Poetry in Translation - Spring/Summer 2003Willis Barnstone was born in Lewiston, Maine, and educated at Bowdoin, Columbia, and Yale. He taught in Greece at the end of the civil war (1949-51), in Buenos Aires during the Dirty War, and during the Cultural Revolution went to China, where he was later a Fulbright Professor of American Literature at Beijing Foreign Studies University (1984-1985). His publications include Modern European Poetry (Bantam, 1967), The Other Bible (HarperCollins, 1984) The Secret Reader: 501 Sonnets (New England, 1996), a memoir biography With Borges on an Ordinary Evening in Buenos Aires (Illinois, 1993), and To Touch the Sky (New Directions, 1999). His literary translation of the New Testament The New Covenant: The Four Gospels and Apocalypse was published by Riverhead Books in 2002. A Guggenheim Fellow and Pulitzer Prize finalist in poetry, Barnstone is Distinguished Professor at Indiana University.
Andrew Boobier was born in Haworth, West Yorkshire in 1963. After various jobs, he attended York University and gained a first class degree in English. After spending a number of years on an aborted PhD on Seamus Heaney, he got down to writing his own poetry rather than writing about others, and has been published in the UK in magazines such as The New Yorick , Orbis, versus, The Rue Bella and in the USA in the Schuylkill Valley Journal and Smorgasbord; he has published online in The Pedestal Magazine, Poems Niederngasse, Eclectica, and Snakeskin. He is the editor of the Alsop Review's online quarterly magazine, Octavo www.alsopreview.com/octavo. He is also a senior manager within a web design company, for his sins.
Tadeusz Borowski (1922-1951) is best known for his story collection, This Way to the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen, which chronicles his experiences at Auschwitz during World War 2. He was accidently arrested by the Gestapo in Warsaw while he was searching for his wife, a member of the Polish Resistance, who was also interned at Auschwitz. Both survived the war, though he committed suicide in 1951. These short pieces are taken from a collection, Kamienny Swait, Stony World.
Heinrich Eggerth was born in Annaberg, Lower Austria in 1926. He has worked as a teacher and school director. He has published poetry and novels. His poems are contained in Will the Stars Fall/Fallen nun die Sterne along with those of Rotraut Hackermüller and Herbert Kuhner (Austrian Literary Forum, 1995). Eggerth is also active as a translator. Among the poets he has rendered are John Skelton, T. S. Eliot, E. E. Cummings, Alan Brownjohn and Alter Brody.
Tom Hibbard's translations have appeared in Willow Springs and Milk and the Winter issue of The Drunken boat. He recently edited a collection of poems titled Poems for Peace. His latest collection of poetry is titled gessom.
Francis Jammes (1868-1938) was born and died in the region of the Pyrenees mountains near the border of France and Spain. He became friends with some of the most famous and controversial writers of his time, in particular Andre Gide, but his poetry strongly reflects the rustic scenes of ordinary life in his native area.
Lisa Katz is English editor of the Israeli domain of the Poetry International web site, which features poetry in translation from 14 counties. Katz's poetry, twice nominated for a Pushcart Prize this year, is forthcoming in Prairie Schooner and has appeared in The Mississippi Review,Leviathan Quarterly, The Reading Room, Bridges and other magazines, as well as on the Blue Fifth Review web site. Her chapbook, Breast Art, appeared in the Summer 2002 issue of The Drunken Boat. Her interview of Agi Mishol and translations of Mishol appear in Fall 2002. Her translations from the Hebrew have been published in The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, jubilat, Runes and the anthology The Defiant Muse, as well as in English and Israeli magazines; Katz teaches translation at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. She was a poetry translation seminar at the 34th Rotterdam Poetry Festival in June, a panelist at AWP in Feburary, and will moderate at the American Literary Translator's Association conference in Boston, in November 2003. She has interviewed Shirley Kaufman and Gali-Dana Singer in this issue.
