Commentaries - October 2015


Cuba's Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas.  Photo from Nelson Villalobos.
Cuba's Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas. Photo from Nelson Villalobos.

Where do you draw boundaries between a translator’s research and the collecting of stories about the poet?   Stories expand on the truth while distorting the truth.  Hearing them is an inevitable part of the translation process — or at least it has been for me, because I have translated materials over time from a series of writers with links to the same city, which means that my interpretations are partially influenced by the city's shifting artistic community.

Clayton Eshleman: From 'Penetralia' (forthcoming): 'Orphic Ontologies'

for Matthew Eshleman

Are you, Muse, the spume off Laussel, archaic
dust dimpled & savory that I nourish to steel myself
the Selfhood that lays claim to all rapture?
Is your fertility still based in the blood-filled bison horn
Laussel grasps in her right hand raised slightly below her

Might the egg-shaped relief of a double figure near


'Experimental' poetry — part one

'Experimental' poetry — part one

'Experimental' Poetry - part one

'Experimental' Poetry
'Experimental' Poetry

Kia ora ano.

Let’s take a spin and tumble into “experimental” poetry — more specifically within Aotearoa-New Zealand, but not necessarily resticted to that thin locale.

Visualizing applause in the PennSound archive

Tanya E. Clement and Stephen McLaughlin

Applause at the end of Charles Olson’s Vancouver Poetry Conference reading, August 14, 1963

What if you could identify the applause in every recording in the PennSound archive? With that information, you might ask who receives the most applause, which poems by a given author are most likely to spur an audience response, and which venues lend themselves to the warmest reception. In the following we present our initial work toward using machine learning to answer just such questions.

Kiwi-Pasifika lady poets

Kiwi-Pasifika Lady Poets

Talofa lava.

Pasifika (migrants and their descendants originating from Pacific island groups such as Fiji, Sāmoa, Tonga as just some examples) poets in Aotearoa-New Zealand are increasingly audible and visible, which is a reflection of a rapid Pasifika population increase in the country; indeed the percentage of Pasifika youth under the age of 25, at 60% of overall Pasifika population, is the highest in the country. More, Pasifika poets are standing up to be counted, proudly proclaiming their Pacific islands heritage in a country, Aotearoa-New Zealand, which ironically does not seem to ever equate itself as a Pacific island, which of course it is, as Leilani Tamu points out later.