Works

Cut These Words into My Stone: Selected Ancient Greek Epitaphs
Over a hundred tiny poems, some dating back to the dawn of Greek writing, collected in five historical sections with spare introductions that offer a context for these delicate, intimate bits of tombstone verse, one to a page with the Greek and the English, each summing up in a handful of words another ancient life. These epitaphs are anything but morbid: they form a vivid mosaic, tile by tile.

Simply stunning.” Richard Wilbur
These translations are alive and potent. They are something very special. Funny, moving, cutting, ferocious.” Philip Levine
“Exquisite, economical proof that nothing ever changes. A wonderful book!” Kay Ryan
“A book Keats would deeply appreciate. A book to keep handy by bed or bath.” Bill Berkson

"…Presented in beautiful translations followed by the originals. Often faithful, almost line-by-line translations are offered... Excessive rhetorical devices are avoided…The author tends to respect the very structure of the originals...These devices, combined with a plain and simple language, produce a sober musicality that fully captures the forceful and unaffected style of the Greek texts...This is the book of a poet, not of a scholar: it will make excellent reading for a non-specialist audience. Those not acquainted with the Greek, in particular, will be given an idea of the sound of the original poems." --The Classical Journal.

One Thousand Roads to Mecca: Ten Centuries of Travelers Writing about the Muslim Pilgrimage
“…does an exemplary job of detailing the ceremonies performed at Mecca and the reasons behind them. The (twenty-three) chosen excerpts give the reader a sense of how the hajj has changed over time as well as how constant the central ceremonies have remained. Highly recommended.” Library Journal (starred review)

The Hadj: An American’s Pilgrimage to Mecca
“Wolfe has perhaps provided the clearest statement of an American Muslim since Malcolm X.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies

“The most engaging of travel books…his pilgrimage will move people of all faiths—and of none at all, because it describes a universal journey for meaning, transcendence, and peace.” The Literary Review

Some Books by Michael Wolfe

Translation, Poetry
A selection of 125 Greek epitaphs translated into English and introduced by Michael Wolfe, with a Foreword by Richard P. Martin. Published by Johns Hopkins University Press, Winter, 2013. For general readers and classrooms. "His translations of the Greek epitaphs are simply stunning." Richard Wilbur. Reviews: Poetry: http://www.poetryfoundation.org/harriet/2013/04/codeunknown-reading-writing/ Arts Fuse: http://artsfuse.org/79947/fuse-poetry-review-lapidary-ends-cut-these-words-into-my-stone/
Travel Writing Anthology
“A tradition of Muslim writing aimed at the insiders and out.” The Boston Globe
Nonfiction Travel Narrative
“It requires a special sensitivity to write well about the Hadj…Michael Wolfe’s tone is exactly right.” The Times Literary Supplement

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