Orhan Pamuk : Good News

News just in that the Istanbul Court has dropped the case against novelist Orhan Pamuk, accused of “insulting Turkish identity” for having mentioned the Armenian genocide and the massacres of Kurds — a victory (though only a small one) for free speech in Turkey. Here is the official Amnesty International commentary on this development: Amnesty International welcomes reports on 23 January that the case against Turkish novelist Orhan Pamuk … Read more Orhan Pamuk : Good News

Mayer & Mulligan Reading

The Red Square reading by Bernadette Mayer and Joe Mulligan on Friday was a treat, if I may say so myself, with an excellent audience of over fifty — which is major for a date when the University is not yet in session. This venue is the best thing that has happened to Albany in a while & the owner is as enthusiastically welcoming to poetry as he is … Read more Mayer & Mulligan Reading

Past the Midnight Hour

Let it R.I.P., Wilson Pickett First met & instantly danced to on the jukebox at Adolf’s Down-the-Road, Annandale-on-Hudson, fall ’67. Aretha Franklin paid tribute to Pickett, calling him “one of the greatest soul singers of all time.He will absolutely be missed. I am thankful that I got the chance to speak to him not too long ago.” Soul singer Solomon Burke: “We’ve lost a giant, we’ve lost a legend, … Read more Past the Midnight Hour

Gaia in Trouble

It does sometimes feel as if the bad news we are bombarded with daily — from the wars in Iraq & elsewhere to the local crime blotter — are only coverups meant to make us forget that absolute disaster looms on a wider, planetary scale: an ecological debacle that will make all wars look minor local disturbances. From time to time a Cassandra manages to warn us again, an … Read more Gaia in Trouble

Bernadette Mayer & Joe Mulligan in Albany

EXCEPTIONAL ALBANY Poetry Readingspread the word! 5 pm on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2006Hosted by Pierre JorisThe Red Square338 Broadway, Albany, NY Bernadette MayerRenowned avant-garde poet & author of numerous books will read from the most recent, Scarlet Tanager & Indigo Bunting. Called “magnificent” by John Ashbery & “consummate” by Robert Creeley, Bernadette Mayer is in the forefront of American poetics. & Joseph MulliganEmerging poet & translator of Latin American … Read more Bernadette Mayer & Joe Mulligan in Albany

Eric Mottram @ Wickipedia

A few days ago I came across the Wickipedia entry for Eric Mottram — after one of the entry’s writers asked me for permission to use the photo of Eric up on my site for the ‘pedia. Which in turn made me realize that my Mottram site has been laying fallow for a couple years now: up & visitable but nothing new for ages. So, I would like to … Read more Eric Mottram @ Wickipedia

Cohen in translation

In my post yesterday on In Search of a Lost Ladino, I should have mentioned that Marcel Cohen has several other books out in English translation: Mirrors, translated by Jason Weiss (Green Integer 1998) and The Peacock Emperor Moth, translated by Cid Corman (Burning Deck, 1995). He also did a booklength interview with Edmond Jabès, which was published in my translation as From the Desert to the Book by … Read more Cohen in translation

From the Ladino

It is rare these days that a book the mailman brings on his early afternoon round gets read by evening. But just that did happen this week with Marcel Cohen’s In Search of a Lost Ladino — Letter to Antonio Saura, most ably translated by Raphael Rubinstein and published by Ibis Editions in Israel. True, the book is not very long — a bit over 30 pages of text … Read more From the Ladino

Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile

Eric Mottram used to say that if T.S. Eliot submitted “The Waste Land” to Faber & Faber or any other commercial British press today, the poem would be instantly rejected. The same seems to hold true of writing not necessarily as essential as Eliot’s poem, as the following journalistic ‘coup’ (& the piece does smell a bit of scandal-mongering) from the 1 January edition of the London Sunday Times … Read more Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile

On Europe

This morning the “Perlentaucher” (Pearldiver), my daily digest of cultural journalism culled from German newspapers, cites an article by two Swedish journalists — Richard Swartz and Rolf Gustavsson — published in the Süddeutsche Zeitung (though not available online), which seems to me to get to an important aspect of current debates about the EU: “Instead of cultivating utopias, the Europeans have to learn how to live with their union … Read more On Europe