Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New & Confused

Landing back in the literary landscape of the mind takes some time, but things have continued to filter to me, and from me to the world, even while I have been either mentally or physically away.

Some of the projects that have arrived to delight me these past weeks and 2 months in Paris are:

I) NEW LIT REVIEWS TO READ exciting recent issues of reviews with tons of work by authors I knew or have discovered in The Denver Quarterly, Cutbank Review out of Montana and, in French, fresh from Marseille, issues of the Cahiers de Refuge.

II) BOOKS by OTHERS! What pleasure to have new books arrive, such as

***I just received the beautiful translation of Marie Etienne's work by Marilyn Hacker just out in a gorgeous (I kid you not! GORGEOUS) hardback edition from Farrar Straus & Giroux: King of a Hundred Horsemen. I imagine that Marie Etienne is psyched to have her first translations in English appear in book form with a publisher of such a long, respectible history of publication! But she, and Marilyn, in turn are doing a lot for FSG with this dual-language collection: a novel in verse. These narrative poems, numbered, sectioned by sorts of topics, are conversational and yet tightly written. They reveal what Marilyn rightly calls an "interpenetration of the quotidian and the foreign" "in a mosaic of shattered mirrors". I delight particularly in the voices, constantly shifting between what feels like a locatable "I" autobiographical speaker, and "personas" addressing moments, visions, and events the author herself could not have been privy to outside what she imagines, hears of, knows, feels has happened. The imagined and the personal become one in this delightfully intimate and yet historical collection.

***The new bilingual (French & English) collection written simultaneously in both languages by young American author Alexander Dickow, Caramboles, (Argol Editions, 2008) also arrived on my doorstep this past month! Playfully unstitching elements of both languages and their syntax, this was a fun book and author to discover. It promises greater explorations while introducing me to a first collection which is formally & linguistically provocative. I look forward to hearing him read for the first time later this year!

***TRI / VIA (Erudite Fangs/PUB LUSH Press, 2003, pictured at left) by Michelle Naka Pierce and Veronica Corpuz. No, not a new publication, but new to my household! I received this gift among a series of other great books (Bhanu Kapil's Incubation: A space for Monsters from Leon Works Press and Kass Fleisher's The Adventurous from Factory School) from Laura Mullen. Could anyone hope for a better "welcome back home gift basket"? These are what I found when returning from Santiago de Compostelle, and TRI/VIA has provided me an entry back into my own writing of late--the fantastic open-endedness of the letter form, the communicative reaching out to other that it instills, especially when it is being practiced by two so skilled authors as Michelle Naka Pierce and Veronica Corpuz. But I also admire the way these poems interweave mathematical language with that of emotional longing and daily life. A fabulous exploration of form and dialogue! Don't take my word for it, go read it, or read the fab short review of it by Jeremy Biles online at EPR.

FINALLY: a little self promotion, or rather, promotion of others who have helped my own works of various sorts get into the world of late!!! Yes, my translations are starting to hit the streets, and so I am happy to announce the following publications with them:

***My translations of Albane Gellé's poems (photo of author at left from came out in the most recent issue of CONDUIT magazine, edited by William D Waltz. To order your very own copy of the Last Laugh issue, "black humor in deadpan alley" go directly to their site at I was particularly excited to read my translations smack dab next to a poet I adore, Greg Bachar, out their composing away his sharp-as-tack prose poems in Seattle, WA. Why doesn't everyone whose work I love just move to Paris?--that is what I wonder!

***Translations that Barbara Beck, Rufo Quintavalle & I completed in June of Christophe Lamiot Enos poems are online at the new Centre 104 review, now at For those of you living in Paris, yes, this is a review linked to the new arts center that advertised, well, EVERYWHERE last month for its Oct opening--so packed they physically shut down the place. It is worth visiting to see photo shows, art installations, etc. Watch their sites for events and readings as well. An explanation of their review is at: I dig the photo here at the right by Pascal Dhennequin from le 104 under construction. I hope he'll forgive my putting it up on the blog, but it is a great pic!!!!

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