Poetry Depot

July 27, 2013

Bringing poets and poetry toghether

Filed under: France, Indian, Scotish, Switzerland, Welsh — razvan @ 1:22 pm

Literature Across Frontiers gathered poets from all around the world in India, Turkey and Morocco (until now).
Alexandra Büchler from Literature Across Frontiers explains the concept: “they have to be able to give and take, to explain their work, but also to engage with the work of others”.

Arjun Bali (India)
Sampurna Chattarji (India)
Bill Herbert (Scotland)
Meena Kandasamy (India)
Robin Ngangom (India)
Roselyne Sibille (France)
Zoe Skoulding (Wales)
Raphael Urweider (Switzerland)

July 4, 2012

Filed under: American — razvan @ 11:04 am

Natasha Trethewey (b. 1966) is an American poet who was appointed United States Poet Laureate in June 2012 (wiki)


What’s left is footage: the hours before
Camille, 1969—hurricane
parties, palm trees leaning
in the wind,
fronds blown back,

a woman’s hair. Then after:
the vacant lots,
boats washed ashore, a swamp

where graves had been. I recall

how we huddled all night in our small house,
moving between rooms,
emptying pots filled with rain.

The next day, our house—
on its cinderblocks—seemed to float

in the flooded yard: no foundation

beneath us, nothing I could see
tying us to the land.
In the water, our reflection
when I bent to touch it.

from poets.org

The Mask of Authority (A letter to Pier Paolo Pasolini)

Filed under: anonymous — razvan @ 11:00 am

Could I forget this? Yes, of course; I/ should be able to… what could one do…

As I send my words to Africa
There comes your old voice: Remember Shel-/ly! You were leading me on this walk
some name poetry, and others, self:
The Orient of what’s considered
West; and Occident from any East; or so Boreal as seen from South;
Completely Austral for all Northern:

One might think this is the centre of the

world; look closer; right! This is just you:
Left to all right-wings and absolute right for all those who fight for a Left

These are the fish heads, these are the dogs weaving their stray

ways throughout the world
From times when proud odes hanged high in mosques
And Wang Wei opposed a fisherman to the rise and fall of industry
Blaming you and me & being right
This is the young man
and these are his rubber boots – empty; so we’ve been told.

All masks for power, for your estranged manner of finding sons and distant
fathers, prisoners of a frozen

and shiny desert called history
: I’ve seen the heroes growing very
Old, thirsty for blood, explaining all in words that once meant water, masters,
human love; whom do they speak to?
: and who is talking through all the flags
Preaching for a pose: peace, skin-color/ and democratic right to pursue
Death in any form that is social?!

You and all these me guilty of us,/ at last, with no need for an excuse.

December 7, 2011

Chilean Poet Nicanor Parra won the 2011 Miguel de Cervantes Prize

Filed under: Chile, South America — razvan @ 6:59 pm

Nicanor Parra, the Chilean poet and mathematician who seeks to demystify poetry and make it accessible to a wider audience, has won the 2011 Miguel de Cervantes Prize.

Organizers of the world’s highest Spanish-language literary honour announced Parra, 97, as the winner on Thursday in Madrid.

Born into a well-known family of artists, writers and performers (including his famed folk singer sister Violeta), Parra graduated from the University of Chile and became a professor of mathematics and physics in 1938.
Worth €125,000 (nearly $171,500 Cdn), the Cervantes Prize honours a Spanish-language writer for his or her body of work and is among the world’s most lucrative literary awards. Past recipients have included Spain’s Ana Maria Matute, Peru’s Mario Vargas Llosa and Mexico’s Octavio Paz.


Young Poets

Write as you will
In whatever style you like
Too much blood has run under the bridge
To go on believing
That only one road is right.

In poetry everything is permitted.

With only this condition of course,
You have to improve the blank page.


