Etel Adnan Named ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’

Very happy to hear that Etel Adnan, a gerat writer & good friend, was thus honored by the French. Marcy Qualey just posted the info on her Arab Literature (in English) blog, which I am copying here: Lebanese writer and painter Etel Adnan has been named a Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government, a distinction she shares with artists as varied as Terry Gilliam, Shakira, Tim Burton, … Read more Etel Adnan Named ‘Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres’

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

“Meridian” Translation awarded Scaglione Prize

Here’s what the jury had to say about their choice: Paul Celan’s The Meridian was originally delivered as an acceptance speech to the German Academy for Language and Poetry, which had honored him in 1960 with its Georg Büchner Prize for Literature. It ranks as its author’s most powerful statement concerning the mysterious but powerful bond between poetry and life. Writing in the shadow of the Holocaust, Celan asks … Read more “Meridian” Translation awarded Scaglione Prize

Jacob Grimm — Tales &/of Words

The great German philologist Jacob Grimm died 150 years ago today. If you like dictionaries, you should check out what is still he greatest German language Wörterbuch — now online & available for free, here. My work on translating Paul Celan was made immeasurably easier by that dictionary, especially as it was Celan’s own favorite source for uncontaminated German & for etymologies & local dialectical variations. Jacob Grimm  described … Read more Jacob Grimm — Tales &/of Words

Mahmood Darwish, Five Years Already

Last night, just before falling asleep I was reading in Pascal Quignard’s Sur le jadis (volume 2 of his Dernier Royaume series) & came across the following sentence: “C’est une plaie qui cherche son couteau. / It is a wound looking for its knife.” I put the book down to go to sleep, but the sentence kept running through my mind & for some reason started to irritate. I … Read more Mahmood Darwish, Five Years Already

Steve Dalachinsky Celebrates Jayne Cortez

if the drum is a woman   she said:   “if the drum is a woman don’t abuse your drum”   Jayne Cortez searches for the fountain of truth along King’s Highway up King’s Mountain toward King’s Gravestone where the long arms of Africa & America meet & hang like “strange fruit”…”from a poplar tree” – she swings along that highway the way b.b. king & albert king & … Read more Steve Dalachinsky Celebrates Jayne Cortez

Steve Dalachinsky Celebrates Butch Morris

Conduction # Infinity (Out of Reach but Never Out of Touch) 1. Butch: his mischievous smile > stern look > open laugh > dapper apparel >a real dandy > like back in the days when > his midrange slightly twanged voice >everything I’ll say is clichéd pompous emotional > rubbed in ashes at times > such elaborate performance we produce sometimes for no one > the wind > trees … Read more Steve Dalachinsky Celebrates Butch Morris

Diwan Iffrikyia is Here!

Poems for the Millennium, Volume Four: The University of California Book of North African Literature Pierre Joris (Editor), Habib Tengour (Editor) order HERE In this fourth volume of the landmark Poems for the Millennium series, Pierre Joris and Habib Tengour present a comprehensive anthology of the written and oral literatures of the Maghreb, the region of North Africa that spans the modern nation states of Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, and Mauritania, and including a section … Read more Diwan Iffrikyia is Here!