“This extraordinary, library-in-one volume: what a resource! Those to whom poetry is essential as the supreme use of language will find the work of many poets they have never before come to, and those readers who have limited themselves to prose have the opportunity to discover how the poet outreaches everything prose can illuminate in who and what we are, no matter where, on the map. Assembled here is not the Tower of Babel, but the astonishment and subtlety inherent in many languages and their experimental modes to expand the power of words. The introductions to each section offer perceptions engagingly against which to place one’s own readings of the poems. The editors have boldly envisaged and compiled a beautiful achievement for world literature.”
—Nadine Gordimer, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

A symphonic sweep of beckoning cries, praises, prayers, curses, ruminations and revelations. An ensemble rich with diverse voices, here the old and the new converge, and something wholly human and futuristic emerges—something that possesses a robust lyricism—shining its light, its illuminated certainty into the twenty-first century. This marvelous anthology assembles a multitude of voices intent on a purposeful, deep singing.
—Yusef Komunyakaa, winner of the Pulitzer Prize

Read Language for a New Century as you would a field guide to the human condition in our time, a poetic survival manual. . . . If, as Milosz wrote, “posterity will read us in an attempt to comprehend what the twentieth century was like,” then this collection will be read to know the beginning of the twenty-first.”
—Carolyn Forché

This anthology stays true to the numinous power of poetry and the cultures that take it up as their own. The result is a vast, beautifully fashioned mosaic of indelible, variegated pieces.
San Francisco Chronicle (

This ambitious yet accessible gathering of hundreds of poets from various parts of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, America and elsewhere is likely to excite poetry fans as well as those new to poetry….It is packed with treasures.
—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review (

This ocean of verse from dozens of poets from around the world includes English-language work as well as translations from Hebrew, Arabic and various Asian languages. The result is an anthology that offers a smorgasbord of unfamiliar — but often delicious — work that, in its essence, defines the multicultural experience of life.
—NPR, All Things Considered (

While it's safe to say the twenty-first century has so far not been a great time for American diplomacy…a handful of new poetry anthologies…offer proof that American poetic diplomacy might be entering a new golden age.
—Poets & Writers (

A feast of hundreds of courses, this new book of poetry in translation looks away from the Occident towards the work currently being produced in the east. It is a rich addition to Norton’s collection of meticulously produced verse anthologies.
Financial Times

Younger poets Tina Chang, Nathalie Handel, and Ravi Shankar took on the daunting task of assembling this remarkable collection. A beautiful, sturdy, 700-page volume, well-indexed and annotated. A pleasure to this collection is that it's arranged in themes, rather than by geography. This lets readers look at exile, at childhood, at conflict in a larger, more unified context.
—Publishers Weekly online (

Among contemporary poetry's most notable trends is a post-9/11 surge in translation. The blockbuster anthology published during the past six months is Language for a New Century: Contemporary Poetry From the Middle East, Asia, and Beyond devotedly compiled by Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal, and Ravi Shankar.
—Village Voice

Language for a New Century is a book of many lenses, many windows, and as many mirrors as a Gujarati tapestry. It holds poems from Urdu, Hebrew, Punjabi, Marathi, Uzbek, Japanese, and Arabic. We find Sufis, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Jews. We find homelands and new lands and the mystery and asymmetry of worlds viewed in travel.
Barnes and Noble (

For poetry lovers who use anthologies as encyclopedias and as kaleidoscopes of surprise, these books are a treasure.
—Bloomsbury Review

What the poets share is a delicate balancing act between a respect for centuries of tradition and the breakneck speed of modern society.
—Washington Post (

This rich collection of poetry gives the reader a feeling of the pulse of the East and is a good guide to the human condition in our time. It makes available to the West part of humanity’s poetry that is often overlooked or relegated to literary specialists, and it highlights the oneness of the human family and its desires, fears, and hopes. It is a good addition to the series of Norton anthologies and similar works and, together with them, it helps bring world literature closer to becoming better known and more fully appreciated.
Digest of Middle East Studies

It's a literary anthology no college-level collection should be without.
Midwest Book Review

The fact that there were three different editors with different tastes strengthens this anthology by allowing for an even more diverse array of poetic styles and sensibilities. Language for a New Century possesses the beauty of a freshly assembled five-thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. I highly recommend Language for a New Century, which I think is an essential work for anyone, and not just anyone interested in Asian-American poetry, to have on their bookshelves.
Asian American Poetry (

This rich collection of poetry from Asia, the Middle East, and other parts of the world, fills a huge gap in our cultural heritage. It is a formidable achievement, and an important contribution to our education.”
—Howard Zinn, author of A People’s History of the United States