Jerome Rothenberg

Poems and poetics

Pierre Joris & Habib Tengour: From the 'Diwan Ifrikiya' (forthcoming), a preview & selection

NOTE.  The following offers a first look at what will be the fourth volume of Poems for the Millennium, the experimental anthology that Pierre Joris and I initiated in the mid-1990s as an attempt to lay out & map what I've more recently come to describe as a global or omnipoetics.  With volume 4, Joris & Habib Tengour move the focus to a particular demographic & cultural area, exploring it over a 2000-year span & with a sense of the often unacknowledged diversities (both formal & cultural) that such a region & history contain.  Their workings will otherwise speak for themselves.  (J.R.)





Our working title for the anthology that will be published as The University of California Book of North African Literature, namely Diwan Ifrikiya, combined the well-known Arabic word fora gathering, a collection or anthologyof poems, diwan, with one of the earliest names of (at least part of) the region covered, Ifrikiya, which is an Arabization of the Latin wordAfrica” — & which the Romans took from the Egyptians who spoke of the land of the ifri,referring to the original inhabitants of North Africa, the people the Romans called the Berbers, but who call themselves the Amazigh, & in whose language, Tamazight, the wordifriis found even today in tribal names such as the Beni Ifren.

Toward an omnipoetics: From an interview in Rampike magazine

NOTE. The following posting inaugurates the appearance of Poems and Poetics as a section of “commentaries” for Jacket2. The blog/journal as such has been active on the internet for almost four years now & will still be viewable at the old blogger site. In its new presentation I expect, among other things, to continue it as a platform for the presentation of an outsider anthology-in-progress & to launch a discussion of that omnipoetics that I see as the most ambitious & still unrealized thrust of many of our lives & works as poets & readers. That I have no ready definition of either outsider poetry or omnipoetics (among various ongoing concerns) is surely one of the lacks that keeps me going. (J.R.)

Editorial Associate & Confidant: Amish Trivedi

[The following is an excerpt from a recent interview by Karl Jirgens in Rampike magazine (University of Windsor, Ontario, Canada): “Omnipoetics & Ethnopoetics: Talking with Jerome Rothenberg,”. In the course of being questioned about the international/intercultural implications of works like Technicians of the Sacred & Poems for the Millennium, I hit on “omnipoetics” as yet another attempt at pinning down what many of us had been pursuing with more or less success over the last several decades, & more. The ideas embodied in the word are matters I would care to pursue still further over the years to come. (J.R.)]


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