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)

Uri Avnery On Chickenshit

Uri Avnery November 1, 2014 Chickenshit WHEN A high-ranking official of one country calls the leader of another country “chickenshit”, it may be assumed that the relations between the two countries are not at their best. In fact, they may be considered somewhat less than cordial. This week, It happened. An unnamed very high-ranking US official said this in an interview with the respected American journalist who bears the … Read more Uri Avnery On Chickenshit

A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly

!OUT NOW! It is no exaggeration to suggest that Robert Kelly may well be America’s most prolific poet, and certainly one of the most singular and ceaselessly innovative writers the country produced in the 2nd part of the past century. To date, he has published more than 70 books of poetry and fiction — books that reveal a breathtaking range, from freshly minted trobar clus and contemporized sonnet forms, … Read more A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly

Octavio Paz, b. 100 Years ago today…

  … on March 31, & left eso mundo in April 1998. A day, thus, on which to take time to reread a few of Paz’s poems in Eliot Weinberger’s excellent translations, & probably an essay or so. On the day of his passing I was in Berkeley & wrote the following poem, in memoriam: 6:30 am on terrace of the French Hotel in Berkeley, reading the New York … Read more Octavio Paz, b. 100 Years ago today…

Homage to Juan Gelman

The L.A. Review of Books just published a superb homage to recently deceased poet Juan Gelman by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez &Katherine M. Hedeen. Opening paras below — for the whole essay, click here. Juan Gelman or “about a truth that didn’t believe in death.” March 23rd, 2014 The Spanish language edition of this article is available immediately below the English. We also present selections of Juan Gelman’s poetry below, in both Spanish … Read more Homage to Juan Gelman

Just Out: Anthology Issue of The Volta

“The February issue of The Volta is up and features a special issue on poetry and poetics anthologies, with responses, essays, conversations, and interviews by the editors of  many, many poetry anthologies.” Evening Will Come: anthology feature: Laynie Browne; Tina Chang, Nathalie Handal, & Ravi Shankar, Joshua Corey & G.C. Waldrep; Rita Dove & Jericho Brown; Michael Dumanis & Cate Marvin; Camille Dungy; Clayton Eshleman; Forrest Gander; Arielle Greenberg; Susan Harris … Read more Just Out: Anthology Issue of The Volta

Death by data:

…how Kafka’s The Trial prefigured the nightmare of the modern surveillance state We live in a world of covert court decisions and secret bureaucratic procedures and where privacy is being abolished – all familiar from Kafka’s best-known novel, The Trial. Excellent essay on Kafka & the modern surveillance state by Reiner Stach, author of a recent Kafka biography in the New Statesman this week. Opening paras below: “Kafkaesque” is a word … Read more Death by data:

Some Favorite Reads of 2013

I’m a bit late on this, & certainly haven’t read all of the books that came into my house last year, as it sometime takes me a long time to go through the six-foot long side-shelf on the desk where the unreads winter & summer until they find their place on the wall shelves. Hors Concours: Nicole Peyrafitte. Bi-Valve — Vulvic Space | Vulvic Knowledge. Stockport Flats Press. 1) Jerome Rothenberg, … Read more Some Favorite Reads of 2013

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

Ammiel Alcalay’s A Little History Reviewed

Here is Kevin Ring’s review in the UK magazine Beat Scene of a book I think of as one of the most important of the year: This really isn’t little history but a very big history that Ammiel Alcalay takes on. Stemming from Charles Olson’s resignation from his position at the Office of War Information’s Language Section, in a time when Olson was an unrecognised poet. Olson was dismayed … Read more Ammiel Alcalay’s A Little History Reviewed