Ivan Sokolov

Ivan Sokolov on Clayton Eshleman (1935-2021)

Ivan Sokolov
The Poet Is Always under Arrest: A Study in Cave Tones

Published as part of a feature in NLO (Russia), edited by Vladimir Feschenko: "American Experimental Poetry: The Poetics of Language and Ethnopoetics." 

Beware:  This is a (human assited) machine translation from Russian. Consult the orginal in NLO (2021)
Published here with the permission of the Ivan Sokolov.

where vallejo césar
let open sesame
Аleksandr Skidan

We will burn the ultimate essence!
sar Vallejo

Clayton Eshleman's name (1935-2021) says little to the Russian reader, though this author's work runs a red and blue vein through the solar plexus of contemporary American literature. Author of dozens of books of poetry, several collections of essays, and a striking combination of ambition and meticulous translation projects, Eshleman is recognized and appreciated both as a writer and as a literary figure. From 1967 to 1973, he published the magazine Caterpillar, where Zukofsky, Brakhage, and Duncan were published, and from 1981 to 2000, Sulfur (with a title referring both to sulphur and, continuing the insect line, to the yellow butterfly), a major contribution to post-war avant-garde poetry that drew Eliot Weinberger, Michael Palmer, Marjorie Perloff and others. Most of his poetry collections have appeared at two publishers marked, curiously, by a sign of dark bestiality –– Black Sparrow (publisher of Bowles and Creeley) and Black Widow (which also publishes books by Pierre Joris, Jerome Rothenberg). To date, Eshleman has had three volumes of selected poems (1986, 2008, 2015), a monograph (Minding the Underworld: Clayton Eshleman and Late Postmodernism by Paul Christensen, 1991) and a collection of articles (Clayton Eshleman: The Whole Art, edited by Stewart Kendall, 2014). The poet has won many awards. [Image: Eshleman and Joris]

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