Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

From 'An Interview with David Antin, Spring 2013' conducted by Stephen Fredman

[The full interview will appear as a foreword to David Antin’s How Long Is the Present: Selected Talk Poems, edited by Stephen Fredman and scheduled for publication by the University of New Mexico Press in 2014.]

Q. 1  When you began delivering talk poems in the mid-1970s, they seemed quite confrontational. There was a remarkable resistance to the work even among so-called "avant-garde" poets on the West Coast, who seemed, as I recall, to take your questioning of the function and techniques of poetry as a direct affront. What specifically were you doing that was so provocative?

A. 1  I think I was born under the star of controversy.

Jorge Santiago Perednik: "The Great Skidder" (from Shock of the Lenders)

Translation from Spanish by Molly Weigel

Three little birds up on a wire

were singing "tu amor, tu amor"

or maybe "tu est mort"

the one on the left holding some grass in its beak

the one in the middle saying this is the real wire

the one on the right asking what happens when the wire ends

I thought they were the three stooges

and also the holy trinity

the crackbrained father and son and the crackbrained ghost

Ariel Resnikoff: Louis Zukofsky and Mikhl Likht, A Test of Jewish American Modernist Poetics, Part Two

Photo of Mikhl Likht courtesy of YIVO New York
Photo of Mikhl Likht courtesy of YIVO New York

[The first part of Resnikoff's essay on Zukofsky & Likht appeared September 11, 2013 on Poems and Poetics, while a significant section of “Procession 3” was posted here on September 3. The thrust of all these postings is toward the recovery/discovery of Likht as a Yiddish-American experimental modernist whose long poem, "Protsesie," may well stand alongside Zukofsky's "A" and Pound's Cantos as a major example, in whatever language, of early American avant-garde poetry. A complete translation of "Processions" by Resnikoff & Stephen Ross is now in progress. (J.R.)]

Seymour Faust: Two Poems Recovered & an Added Fragment (Redux)

[Originally posted June 8, 2009 on the blogger version of Poems and Poetics]

In a conversation the other day with David Antin, the name of Seymour Faust came up, as it often does for us.  In the distant days when we were all students at City College in New York, Faust was among our few poet companions – a friendship & close association that lasted till some time around 1960, when he & I broke off for personal reasons that now seem trivial in retrospect.  He was certainly present at the time that Antin and I founded Hawk’s Well Press in 1958 & published his Lonely Quarry as the first of a small number of books that I was to continue to

Eye of Witness: Publication & Announcement

Monday (September 16) is the actual publication date for Eye of Witness: A Jerome Rothenberg Reader, co-edited with Heriberto Yépez & published by Black Widow Press in Boston.  The design of the book follows the layout of my anthologies such as Poems for the MillenniumTechnicians of the Sacred, which makes it different in format from other “readers” & a way of treating the range of works (poetry, prose, performance, plays, poetics, visual, verbal, & vocal, translations & variations) that I’ve been into over the last fifty years, e