Articles

On Harvey Shapiro's 'A Momentary Glory'

Harvey Shapiro passed away on January 7, 2013, less than a month short of his eighty-ninth birthday. As his literary executor, I was given the task of looking over his remaining papers. I did not anticipate a big job: in 2009, Harvey moved from an apartment in a brownstone on Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn Heights to a high-rise a few blocks away on Montague Street, and before the move he had sold most of his papers (notebooks, manuscripts, and letters of over fifty years) to the Beinecke Library at Yale, his alma mater. His collected poems, The Sights Along the Harbor, had appeared in 2006, including about twenty pages of new work. After its publication, in his last years, I knew he was continuing to write at a leisurely pace, and he would casually mention poems forthcoming in one publication or another. My impression, therefore, when I began to consider his remaining files, was that I would find only a handful of poems beyond the ones that he had published since Sights had appeared.

As it turns out, I was utterly mistaken.

Poetics and the manifesto

On Pierre Joris and Adrian Clarke

The writings writers write about writing have been curiously misread.

Monoculture beer no more

Other poetries from Ireland

Left to right: Anamaría Crowe Serrano, Catherine Walsh, Dylan Harris, Kit Fryatt, Susan Connolly.

Discussions of the Irish poetry avant-garde, or avant-garde poetry from Ireland, or avant-garde poetry produced in Ireland, tend to focus on a lineage that begins with the quartet of Samuel Beckett, Brian Coffey, Thomas MacGreevy, and Denis Devlin, before continuing with Michael Smith’s New Writers Press and Trevor Joyce, Randolph Healy, Maurice Scully, Billy Mills, and Catherine Walsh. Sometimes there are extensions to include younger poets like Aodán McCardle and James Cummins.

Andrée Chedid and the contradictions of translation

One is the first positive odd number, an integer not evenly divisible by two. Odd, from the Old Norse oddi, point of land, triangle, the odd point sticking out, not lining up. As Dr. Math explains, the words we use are pictures of the shapes a number makes.[1]

Alexander Vvedensky's 'The Soldier Ay Bee See'

The poetry of Alexander Vvedensky, cofounder of Russia’s last avant-garde group OBERIU, became available to Russian readers only a half-century after his death under arrest in 1941. Inheriting the utopian energies and ideas of the avant-garde, his work also provides the earliest example of its functioning after the collapse of the avant-garde project. His realization that the language of his time was indelibly compromised by outside power, and his success in coaxing truths out of such suspect material, make his experience particularly relevant for today.