On the 50th Anniversary of Nelly Sachs’ Passing

The great Jewish German-Swedish poet & playwright Nelly Sachs passed on this day, 12 May, 1970. Raised in Germany, the rise of nazism in the thirties terrified her so much that at one point she lost the ability to speak, as she would remember in verse: “When the great terror came/I fell dumb.” In 1940 she escaped with her mother on the last flight from Nazi Germany to Sweden, a week … Read more On the 50th Anniversary of Nelly Sachs’ Passing

Paul Celan: Fifty Years Later: Tenebrae & 5 More

It was exactly 50 years ago, on the night of 19 to 20 April 1970 that Paul Celan left his apartment on the avenue Emile Zola, and succumbed to his psychic demons: the Pont Mirabeau (an actual bridge over the Seine that is also a poem by Apollinaire) is where he decided to put an end to his life by going into the Seine. His body was found further downstream on … Read more Paul Celan: Fifty Years Later: Tenebrae & 5 More

Abdellatif Laâbi’s ” Perishable Poems”

A pleasure right now here in the turmoil of virus to sit down & read through the latest Abdellatif Laâbi collection of poems, excellently translated by Peter Thompson, & published by Dialogos in Nola. As the publisher’s website states, “English speakers can now join Africans and Africa scholars in recognizing Abdellatif Laâbi as Morocco’s preeminent living poet.” I would qualify this by saying “preeminent francophone poet” given the great … Read more Abdellatif Laâbi’s ” Perishable Poems”

In Celebration of Amjad Nasser, a Poet Who ‘Mourns Himself While Still Alive’

Via the always excellent ArabLit came the news this morning of Amjad Nasser’s illness. I met him many years ago, in Paris, & he & his writing were immediately very close to me. It was he who sent me a xerox of the out-of-print English translation of Niffari’s Book of Stations, a sufi concept — the station, the maw’qif — that would become essential to a core aspect of my … Read more In Celebration of Amjad Nasser, a Poet Who ‘Mourns Himself While Still Alive’

Dareen Tatour’s Appeal Partially Accepted: Poem Is Not a Crime

via Arabic Literature and Translation Yesterday’s battle in Nazareth District Court was a victory for artistic expression but not for free speech, when charges against Dareen Tatour’s poem “Resist, My People, Resist Them” were overturned, but those for her Facebook posts were upheld: The ruling came yesterday, May 16, in the district court in Nazareth. Shortly after winning the appeal, Tatour re-posted the poem on Facebook. The ruling came three and half … Read more Dareen Tatour’s Appeal Partially Accepted: Poem Is Not a Crime

Arcana: A Stephen Jonas Reader

  Tam my mail carrier knocked at the door today at 1:14 p.m. & handed me — finally, finally, finally! — a book I have looked forward to for many years now: Arcana A Stephen Jonas Reader Edited by Garrett Caples, Derek Fenner, David Rich, Joseph Torra Introduction by Joseph Torra Afterword by David Rich I have known about Jonas since he was brought to my attention in the … Read more Arcana: A Stephen Jonas Reader

Billie Chernicoff: On Robert Kelly’s “Seaspel”

On Robert Kelly’s Seaspel (Lunar Chandelier Collective, 2019) How does he do it, I’ve wondered of every one of Robert Kelly’s books, and I still have no answer. You can’t parse miracles, only witness them.  A mosaic formed by shells of perception, the poet says about Seaspel, the latest in a series of book length poems he has written, one each year over a summer month, on the island … Read more Billie Chernicoff: On Robert Kelly’s “Seaspel”

Just Out: “Arabia (not so) Deserta”

Just out from     spuytenduyvil! Arabia (not so) Deserta Essays on Maghrebi & Mashreqi Writing & Culture Pierre Joris ISBN 978-1-949966-05-3      200 pages        $18.00 Anne Waldman: This is a treasure, a caravanserai of a book, erudite, personal, enlightening. Pierre Joris poet, translator, editor, anthologist scholar, flâneur par excellence—is an incomparable and friendly guide to these realms, his lifelong passion and esprit manifest and up for the rigor of this … Read more Just Out: “Arabia (not so) Deserta”

The Austin International Poetry Fest—Events & Pix

via Nicole Peyrafitte’s blog with a few additions: Here are a few shots of our Domopoetics event in Austin. Above is the Kasrtic-Action Painting made during the performance. Thank you Roger West & Kate Rex for bringing us here. Thank you Francis McGrath for the improvised music. Thank you Samantha Barendson for the snapshots. Our international contingent — guest poets along with AIPF organizers. #france #Iowainternational#NYC #luxembourg #UK #ukraine #italy … Read more The Austin International Poetry Fest—Events & Pix

Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris @ Austin International Poetry Festival

We are almost in Austin after an exhilarating  drive through America and some memorable visits — special mentions to Serpent Mound and to Paris, Kentucky; you can find the documentation of these moments on my Instagram & Facebook pages. We are ready & very much looking forward to an intense 4 days of poetry readings & performances, reconnecting with old friends & meeting new ones. Below, our specific reading … Read more Nicole Peyrafitte & Pierre Joris @ Austin International Poetry Festival