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

 


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.

Forrest Gander and Leonard Schwartz

Forrest Gander and Leonard Schwartz. Painting of Leonard Schwartz courtesy of Simon Carr.
Forrest Gander and Leonard Schwartz. Painting of Leonard Schwartz courtesy of Simon Carr.

This March, The Conversant asked some of its favorite interviewers to record conversations with poets that they admire—either at, or in the spirit of, AWP. Here Leonard Schwartz has invited Forrest Gander to participate in a mutual interview about both poets’ recent work.

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 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.

The Production of Subjectivity: Conversations with Michael Hardt

Over the past several months, The Conversant has published a series of three interviews conducted by Leonard Schwartz with Michael Hardt. This month, we’re pleased to present all three interviews in the chapbook, The Production of Subjectivity: Conversations with Michael Hardt.

Hover your cursor over the embedded chapbook and press “expand” to view the chapbook full size. It may take several seconds for the chapbook to load.

You can also find the interviews in our October 2012November 2012 and January 2012 issues.

For readers who want to keep a digital copy of this chapbook or who are reading on iPads, feel free to download this PDF.

Leonard Schwartz’s bio appears on our Contributor’s Page.

Leonard Schwartz with Andy Fitch

image of Leonard Schwartz
Leonard Schwartz. Photo courtesy of Star Black.

Over the summer, Andy Fitch interviewed 60 poets about their latest books. Ugly Duckling Presse will publish these collected interviews in 2013. This interview focuses on Schwartz’s book At Element (Talisman House). Recorded June 9th. Transcribed by Maia Spotts

Andy Fitch: Could we start with your title page, which identifies these works as “prose poems”? Perhaps I’m old fashioned, but the phrase “prose poems” makes me think of Max Jacob, James Tate, John Ashbery’s “Three Poems.” Your long, serialized, Adorno-esque pieces feel more like essayistic meditations. Though can you outline a prose-poem tradition in which projects like “The Sleep Talkers” fit? Do Edmond Jabès and Francis Ponge count as prose poets?

Leonard Schwartz: At Element combines lineated poems and prose formats. The long prose poem “The Sleep Talkers” almost passes over into a kind of lyric philosophy or lyric essay, departing from Baudelairian or Rimbaudian prose poetry. I read a lot of Nathalie Stephens, the contemporary Canadian writer, while developing this piece. I even obliquely addressed parts to her. Jabès long has interested me, though I didn’t read him much at the time. But Jabès constructs a textual form that allows him to think, specifically to engage in poetic thinking—which skirts oppositional binaries to plumb the richness of metaphor. And I do take Adorno quite seriously as a prose stylist, though At Element lacks the philosophical density or ambition one finds at the level of the proposition in Adorno.

Commonwealth: Michael Hardt with Leonard Schwartz

Antonio Negri and Michael Hardt

This is the last installment of three interviews Leonard Schwartz conducted with Michael Hardt. You can read the first interview, “Empire,” here and the second interview, “Love as Such,” here

Cross Cultural Poetics Episode #254: Commonwealth. This interview was transcribed by Holly Melgard

Leonard Schwartz: Great to have you back on the program and to have your new book Commonwealth (published by Belknap Press of Harvard University Press) and your soon to be published new text with Antonio Negri entitled Declaration also in hand, about which I hope we can speak. As I mentioned, this is a kind of trilogy. Your first work was Empire, the second was Multitude and now the third is Commonwealth. I wondered if you could say a little bit about the underlying architectonic of the three and where Commonwealth fits in the structure as far as your thinking is concerned?

Michael Hardt: Well, you know in some ways, calling it a “trilogy” for ourselves was a way of stopping us from writing more books like this. So unless we start something like prequels—like Star Wars would do—at least we have an end to it. But once we started calling it a “trilogy,” like you say, we did sort of create in our minds an architecture of the whole. In some ways, we considered Empire, the first of the three, to be focused primarily on the characteristics of the new global power structure. Multitude in many ways was both inspired by the alter-globalization movements and following new possibilities in the era of globalization—new possibilities of democracy, of alternatives.

As a final piece, Commonwealth is trying to articulate the notion of the common as both a perspective and an alternative, really, to the current economic and social possibilities. In some ways, “common” can be understood here as being something outside of alternatives we are otherwise presented with, which are these alternatives between private property and public property. You might say Neoliberalism focused on the role of “private property,” and some sort of Keynesian and/or Socialist solution focused on “public property” (meaning, property controlled and regulated by the state). We think of “the common” as something which is neither of those two, and which is, instead, characterized by open-access and self-management. So this might find a way outside of what seems to us to be a restrictive binary, which we’re often faced with (especially in these moments of economic crisis like we’ve had since 2008).

Love as Such: Michael Hardt with Leonard Schwartz

photo of Michael Hardt
Michael Hardt

This is the second of three interviews Leonard Schwartz conducted with Michael Hardt. You can read the first interview, “Empire,” here; the third interview will be published in the December issue.

Cross Cultural Poetics Episode #134: Love as Such. March 18, 2007. This interview was transcribed by Holly Melgard and was also published in Interval(le)s II.2-III.1 (Fall 2008/Winter 2009).

LS: You’ve said that you’re interested currently in love as a political concept. I wondered if you could say a little bit about that, especially since in Multitude (your last book), it does come up. I was speaking with the political theorist Steve Niva who pointed out that it is very clearly there in your piece—in the beginning of the book about the golem. And then, toward the end of Multitude, a passage which reads as follows:

People today seem unable to understand love as a political concept, but a concept of love is just what we need to grasp the constituent power of the multitude. The modern concept of love is almost exclusively limited to the bourgeois couple and the claustrophobic confines of the nuclear family. Love has become a strictly private affair. We need a more generous and more unrestrained conception of love.

Could you comment on that passage and on the direction your thinking has gone since then?

MH: In part it starts with a recognition that in certain political actions, in certain political demonstrations—the really good ones—you do have a feeling of something really like love. And so, it’s partly a way of trying to theorize that recognition of this feeling of…let’s call it a “collective transformation” that one experiences in certain kinds of political action. And therefore, to think about love, love which I do understand to be precisely a transformative power, something in which we come out different. And to try to think of it as a political concept. There are ways in which love has functioned as a political concept, more than it does today.