Awede Press (Brita Bergland), Windsor, Vermont, 1989. Used with permission of Estate of Anne-Marie Albiach, Keith Waldrop, and Claude Royet-Journoud. French poem published by Mercure de France, 1971; republished 1988.
Cinq le Choeur, Anne-Marie Albiach's collected poems, 1966-2012 has just been published by Poésie/Flammarion. This magnificent 600-page collection of one of the signal achievements of postwar French poetry, includes an afterword by Isabelle Garron and cover by Claude Royet-Journoud.
In Conjunctions 23 (1994), I published a reworking of Albiach's "Travail Vertical et Blanc": pdf. & here is the original poem, from the new collected (reprinted with permission): pdf .
The great French poet Anne-Marie Albiach died today, after a long illness.
Albiach was born in 1937 and for many years lived in Neuilly sur Seine on the outskirts of Paris. Her major collections include Etat (Mercure de France, 1971; republished 1988), Mezza voce (Flammarion, 1984), Anawratha (Spectres Familiers, 1984) and Figure vocative (1985; reissued by Fourbis, 1991), and Figurations de l'image (Flammarion, 2004). She edited Siècle à mains with Claude Royet-Journoud & Michel Courturier. Royet-Journoud writes that, for him, the 1971 publication of Etat “changed the ‘face’ of poetry.”
Albiach has been fortunate in her American translators. Keith Waldrop worked for 12 years on Etat (Awede, 1989). Mezza Voce (Post-Apollo, 1988) was translated by Joey Simas in collaboration with Lydia Davis, Anthony Barnett and Douglas Oliver. Vocative Figure (Allardyce-Barnett, UK, 1992) was translated by Anthony Barnett and Joey Simas. Rosmarie Waldrop has published a translation of Travail Vertical et Blanc in her Série d'Écriture (#4, Spectacular Diseases, 1990).
Jean-Marie Gleize's Albiach was the first book on her complete work (Editions Belin, Paris, 1995). In the U.S., essays on her work have been written by Keith Waldrop, Paul Auster, Benjamin Hollander, Geoffrey O'Brien, Joseph Simas, Norma Cole, Michael Palmer, Alan Davies, Rachel Blau DuPlessis, Gale Nelson, Rosmarie Waldrop, Jonathan Skinner, Don Wellman, Peter Ramos, Cole Swenson and others.