Terese Svoboda
Cleaned the Crocodile's Teeth Book Cover Buy Buy eBook

“She (the author) approaches the Nuer not as an alien, exotic society but as people whose artistic expression may hold meaning and pleasure for any reader.”

—T.O. Beidelman in ANTHROPOS

“A vivid impression of modern Nuer society.”

—Douglas H. Johnson in MAN

“Translated is too modest a word by far. Each of the carefully rendered songs is hard and as beautiful as a pebble washed through centuries.”

—Writer's Digest

“We have a lot to learn from these poems about the social context of our own poetry, and we are indebted to Svoboda for bringing them to us.”

—Roxanne Barrett in COLORADO REVIEW

“Anyone interested in poetry will find insight and image here to delight; creativity enough to last long fter the book is finished.”

—James Ruppert in CONTACT II

“An enticing introduction to one pastoral culture's songs.”

—World Literature Today

PEN/Columbia Fellowship

NEH Translation Fellow

Selected for the Writer's Choice column in the New York Times Book Review


The Nuer, a cattle herding people who live along the Nile, were made famous by anthropologist E. Evans Pritchard's classic text on social anthropology. Svoboda's translations are aided by a linking narrative that chronicles her experiences and gives us a deeper glimpse into the often hard lives of the Nuer.