“Black Flakes / Schwarze Flocken:” Celan & Ukraine

This poem, probably written in or after July 1944, most likely in Czernowitz, today Chernivtsi, after returning from the forced labor-camp he had been interned in. The ms. has his note: “In memory of the snow at railway station Pascani, workcamp Radazani,” referring to the village of Pascani in Moldavia. It was probably then that he learned of the death of his parents, Leo & Fritzi Antschel who had … Read more “Black Flakes / Schwarze Flocken:” Celan & Ukraine

Cartographies of the In-Between

The 2011 collection of essays & takes on my work, edited by Peter Cockelbergh & published by Literaria Pragensia Books in Prague (Czech Republic) under Louis Armand’s auspices, has just been released as a pdf that can be downloaded here  (though, I am told, a few actual copies remain & can be purchased here directly from the press). Below, the table of contents preceded by 3 extracts from the … Read more Cartographies of the In-Between

Ammiel Alcalay Remembers Jack Hirschman (1933-2021)

News of Jack Hirschman’s death on August 22nd simply knocked the wind out of me. Despite his age, it came without premonition, and felt unexpected and jarring. When mutual friend David Meltzer passed in 2016 I dreamt about him, only to wake up to the news. Jack had collaborated closely on David’s magazine, TREE, the harbinger for a radical Jewish poetics that found sources not only in the kabbalah but in a politics grounded in the generative and generous … Read more Ammiel Alcalay Remembers Jack Hirschman (1933-2021)

Brooklyn Rail Radical Poetry Reading with Pierre Joris

CRITICAL PERSPECTIVES ON ART, POLITICS, AND CULTURE   •   INDEPENDENT AND FREE THE NEW SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT#366 Featuring poetry read by Allen Fisher, Randall Horton, Layli Long Soldier, & Tracie Morris  Wednesday, August 18, 2021 1 p.m. Eastern / 10 a.m. Pacific REGISTER This event is produced by The Brooklyn Rail. Learn how you can donate ✨🌈 Pierre Joris curates the 48th Radical Poetry Reading featuring poetry read by Allen Fisher, Randall Horton, Layli Long Soldier, and Tracie Morris. In … Read more Brooklyn Rail Radical Poetry Reading with Pierre Joris


Hello everyone! After a year & more sheltering at home in Brooklyn we are happy to head out to Europe, fully vaxxed, to pick up on gigs delayed by the pandemic. Four events are central, all taking place in Luxembourg: 1) our most recent KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS at Galerie Simoncini; 2) Pierre Receiving the Batty Weber Award; 3) the CNL celebrating his 75th birthday on 14 July (details to be announced) 4) the … Read more KARSTIC ACTIONS/WORKS Luxembourg & More!

Paul Celan: Speak, You Too

As chance, whatever that is, would have it, after being silenced by yesterday afternoon’s zoom-bombing just as I was about to speak on translating Paul Celan for Princeton, my publisher, FSG, as part of their 75th birthday celebration, just now published a little video (recorded 6 weeks ago by Nicole Peyrafitte) of me reading my translation of Celan’s poem “Speak You Too,”  something — speak, neither you nor I … Read more Paul Celan: Speak, You Too

Remembering Mourid: 10 in Translation, Online

With thanks to the ever excellent & useful ArabLit for this compilation: On February 14, poet and memoirist Mourid Barghouti died in Amman, Jordan, having spent most of his life in various exiles: Below, a selection from his work available in translation, online. PROSE Excerpt from I Saw Ramallah, with an introduction by Edward W. Said, translated by Ahdaf Soueif It is very hot on the bridge. A drop … Read more Remembering Mourid: 10 in Translation, Online

Thinking of Abdelwahab Meddeb…

… the great Tunisian poet, writer, essayist & translator who would have turned 75 today. A good friend for several decades, I learned much from him about the literature & culture of the Maghreb and the wider Arab world. (See my essay on Abdelwahab & his work in my Arabia (Not So) Deserta. And wondering why his book The Malady of Islam, which I co-translated & published back in … Read more Thinking of Abdelwahab Meddeb…

Paul Celan — “Psalm”

60 years ago today Paul Celan wrote the poem “Psalm,” in Paris most likely. Below my translation, the original & the commentary by Barbara Wiedemann & myself (from Memory Rose into Threshold Speech).   PSALM NoOne kneads us again of earth and clay, noOne conjures our dust. Noone. Praised be thou, NoOne. For your sake we want to flower. Toward you. A Nothing we were, we are, we will … Read more Paul Celan — “Psalm”

Happy Birthday Jerry!

Today Jerome Rothenberg, poet, translator, anthologist extraordinaire turns 89! Many, many Happy Returns, my friend! & here, as we come to the end of this year of desolation, a few quotes from your book The Mystery of False Attachments: Eager to break thru language & touch life I crack my head against a mirror * In the way words rhyme or fail to I found my truth * The … Read more Happy Birthday Jerry!