Review of Barzakh

by Don Wellman  on Immanent Occasions; opening paras follow — read the full review here. Barzakh: Poems 2000-2012, Pierre Joris, Black Widow: Boston 2014 Barzakh is largely constructed from the poet’s work over the first decade of the new millennium, much of it biographical in nature. Like Louis Zukofsky, Pierre Joris interrogates “the overtly complex semantic unit we call ‘life.’’ I am following Mark Scroggins in this phrasing. Several … Read more Review of Barzakh

Chicago Tribune Review of “Breathturn into Timestead”

12/31/2014 By Shoshana Olidort The last five poetry volumes of Paul Celan are collected in “Breathturn Into Timestead” (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) The poem, Paul Celan once said, “is lonely,” and in its loneliness it reaches outward, “intends another … goes toward it.” In this way, Celan went on to explain, the poem creates the possibility for an encounter with the reader, for being heard and understood. One of … Read more Chicago Tribune Review of “Breathturn into Timestead”

George Hunka on Celan

New books: Paul Celan Paul Celan remains one of the most significant poets of the twentieth century. The two great poems of his early career, “Death Fugue” (circa 1945) and “Stretto” (1958), were respectively informed, if not inspired, by the Holocaust and the detonation of the atomic bomb. His body of work was a response, if not a riposte, to Adorno’s speculation that poetry was impossible in the wake … Read more George Hunka on Celan

On Kamel Daoud’s “Meursault, Counter-Investigation”

via the always excellent Arab Literature (in English) Why Did ‘Other Press’ Stick Through Heated Auction to Get Debut Algerian Novel? BY MLYNXQUALEY on DECEMBER 14, 2014 • ( 0 ) Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud’s Meursault, Counter-Investigation was the subject of a heated auction at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Why did Other Press stick it out to acquire world English rights?  Publishers Weekly talked to Other Press publisher Judith Gurewich. First — … Read more On Kamel Daoud’s “Meursault, Counter-Investigation”

Review of Robert Kelly’s Collected Essays

Ian Dreiblatt just posted a longish blog post on drunken boat that starts with a review of A Voice Full of Cities: The Collected Essays of Robert Kelly. I am reproducing the opening section below; you can read the whole piece here: Stone Stair New York, Part 1 by DB Guest Blogger Ian Dreiblatt contra mundum press has just published a voice full of cities, a heaping anthology of … Read more Review of Robert Kelly’s Collected Essays

Diary of a Muslim Jew

via Arab Literature (in English) ‘Diary of a Muslim Jew’: And Yes, That’s the Book’s Title by mlynxqualey We have become so accustomed to thinking of religion as a place of singularity in human identity that Diary of a Jewish Muslim gives all the shock in translation that author Kamal Ruhayyim surely intended in the original: It was — as I have written earlier — beginning about a decade ago that films and novels that foregrounded … Read more Diary of a Muslim Jew

Happy Hundredth Hrabal!

Today is the 100th B-day of the great Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal (1914-1997) &, by a quirk Hrabal would have approved of, yesterday the post man brought Hrabal’s Harlequin’s Millions, translated by Stacey Knecht & published by that ever excellent press, Archipelago Books. One of the most subversive figures of Czech — actually of East European, & even plainly of European mi-century literature — Hrabal is the ultimate gabber, … Read more Happy Hundredth Hrabal!


Reprinted from The Massachusetts Review, here is an intelligent review of an excellent book: Date:  11/15/2013 Blogger:  Siamak Vossoughi A Review of Benjamin Hollander’s In The House Un-American It would be one thing if not fitting in in America were something clear. For Puerto Rican Jew Carlos ben Carlos Rossman—the main character in Benjamin Hollander’s new book In The House Un-American—if not fitting in were something he could put his finger on, he … Read more THE AMERICAN HEART OF ISLAM

Interview on Maghreb Anthology in “Africa Is A Country”

The Book of North African Literature: Pierre Joris on Poetry and Miscegenation. By Orlando Reade. December 5 2013. A 743-page anthology of North African literature was published by the University of California last year. Ranging from documents made in sixth century Carthage to experimental prose published months after the 2011 uprisings, the Book of North African Literature is the fourth installment in the Poems for the Millenium, a series initiated in 1995 by Pierre … Read more Interview on Maghreb Anthology in “Africa Is A Country”

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