October 26, 2011

Khaled Mattawa, contemporary Libya-born poet

Filed under: Arabic, Libya — razvan @ 6:14 pm

Khaled Mattawa was born in Benghazi, Libya where he had his primary education. In 1979 he emigrated to the United States. He lived in the South for many years, finishing high school in Louisiana and completing bachelors degrees in political science and economics at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He went on to earn an MA in English and an MFA in creative writing from Indiana University where he taught creative writing and won an Academy of American Poets award. (from webdelsol) He translated into English from Arabic contemporary poets like Adonis, Saadi Youssef, Joumana Haddad or Iman Mirsal.
Last week, Khaled Mattawa read his latest piece, entitled “After 42 Years,” performed in the aftermath of Gaddafi’s death.

After 42 years

Five years old when the dictator took over in a coup —

curfew shut our city down

Bloodless coup, they said —

The many who thought this could be good. (more…)

May 30, 2011

Ernesto Cardenal – contemporary poet from Nicaragua

Filed under: Central America, Nicaragua — razvan @ 6:53 pm

b. 1925 Ernesto Cardenal is a major poet of the Spanish language well known in the United States as a spokesman for justice and self-determination in Latin America. Cardenal, who recognizes that poetry and art are closely tied to politics, used his poetry to protest the encroachments of outsiders in Nicaragua and supported the revolution that overthrew Somoza in 1979. Once the cultural minister of his homeland, Cardenal spends much of his time as “a kind of international ambassador,” noted Richard Elman in the Nation.

(from poetry fundation)

Waldman writes of Cardenal’s work as being “a Whitmanesque embrace and also a timely political and spiritual resonance with the particularly difficult and early-broken-hearted new century…His optimism is constantly radiating with a scholarly wonder.”

Ernesto Cardenal (b. 1925), widely acknowledged as Latin America’s greatest living poet, will visit with students, read from his works and sign copies of his newest collection of poems at 12 U.S. and Canadian campuses, including Naropa University. The author of more than thirty-five books, many of which have been translated into multiple languages, Nicaraguan poet Ernesto Cardenal was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1965. His studies with Trappist monk Thomas Merton and his involvement with the Sandinista movement in his home country have informed his writing and political activism. He lives in Managua, Nicaragua, where he is vice president of Casa de los Tres Mundos, a literary and arts cultural organization.

Ernesto Cardenal is recognized as one of the most urgent and eloquent voice in a country of poets and revolutionaries, a cultural icon whose life and writings have altered history.

Cardenal’s poetry is impure, defiantly, in that it unites political ugliness and the beauty of imaginative vision. —Robert Bly

One of the world’s major poets. —Choice

Cardenal is a major epic-historical poet, in the grand lineage of Central American prophet Rubén Darío. —Allen Ginsberg

One of the most influential (and controversial) poets of his generation. —Robert Hass

from naropa university


Prayer for Marilyn Monroe
 Translated from the Spanish 
by Jonathan Cohen

[Reading by Cardenal ]

receive this young woman known around the world as Marilyn Monroe
although that wasn’t her real name
(but You know her real name, the name of the orphan raped at the age of 6
and the shopgirl who at 16 had tried to kill herself)
who now comes before You without any makeup
without her Press Agent
without photographers and without autograph hounds,
alone like an astronaut facing night in space.
She dreamed when she was little that she was naked in a church

(according to the Time account)before a prostrated crowd of people, their heads on the floor
and she had to walk on tiptoe so as not to step on their heads.
You know our dreams better than the psychiatrists.
Church, home, cave, all represent the security of the womb
but something else too …
The heads are her fans, that’s clear
(the mass of heads in the dark under the beam of light).
But the temple isn’t the studios of 20th Century-Fox.
The temple—of marble and gold—is the temple of her body
in which the Son of Man stands whip in hand
driving out the studio bosses of 20th Century-Fox
who made Your house of prayer a den of thieves.

May 14, 2011

From a Terrace in Prague – International poetry on Prague

Filed under: relational poetry — razvan @ 11:32 am

From a Terrace in Prague is an anthology of poems about Prague written by Czech and international poets who have lived in Prague or visited the city and wrote about it. Ranging from 1888 to 2010, with poems translated into English from 16 languages, the anthology is unparalleled in scope.

