Jerome Rothenberg

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (20)

Joanna Kitchel, El Niño Fidencio, and Essie Parrish

[In putting together a transnational and historical anthology of the Americas North and South (now in progress), Javier Taboada and I are looking also at founders and representatives of new or revived American-based religions, who speak and write in forms of prophetic and visionary language that resembles what we otherwise would think of as open-verse poetry. In the present instance the outsider poets on display are Joanna Kitchel, a follower of Mother Anne Lee and the Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Coming (a.k.a.

Peter Valente

Introduction and translation of Nerval's essay 'Le Diable Rouge'

[With the help of Henri Delaage (a well-known figure in the nineteenth century among the “initiated” in Paris) and some illustrators (including the famous Nadar, who was a designer before becoming a photographer), Gerard de Nerval composed the journal Le Diable Rouge, which was meant to be a “Cabalistic Almanac for 1850.” Le Diable Rouge inaugurated Nerval’s “Republican” period, the one that would see him, in 1850, publishing in Le National, the great daily organ of the Left.

Hiromi Itō and Jeffrey Angles

'Birthing the World,' from the Kojiki

A portion of 'Izanami and Izanagi Creating the Japanese Islands' by Kobayashi Eitaku, mid-1880s, ink and color on silk, 49 5/8 x 21 1/2" (126 x 54.6 cm), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

[The Kojiki (Record of Ancient Matters) is the oldest chronicle ever produced in Japan, compiled in the years 711–12 CE by the court noble Ō no Yasumaro at the request of the Empress Genmei, who reigned 707 to 715 CE. It begins with the creation of the world, describing the actions of the gods and goddesses as they create the earth and society, then it connects these myths to the earliest history of the Japanese nation. Among the most important of these stories is the tale of Izanami and Izanagi, the first gods to descend to earth.

India Radfar

Five opening poems, with foreword, from a booklength poem called 'Far'

FOREWORD

 

Postface to 'The President of Desolation'

Now available from Black Widow Press

[In announcing the publication of my latest book of poems from Black Widow Press, I thought the following postface might be of interest in what I say about the book’s title and the concerns that inform the book as a whole. Further information, for those who seek it, can be found at the Black Widow website, but for now I would hope to make the context of the work, including a number of procedural and aleatory poems, as clear as possible.

Osiris Ánibal Gómez: The ghost poet

Writing and translating indigenous poetry in twenty-first century Mexico

Osiris Anibal Gómez, right, with Mazatec poet Juan Gregorio Regino
Osiris Anibal Gómez, right, with Mazatec poet Juan Gregorio Regino, director of Mexico’s National Institute of Indigenous Languages (INALI).

For the past ten years there’s been an ongoing discussion among writers and critics concerning the conditions and the transcendence of translation in contemporary Indigenous literary production. On the one hand, there are those who express that the birth of bilingual literature in Mexico has been shaped by federal writing grants offered mainly to writers who agree to self-translate their work to the Spanish language for publishing. On the other hand, there are writers who take on the double artistic responsibility as a necessity for greater dissemination.

For the past ten years there’s been an ongoing discussion among writers and critics concerning the conditions and the transcendence of translation in contemporary Indigenous literary production. On the one hand, there are those who express that the birth of bilingual literature in Mexico has been shaped by federal writing grants offered mainly to writers who agree to self-translate their work to the Spanish language for publishing.

Bugging the circles (PoemTalk #123)

David Antin, ‘War’

On March 26, 2003, before an audience gathered for an event sponsored by the SUNY Buffalo Poetics Program, David Antin performed a fifty-minute talk-poem called “War.” It seems to have been a tense gathering. The second US incursion into Iraq had begun six days earlier, led by George W. Bush, who features prominently in Antin’s talk that evening. After delivering “War” this once, Antin apparently never transcribed it — nor apparently then, in his usual mode, lineated this talk-poem. Did he not sufficiently value it, then or later? Is it perhaps too unlike his usual talking performance? Perhaps it too directly referred to the political problem of the moment in relation to the poet’s work?

This corner of the Diaspora (PoemTalk #121)

Jerome Rothenberg, 'Galician Nights' from 'Poland/1931'

From left to right: Al Filreis, Jake Marmer, Maria Damon, and Frank London.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW

One Sunday afternoon at Kelly Writers House, Jake Marmer, Frank London, Al Filreis, and Maria Damon ducked into the Wexler Studio to talk about Jerome Rothenberg's Poland/1931. The group chose to focus on the section of that book entitled “Galician Nights, or a Novel in Progress” — on, in particular, a 2002 performance in which Rothenberg chanted the text while backed by the Klezmatics (the band including one of our interlocutors, the Hasidic New Wave eminence Frank London, on trumpet). The recording — which lasts six minutes and twenty-six seconds — can be found at Rothenberg’s extensive PennSound page

Total translation

Navajo song and the story of US modernism

In her deconstruction of Mary Austin’s ‘The American Rhythm,’ Leah Dilworth argu
In her deconstruction of Mary Austin’s ‘The American Rhythm,’ Leah Dilworth argues that modernists held American Indian culture to be fundamentally analogous to that of ancient Africa and China. Above: Austin's 'American Rhythm,' Eda Lou Walton's 'Dawn Boy,' and 'Navajo Songs,’ 1933 and 1940 field recordings from settlements in New Mexico and Arizona courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.

American Indian culture attracted many white poets to the Southwest in the early and mid-twentieth century. Educated in Anglo American traditions, but compelled by the modernist urge to develop new poetic forms, poets from Mary Austin to Jerome Rothenberg went to great lengths to represent what they were hearing and feeling. D. H. Lawrence wrote of his experience of Hopi dance, and he and Witter Bynner composed lyrics purportedly inspired by the Taos Pueblo. In American Rhythm, Austin “re-expressed” the music of several peoples, including the Paiute and Shoshone, and in Red Earth, Alice Corbin Henderson claimed to write “from the Indian,” naming the San Ildefonso and Tesuque pueblos. 

American Indian[1] culture attracted many white poets to the Southwest in the early and mid-twentieth century. Educated in Anglo American traditions, but compelled by the modernist urge to develop new poetic forms, poets from Mary Austin to Jerome Rothenberg went to great lengths to represent what they were hearing and feeling. D. H. Lawrence wrote of his experience of Hopi dance, and he and Witter Bynner composed lyrics purportedly inspired by the Taos Pueblo.

Dennis Tedlock (June 19, 1939 – June 3, 2016)

image: Douglas Levere / UB

It is with great sadness that I learned of the death of Dennis Tedlock on June 3.  I worked closely with Dennis during our time in the Poetics Program at SUNY-Buffalo. I greatly admired Dennis's work and was lucky to get to know him.

Syndicate content