Back, & a new book.

Well, I thought I’d be off-blog for a week in March when I traveled to Luxembourg for a reading on the occasion of my new book coming out from PHI — & now it is two months later & I am scrambling to get Nomadics back up & running. What happened? Easy enough: From Luxembourg I went to Paris for another reading, then back to Albany for the teaching they pay me for, then off to Paris again & from there to Tamanrasset, Algeria for a conference on the post-postcolonial, then back to Albany via Paris, for some more teaching, then up to Montreal for a writers’ gathering, and back to Albany yet again for a conference with & around Helene Cixous, and to finish the semester. And that’s where we are now — teaching done, papers nearly corrected, & a bit of time to catch up here.

Let me start by going back to that first trip to Luxembourg for the publication of ALJIBAR by Editions PHI in a bilingual edition, with translations into French by Eric Sarner. Aljibar is a collection of poems written between 2000 to 2005; as PHI wanted to publish it in a bi-lingual edition (which will mean that it will be published in two volumes, with Aljibar II coming out next spring) this collection is not available as such in the US. For those interested, it can be purchased directly from the publisher, Editions PHI, or, starting in late June, from the Canadian co-publisher, Editions des Forges, or, directly via Ta’wil Productions.

A note on the translations: Eric Sarner, poet, journalist, film-maker is an old friend who already translated a book of my poems into French (h.j.r., which came out in the same collection in 2002) & he had just finished a tv-documentary on route 66, &, with the advance for the book on the tv-docu, set up shop in Montevideo, Uruguay. During last December/January we worked on a nearly daily basis via Skype visual computer-phone between Montevideo & Albany, going over Eric’s French versions of my poems: this was maybe the most pleasurable & delightful collaboration on a book of translations I’ve been involved in!

And of course the title is not translated — a word that has come into English, although rare these days, from Arabic & that you can locate in the Thesaurus in the following context:

from the Thesaurus:


[Nouns] stock, fund, mine, vein, lode, quarry; spring; fount, fountain; well, wellspring; milch cow.

stock in trade, supply; heap (collection) [more]; treasure; reserve, corps de reserve, reserved fund, nest egg, savings, bonne bouche.

crop, harvest, mow, vintage.

store, accumulation, hoard, rick, stack; lumber; relay (provision) [more].

storehouse, storeroom, storecloset; depository, depot, cache, repository, reservatory, repertory; repertorium; promptuary, warehouse, entrepot, magazine; buttery, larder, spence; garner, granary; cannery, safe-deposit vault, stillroom; thesaurus; bank (treasury) [more]; armory; arsenal; dock; gallery, museum, conservatory; menagery, menagerie.

reservoir, cistern, aljibar, tank, pond, mill pond; gasometer.

budget, quiver, bandolier, portfolio; coffer (receptacle) [more].

conservation; storing; storage.

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3 Responses

  1. Jeremy says:

    Welcome back, I really missed your posts! And congrats on the new book, I look forward to reading it.


  2. mIEKAL aND says:

    Where are the characters on the front cover from? They almost look like pictographs….

  3. Pierre Joris says:

    miekal — these characters are on the covers of all the books in the series (i.e. “collection graphiti”— all Editions PHI’s collections have “phi” somewhere in their name). I’m not sure if they are based on pictographsor on contemporary grafiti, but the basic design is by a Luxembourg artist, Frânz Dasbourg. — Pierre

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