The contributors are: Muhammad Mahdi Al-Jawahiri, Guillaume Apollinaire, Michal Ajvaz, Louis Armand, Ingeborg Bachmann, John Berryman, Petr Bezruc, Konstantin Biebl, Anthony Blake, Ivan Blatny, Egon Bondy, Kamil Bouska, Jiri Brynda, Michael Carter, Paul Celan, Vera Chase, Inger Christensen, Christopher Crawford, Svatopluk Cech, Roque Dalton, Bei Dao, Jas H. Duke, Vincent Farnsworth, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Viola Fischerova, Gil Fleishman, Carolyn Forche, Frantisek Gellner, Allen Ginsberg, Frantisek Halas, Vaclav Havel, Nazim Hikmet, Karel Hlavacek, Vladimir Holan, Miroslav Holub, Josef Hora, Petr Hruska, Jaroslav Hutka, Ivan Martin Jirous, Richard Katrovas, Jane Kirwan, Jiri Kolar, Claudiu Komartin, Petr Kral, Martin Langer, David Lehman, Phillis Levin, Larry Levis, Robert Lowell, Antonin Macek, Josef Svatopluk Machar, Ian MacNeill, Sergej Makara, Radek Maly, Jason Mashak, Wojciech A. Maslarz, Iggy McGovern, Edwin Muir, Pablo Neruda, Vitezslav Nezval, Ladislav Novak, Tiago Patricio, Katerina Pinosova, Marie Pujmanova, Justin Quinn, James Ragan, Donald Revell, Tereza Riedlbauchova, Rainer Maria Rilke, Byambin Rinchen, Katerina Rudcenkova, Ed Sanders, James Schuyler, Jaroslav Seifert, David Shapiro, Phil Shoenfelt, Gary Snyder, Philippe Soupault, Antonin Sova, Viktor Spacek, Marcela Sulak, Pavel Srut, Mark Terrill, Karel Toman, Jachym Topol, John Tranter, Seisuke Tsukahara-Watasi, Marina Tsvetaeva, Razvan Tupa, Anne Waldman, Vera Weislitzova, Jiri Wolker, Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Jiri Zacek, and Adam Zagajewski.

ABOUT THE EDITOR: Stephan Delbos is a New England-born poet living in Prague, where he teaches at Anglo-American University and Charles University, and works as Culture Editor for The Prague Post. His poetry, essays and translations have appeared most recently in Absinthe, Agni, Atlanta Review, Fourteen Hills, Financial Times, Full Metal Poem, Grasp, New Letters, Oxonian Review, Poetry International, Poetry Salzburg Review, Rakish Angel, Return of Kral Majales, Vlak, and Zoland Poetry.

May 4, 2011

Digital poetry, the poetry of the XXIst century, highlighted in a new study and anthology

Filed under: relational poetry — razvan @ 8:16 pm

Jorge Luiz Antonio presents a panorama of digital poetry in Brazil and in the world 

There are many ways of making poetry nowadays, but the one that mostly engages the new technologies of language is digital poetry. In Digital Poetry: Theory, History, Anthologies, Jorge Luiz Antonio presents a panorama of digital poetry history, from its origins, in 1959, until our days with the most advanced and creative innovations. The author shows how the resources of computer science, apparently cool and exact, can give new life to the universe of poetry when taking their producers and appreciators to the other artistic directions inside digital culture.

For Jorge Luiz Antonio his Digital Poetry: Theory, History, Anthologies is a book that “studies a type of contemporary poetry in its relationship with the arts, design and  computational technology, which is a continuation and an unfolding of avant-garde, concrete, visual, and experimental poetry”. According to the Portuguese poet E.M. de Melo e Castro, the work has “clearly the intention and the author’s accomplishment of a discussion about the reasons that can be invoked for the study of the transformations that the use of the technologies is already causing in the concept of poetry”.

Digital poetry: theory, history, anthologies comes accompanied by a DVD that gathers a complete anthology of digital poems and their predecessors, introducing 501 poems of 226 poets and 110 theoretical texts of 73 authors, Brazilians and foreigners, with about 1500 printed and electronic pages, giving a rare panorama of what has already been done in the area of poetic experimentation, in Brazil and in other countries. The DVD shows that “poetry, art, design, science and digital technology form the transdisciplinary quintet that a portion of the contemporary poets chose to accomplish their poetic communication”, as Jorge Luiz Antonio says.

