Jacob Edmond

A Common Strangeness: Contemporary Poetry, Cross-Cultural Encounter, Contemporary Literature by Jacob Edmond

just out from Fordham University Press

Contents
Introduction I
I. Yang Lian and the FLlneur in Exile 15
2. Arkadii Dragomoshchenko and Poetic Correspondences 44
3. Lyn Hejinian and Russian Estrangement 72
4. Bei Dao and World Literature 95
5. Dmitri Prigov and Cross-Cultural Conceptualism 125
6. Charles Bernstein and Broken English 164
Conclusion 193

'When was it that you stopped using the word 'home'?' Yang Lian in Auckland

Crater of the extinct volcano Maungawhau or Mt. Eden, in Auckland

At the recent Short Takes on Long Poems symposium in Auckland (see Jack Ross's take here), Jacob Edmond, whose comic-serious talk concerned the literal weights and volumes of long poems, kept asking a single question of other speakers.  “In what way is the work you're talking about local?”  Or, in the case of my presentation, “Do you think your videos [of people in Hawai`i saying back lines of George Oppen's ‘Of Being Numerous’ as best they could] localize the poem in some way?”  Jack Ross argues that the symposium would have been too international had it not included the work of Robert Sullivan and John Adams, writing the interstices between Maori and Pakeha in Aotearoa / New Zealand.  This discussion felt like home to me, albeit set on a different stage and peopled by very different writers and critics than is the case in Hawai`i.  But of course these distinctions are hard to keep or enforce when (like me) you can leave Auckland at 7 a.m. of a Monday morning and arrive in Honolulu at 7 a.m. the same morning.  Yet Lucas Klein, a scholar and translator of Chinese poetry, quoted the Chinese poet, citizen of New Zealand, and resident of London, Yang Lian, as saying: “There is no international, only different locals.”

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