That Old New British Poetry Scene

Came across an interesting piece by Kent Johnson on the new British Poetry scene on the digital emunction site — with the discussion that follows as interesting as what started it. At the same time it gave me a certain sense of déjà-vu, as if the US (& other places too) always-already-again had to (re)discover only to immediately forget the fact that excellent, experimental, avant, post-avant — or whatever … Read more That Old New British Poetry Scene

Herta Müller Wins 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature

So the Nobel prize this year went to a German language novelist, originally from Romania. Last week when I blogged on the German Lit prize finalists, Müller was among those mentioned & signandsight  put up a translated extract from her new novel. Below are the opening paras & here the link if you want to read on. So, after a decent but not truly major French novelist got the … Read more Herta Müller Wins 2009 Nobel Prize in Literature

Raymond Federman (1928-2009)

The sad news just reached me that Ray Federman has passed. And here I was thinking that if anybody would crack that immortality thing, it would be Ray! The news came via Charles Bernstein’s weblog — check it out here. And check out Federman’s site here. And here is Ray’s Resumé in his own words, making it clear that he’s still with us, & will always be: Born in … Read more Raymond Federman (1928-2009)

Ballard, Sinclair, Place & the Novel (Where's Poetry?)

Came across a fascinating essay on PLACE in contemporary British writing by David Cunningham on a Ballardian website — extracted below, full essay can be read here. The piece goes to the novel, rather than to poetry, although Charles Olson, Eric Mottram & Allen Fisher are briefly paid lip-service. Which may be a shame in the end, as the rather clear opposition between Iain Sinclair’s mytho-poetic fascination with place … Read more Ballard, Sinclair, Place & the Novel (Where's Poetry?)

2009 German Book Prize Shortlist

Via signandsight — who marvelously add links to English-language excerpts for each of the books! —here’s the equivalent of France’s Goncourt (though how equivalent it really is could only be settled by comparing the sales figures of the winners…) The German Book Prize is presented to the best German-language novel just before the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair as an annual award from the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels … Read more 2009 German Book Prize Shortlist

Two or Three Things that have come my Way

Recently came across a new online internationalist — thus translation — oriented magazine, Cerise Press, edited & published between the US and France. Check it out — I am of course immediately very taken by Charlotte Mandell’s translation of Abdelwahab Meddeb‘s The Stranger Across, but also fascinated by Tony Brinkley & Raina Kostova‘s translations of Osip Mandelshtam — to me, the most difficult of the Russian poets to bring … Read more Two or Three Things that have come my Way

Chinese writers defy book fair ban

Via Deutsche Welle, the opening paras of an article on how the organizers of the largest yearly bookfair, the Frankfurt Bookfair, caved in to the political demands of the Beijing government & how the writers reacted. You can read the complete article here. The Chinese government succeeded in getting them banned, but it seems it can’t stop them coming: Dissident writers Bei Ling and Dai Qing are preparing to … Read more Chinese writers defy book fair ban


DIASPORIC AVANT-GARDES Experimental Poetics and Cultural Displacement Edited by Carrie Noland and Barrett Watten Published by Palgrave Macmillan 288 pages / $90.00 – Hardcover (0-230-61629-1) 20% discount flyer available here: Click to access diasporic%20avant-gardes.pdf Ask your librarian to order Diasporic Avant-Gardes! Diasporic Avant-Gardes draws into dialogue two differing traditions of poetic practice: the diasporic and the avant-garde. This interdisciplinary collection examines the unacknowledged affinities (and crucial differences) between avant-garde … Read more DIASPORIC AVANT-GARDES

George Economou on C.P. Cavafy Translations

Some weeks ago, The New York Times Book Review published a review of recent translations of the Greek poet C.P. Cavafy. A rather sloppy job by someone who doesn’t in fact know Greek. The poet, translator & scholar George Economou sent a letter to the editor, critical of this (& other) reviews of Cavafy’s work in translation, which the Times did not deign publish. Economou’s points are well taken, … Read more George Economou on C.P. Cavafy Translations

Sunday Reads

Some Sunday morning reads (& an added game): JG Ballard’s last short story, The Dying Fall, just published by the Guardian, here. J.G. Ballard in 2007 There’s more pictures & writing on Ballard here. * If into French, check out Pierre Assouline’s Le Monde sponsored literary blog La République des livres here. I always find a couple wortwhile pieces to read there each week. Most recently an excellent piece on Pierre … Read more Sunday Reads