Alain Veinstein’s Final Broadcast

In the early eighties I moved from London (impossible to make the rent in Thatcherite England) to Paris where I found freelance employment as radio-author, commentator, translator and other guises at France Culture (I still listen to that station nearly every night). The people who had just recently revolutionized those French cultural airwaves were the poet Alain Veinstein (by founding the superb nightly program Les Nuits Magnétiques in 1978) and … Read more Alain Veinstein’s Final Broadcast

Abdelwahab Meddeb (1946-2014)

Abdelwahab Meddeb passed away in the night from Wednesday to Thursday in Paris.  Born in Tunis in 1946, he was a poet, scholar, writer, translator, traveller, magazine editor (“Dédale“), book editor (as series editor with  Editions Sindbad from 1974 to 1987 he published the classics of sufism as well as many of the most outstanding contemporary Arab authors), radio producer (check out his France Culture broadcasts Cultures d’Islam which he did weekly for 17 years) & … Read more Abdelwahab Meddeb (1946-2014)

2014 Büchner Prize to Jürgen Becker

This year’s Büchner Preis — the major poetry prize in Germany (both in prestige & money: 50.000 Euros) — went to poet,  experimental prosist, & radio-play author Jürgen Becker. Not much is available in English, though The Brooklyn Rail has some translations here. I’m reprinting their bio-note & two poems translated by Okla Elliott below. Jürgen Becker was born in Köln, Germany, in 1932. He is the author of over thirty … Read more 2014 Büchner Prize to Jürgen Becker

Jacques Taroni, Ciao, l’Ami!

Just learned this morning that Jacques Taroni, the masterful “réalisateur” (producer/director) at France Culture has passed away. It came as a shock as Jacques seemed indestructible, his energy level even in his seventies way beyond any 30-something’s. At an age when most Frenchmen have been in retirement for years cultivating their onions, roses or home-made wines, Jacques was till working constantly & a rhythm only the most energetic youngster … Read more Jacques Taroni, Ciao, l’Ami!

75 Years Ago Osip Mandelstam died

Osip Emilyevich Mandelstam — О́сип Эми́льевич Мандельшта́м — was born January 15  1891 & died 75 years ago today on December 27, 1938 in Siberia at a transit camp to the Gulag where Stalin had sent him for writing poems that insulted the dictator. Probably the greatest Russian lyric poet & essayist of the first part of the 20C. I am still awaiting a really great translation into English of the poetry. Many … Read more 75 Years Ago Osip Mandelstam died

Jackson Mac Low Writing Through Ezra

Writing through Ezra (PoemTalk #46) Jackson Mac Low, “Words nd Ends from Ez” POEMTALK Jackson Mac Low, Ezra Pound LISTEN TO THE SHOW Writes Al Filreis, PoemTalk’s producer & host: PoemTalk travelled to Bard College, where we gathered with Charles Bernstein, Pierre Joris, and Bard’s own Joan Retallack to talk about Jackson Mac Low‘s Words nd Ends from Ez (1989). The project was composed in ten parts, one part each for sections (sometimes called “decades”) of Ezra … Read more Jackson Mac Low Writing Through Ezra