Archetypal Images a series of original digital artwork by Reva Sharon from Israel.

More poets and translations in our Spring Issue

More poets and translations in our Summer Issue

All poetry and translation in this issue in alphabetical order.

Poets from Israel:

Mordechai Beck

Jeffrey Green

Poets from China:

Li Po

Hsu Hsuan

Meng Chiao

T’ao Ch’ien

Tu Fu

Tzu Yeh

Wang Wei

Yuan Chen

Poets from the United States:

Aliki Barnstone

W.D. Ehrhart

Robert Gibbons

Daniela Gioseffi

Sam Hamill

Gray Jacobik

Rebecca McClanahan

Jennifer Rose

Francine Sterle

Arthur Sze


Eleanor Wilner

Aliki BarnstoneAliki Barnstone's Wild With It is forthcoming from The Sheep Meadow Press in 2001. Her previous collection, Madly in Love, (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1997) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. She's the editor of Voices of Light: Spiritual and Visionary Poems by Women around the World from Ancient Sumeria to Now (Shambhala 2000), A Book of Women Poets from Antiquity to Now (Schocken/Random Hou se, 1992) and has a study, A Changing Rapture: The Development of Emily Dickinson's Poetry forthcoming from the University Press of Florida. Her poems have recently appeared or will appear in Agni, The Antioch Review, Boulevard, Ploughshares Review, and Poetry. She teaches in the International MFA Program at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

Mordechai Beck Mordechai Beck has published fiction in The Literary Review, Tikkun and Ariel. His reviews and essays have been widely published in newspapers and journals in the United Kingdom, the United States and Israel. He is also a visual artist, specializing in print-making. He lives in Israel.

W.D. EhrhartW.D. Ehrhart is currently a research fellow in American Studies at the University of Wales, Swansea, United Kingdom, but lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife Anne and daughter Leela. His newest books are Beautiful Wreckage: New and Selected Poems(1999), Ordinary Lives:Platoon 1005 and the Vietnam War (1999), and Retrieving Bones: Stories and Poems of the Korean War (with Philip K. Jason, 1999).

Robert Gibbons
has written five chapbooks of poetry. He has poems in The Connecticut Poetry Review, The Dalhousie Review (Canada), and a prose poem in The Literary Review. He writes a regular column, "Observations," for, an online magazine out of Switzerland. Robert works at Northeastern University Library in Boston.

Daniela Gioseffi’s Going On, was nominated by Galway Kinnell for the New York University Poetry Prize in 1999. She has two other collections of poetry, Word Wounds & Water Flowers (VIA Folios @Purdue University, 1995) and Eggs in the Lake (BOA Editions, Rochester NY). Her works of fiction include a comic novel, The Great American Belly and In Bed with the Exotic Enemy. She was awarded an American Book Award, 1990, for Women on War: International Voices (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster: NY) and a World Peace Award from the Ploughshares Fund, 1993, for On Prejudice: A Global Perspective (Anchor/Doubleday.) She has won a PEN Fiction Award and two New York State Council for the Arts poetry awards. She is Founding President of Skylands Writers and Artists Association and edits and publishes Wise Women’s Web featured in this issue.

Jeffrey GreenJeffrey M. Green moved to Israel in 1973 after getting a doctorate in comparative literature from Harvard. He has translated eight books by the prominent Israeli author, Aharon Appelfeld, as well as fiction by other writers and academic non-fiction. His book Thinking Through Translation is forthcoming from the University of Georgia Press. He has written an autobiographical work and a novel in Hebrew, and the Holocaust memoir he wrote with Trudi Birger, A Daughter’s Gift of Love, was published in America by the Jewish Publication Society and has been translated into many languages.

Sam Hamill
Along with Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese, Sam Hamill’s celebrated translations include The Art of Writing: Lu Chi’s Wen Fu, The Essential Chaung Tzu, and The Essential Basho. He is the author of a dozen volumes of original poetry, including Destination Zero: Poems 1970-1995 and Gratitude, as well as three collections of essays, the most recent of which is a A Poet’s Work. He is Founding Editor of Copper Canyon Press and contributing editor of American Poetry Review.

In this issue we have Hamill’s translations of the following poets (all biographical notes by Sam Hamill, copyright © 2000 from Crossing the Yellow River: Three Hundred Poems from the Chinese, translated with an introduction by Sam Hamill):

Hsu Hsuan (916-991) was an accomplished editor who rose to the position of Supervising Censor before being banished to Shensi Province.

Li Po (701-762) is China’s most famous poet, one whose biography is thoroughly infused with the stuff of legend, much of which may have been generated by the poet himself. Imprisoned as a traitor, pardoned, exiled, celebrated, granted amnesty, he lived on the edge. He was a consummate panhandler and an epic drinker. Despite a complex vocabulary and rich, varied meters, he claimed to have never revised a poem. Legend says he drowned in the Yellow River, drunk, trying to embrace the reflection of the moon in 762.

Meng Chiao (751-814) was highly praised by Han Yu and other contemporaries. Unable or unwilling to conform to court society, his life was filled with poverty, failure and bitterness. He turned to a classically Confucian stance embracing the virtues of sufferings as a “scholar out of office.”

