Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Heriberto Yépez

'A Sketch on Globalization & Ethnopoetics'

[The essay by Yépez following the translation, below, of Jean Louis Battre’s Portuguese poem, “The Cave,” is reposted here as a tribute and acknowledgement of the work and thought of Mexican poet Heriberto Yépez in the development of a future-facing ethnopoetics from a perspective outside the familiar US nexus. It was originally published in the radical magazine R.A.U.L. / Red Anarcho Utopista Libre in May 2012, and a related work by Yépez, “Ethnopoetics.

Jerome Rothenberg, with Javier Taboada


[While it’s been slowed down by the current pandemic, I’m awaiting the publication later this year of El Libro de las Voces (The Book of Voices): Poemas y Poéticas from Mangos de Hacha in Mexico, DF, and the Universidad de Nueva Léon in Monterrey. The book (in Spanish) consists of an extended interview of me by Javier Taboada reinforced by an interspersed selection of poems and other writings, the whole of it translated into Spanish by Taboada.

Norman Finkelstein and Tirzah Goldenberg

A poetic dialogue

[What follows is an attempt by two poets to create as linked dialogue a specifically “Jewish poetry” — more mystical and religious, as I read it, than sentimental. The excerpts (ten out of thirty-six poems) and the poets’ later reflections on intention and process are presented below without any attempt at further clarification. (j.r.)]


Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (28)

From Jackson Mac Low's 'Presidents of the United States of America'

Photograph of Jackson Mac Low by Anne Tardos, 2003.
Photograph of Jackson Mac Low by Anne Tardos, 2003.

[In the final stages of composing a new assemblage of North and South American Poetry (“from origins to present”), I became aware again of the current and continuing relevance of Mac Low’s poem and the accompanying commentary prepared earlier by myself and Javier Taboada. (j.r.)]


1789    (begun about 15 January 1963)


Unica Zürn

Nine anagrammatic poems with notes on the process by Hans Bellmer and Pierre Joris

[What follows is an attempt, once again, to cast light on the work of Unica Zürn, a fabled artist and poet, whose anagrammatic poems and automatic drawings existed on the fringe or near the center (depending on how you cut it) of post–1920s Surrealism and in close photo collaborations with German artist Hans Bellmer. The commentaries by Bellmer and poet and translator Pierre Joris, below, make a strong presentation of her principal work as a poet. (j.r.)]