Leonard Kress has three collections of poetry, most recently, Orphics, Kent State University Press. He has published translations of the Polish Renaissance poets, Jan Kochanowski and Szymon Zimorowic and sections from his new verse translation of the 19th century Polish Romantic epic, Pan Tadeusz, by Adam Mickiewicz. He has received grants from the Ohio and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and teaches at Owens College in Ohio.
Herbert Kuhner was born in Vienna in 1935. He emigrated in 1939 and grew up and was educated in the United States. He has resided in Vienna since 1963. He is the author of novels, poetry, and plays and has published numerous volumes of poetry in translation, which include Austrian Poetry Today (Schocken Books, New York, 1985) and If the Walls Between Us Were Made of Glass: Austrian Jewish Poetry (Verlag Der Apfel, Vienna, 1992). Kuhner plays the drums and is author of a collection of jazz poems, Swing Men and Women, which has been illustrated by Austrian jazz guitarist Manfred Markowski. At present Kuhner is collaborating with American poet George Wallace on Before the Storm, an edition of the collected poems of Alter Brody.
Antonio Machado (1875-1939) is Spain's master poet, the explorer of dream and landscape, and of consciousness below language. Widely regarded as the greatest twentieth century poet who wrote in Spanish, Machado, like his contemporary Rilke, is intensely introspective and meditative. He is translated in this issue by Willis Barnstone. The translations are taken from Border of a Dream, a new bilingual edition which provides a sweeping assessment of Machado's work and which includes a reminiscence by Nobel Laureate Juan Ramon Jimenez and a foreword by John Dos Passos.
Czeslaw Milosz was born in 1911 in Lithuania and was a founding member of the Warsaw avant-garde literary group Zagary. He spent most of World War II in Nazi- occupied Warsaw working for underground presses. After the war, he came to the United States as a diplomat for the Polish communist government, In 1950 he was transferred to Paris, and the following year he received political asylum. He spent the next decade in Paris as a freelance writer. In 1953 he published The Captive Mind, and his novel, The Seizure of Power. In 1960 he moved to the United States to become a lecturer in Polish literature at the University of California at Berkeley. . He did not visit Poland again until 1981.In 1980, Milosz was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Francis Ponge was born in Montpellier 1899 and was a key essayist and poet in 20th century French literature. Flirting with surrealism, and a member of the communist party, he is known particularly for his ability to observe animals and common place objects meticulously and describe them in apparently rational, yet lyric terms as demonstrated in his most well known work Le Parti-pris des choses (1942). Other works include La Rage de lexpression (1952), Le Savon (1967) and The Making of the Pre translated by Lee Fahnestock (University of Missouri Press, 1979). He died in 1988; his Selected Poems have been translated by C.K. Williams. The poems translated here are early works from the 1920's, taken from Le Grand Recueil: Lyres, Vol. 1 and, as far as we are aware, have never been translated before.
Gali-Dana Singer was born in 1962 in Leningrad (St Petersburg), where she studied at the Institute for Theater, Music and Film, and immigrated to Israel in 1988. Poet, translator and editor of literary magazines and anthologies in Russian and in Hebrew (currently of the bilingual magazine Colon, and of the radio program Bi-vocality), she served as a workshop leader in the “Poets Dialogue” series in Jerusalem, and as editor of the bilingual anthology of the same name. Currently she is the organizer of bilingual poetry evenings at the Co-Art center in Jerusalem. Her work has appeared in every major literary magazine in Israel, in magazines in Russia and the US, on the Rotterdam-based Poetry International web site, and is forthcoming in a University of Iowa anthology of English translations of Russian-language women poets. Three volumes of her poetry have been published in Russian in Israel, and two in Hebrew; she is the recipient of the Absorption Ministry Prize for Israeli immigrant writers. Shalom Aleichem, her anthology of translations of 50 years of Israeli poetry, appeared in Moscow in 1998. Singer has participated in the Israeli Poetry Festival in Metulla three times, and in the International Jerusalem Poets Festival, and will appear in the Moscow Festival in the fall.