Commentaries - July 2015

Charles Bernstein, Susan Bee, Ton van ’t Hof, Samuel Vriezen, and Jane Lewty at Perdu, Amsterdam (audio)

Perdu, Amsterdam, May 6, 2015

1. Introductions by Obe Alkema and Jane Lewty; "Truth in Pudding" read by  Bernstein and Samuel Vriezen in aternating stanzas (English stanzas not read in Dutch, Dutch translatons not read in English)  (34:17): MP3
2. Susan Bee slide presentation (audio only) : (21:17): MP3
3. Bernstein and  Ton van ’t Hof, "Recalculating," alternating stanzas; "Unready, Unwilling, Unable" in English, followed by Sarah Posman's tr. read by Obe Alkema; "Transegmental Drifts" in English and three translations: (40:40): MP3
4. Discussion with Bee and Bernstein, moderated by Jane Lewty (36:22): MP3

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Anna Deeny in San Juan 2015.  Photo K Dykstra.
Anna Deeny in San Juan 2015. Photo K Dykstra.

Anna Deeny Morales is a marvelous translator of poetry.  To date I know her work principally in relation to writers from the Southern Cone, among them Mercedes Roffé (see the Shearsman page for the new Floating Lanterns collection here) and Raúl Zurita.


Rodríguez  home, "la azotea," 2013.  K Dykstra.
Rodríguez home, "la azotea," 2013. K Dykstra.

Catch and Release – an English phrase – is the title of a poetry collection composed in Spanish by Reina María Rodríguez.[1]  Throughout this book Rodríguez makes repeated reference to objects and occurrences that fall short of desires.  Her pattern of representing shortfall became a conscious element as she completed the composition of the book.

Feel beauty supply, post 6

Burke’s sublime; or a white boy sees a black body

Readers, in my last post I took us through Edmund Burke’s definition of Beauty in his Philosophical Inquiry. I showed how he arrived at the notion that we find those things beautiful that appear as if they would “submit” to us. That his examples of beautiful “objects” over and over again include whole or parts of the female body, I argued, implicitly works against his stated intention of elucidating a “logic of taste” universally shared by all humans.


Jumping portrait of Urayoán Noel by ADÁL.  2015.
Jumping portrait of Urayoán Noel by ADÁL. 2015.

Note: Photograph is from the collaborative project Cuerpo del Poema, by Irizelma Robles and ADÁL.

Translations by Urayoán Noel, like his poetry and criticism, are deeply enjoyable.  They announce the presence of a vital mind – insightful, singular and often funny.  Poems bound, spitting energy.  The best part is that even at their most frenetic, the writings emerge out of a long, patient, and illuminating investigation into cultural forms and traditions.