T’ao Ch’ien (365-427), also called T’ao Yuan-ming, was born in Kiangsi province and lived most of his life as an impoverished farmer. Rejecting the highly mannered style of his contemporaries, his poems reflect a serious mind infused with fundamental Confucian conviction combined with Taoist spirituality. Although his poems were neglected in his own lifetime, he became one of classical China’s most venerated poets.

Tu Fu (712-770) the “Poetry Sage” was born in 712 to a family that had once been part of nobility, but whose fortunes had declined. After failing his (chin-shih) examinations several times, he spent years wandering, living in poverty, a model of Confucian conduct and a poet whose inspiration came in large part from the suffering he observed during his travels, much of it the product of ruthless inscription and unfair taxation. His poetry went largely unacknowledged but by his friend Li Po and few others during his lifetime. Only 1554 of his ten thousand poems survive.

Tzu Yeh may have been a single “wine-shop girl” or the poems known generally as “Tzu Yeh songs” may have multiple authors. They dated from the 4th century C.E. Because of the innovative style of composition—the chueh-chu or back-to-back couplets—they were probably written by a single author. The wineshop girl was rigorously trained in music, dance, calligraphy, history, and the arts of prosody and storytelling. Li Po claimed to have memorized all of her songs.

Wang Wei (701-761) was perhaps China’s first truly great Buddhist poet. Unlike the Taoist Li Po and Confucian Tu Fu, he excelled as a courtier after having been imprisoned at the Bodhi Temple in the capital city of Ch’ang-an during the An Lu-shan Rebellion. He was admired as a poet, landscape painter and musician, and died while serving in the State Department in 761.

Yuan Chen (779-831) shared with his friend Po Chu-i a profound social conscience, and he also suffering banishment and exile for speaking out. A controversial poet (Sun Tung-p’o called his poems “frivolous”), his elegies are among the most profoundly moving personal poems of the T’ang dynasty. A prose piece assumed to be autobiographical provided the story line which the Yuan dynasty dramatists developed into The Dream of the Red Chamber.

Gray JacobikGray Jacobik is the author of The Double Task (Juniper Prize, 1998, Univ. of Massachusetts Press), and of The Surface of Last Scattering (X.J. Kennedy Prize, 1999, Texas Review Press). Recent poems appear in Poet Lore, Alaska Quarterly Review, and two recent anthologies, Urban Nature and The Best of the Prose Poem.

Rebecca McClanahanRebecca McClanahan’s Naked as Eve is featured in this issue. She has published three previous poetry collections, a book on writing, and her stories, essays and poems have been published in Poetry, The Kenyon Review, Boulevard, The Georgia Review, and Gettysburg Review. Her work has been anthologized in Pushcart Prize XVIII and The Best American Poetry 1998. McClanahan has received the PEN/Syndicated Fiction Award, the J. Howard and Barbara M.J. Wood Prize, the Carter Prize for Nonfiction, and a Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education.

Jennifer RoseJennifer Rose is the author of The Old Direction of Heaven (Truman State University Press, 2000) and the recipient of awards and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Cultural Council and Poetry Society of America, among others. Her poems in this issue of The Drunken Boat are from a manuscript entitled Hometown for an Hour. She lives in Massachusetts and works as a city planner specializing in downtown revitalization.

Francine SterleFrancine SterleThe White Bridge, a chapbook, featured in this issue is Francine Sterle’s first poetry collection. A native of Minnesota, her awards include a Lake Superior Contemporary Writers Award, a Loft-McKnight Foundation Award, a Pushcart Prize nomination, a residency fellowship from the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, a Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant, as well as both a Fellowship Grant and a Career Opportunity Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Her poems have been published in such literary journals as The North American Review, Nimrod, CutBank, Atlanta Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Zone 3, and many others. She currently resides in the tiny Iron Range town of Cherry, Minnesota. She just won the Editor’s Prize from Tupelo Press and will have a book forthcoming in 2001.

Arthur SzeArthur Sze is the author of six books of poetry, including The Redshifting Web (Copper Canyon Press, 1998). He is the recipient of a Lila-Wallace Reader’s Digest Writer’s Award, a Lannan Literary Award in Poetry, and two National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. A new volume, The Silk Dragon: Translations of Chinese Poetry, is forthcoming from Copper Canyon in mid-2001.

J.C. ToddJ.C. Todd is a Contributing Editor of The Drunken Boat. She has authored two chapbooks of poems,Nightshade and Entering Pisces, both published by Pine Press. Her poems have appeared in such literary journals as The Paris Review, Prairie Schooner, Virginia Quarterly Review and Beloit Poetry Journal and her translations of poems by the Ecuadorean writer Ivon Gordon Vailakis in Crab Orchard Review. Todd has received a Fellowship in Poetry from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and has been a fellow in poetry at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Hambidge Center. She teaches in the Writing for College program at Bryn Mawr College and the poetry program of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Eleanor Wilner Eleanor Wilner is the author of five previous books of poetry including Reversing The Spell: New and Selected Poems, Otherwise, Sarah ’s Choice, Shekhinah (all from the University of Chicago Press), and maya (University of Massachusetts Press), as well as a book on visionary imagination, Gathering the Winds, and a translation of Euripides’ Medea (University of Pennsylvania Press). Her work appears in many anthologies, including The Norton Anthology of Poetry 1996 and Best Poems of`1990 (Collier/ Macmillan). Her awards include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Juniper Prize, a Pushcart Prize, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. She teaches in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College and is currently Grace Conkling Writer-in-Residence at Smith College.