Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Call for Work: The Arcadia Project


I can’t even enjoy a blade of grass unless there’s a subway handy or a record store or some sign that people do not totally regret life.
–Frank O’Hara, “Meditations in an Emergency”

Scheduled for publication by Ahsahta Press in May 2012, and edited by Joshua Corey & G.C. Waldrep, The Arcadia Project seeks to explore the relationship between the postmodern and the pastoral in contemporary North American poetry.

In the twenty-first century it is only a short leap from civilization and its discontents—from the violent inequities of the “global village”—to the postmodern pastoral. Postmodern and pastoral: two exhausted and empty cultural signifiers recharged and revivified by their apparent antipathy, united by the logic of mutual and nearly assured destruction. With gas and food prices climbing, with the planet’s accelerated warming, with the contraction of our cheap-energy economy and the rapid extinction of plant and animal species, both the flat world of global capitalism and the green world of fond memory are in the process of vanishing before our eyes. As Frederic Jameson once remarked, “It seems to be easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; perhaps that is due to some weakness in our imaginations.” It is to that question of imagination—dystopian and utopian—that this anthology addresses itself.

Any work that address the pastoral in a postmodern idiom, vocabulary, or context, or vice versa, is welcome. Please send up to 20 pages of poetry, in standard electronic format (PDF, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .wpd) to Josh Corey & G.C. Waldrep at Deadline: 9/1/10.

Please feel free to forward this call to others, post on your blog, etc. We look forward to reading your work.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Night of Translations

The WordTemple Poetry Series
Saturday, July 17, 7 p.m.
Sebastopol Center for the Arts

Opening Poet: Iris Jamahl Dunkle, author of Inheritance, Finishing Line Press. Dunkle, a resident of Sebastopol, received her Ph.D. in English from Case Western University and MFA in poetry from New York University. Inheritance is her first nationally published collection of poems. Come help her celebrate!

A Night of Translations

JORGE LUIS BORGES presented by Stephen Kessler -- The Sonnets and Poems of the Night. Two books released in April 2010 by Penguin Classics, presented by poet and translator Stephen Kessler. Revered for his magnificent works of fiction and non-fiction, the Argentine master Jorge Luis Borges (1899 - 1986) thought of himself primarily as a poet. The Sonnets is a landmark collection, presenting for the first time in any language the complete sonnets of Borges, more than half of which have been translated into English for the first time. Poems of the Night is an intimate, revelatory collection of Borge's poetic meditations on nighttime, darkness, and the crepuscular world of visions and dreams. This book presents many poems in English for the first time, including his earliest and last poems.

LUIS CERNUDA presented by Stephen Kessler— Desolation of the Chimera (White Pine Press, 2009), translated and presented at WordTemple by Stephen Kessler. Luis Cernuda (1902 - 1963) was a leading member of Spain's legendary Generation of 1927: Lorca, Alberti, Buñuel, Dalí, et. al. Written between 1950 and 1962, the poems in this collection amount to the final poetic testament of one of Spain's most important 20th century poets. Kessler's translation of Desolation of the Chimera won the 2010 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award from the Academy of American Poets. Previous winners of the award include, among others, W. S. Merwin, Robert Pinsky and Galway Kinnell.

Stephen Kessler is the author of eight books of original poetry, most recently Burning Daylight, and fourteen books of literary translation, including the Lambda Literary Award-winning Written in Water: The Prose Poems of Luis Cernuda (City Lights Books).

BEYOND THE COURT GATE: SELECTED POEMS OF NGUYEN TRAI — with translators and editors Nguyen Do and Paul Hoover (Counterpath Press 2010). While Li Po and other classic Chinese poets mostly found expression through landscape, Vietnamese poet Nguyen Trai (1380 - 1422) wrote about his own life. Tang Dynasty poetry was traditional and polite, but Trai developed a colloquial and personal style. As a result, his poems have the intimacy and immediacy of the everyday.

Nguyen Do writes and translates poetry in Vietnamese and English. Born in 1959, in Ha Tinh Province of Vietnam, he moved to Hanoi as a youth. After taking degrees in Surveying from Hanoi Construction College and in literature from Vinh University, he taught high school in Pleiku, then lived in Ho Chi Minh City where he worked as an editor and reporter for a litrary review, newspapers and magazines. His eleven books of poetry include The Fish Wharf and The Autumn Evening (a collaboration with Thanh Thao); The Empty Space; and New Darkness.

Paul Hoover, winner of the PEN-USA Translation Award for Selected Poems of Friedrich Hölderlin (Omnidawn), is the author of many books of poems, including Sonnet 56 (Les Figues Press 2009); and Poems in Spanish (Omnidawn, 2005). Professor of Creative Writing at SF State, he edited Postmodern American Poetry (W.W. Norton, 1994) and currently curates the poetry reading series at the deYoung Museum of Fine Art in San Francisco.


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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Beyond the Court Gate Reviewed

Here's the link to a great review by Dylan Suher of Beyond the Court Gate: Selected Poems of Nguyen Trai, edited and translated by Nguyen Do and me. The site is The Front Table, the Seminary Co-op Bookstore website. This is one of the country's most amazing bookstores.

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