Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Toward a poetry and poetics of the Americas (18): Faustino Chimalpopoca

From 'The Náhuatl Exercises'

[Another excerpt from a work-in-progress, coedited by me with Heriberto Yépez and John Bloomberg-Rissman: a transnational anthology of the poetry and poetics of North and South America “from origins to present,” to be published in 2020 by the University of California Press. (J.R.)]

 

Jerome Rothenberg: from 'The President of Desolation'

'A Book of Mirrors'

Collage portrait of J.R. by Angus Carter

 

Osiris Ánibal Gómez: The ghost poet

Writing and translating indigenous poetry in twenty-first century Mexico

Osiris Anibal Gómez, right, with Mazatec poet Juan Gregorio Regino
Osiris Anibal Gómez, right, with Mazatec poet Juan Gregorio Regino, director of Mexico’s National Institute of Indigenous Languages (INALI).

For the past ten years there’s been an ongoing discussion among writers and critics concerning the conditions and the transcendence of translation in contemporary Indigenous literary production. On the one hand, there are those who express that the birth of bilingual literature in Mexico has been shaped by federal writing grants offered mainly to writers who agree to self-translate their work to the Spanish language for publishing. On the other hand, there are writers who take on the double artistic responsibility as a necessity for greater dissemination.

For the past ten years there’s been an ongoing discussion among writers and critics concerning the conditions and the transcendence of translation in contemporary Indigenous literary production. On the one hand, there are those who express that the birth of bilingual literature in Mexico has been shaped by federal writing grants offered mainly to writers who agree to self-translate their work to the Spanish language for publishing.

Jerome Rothenberg and Ariel Resnikoff

'A Poem Beginning with Two Lines by Likht' (in English and Yiddish)

[Author’s Note:“A lid vos heybt on mit tsvey shuros fun likhtn”(“A Poem Beginning with Two Lines from Likht”) is a translingual epistolary experiment and collaborative double-iteration between English and Yiddish poetic tongues. Mikhl Likht (1893–1953), our radical Yiddish modernist ancestor (New York and “Objectivist” based) calls out from the interstices of an expanded-Yiddish praxis, coaxing our poem into the the wor(l)d with two lines from his “poem-of-a-life,” Protsestiyes (Processions).

Paul Celan: from 'Microliths,' translated by Pierre Joris

[The following selection (theoretical and critical fragments from between 1967 and 1969) is taken from Paul Celan, Mikrolithen sinds, Steinchen, the collected posthumous prose as edited by Barbara Wiedemann and Bertrand Badiou and published by Suhrkamp Verlag in 2005.