Commentaries

Tuli Kupferberg, 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft

In 1966, Tuli Kupferberg released the marvelous LP No Deposit / No Return and a long poem called 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft,  written with Robert Bashlow. 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft is one of the great long poems of the New American (and "Beat") poetry --  and perhaps the quintessential 60's anti-war poem, though it is hardly known at all and as far as I know not recognized as a poem.  But it is one and a great one. The full poem (66 pp.) is on-line via Haathi Trust digital library's anarchism pamphlets.

Muenster International Poetry Prize ceremony and readings

The full ensemble of my 18 collaborative translators, all of whom came to Münster for the occasion. Our Saturday night reading (May 9, 2015) was the final event of the Lyrik festival; it started with my reading solo on the stage, with other voices joining in with their translations. It ended with all of us on stage, reading simultaneously. Some people walked out, one shouting "Anarchists!" (Photo by Robert Golinski)

 The 2015 Prize of the City of Münster for International Poetry, the leading translation prize in Germany, was awarded to two new translations of my work:  Gedichte und Übersetzen, tr. Versatorium and Peter Waterhouse (Vienna: Edition Korrespondenzen) and Angriff der Schwierigen Gedichte  tr. Tobias Amslinger , Norbert Lange, Léonce W. Lupette and Mathias Traxler (based on All the Whiskey in Heaven, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010) (Wiesbaden, Germany: Lux Books). The Verstoarium collaborators included Judith Aistleitner, Katharine Apostle, Gabriella Attems, Aida Besirevic, Julia Dengg, Helmut Ege, Monique Ehmann, Nino Idoidze, Katharina Lehner, Astrid Nischkauer, Natalie Neumaier, Mirjam Paninski, Marlies Peter, Miriam Rainer, Julia Rosenkranz, Anja Sander, Katharina Schindl, Dimitri Smirnov, Nina-Victoria Truskawetz, Franz Vala,  Jennifer Weiss, Katharina Widholm, Anna Zalesko, plus Waterhouse and me. 

Since 1993, the city of Münster has awarded the poetry prize for a book of poetry and its translation. Prizewinners 2013 were the Caribbean Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott and his German translator Werner von Koppenfels. 

  
Münster Mayor Marcus Lewe with me at May 10 prize ceremony in Erbdrostenhof palace. 
Photo © Petra Noppeney, Muenstersche-Zeitung

Irrealities

Rito Ramón Aroche at the azotea.  Havana, 2010
Rito Ramón Aroche at the azotea. Havana, 2010

Rito Ramón Aroche (b. 1961) assembles and dismantles scene after scene in distinct poetry collections.  Many pieces project such a heightened awareness of construction and destruction as to put anything called “reality” at a marked remove.

Holland

"Bla," drawing by Omar Pérez
"Bla," drawing by Omar Pérez

 “Cubanology” is a book of days. The poet, essayist, and translator Omar Pérez (b. 1964, Havana) began writing this multilingual notebook from 2002 –2005, while living temporarily in Europe.  His journey began as a short professional visit, then shifted into something less defined after Pérez fell in love with a woman named Christina, who plays an important role throughout the notebook.

Geometries of everything / 'Galiano St. Variety'

Photo/text detail, Variedades de Galiano pp82-83
Photo/text detail, Variedades de Galiano pp82-83

In 2001 Reina María Rodríguez talked to me about the range of her writing:

What matters to me [. ..] is incorporating everything. In other words, not differentiating between literature and the life that I’m living. I think that conserving it there as the work… it’s like capital accumulated toward our possibility of really achieving a powerful state. Not greater, but broader, a passion or a form. Because in each of my books, what has always mattered is the human form of existence itself. Existing and seeing what is happening.