“An American is a Complex of occasions:” Charles Olson Reads

A dream last night of a largish figure hurrying along a rock outcropping at a seashore — can only be Charles Olson, methought. A bit puzzled as Olson, whom I never met, has never, as far as I remember, shown up in my dreams. The dream may be a footnote to a conversation I had earlier last night with Ammiel Alcalay on his excellent A Little History book, as we wondered through the chapbook exhibition at Poets House which had copies of some Olsonia, & after hearing/watching Kyle Waugh’s presentation on chapbooks. At any rate, this morning, post-dream a desire to hear Olson’s voice, & so googled him & found these, here now, to share:


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Pierre Joris

Pierre Joris is a poet, translator, essayist & anthologist who has published more than 50 books, most recently, Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (poems) from Chax Press and The University of California Book of North African Literature (volume 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series), coedited with Habib Tengour. Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader edited & translated by Joris, and Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, essays on Joris’ work edited by Peter Cockelbergh, came out in 2012. Forthcoming are Barzakh — Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press) & Breathturn Into Timestead:The Collected Later Poems of Paul Celan (FSG).

Comment on ““An American is a Complex of occasions:” Charles Olson Reads”

  1. What a grand thought, that he was and writing and reading such fine work while I scuffled about in Paris making several ends meet whilst a well known Grand Ducky De Luxe poet skipped classes at the Sorbonne!

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