Commentaries

'T'-Space reading

On October 14, 2023, I received the 11th Annual 'T' Space Poetry Award at ‘T’ Space Reserve in Rhinebeck, NY. The event coincided with the opening of Giuliano Fiorenzoli’s exhibition “Because of seeing architecture” at ‘T’ Space’s newly completed Archive Gallery. As a result, I gave an architecture-themed reading. In addition to brief talks by Steven Holl and Fiorenzoli prior to my reading and award presentation, Nate Wooley performed an improvised set of inventive trumpet music afterwards.

Pierre Alferi (April 10, 1963 – August. 16 2023)

Jean-Jacques Poucel, Anne Portugal, Alferi, Cole Swenson at NYU April 25, 2014 (photo © Charles Bernstein)


Pierre Alferi died yesterday in Paris. Poet and editor. I first met Pierre at the Objectivist conference at Royaumont in 1989. He did a simultaneous trnaslation of my talk on Charles Reznikoff (later published as "Reznikoff's Nearness." (Pictured here with Karl Rakosi.) Pierre went on to edit, with Olivier Cadiot, in the mid-1990s, the literary sensation, Revue de littérature générale. His first book in English translation was published by Douglas Messerli's Sun & Moon Press: Narural Gaits, translated by Cole Swenson (and available as a pdf here).  He has a book forthcoming in December, also translated by Swenson, In the StreetHere is what I wrote for that:

Keith Waldrop (1932-2023)

photo by Charles Bernstein (2009)

[This obituary comes from Peter Gale Nelson. Listen to Keith Waldrop on PennSound, including my Close Listening conversation with him., & read some poems at his EPC page.]

Biuro Literackie readings (2020)

For the launch of my collection, published by in Poland, I made a set of videos in Truro (Cape Cod) on August 22, 2020. I had to cancel my visit due to covid, although the literary festival was not cancelled and the videos were projected. My thanks to Kacper Bartczak for his translations, the capstone of years of correspondence; and to Susan Bee, video camerman. 

Test of Poetry: Seven translations


 

Charles Bernstein, Norbert Lange (German), Ernesto Livon-Grosman (Spanish), Collective à Royaumont (France), Haroldo de Campos (Portuguese),  Leevi Lehto (Finnish),  Gizem Atlı (Turkish), and Carla Buranello (Italian)

A Test of Poetry

“A Test of Poetry” was written in 1992 and published in My Way: Speeches and Poems (University of Chicago Press, 1999). The poem is based on a letter from the Chinese scholar Ziquing Zhang, who translated poems from Rough Trades and The Sophist for Selected Language Poems (Chengdu, China: Sichuan Literature and Art Publishing House, 1993); quotations from the poems are italicized.  It seemed to me that Ziquing Zhang’s questions provided both an incisive commentary on my poems and also raised a set of imponderble yet giddy, not to say fundamental, translation issues. Several  poets have take up the task of translating this poem, and we here compile the results: Norbert Lange into German, Ernesto Livon-Grosman into Spanish, Collective à Royaumont dans le cadre de l’Atelier Cosmopolite into French (originally published as a pamphlet by Format Américain), Haroldo de Campos into Portuguese,  Leevi Lehto into Finnish, and Gizem Atlı in Turkish (orginally published in Buzdokuz).