerging out of Hawkey’s co-translation of the Arabic (with Marouane Zakhir) of Moroccan theorist Abdessalam Benabdelali, Sift calls attention to sifted speech, to what “catches in the throat,” and how language refuses easy transmission. Cinematic in its unfolding and lyrically explorative across multiple Englishes, Sift is a profound experiment in language by an ever provocative poet.
M. NourbeSe Philip has written that ' Sift is a formally intricate work that demonstrates a brilliant engagement with the etymological trails (and trials) of language and translation and their interpenetration with empire, colonialism, history, politics, and parenting'. For Don Mee Choi ' Sift is a remarkable, radical book-length poem that simultaneously coils and uncoils throughout its etymological journey, destabilizing linguistic coloniality. Circling around and between Arabic and English, the poem’s language is translingual, syntactically volatile, sonically playful, incantatory, mirror-like, and trans-marginated. Christian Hawkey’s Sift sings, laments, protests, and exists alongside Inger Christensen’s alphabet.'