Born in 1946 in Strasbourg, France, raised in Luxembourg, Pierre Joris has moved between the US, Europe & North Africa for 50 years, publishing close to 50 books of poetry, essays, anthologies, plays and translations. In 1992 he returned to New York, first the state, where he taught poetry & poetics at SUNY-Albany until 2012, but also, since 2008, the city — happily humming Bob Dylan’s “I’m going back to New York City, I believe I’ve had enough…”. When not on the road (see the “Events Calendar” page on this blog or on his site), he lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn — baptized Sorrentinostan by him — with his wife, painter, singer & multimedia performance artist Nicole Peyrafitte.
Just out are The Agony of I.B. (a play commissioned & produced in June 2016 by the Théatre National du Luxembourg; Editions PHI); An American Suite (early poems; inpatient press 2016); an online downloadable reissue of the 1974 chapbook A Single-Minded Bestiary by metambesem press in 2015; plus Barzakh: Poems 2000-2012 (Black Widow Press 2014) & Breathturn into Timestead: The Collected Later Poetry of Paul Celan (FSG 2014).
Previous books include Exile is My Trade: A Habib Tengour Reader edited, introduced & translated by Pierre Joris (Black Widow Press); also in 2012 Chax Press published the complete Meditations on the Stations of Mansur al-Hallaj (poems) & the University of California Press The University of California Book of North African Literature (vol. 4 in the Poems for the Millennium series), co-edited with Habib Tengour.
Pierre Joris: Cartographies of the In-between, the first comprehensive critical volume dealing with his work, was edited by Peter Cockelbergh, with essays by, among others, Mohamed Bennis, Charles Bernstein, Nicole Brossard, Clayton Eshleman, Allen Fisher, Christine Hume, Robert Kelly, Abdelwahab Meddeb, Jennifer Moxley, Carrie Noland, Alice Notley, Marjorie Perloff & Nicole Peyrafitte & published by Litteraria Pragensia, Charles University, Prague, in 2011.
Other books include Paul Celan: The Meridian (Stanford U.P. 2011), the e-book The Tang Extending from the Blade, (poems, 2010) & Justifying the Margin: Essays 1990-2006 (Salt Books). In 2008 he published Aljibar II (poems, a bilingual edition with French translation by Eric Sarner, Editions PHI, Luxembourg) and his 2007 publications are the CD Routes, not Roots (with Munir Beken, oud; Mike Bisio, bass; Ben Chadabe, percussion; & Mitch Elrod, guitar) issued by Ta’wil Productions, Aljibar (poems, a bilingual edition with French translation by Eric Sarner, Editions PHI, Luxembourg) and Meditations on the Stations of Mansour Al-Hallaj 1-21 (Anchorite Press, Albany).
Not so recent but still available books include Poasis: Selected Poems 1986-1999 and A Nomad Poetics (essays), both from Wesleyan University Press. With Jerome Rothenberg he edited Poems for the Millennium, vol. 1 & 2: The University of California Book of Modern & Postmodern Poetry. Translations furthermore include Paul Celan: Selections, and Lightduress by Paul Celan, which received the 2005 PEN Poetry Translation Award. 4×1: Work by Tristan Tzara, Rainer Maria Rilke, Jean-Pierre Duprey & Habib Tengour translated by Pierre Joris came out in October 2002 from Inconundrum Press, and Basic Books published his co-translation (with Ann Reid) of Abdelwahab Meddeb’s The Malady of Islam in 2003. Green Integer published 3 volumes of his translations of Paul Celan: Breathturn, Threadsuns and Lightduress. Other translations include books by Pablo Picasso, Maurice Blanchot, Edmond Jabès, Habib Tengour, Kurt Schwitters and Michel Bulteau into English, and by Carl Solomon, Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Gregory Corso, Pete Townsend, Julian Beck and Sam Shepard into French.