Norman MacAfee

Harbor Mountain Press published Norman MacAfee’s selected poems, One Class. Two of the poems in it, “I Am Astro Place” and “The Coming of Fascism to America,” first appeared in Jacket. Jack Hirschman: “One Class manifests the three elements — Passion, Provocation and Prophecy — that are the measure of all great books of poetry.” Bob Holman: “Like history where dates are midnight assignations, like sexual encounters that bristle with political implications, One Class presents a unified social theory of life and art, love and politics and aesthetics, that is fearless and human.” Roberto Tejada: “[One Class is] Whitman, Pound and Pasolini breathing in a register wherein the present suddenly irrupts … generous in its embrace and many-accented in its perspective.”

Some of MacAfee’s other books include The Gospel According to RFK: Why It Matters Now, about Robert Kennedy’s 1968 presidential campaign; and The Death of the Forest, an opera about King Philip’s War to music of Charles Ives. The Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts is producing The Death of the Forest for premiere in 2015. MacAfee translated Heroines, the legendary long-lost manuscript by the surrealist lesbian Claude Cahun in Shelley Rice, Inverted Odysseys. He co-translated (with Luciano Martinengo) Poems: Pier Paolo Pasolini; Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables (with Lee Fahnestock); two volumes of letters from Jean-Paul Sartre to Simone de Beauvoir: Witness to My Life and Quiet Moments in a War (again with Fahnestock); and (with Luigi Fontanella) Lines of Light by Daniele del Giudice. MacAfee blogs on Huffington Post and has lived in Manhattan since 1967.

Norman MacAfee reading at Saint Mark's Poetry Project Artists Call Reading, New York, January 18, 1984. Photo: Copyright © 1984 Nancy Miller Elliott.