Comes by his diasporism honestly
A review of Marmer's 'Cosmic Diaspora'
Norman Finkelstein has published an excellent review of Jake Marmer’s new book of poems, Cosmic Diaspora. Here’s a paragraph:
Marmer comes by his diasporism honestly, and not only because he is Jewish. “Born in the provincial steppes of Ukraine, in a city which was renamed four times in the past hundred years [it was Kirovograd while Marmer was growing up; it is now Kropyvnytskyi]” (119), Marmer came to the United States at the age of fifteen. “Growing up on the outskirts of the universe,” he tells us, “I sought out the language of the cosmos, its imagery and terminology” (15). A devoted reader of Eastern European science fiction and “coveted translations of American sci-fi classics,” Marmer put this youthful love aside when he became an immigrant — an “alien,” a term to which he became rightfully sensitive. His passion was “just too bound up with my old-country self, which I was trying to erase.” His rediscovery of the genre via “Samuel Delaney, Ursula Le Guin, Octavia Butler, and Sun Ra,” led to a renewed vision of “the deep future of the myth, spirit, language, otherness, desire, and the epic.”
The whole review can be found HERE. Along with Norman’s review, I recommend this nine-minute video clip in which the ModPo staff and I talk with Jake Marmer himself about a prose passage from Cosmic Diaspora in which the poet describes a turning-point scene in which a musician, on stage in a club, overhears a noisy interruption from the street and soon incoporates that intrusive sound into the music he’s making. Here’s the video: