Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Stacy Doris

Stacy Doris
Stacy Doris

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

This month, I’d like to feature an interview from the fall of 2004 with poet and translator, Stacy Doris, who passed away in 2012. Doris discusses the political and poetic climate of the United States following the bombing of Afghanistan as well as the similarities between the work of poetry and the work of politics, describing both as an exchange between people. “If there’s one person who has been moved by it, you have been successful,” she says of the poetic exchange.  She also reads from her book Conference (Potes & Poets, 2001), and discusses the Sufi texts that inspired the “complexity of devotion” in that work. She concludes by reading from the work of Christophe Tarkos, a major force in French poetry, whose work Doris translated (along with Chet Wiener) and appears in Christophe Tarkos: Ma Langue est Poetique–Selected Work (Roof, 2001). —Angela Buck


 

Stacy Doris was born in Connecticut in 1962 and died in San Francisco in January 2012. The great differences among her six books written in English and four books written in French voice intense immediacy while working through layers of traditions, forms and fields from many places and times. Books in English include Fledge: A Phenomenology of Spirit (Nightboat Books, 2013), The Cake Part (Publication Studio, 2011), Knot (University of Georgia Press, 2006), Cheerleader’s Guide to the World : Council Book (NY: Roof 2006), Conference (Potes & Poets, 2001), Paramour (Krupskaya, 2000) and Kildare (Roof, 1995). In French: Parlement (P.O.L 2000). La vie de Chester Steven Wiener écrite par sa femme (P.O.L, 1998), Une année à New York avec Chester (P.O.L 2000).

Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Nada Gordon

Nada Gordon
Nada Gordon

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

This month from the Cross-Cultural Poetics archive, I’ve chosen an interview with poet Nada Gordon that originally aired in the fall of 2004. Gordon briefly discusses the eleven years that she lived in Tokyo, as well as the influence and subsequent reaction against the Haiku aesthetic in her work. She reads from the sonically rich and sprawling Are Not Our Lowing Heifers Sleeker Than Night-Swollen Mushrooms? (Spuyten Duyvil) and talks about the importance of cadence in this book, the desire to “beat out a pulse,” as well as to work against any set “rules of composition.” —Angela Buck

Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Paul Vangelisti

Paul Vangelisti
Paul Vangelisti

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

For May, I’ve chosen an interview with poet and translator Paul Vangelisti. Vangelisti reflects on his long career in radio, as Cultural Affairs Director between 1974 and 1982 for KPFK, the flagship station for Pacifica, in Los Angeles, where he produced “Los Angeles Theater of the Ear.” “Conversation,” he says, “is something that radio does much better than anything else.” In addition, Vangelisti reads from his selected poems, Embarrassment of Survival, discusses his translations from the Italian (including the work of Adriano Spatola) and examines the historic distinction in American poetry between open and closed forms. “All poetry,” Vangelisti notes, “is closed, and all poetry is open.”  —Angela Buck

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Paul Vangelisti is the author of some twenty books of poetry, as well as being a noted translator from Italian. In addition to his new book Wholly Falsetto with People Dancing, (an older man’s not-so-divine comedy), his most recent book of poems, Two, appeared in 2011. In 2006, Vangelisti and Lucia Re’s translation of Amelia Rosselli’s War Variations won both the Premio Flaiano in Italy and the PEN-USA Award for Translation. In 2010, his translation of Adriano Spatola’s The Position of Things: Collected Poems, 1961-1992 won the Academy of American Poets Raizzis/de Palchi Book Prize for Translation. From 1971-1982 he was co-editor, with John McBride, of the literary magazine Invisible City and, from 1993-2002, edited Ribot, the annual report of the College of Neglected Science. Currently, with Luigi Ballerini, he is editing a six-volume anthology of U.S. poetry from 1960 to the present, Nuova poesia americana, for Mondadori in Milan. Vangelisti is Founding Chair of the Graduate Writing program at Otis College of Art & Design in Los Angeles.

Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Cecilia Vicuña

Cecila Vicuña
Cecila Vicuña

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Kamau Braithwaite

Kamau Braithwaite
Kamau Braithwaite

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Rodrigo Toscano

Rodrigo Toscano
Rodrigo Toscano

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

For February, I’ve chosen an episode that originally aired in 2004 and features poet, labor activist and founder of The Collapsible Poetics Theater, Rodrigo Toscano. Toscano reads from his fourth book, To Leveling Swerve, as well as two other poems, “Twelve Riddles in Spirit, Crook in Hand” and “Memories of Somewhere to Somewhere Else.” He and Schwartz discuss the intermixture of discourses in Toscano’s work, and the privileging of materiality over the spiritual dimensions of a word. Toscano, who grew up speaking both Spanish and English, talks about “code switching” as more of a survival mechanism than sheer poetic technique, and reads from his dynamic and quick-witted multi-vocal works—poems that bring to the fore the materiality and relational nature of language. As he put it, “I try to invite people through the course of a half-an-hour of reading not to be afraid of letting go of meaning.”

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Rodrigo Toscano’s newest book of poetry is Deck of Deeds. His previous collection, Collapsible Poetics Theaterwas a 2007 National Poetry Series Selection. He was the recipient of a 2005 New York State Fellowship in Poetry. His plays have been performed at the Disney Redcat Theater and the Ontological-Hysteric Poet’s Theater Festival. His poetry has been translated into French, Dutch, Italian, German, Portuguese, Norwegian and Catalan. Toscano works for the Labor Institute, in conjunction with the United Steelworkers and the National Institute for Environmental Health Science. He works out of a laptop, tethered to a Droid, residing in airports, occupying poetics in midflight.

Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Fanny Howe

Fanny Howe
Fanny Howe

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

This month, I’ve chosen an episode that originally aired on November 3, 2003 and features poet, fiction writer and essayist, Fanny Howe. Howe discusses the profound influence of Irish literature and culture on her writing as a whole—specifically the influence of her mother, Mary Manning Howe, an actress and playwright from Dublin, who founded the Poets’ Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the early ’50s. Howe also reads from her major prose poem, “Doubt,” a meditation on the lives and writings of Simone Weil, Edith Stein and Virginia Woolf, as well as on doubt itself as the “physical double to belief.” She presents this poem as one that examines the act of conversion at the level of language and childhood, and describes her struggle with the word “God” as a “monster within the text.” 

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Angela Buck on Leonard Schwartz with Linh Dinh

Linh Dinh
Linh Dinh

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.

This month, I’ve chosen an episode from the fall 2004 season—an interview with Saigon-born poet, fiction writer and translator, Linh Dinh. Dinh reads from his 2004 collection of stories, Blood and Soap, including the extraordinary story “Prisoner with a Dictionary,” which he calls a “story of conversion” that speaks to the experience of being caught between two languages. He also reads from the 2001 anthology, Three Vietnamese Poets, which he translated, as well as his 2003 poetry collection, All Around What Empties Out. Schwartz and Dinh discuss the relationship between power and imagination, and the play between the comic and the tragic that runs through Dinh’s poetry and stories—something Dinh attributes to the French tradition of black humor, running from Rabelais to Alfred Jarry, Henri Michaux and Antonin Artaud.—Angela Buck

Angela Buck, Leonard Schwartz and Rosmarie Waldrop on Edmund Jabès

Rosemarie Waldrop photographed by Walt Odets, Edmund Jabès photographed by Jacques Robert
Rosemarie Waldrop (photograph courtesy of Walt Odets) and Edmund Jabès (photograph courtesy of Jacques Robert)

This monthly series features highlights from the Cross Cultural Poetics archive. Cross Cultural Poetics is one of the longest-running radio shows in America focused on contemporary poetry and poetics. Based at The Evergreen State College and hosted by Leonard Schwartz, the entire archive, running from 2003 to the present, can be accessed on PennSound.