(Franklin Valverde, Onda Latina, Brazil)


March 23, 2011

Ulf Stolterfoht, contemporary German poet

Filed under: German — razvan @ 7:31 pm

Ulf Stolterfoht has studied German literature and philology in Tübingen and Bochum.
Even before the publication of his debut volume in 1998, his poems already appeared in various journals and anthologies.
Winner of the PEN Award For Poetry In Translation, 2008
Lingos takes as its playground all the cultural baggage of our turn of the century and examines it with a mix of deconstruction, parody and sheer exuberance. The poems flaunt their intent to avoid linearity, prefabricated meaning and the lyrical I. Instead, they cultivate irony, punning, fragmenting, juxtaposing, distorting, and subject everything to an almost compulsive humor — the author and his own methods included.
Ulf Stolterfoht was born in 1963 in Stuttgart and now lives in Berlin with his wife and three children. His 3 books of poems are all called Fachsprachen [lingos, jargons, technical terms] and are all published by Urs Engeler Editor:

Fachsprachen I-IX (1998), Fachsprachen X-XVIII (2002), which received the Hans-Erich-Nossack-Förderpreis and the Christine Lavant-Preis respectively, and most recently, in 2004, Fachsprachen XIX-XXVII, for which he received the Anna-Seghers-Prize in 2005 and a stipendium to the German Academy in Rome.
From 2008 to 2009 he was professor at the German Literature Institute in Leipzig.
Stolterfoht lives in Berlin.
From Burning Deck.


what still remains of “songless” — “an earnest bird”

brings up. no earnest bird discusses what

seemed essentially the fact. he as it were cancels

himself out. you mentally shake your head. you nod.

you say i see. this must the essence of negation be.

and what’s confusing at a second glance:… NO X




HORSES (… carry you away) at a third holds

up and fast. no one horse holds so fast.

eleven horses or else nine: carry

you away. just as no ten. they hold you

fast. then let’s have at it at no zero

horses — to sidle/bridle up! a matter




(to remove last lingering doubts): not not to be

neglected. not to forget: forgotten. to

hunger. simply done. resolved: to cut

the bread. forgets. is now (the bread harder

and harder) to cut to be called to “saw”?

may your speech be yea yea / nay nay!




what’s likewise hard to clarify: if probably perhaps

exists. tendency: perhaps. probably not.

but here you quickly stand alone. and can’t help make

a stand for “nonsense absolute” as having making

sense some. unprofitable enterprise: not only not

to say not / to do un. but then its beauty too.



Other Poems can be read in the Fascicle.

March 16, 2011

ELISABETH RYNELL: Contemporary Swedish Poetry

Filed under: Sweden — razvan @ 1:47 am

ELISABETH RYNELL was born in 1954 in Stockholm. Her father was a professor of English and her mother a nurse. After completing the comprehensive school in and around the capital city, she worked as an au pair in London and later settled in the north of Sweden, in Lycksele. Ms. Rynell debuted with the poetry collection Lyrsvit m.m. med gnöl (Poetry Suite etc. with Grumbling, 1975). Her first novel, entitled Veta hut (For Shame, 1979) appeared in 1979. Nattliga samtal (NightConversations, 1990) contains both poems and prose pieces. A recurring theme in the volume is the grieving for a life companion hastily taken away. Her last book, the novel Hohaj (1997), set in Norrland, Sweden’s northern wilderness, has a rather mythical quality. Ms .Rynell’s writing is distinguished by a strong emotional intensity, openness and sensuality. Other works include the poetry volumes Onda dikter (Evil Poems, 1980), Sorgvingesång (Sorrow Winged Songs, 1985), Sjuk fågel (Sick Bird, 1988), and Öckenvandrare (Desert Wanderer, 1993), and the novel En berättelse om Loka (A Tale About Loka, 1990). (from Columbia edu)


Nocturnal Conversations

Something of light
I cannot describe
Maybe love’s hands
Your skin like a drink
I don’t know

I wake into the nightmare
and I walk inside it
It is real, material
and I walk and walk

You left your dead
body behind you

And we stood and looked at it

And we did not know
what we should do with it


translated from the Swedish by Rika Lesser

(from Asymptote journal)

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