Assia Djebar at the Académie

This past Thursday the “illustrious” French institution known as the Académie Française elected a new member: the Algerian writer and film maker Assia Djebar. The Académie Française is a rather stuffy old institution founded in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu and ever since charged with the defense of the French language — a job which has led to some hilarious set pieces, such as the attempted excommunication of all anglo-derived … Read more Assia Djebar at the Académie

Dr. Charles Stein Roams Rome

Chuck Stein, poet & philosopher extraordinaire, is in Rome, I learned last night, working with video artist Gary Hill on a major production in that city. He has been sending diaristic posts to Harvey Bialy’s bllog, where you can follow the whole marvellous récit. As Harvey Bialy notes: “On June 11, 2005, Gary Hill presented a multimedia installation/performance, featuring Charles Stein and Paulina Wellensberg-Olsson, in the Roman Coliseum. Dr. … Read more Dr. Charles Stein Roams Rome

Trio Pamplemousse, my words sung by others, continuous peasant

Trio Pamplemousse George Muscatello: GuitarNicole Peyrafitte: VoiceDanny Whelchel: Percussions Trio Pamplemousse investigates musical genres such asJazz standards & French cabaret, as well as contemporary poetry. Thinking back to last Thursday and Trio Pamplemousse’s gig at the Stockade Inn in Schenectady. I first went to Miles’ Little League game (he pitched an excellent 2 relief innings), & thus got to the gig only for the second set, walking into a … Read more Trio Pamplemousse, my words sung by others, continuous peasant

Florence Aubenas & Hussein Hanoun freed

I started this blog with the translation of a poem by Moroccon poet Abdellatif Laâbi for the French journalist Florence Aubenas who, together with her Iraqi guide Hussein Hanoun, had been kidnapped in Baghdad. Yesterday both were finally released after 157 days of detainment, Aubenas being flown back to France while Hussein Hanoun was reunited with his family in Iraq. for full French details go to today’s Libération (the … Read more Florence Aubenas & Hussein Hanoun freed

House of Books

Ugh. A week of aches & pains & 90 degrees heat w/ 100% humidity in Smallbany — but I promise to get back to the blog in more depth soon. Meanwhile, another sending by friend John Maas: every writer’s dream or nigthmare — the house of books: Casa di Libri N°1 Tambre d’Alpago (BL) “Can you imagine a house made out of books? A house in which even the … Read more House of Books

The Knotted 45

In 1988, Luxembourg — the country of which I am still a citizen, even after these many green-carded years — offered the above sculpture by artist Fredrik Reuterswärd to the UN in New York where you can see it today in the Visitor’s Plaza, facing First Avenue at 45th Street. Today, my friend John Maas — an excellent sculptor himself — alerted me to the fact that the Washington … Read more The Knotted 45

Two Entangled Events

Allen Fisher Originally uploaded by pjoris. Just wish I could travel to London for these two occasions next month – events anyone who can be in or get to London on that date should not miss: TWO ENTANGLED EVENTSin LondononSaturday July 23rdfeaturing allen fisher & friends Daytime 11.00 – 5.00 THE POETRY BUZZ Readings off and on a wandering Routemaster Bus Allen Fisher, Andrea Brady, Bill Griffiths,Chris Goode, cris … Read more Two Entangled Events

A Year ago, Steve Lacy

A year ago, Steve Lacy, the greatest soprano sax of his generation, died. A great friend to poets, Steve had been a major force in my life ever since I met him in Rotterdam in the middle seventies. The single-mindedness of his artistic engagement, the clarity & depth of his quest, were examplary. He was a true teacher, i.e. someone who never preached, never told you I told you … Read more A Year ago, Steve Lacy

Reading of Pablo Picasso Poems at P.S.1

I abandon sculpture engraving and painting to dedicate myself entirely to song. pablo picasso to jaime sabartés, april 1936 Friday, June 3, 7:00-9:00 p.m.P.S.1Le Rosier Cafe Free and open to the public. This event will be broadcast live on WPS1. The reading celebrates the publication of The Burial of the Count of Orgaz & Other Poems (Exact Change, 2004), the mostsubstantial translation into English to date of Picasso’s poetry.For … Read more Reading of Pablo Picasso Poems at P.S.1

Happy Birthday, Clayton!

Clayton Eshleman turns seventy today. Many happy returns! Thinking of Jonathan Mayhew’s questionnaire & the often fascinating responses it generated, I thought it could be fun & useful to reproduce an interview Eshleman gave Hunger magazine a couple years ago: Interview: 7 Answers to a Questionnaire w/Clayton Eshleman From Hunger Volume 5, #2, Issue 11, 2003 Interviewer: J. J. Blickstein 1) What is your assessment of the current … Read more Happy Birthday, Clayton!